Travelling on New Zealand’s TranzAlpine Train

Travelling on New Zealand's TranzAlpine train

There’s something magical for me about getting on a train for a long journey. You get to see how the landscape gradually changes around you, you can walk around and the sound of a train on the tracks is one I have always found comforting. I feel like flying is sometimes too fast and airports are hectic in a way that train stations aren’t for me. Long journeys have a...

Something is better than nothing: Thoughts on losing NaNoWriMo

statue of Belgian artist Pieter Bruegel something is better than nothing

In October, I shared this blog post from two years ago on Facebook and announced my intention to participate in NaNoWriMo for the third time. Subscribers will also have read about it in the newsletter I sent out in October. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you can find out more here or read about my previous NaNoWriMo experience here. Like the previous time I did NaNoWriMo, I did...

Alcobaça and the Dead Queen

Monastery of Alcobaça

There are two people buried in the monastery of Alcobaça and it was them who first brought me to Portugal. I was fifteen and had just won a writing competition organised by the Portuguese Ministry of Education. My entry was a re-telling of the story of Ines and Pedro, written in diary format from the point of view of Pedro. I called it “The Dead Queen”. Don Pedro and Ines...

Planning a trip to New Zealand without a car

Lake Wakatipu, view from Skyline Gondola summit, Queenstown, New Zealand

When I was planning my trip to New Zealand last year, I was told the only way to see it was by car. Not having driven since I passed my driving test many years ago, I didn’t feel that a solo trip to New Zealand was the best time to start. After doing some research, I concluded that it was feasible to visit many of the places I wanted to...