It was goodbye New York City

image

Last day in NYC 2012

Just a short post for Travel Inspiration Thursday today, and I apologise for it been late! I have decided to share one of my favourite pictures from my trip to the USA in 2012. It was taken during an early morning walk with half of the Contiki group I was traveling with, from Brooklyn to Manhattan across the bridge.

It was a lovely walk and a great way to see the city from a different perspective.

I then spent the day on my own in the city before meeting back up with Contiki buddies that evening. I was completely in awe of the city that day. Total wanderlust. I wanted to soak it all in. I went to little parks, ate macarons from street vendors, got rained on and visited Central Park (where it went from sun to torrential downpour… where I decided not to risk my camera in the rain and currently have no photos of the park, but can vividly remember it!). I then went shopping, ensuring I had one last visit to Tiffanys.

That is how I said my own personal goodbye to New York City, and in just over two months I will get to meet up with it again. No doubt I will fall in love with it all over again, and will dread leaving one more.

Have you read past travel posts from KOOKLAH – such as why I am thankful for travel opportunities, five destinations that fill this blogger with intense wanderlust or shots from 2012’s visit to Los Angeles

Goodnight dolls,
Sarah XO
*
KOOKLAH – a living doll, living a life not yet imagined…
Don’t forget to click follow or sign up for posts to be sent via email. You can also follow us on Facebook and catch up with Sarah daily via Instagram @saregiak

KOOKLAH BLOG

Advertisements

It all starts tomorrow

Since my last post, I took some time out. During this time I have house-sat close to the ocean, took some time for internal reflection, have found enjoyment in everyday things and have had an operation!

I have missed blogging, but I really needed to take some time out. The great news is that now I am full of ideas, inspiration and a renewed love for writing.

image

From tomorrow I will be rolling out new post content (the ideas I had during the break were thick and fast), beginning with a new Travel Inspiration Thursday post (read June’s Travel Inspiration Post – Thankful for Travel for why I am thankful for the experiences I have had and an insight into why I love it).
You can look forward to more posts that involve beauty – including a few product reviews, fashion love, mental health and wellbeing, travel and food. I am also going to amp up some social commentary posts; from ongoing world events, inner musings and anecdotes as many viewers have commented, emailed and indicated they love these. I am also considering releasing an excerpt into a fictional character I created at 17, and write about in my short stories often… which is nervewracking, as not many people in my life have read those stories.

It all starts tomorrow. Make sure you have clicked follow, or entered your email address into the box on the right so that you get a quick notification of new content. I’d love to hear from you, especially if you have something you’d like me to write about.

Goodnight dolls,
Sarah xo
*
KOOKLAH : A living doll, living a life not yet imagined…

KOOKLAH BLOG

Thankful for Travel…

So I am writing this post late, I had a very busy day, which for me is not always conducive to good writing or inspiration.  I have many travel type posts that I want to bring to my readers, as Thursday has recently become Travel Inspiration Thursday on KOOKLAH. A way to provide travel anecdotes or advice regularly and hopefully provide inspiration for travel often!

Today, I thought I would write a different style of post, I have decided to link up to Creating Contentment, for Thankful Thursday. In keeping with travel as a theme, I decided I would write about some things I am thankful for – that are relevant to this theme.

image

Above is a picture snapped in 2012 in New York City on a walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan.  It is one of my most favourite pictures with a splash of what became my favourite city behind me. Traveling makes me feel alive and blessed for all that I have. For that I am thankful, I feel it is a blessing to be able to experience another culture, country and meet it’s people. To keep it simple today, I am going to list ten other things I am thankful for, but I could go on forever.

