Hi and welcome to Image Earth Travel!
A photography and travel blog geared towards independent travellers, and anyone with a passion for photography.
I love capturing the globe with words and lens! And when not travelling to exotic destinations, I’m based in Brisbane (Australia), working as a Technical Writer and freelance Photographer.
My intrigue with photography started at a young age using a 110mm film camera (remember those?) – I was addicted!
Working in an Old Time studio for a couple of years shooting everything on an old Hasselblad Flatbed camera, I saved enough money for my year away from Australia.
With a lust to travel, I donned my first backpack in 1985 and spent about a year backpacking around the world solo.
Met loads of other travellers along the way whilst exploring Africa, Europe, Britain, Egypt, India, and a first quick taste of Thailand.
Travelling by bus, train, boat, and hitchhiking, cemented forever my passion for travel and photography. Although I travelled independently, a 21-day Topdeck tour made sure I didn’t miss the main sites in Europe.
Life at Sea
Apart from local and global overland travelling, I’ve been a part of building (from plans) a Roberts 28′ Motor Sailor and launched ‘Naiad’ in the Hawkesbury River (NSW).
Motored Naiad to Sydney for work and to finish her fit-out, which took another 4 years, on top of the initial 5-plus years to launch. Set sail bound for Brisbane (Queensland), meandering up the coast for 6 months and also lived up and down the coast for years.
This part of the Australian East Coast has some of the best and most pristine cruising grounds in the world, especially the Great Barrier Reef.
During this time, we extended Naiad to 34′ and lived on her for 20 years in total, until deciding we needed a bigger boat.
Flying to USA in 2008 to buy a Catalina 47′, after only looking at 3, we settled on ‘Reality’ – already hauled out and winterised in Long Island (NY).
After trucking Reality to Miami by road, a fit-out for ocean passages, we finally set sail down the Miami River and then Florida, which took 3 months rom buying Reality to leaving the US.
Leaving Florida, we sailed for Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and almost due south in the beautiful Caribbean Sea to Bonaire.
A short sail to risky Venezuela to explore this spectacular country for a while, then onto Curacao.
I love the sea and always feel at peace on the water; especially during night watches, when a backdrop of a million stars kiss the horizon, fusing the world together – magic!
Back in Australia
During the 2011 Brisbane floods, I lived on Reality on my own, which was scary. Although with the help and support from close friends, all went well and Reality made it through safely.
Taking off again
An extended journey
Leaving Australia again in March 2014 and landing in Singapore without a real plan, travelled through SE Asia for over 10 months.
Crossing overland borders through Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, the only flight was into Myanmar (Burma) from Thailand, as border crossings were closed or only granted a 15-day travel visa, at the time. From Thailand, crossed overland to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam taking our time to experience each country.
The rough plan after a couple of months in Vietnam was to do the Trans-Siberian through China, Mongolia, and Russia over many months and possibly a year or so. Sadly, the visas were too short, too expensive, and too difficult to obtain once outside of Australia. If you’re doing a short trip or organised tour, then a visa isn’t a problem.
Australians can only stay 90 days within a 180-day period in Schengen-agreed countries – as of today, that’s 26 EU countries. Sadly, I had to leave again, after 3 months.
From Poland, we flew to the UK for a while but I did have a short 6-day stay back in Australia. Whilst there, a wonderful 2-week sailing trip in Fiji saw me catching up with friends that I hadn’t seen in years, before returning to the UK.
An amazing time and a comfortable way to travel whilst meeting loads of like-minded travellers.
Once again, I have to leave the Schengen area and return to the UK.
How to fill in 3 months before returning to the EU?
Volunteer with FED again, of course.
FED is the same NGO in Thailand that we volunteered with for almost two months, back in 2014. This time we’re helping out for 3 months.
More time in Europe
During the past years, the desire to obtain Italian Citizenship grew even stronger, but this would always prove difficult.
Instead, another trip to Australia end of 2016 to request a 12-month Italian Residency Visa, then back in Italy, I submitted another request for permission to stay. Some 5 months later, my physical residency card arrived.
Now that I have this card and with a base in southern Italy, I can finally relax and soak up the wonderful Italian culture and connect with relatives, have fun with new wonderful friends.
So, stay with me and leave me a comment now and again, so I know you’re still out there to read my next adventure!
Meanwhile, a quote by the Roman satirical poet Decimus Junius Juvenalisthat resonates…
The noiseless foot of time steals swiftly by, and ‘ere we dream of manhood, end is nigh.
Want to send me on a trip? Email at Nilla’s Photography to discuss.