Mapping a Unique View of the World: A Q+A with Linda of Journey Jottings

Linda Fairbairn, the creator of unique Aussie travel map and journal products.

Sometimes photographs and video can fail to do a journey justice, something that Linda Fairbairn knows all too well. A revered travel blogger and map enthusiast, Linda is the proud owner of Journey Jottings – a colourful set of travel memory products available in souvenir shops across Australia. With everything from magnets to postcards on offer, Linda’s vibrant artwork aims to provide unforgettable visual memories of travellers’ Australian adventures.

We were recently lucky enough to get the chance to ask the cheerful cartographer a whole series of questions about map-making and Aussie travel, and in return, she provided us with heaps of great tips and advice:

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Responsible Roaming with Eco Traveller Guide Editor Linda McCormick

Linda McCormick, founder and editor of
Eco Traveller Guide.

Going on holiday is all about feeling great, and it’s much easier to feel great when you know you’re respecting your environment and doing your bit to minimise the eco footprint you leave behind. And fortunately, there are plenty of online resources these days to help travellers make responsible decisions.

The Eco Traveller Guide is one such useful site, providing readers with tips and advice on everything from sustainable culinary travel to green travel gear. The guide’s founder and editor, Linda McCormick, was recently kind enough to take the time to share with us her thoughts on the environmental future of the tourism industry, her favourite eco-friendly stays and her picks for some of the greenest destinations across the globe:

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Getting to Know Us: Meet our Indonesian Marketing Manager Debora

Our Indonesian Marketing Manager Debora provides inside tips on travelling around the country.

We’re a pretty international bunch here at HotelsCombined – with staff members hailing everywhere from Brazil to Russia, our range of cultures and backgrounds span the globe.

So to get some real insight into the range of travel destinations found on our site, we thought it would be best to chat with the true travel experts  – that is, the people who were actually born and raised there and who can give you all the inside tips that no guide book ever could.

On that note, our Indonesian Marketing Manager, Debora Santosa, shares her advice on Bali hot spots, Indonesian cuisine and how to follow the proper cultural dos and don’ts:

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The Vivacious Vagabrothers: Meet the Winners of the Biggest, Baddest Bucket List

The Vagabrothers ham it up in Mexico’s Mayan Riviera.

It was only a few months ago that brothers Marko and Alex Ayling (otherwise known as the Vagabrothers) received the amazing news that they had won global travel website My Destination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucket List competition – in addition to a round-the-world trip to the destinations of their dreams, the lucky pair also snagged a $50,000 cash prize!

The dynamic duo have since set off on a whirlwind six-month adventure, undertaking a variety of incredible experiences that have included everything from whale watching in Canada to munching on Guinea pigs in Ecuador. We recently caught up with the nomadic twosome in-between exploits to find out how they celebrated their big BBB win, how their trip is going and what they have planned for their cash prize:

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Getting Cultured: We Talk with The Culture-ist Co-Founder Maria Russo

Maria Russo, co-founder of The Culture-ist, in Bali.

The Culture-ist is a smart, diverse and unique new online magazine that focuses on all the most intriguing parts of culture; covering food, people, travel, art and the environment, it’s a great resource for keeping track of all the extraordinary movements taking place across the globe.

In fact, we loved the magazine so much that we decided to contribute to it – our articles for the website have touched upon everything from Australia’s best vineyard stays to an exploration of Amsterdam’s quirky art hotels.

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Adventures in Vlogging: A Q+A with YouTube Travel Star Christina Pfeiffer

Avid travel writer, photographer and vlogger Christina Pfeiffer.

Avid travel writer, photographer and vlogger Christina Pfeiffer.

Christina Pfeiffer is a veteran travel writer and photographer whose work has appeared everywhere from the Sydney Morning Herald to the South China Morning Post. While she still maintains her writing and photography skills, she’s recently added a new skill into the mix – video blogging. Since having launched her YouTube channel TravelThereNext.TV last year, Christina has uploaded dozens of lively videos that provide a fascinating glimpse into life around the globe. We recently had the chance to chat with the wandering nomad about her new YouTube passion and about the various incredible adventures she’s gotten to undertake throughout her career. And naturally, we had to ask where her favourite Aussie hotel stays were as well :-)

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Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow: A Chat with Ski Expert Miss Snow it All

Miss Snow it All – otherwise known as Rachael Oakes-Ash. Photo Credit: Fairfax, Damian Bennett


Miss Snow it All
, a.k.a Rachael Oakes-Ash, is Australia’s foremost expert on all things ski and snowboard. For years now, the snow bunny has toured the world in search of the best powder, writing about her experiences along the way for the likes of the Sydney Morning Herald, ESPN and onthesnow.com. As she gears up to blog about the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics, we caught up with the snow queen to find out what caused her to ditch Oz’s sunny beaches for snow hills, her picks for the globe’s best ski retreats and who she thinks will be walking away with Olympic medals:

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Exploring Australia’s Food Scene with Jeremy Bowell (a.k.a. “Taste Explorer”)

Blogger Jeremy Bowell gets serious in the kitchen.

Sydney-based blogger Jeremy Bowell knows a thing or two about the amazing food and drink that Australia has to offer – through his website, Taste Explorer, he’s wandered the country’s countless wineries and restaurants in search of the most delectable, mouth-watering fare to be had. The gourmand recently took the time to chat with us about Oz’s extensive food scene, his top restaurant picks and what it was like staying at the “best resort in the world”:

Your blog is all about enjoying culinary experiences. As someone based in Australia, how do you think the country’s cuisine stacks up compared to the rest of the world?

We’re really lucky in Australia to have some amazing, world class chefs and also an abundance of great produce. As a western country with such close proximity to Asia our cuisine appropriates the best of both worlds. We have chefs like Kylie Kwong (Billy Kwong, Sydney) who are fusing native Australian ingredients with traditional Chinese dishes. I think this fusion of cuisines is really exciting. Darren Templeman from Atelier in Glebe is another really talented chef doing amazing things with great produce. He’s one to watch.

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Star-Power Stays: The Five Best Celebrity-Owned Hotels

The Cromlix Hotel, Scotland – owned by Andy Murray

We’re not quite sure what it is, but celebrities  seem to have a real knack for the hotel business. Robert De Niro, Francis Ford Coppola and Richard Gere are just a few of the personalities who’ve made the successful leap from movie stardom to hotel proprietorship.  With so much star-powered accommodation options on offer, our friend David Haddad from Publiseek was kind enough to help us out and take a look at the luminary hotel owners who’ve done the hospitality industry especially proud:

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Christmas in July: Five Hotels with True Holiday Spirit

This time of the year, it can get pretty wet and windy in most parts of Australia, but we figure all this dreariness should just be another excuse for a party! Instead of bemoaning the chill, why not embrace it by getting cosy with loved ones and by indulging in some good food, good wine and good times?

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