Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father's Day

Today is Fathers’ Day in Australia and New Zealand, the day where we take time to appreciate our relationship with our fathers and what they mean to us.

I caught the travel bug from my parents. While I was growing up, we spent our weekends going on drives, hiking through national parks and visiting historical landmarks. School holidays saw our family travelling around Australia, and my parents supported both my brother and I when we had the opportunity to live in Germany as part of our school’s student exchange program.

My parents showed me that it was possible to take long overseas trips and still have a day job. Together they’ve travelled to every continent, and spend their free time improving their photography skills.

Ever since he got online in 1997, Dad’s met and kept in touch with people from all over the world. He likes numbers and statistics and lodges my tax for me. He has an affinity for emus: when he talks to them, the emus respond (it’s a kind of a weird glounk sound). Dad loves trying new beers on his travels, quotes lines from The Castle and gets a little bit too distracted by Farm Town. He’s also an avid coin and stamp collector, which makes buying souvenirs for him really easy!

Dad has always supported me in everything I’ve done. He helped me with programming logic during my IT degree and over the years he’s saved the discarded drafts of my short stories and writing projects. He’s always a Skype call away if anything goes wrong while I’m travelling. He pretends to understand when I speak to him in German. He is always the first to read any of the posts on this blog and actively promotes Castlephile Travels and my writing whenever he can.

Without my Dad being the person he is, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

So thankyou for everything, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!


Right Place, Wrong Time: Three Sights I Didn’t See

Travelling can lead to some amazing experiences and sights that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. But sometimes the travel gods are against you, and while you might be in the right place, you are most definitely there at the wrong time.

Thankfully, none of these times have been life-threatening, but after years of planning and anticipation, you can’t help but be disappointed to turn up somewhere and not be able to see the thing you came for (though it does give you a reason for a return trip!).

The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

On my first overseas trip at 17, I had two things I wanted to see: the Brandenburg Gate and Neuschwanstein Castle. I managed neither – our group of exchange students voted against going to Neuschwanstein, and when it came to the Brandenburg Gate, well, it just wasn’t how I had pictured it …

The Brandenburg Gate, undergoing restoration works in 2001.
The Brandenburg Gate, undergoing restoration works in 2001.


Nine years later, I made it back to Berlin and was so excited to see the actual Brandenburg Gate!

The Brandenburg Gate
My favourite part of visiting Berlin – seeing the Brandenburg Gate!

The Bridge of Sighs, Venice

Advertising surrounding The Bridge of Sighs
Almost the perfect image of The Bridge of Sighs, complete with gondolier. If only there weren’t any ads…

Oh, advertising. You really are everywhere. Even covering up restoration work on the second most famous bridge in Venice. What should have been an idyllic scene was almost choked by Coca Cola ads.

The Northern Lights, Norway

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all was having the Northern Lights dazzle in the sky above me while I was fast asleep! The next morning we woke up to the rest of our tour group gushing about the incredible experience they had and showing us the photos that they had taken. After that we stayed up night after night waiting to see the Northern Lights for ourselves, but the sky was too cloudy to be able to see the light show.

Now it’s your turn! Have you ever been in the right place at the wrong time?