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Australia

#3: Sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef

Confession: I don’t like open water, I hate getting my face wet, and my idea of a swim is to the other side of the pool for a glass of ice-cold pink lemonade. So when I found myself fighting seasickness, on a sailboat, in the middle of the...
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#4: Skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef at Mission Beach

“Well, it’s not like you ever hear about people coming down and saying, that was awful, I absolutely hated it, right? And you’re bloody here, so you know you’re going to do it. What’s the point of being nervous?” Those were the kind words of...
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The week of road trips in the new Ford Focus

After selling my first (and only) car in February, I've been living a mostly-but-not-always-blissful life relying on public transportation in Melbourne. Likes: walking more, reading on the tram, not having to pay for gas or repairs, no road rage and...
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Postcard from Bellarine Peninsula

I have a weird habit of judging cities by their names. And since "Geelong" doesn't sound very pretty, and because all I knew about it was its AFL team (winners of this year's Grand Final!), its Ford factory and its reputation for being rather...
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The magic of Melbourne in a hot-air balloon

Every so often, I'd wake up to the sunlight streaming through my window and stretch out to see hot-air balloons rising up over the curve of the Luna Park roller coaster. Floating above the city, against a backdrop of the rising sun, the balloons...
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Peninsula Hot Springs: the ultimate relaxation destination

As I shrugged my shoulders beneath the hot water and took a deep breath of fresh air, I gazed at the lush green hills and sliver of blue bay on the horizon: this is living the dream, I thought. The hilltop pool at Peninsula Hot Springs is one...
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Postcard from Brighton Beach

Best known for its brightly-colored bathing boxes, the Dendy Street Beach in Brighton is one of Melbourne's favorite summer destinations. The stretch of sand curves along the aquamarine bay, with a rainbow of boxes, St Kilda pier and the Melbourne...
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Postcard from Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival

Spring Racing Carnival is when Melbourne wakes up from a sleepy winter, puts on its nicest fascinator and heads outside to sip champagne in the sunshine. While Melbourne Cup is the biggest event of the year--falling on the first Tuesday of...
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View of sunset over Port Phillip Bay from St Kilda Beach

What I love (and hate) about Australia

When the sun is shining, when I'm sipping a latte with perfectly frothed milk, when I'm watching the sun set over St Kilda beach--I think, I could stay here forever. I could live here. I could raise a family and have a career and own a dog here. I...
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Postcard from the walls of Hobart

The details of a place have always interested me more than a sweeping panorama: those are the rewards for paying attention, for actively searching your surroundings instead of complacently heading toward the next scenic vista. Hobart was full of the...
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