1. When I was very young, around 4 or 5, my Mum passed on an old Atlas to my sister and I. It had this big, beautiful coloured world map. I would lie on my belly on the floor looking at that map for hours and imagining big adventures in my head. As I got older I would go through the atlas and take turns reading about different cities, cultures and countries. I was in awe. I am so incredibly thankful that Mum gave us the Atlas and didn’t throw it out… Mum gave me the very thing that sparked my interest in travel and I won’t ever forget it.

image

2. I am thankful that I was raised by two kind, loving, honest, well-rounded and supportive parents. Who gave my siblings and I an upbringing that was full of knowledge, stories and encouragement to be open minded and accepting of people no matter their race, religion, culture or sexuality. Due this we all have interest in exploring places other than our own.

3. I am thankful that a friend came to me at the start of 2012 with an idea to do a tour of the USA. It was fun, an eyeopener and a great way to spend my first overseas trip!

4. I feel blessed that we went to the memorial at The World Trade site. It is the first massive world event I can remember (I was in year six) and it changed how I’d viewed the world. To go there was so humbling and moving, looking at those pools with the water continually running, I felt thankful to live in a safe place and thankful to have the opportunity to pay respects to the people whose souls I had long thought of and cried for.

5. I am thankful that I feel continually inspired by the world and some of the amazing places I have seen. Like the Grand Canyon in Nevada, Stonehenge in the UK and the Eiffel Tower all lit up + sparkling in Paris. To see some future places I hope to see, read my post Five Destinations to Explore.

image

6. I am thankful that I have an AMAZING travel agent who goes above and beyond, and always gets excited as if it is her own holiday. Her hardwork and enthusiasm is such a bonus.

7. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to have worked hard and secured a good position that allows me to fund my travel.

8. I am thankful that my boss granted me permission to take a longer period of leave for the USA Adventure I am planning, which will take place from the end of December this year to the start of Feb next year.

9. I am thankful to my friends Lauren and Chris who are joining me for a third of my trip, it will be fun to spend two and a half weeks together which will include New Years Eve.

10. I am excited for the experience we will have when we stay in New York City for two weeks, not in a hotel, but in an apartment! Will give us a more ‘local’ experience.  I am thankful we could find a good deal, in an incredible location. I am so thankful, as it was starting to get stressful.

I hope you have enjoyed this post, be sure to check out the other thankful posts which will be linked via Creating Contentment’s site. I’m interested in what you are thankful for, travel or otherwise.

Kooklah xo

image

image

KOOKLAH BLOG

Five Destinations to Explore

As my plans are coming together for my USA trip at the end of the year I have started thinking about other trips and destinations I would like to experience. While there are many, I thought I would share five in this post {with more to come in further posts}…

Mexican Ruins
They have captured my interest for a few years and I am excited that during my stay in Cancun next year, I will have the chance to go and visit some. I am particularly keen to visit the site called Chichen Itza which has ruins from 7th and 10th Century that include stone structures with carvings, areas used to worship and an underwater sinkhole which was a traditional ceremonial site.

image

The ruins of Tulum along the Riviera Maya are also intriguing,  they are the only ruins built in a way that gives them ocean views. It is so pretty, and literally takes my breath away…

image

Juliet’s Balcony – Verona, Italy
The balcony and house that is said to have inspired William Shakespeare to write Romeo & Juliet can be found in the Italian city of Verona at Casa di Giulietta. I have a big interest in Italy and love the whimsical aspect of this site, I will definitely be writing a letter to Juliet! Even if it isn’t real, something that so openly celebrates love, will always win in my book.

image

Santorini – Greece
What’s not to love and have extreme wanderlust over? Santorini – an island formed from a volcanic caldera, this southern Greek island is an iconic image of Greece. Sun, beaches, volcano and white-washed buildings paired with colourful roofs or details (traditionally different volcanic ash was used to create this) that cascade down the cliff. Love that one of my favourite book series “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, has an amazing affinity to Santorini – adds to the magic!

