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The silly season is here and so are the silly gift lists. I’m not sure why there is a plethora of lists of things, stuff, bits and bobs that you should give to a traveller. From power packs, to ugly zip off pants and the devil stick (selfie stick). Is the travel community really that selfish and entitled that helpful lists are only written for things that we want to receive or get a decent kickback from?

Let’s put this in a bit of context. You’ve travelled or are on the road right now. Maybe you’ve been to ten countries or maybe one hundred. You’ve learnt of lot. Your head is full of amazing experiences, stories and generally amazing stuff. So why should all the great gifts come to you and you just send out a dodgy card?

Gifts that travellers should consider giving.

Frank Green Smart Cup

I recently feel in love with my London Frank Green cup. It’s super cute and super inspirational. Even on the toughest mornings it makes me smile. One thing I love about this cup is that it seals entirely. Making it great for bike riding with or briskly walking around a new city. These cups are stylish, functional and good for the environment.

Frank Green understands that buying branded bottled water and using single use coffee cups is a waste of the earth’s resources (and of our money). Not only are Frank Green products good for the environment – being made from recyclable materials and reducing the use of single-use bottled water and coffee cups – they’re also great for your health, being made from BPA-free and non-toxic materials.

The Smart Cup is designed and made in Australia.


Frank Green Smart Cup

Frank Green Smart Cup

Socks & jocks

Maybe you think this is a little cliché. Well I think you’re wrong. The world of socks and jocks is severly under rated as a gift. You can never have too many socks and jocks. Up until recently I was a big buying of new socks & jocks before every trip. We’re not talking your KMART special here but think Victoria Secrets, Calvin Kleins etc. I like to be comfortable. Until I was introduced to the world of Exofficio underwear from my great friends at Backpacking Light Melbourne. I’ve been converted.

The active fit, ultralight mesh, and smooth waistband make the Sport Mesh the most comfortable performance underwear you’ll ever put your booty in. They feature an antimicrobial finish and highly breathable mesh to keep you cool, fresh, and comfortable whether you’re exploring Argentina or your local trails. They are by far the most comfortable and easiest to wash/dry whilst on the road.

Teaching a deer to T-rex in my Exofficio undies.

Teaching a deer to T-rex in my Exofficio undies.

Exofficio unfortunately does not ship to Australia. Yet.

Wildearth and Paddy Pallin stock these in Australia at reasonable prices.

A sustainable and stylish water bottle- ALEX Bottle

Water is a necessity in life. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve struggled with drinking enough water (I’m told coffee, wine and vodka are not included in my daily intake) a day for a long time. Even more so when I’m on the road. I was lucky enough to stumble across the ALEX bottle during the Kickstarter phase. I love how these bottles split in half and are super easy to take through airport security.

Most reusable water bottles require special brushes or cleaning tablets to clean them. They stay dirty, build up with unhealthy bacteria, and start to smelly really nasty. Ultimately you’ll end up throwing it in the recycle bin, or worse, the trash. You simply open ALEX up and toss in the dishwasher or quickly hand wash it. Confidently put water, smoothies, or powdered drinks in ALEX and know you can clean them out. Also on the upside the ALEX bottle fits in a bottle of beer or cider really well.

All the colours of the rainbow

All the colours of the rainbow

 A page or two of  inspiration


The biggest pleasure comes from what we read, not from what we read. I’m a huge fan of reading all the things. Despite my best effort I can’t travel without a book. A real page turning, paper book. A lot of my inspiration of places to go and people to be comes from reading. So why not give a little bit of travel inspiration in the form of a book or two?

No two persons ever read the same book.

–Edmund Wilson

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.

–Neil Gaiman

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.

–Vera Nazarian

I love the ease of Book Depository. The prices are reasonable and the shipping is free! Win – win. Also sometimes it’s really hard to get books in Australia. We seem to be oh a good 6 months behind the times when books get released.

These books are currently doing the rounds in my world-

The Alchemist- Paul Coehlo
On the trail of Genghis Khan– Tim Cope
Into the Wild– Jon Krakauer
The Way of Wanderlust– Don George
The source of all things– Tracy Ross.

If you are looking for some amazing female writers Outside Online have a great pre-Cheryl Strayed list here.

Always with my head in the clouds and my mind in a book

Always with my head in the clouds and my mind in a book

The gift of travel

You love travel. I love travel. WE ALL LOVE TRAVEL. Oh sorry for the Oprah moment. Hopefully this is true. Perhaps you have a family member or friend coming to visit your little digital nomad home. And you really don’t want to entertain them. I get it. You need me time. Time to work, time to just do stuff without babysitting. Or maybe it’s your little brother/sister’s first big international trip and you want them to really see the world.

So give the gift of a walking tour with Context Travel. Private Guides and (Very) Small Group Tours for the Intellectually Curious Traveler.

The Context vision is to create an atmosphere—a context, if you will—for curious travelers to engage with local experts; to give them access to places and cultures that might otherwise remain out of sight to the casual visitor; to invite them off the tourist track and into the real life of the people, history, and culture that makes these cultural capitals amazing

I absolutely loved my guided tour of the Brittsh Museum that I was lucky enough to join in on my recent trip to London town. I’m really looking forward to being a tourist in my home town of Melbourne when I get to learn all about the coffee culture here in Melbourne.

If you’re really stuck and need to add a little bit of something extra than lip balm and champagne is always the answer.

Let’s talk links. The links provided in this post are here to help you. Context Travel were generous enough to compliment my attendance in their walking tours.