Hi and welcome to Image Earth Travel!
A photography and travel blog geared towards independent travellers, and anyone with a passion for photography.
Check back here for a new post every Sunday.
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.
Relaxing – Marrakech, Morocco (2011) Photo: Neil Lintern
My intrigue with photography started at a young age using a 110mm film camera (remember those?) – I became 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 and donning my first backpack in 1985, I spent almost a year solo-backpacking around the world.
Met loads of other travellers along the way while exploring Africa, Europe, United Kingdom, Egypt, India, and a first quick taste in Thailand.
Travelling by bus, train, boat, and hitchhiking, cemented forever my passion for travel and photography. Although travelling independently, booking a 21-day Topdeck tour ensured not to miss main European sites.
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 Naiad’s launch in NSW’s Hawkesbury River, Australia.
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, but then also living 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, an extension to Naiad made her 34′ and lived on her for 20 years in total, until deciding it was time for a bigger boat.
Flying to the US 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 on to Florida.
Taking 3 months from buying Reality to leaving the US, finally leave Florida and set sail for Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, then due south in the beautiful Caribbean Sea to Bonaire.
A short sail to risky Venezuela to explore this spectacular country for a while before sailing to 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
Living on Reality on my own during the 2011 Brisbane floods proved 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, but hoping that we would be away for 12 to 24 months, travelled through SE Asia for over 10 months, which was amazing.
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, crossing overland to stunning Laos, Cambodia, and then Vietnam while taking time to experience each country is an excellent way to travel.
The rough plan after a couple of months in Vietnam is to do the Trans-Siberian through China, Mongolia, and Russia over many months and possibly a year. Sadly, the visas are 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.
So, a quick change of plan sees a flight to Eastern Europe during the bitterly cold winter – arriving in Estonia in January then travelling independently overland through Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
Australians can only stay 90 days in 180-day-period in Schengen-agreed countries. As of today, this is 26 EU countries. Three months in, three months out.
From Poland, we fly to the UK for a while but I also visit Australia on a short 6-day stay. While in Australia and before returning to the UK, hop on a wonderful 2-week sailing side-trip in Fiji to catch up with friends, which I haven’t seen in years.
An amazing time and a comfortable method of travelling, while meeting loads of like-minded travellers.
Once again, the Schengen clock ticks, so time to leave this zone 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 in 2014. This time we’re helping out for 3 months.
Photo: Don Khong, Mekong River, Laos (2014)
Over the years, the desire to obtain Italian Citizenship grows even stronger, but would this prove difficult? Yes.
Another trip to Australia at the end of 2016 to request an Italian visa, then back in Italy, another request for permission to stay and some 4.5 months later, my physical card arrives.
Based in southern Italy, I can finally relax and soak up the wonderful Italian culture, connect with relatives, and have fun with great new friends.
In September 2019, booked flights, accommodation, and buses for a quick 6-week trip to Australia in 2020. For the first time in my life, I booked everything…bad move.
Arrived in Australia only to be marooned, missing a wedding in the UK and unable to return to Italy. The world changed. But, we need to re-invent ourselves and accommodate everything that’s thrown at us – don’t despair or wallow in self-pity – we’re alive so enjoy every moment.
Australia is home…for a while. So, stay with me, leave me a comment now and again, so that I know you’re still out there to read my next adventure.
Meanwhile, I leave you with a quote that resonates, by the Roman satirical poet Decimus Junius Juvenalis…
Want to send me on a trip? Email Nilla’s Photography to discuss.