image

Uluru, Ayers Rock – Australia
A sandstone rock in Australia’s centre – the largest of its kind at 350m high – holds a special significance to the Aboriginal culture. I find it fascinating that at different times of the day, as the sun changes position the rock appears to change colour – including amber, purple and blue. According to Lonely Planet, two thirds of Uluru is below ground and it would take three and a half hours to walk around!

image

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona – Spain
Basilica, church, cathedral – whichever term you use, there is no denying that this is an amazing man-made creation. I love ornate architecture,  particuarly cathedrals, and this one is designed to a medieval theme. Interestingly the building of it is not finished,  it is expected to be completed by 2026. Mainly gothic style with three facades that face different directions which depict different scenes including Birth of Jesus and Heaven & Hell. At La Sagrada Familia – it is apparently not uncommon for the entry queue to be over a two hour wait.

image

I hope you enjoy this post! I look forward to putting together more in the future… have you been to these destinations or are they on YOUR list? What other destinations are your must-sees? KOOKLAH Xo

KOOKLAH BLOG

Travel Inspiration Thursdays

There is nothing I love more then planning a trip and going away to explore another town, city, country or culture. I find it gives you a whole new perspective on life and broadens your world view. In light of this, each Thursday I will publish a travel themed post – from shots of places I’ve been or places on my wish list, anecdotes or stories or advice such as packing tips and tricks.

I often get the urge to pack a tote bag or suitcase and be on my way, traveling doesn’t just have to mean an international flight… explore your own country too. I used to head up the coast for a few nights a year, always at random and stay with a friend who lived along the way. I have also visited different places within my country of Australia (still have a few to go).

I’m no expert, but I love to travel and with that, comes experience and lessons learnt. In the coming weeks I will write about finding the ideal day bag for your travels, five things that must be in your carry on for long haul flights,  why you should limit the amount of shoes you take and tips for preventing swollen legs and promoting good circulation during long haul flights. If you think of a topic or question you would like answered please comment or email.

Below I have included some snapshots I took on my first international trip – a Contiki to the USA, called Best of USA first stop Los Angeles, then on to San Fransisco, Las Vegas and New York City. For today’s post I have used L.A shots – I didn’t love L.A as much as I thought I would,  Hollywood isn’t like in the movies or an episode of The Hills (goes without saying but there was still a small glimmer of hope in me that it would), don’t get me wrong, I had fun there and would go again (and I am in 7 months) but the areas I loved were Santa Monica and Venice Beach with it’s famous freakshow boardwalk.

image

The beautiful rooftop garden at The Double Tree by Hilton in downtown Los Angeles – it started my love for rooftop bars and gardens + helpful staff who gave out warm chocolate chip cookies!

image

image

The iconic tourist thing… you have to do it, don’t be afraid to take the shot or sidle up to something that is symbolic to you. You are a tourist so embrace it! I had to get a shot with Marilyn’s star I’ve idolised her since I was young.  I enjoyed Hollywood Boulevard and going to a ‘mall’ that could put most of our shopping centres to shame! (Hence the shopping bag) It also provided a clear shot of the Hollywood Sign.

image

image

My whole trip reinforced my love of street art, but particularly in Los Angeles. The elephants are from a Korean BBQ place we went to and the art of the woman is from a section of wall along Venice Beach Boardwalk (unable to credit artists as they are unknown, if these works are yours or you know the artist contact me and I’ll happily credit them)

image

Santa Monica Pier with quirky vendors, beach and souvenirs

image

Venice Beach with lifeguard house just before sunset

image

Watching some performers on the boardwalk… they were a troupe from Chicago who stated “we joke about racism because racism is a joke”, they had a humerous way of making a stand that got the message across to a large and varied audience.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at some snapshots Los Angeles, all photos taken by Sarah, Kooklah creator and writer. Don’t forget you can follow on instagram for a daily insight to my life (handle is @saregiak), follow Kooklah on Facebook and either like/share/comment on this post. Enjoy your day + invest in some travel daydreaming, I know I will be!

Sarah ☆ KOOKLAH