Vivid_Sydney_2011

Although it is far away, there are so many reasons to go and visit Australia.

From blissful beaches and vibrant cities, to even the hauntingly beautiful Outback, there’s so much choice for the visitor that it can offer something for even the most jaded traveller.

And 2015 has plenty of events that will offer you all the more reason to get yourself to this truly unique nation.

Vivid Sydney

Every winter (that’s May and June to us!) Sydney puts on a spectacular light show with stunning projections appearing over many of the city’s most iconic buildings.

Vivid Sydney started as an idea in 2009 but now attracts over 1.5 million visitors to spectacle at an eerily illuminated Sydney Opera House. Plus there are some great interactive exhibits where you’ll get the chance to control the lights on Harbour Bridge and even project your own face onto a massive head!

The area is also highly renowned for Darling Harbour that is well worth a visit for its extravagant new casino complexes. Maybe try and get some practice in online before you go by visiting Ruby Fortune !

Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Surfers_Paradise_Dec_2013

And then for a slightly more strenuous activity, head to Southport on 4th July and enjoy the epic sight of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

Whether you’re young or old, expert or novice, all are welcome to partake in the race that features many different distances for different types of athlete.

It’s definitely one of the more picturesque marathons in the world, as you run on a perfectly flat track alongside the beautiful Gold Coast as the sun rises over the Pacific Ocean.

And even if you just fancy being a spectator, there are many great attractions dotted around the main event from chic beachside restaurants to kid-friendly theme parks!

Floriade

Canberra_Floriade_2004,_Ferris_Wheel

For an event of a more genteel nature, then head to Canberra from 13th September where for one month it hosts the largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

Floriade started as a one-day event, but now is an essential part of the Australian springtime that celebrates the end of Canberra’s frosty winters with beautiful bursts of floral colour.

It’s a real gardener’s paradise with thousands of tulips and annuals being sculpted to perfection in the elegantly maintained Commonwealth Park that overlooks the picturesque Lake Burley Griffin.

And even if you should tire of tulips, there’s still a great range of other activities to experience.

From Gnome Knoll which offers the slightly sinister attraction of thousands of decorated garden gnomes grouped together, to the spectacular Nightfest which transforms the park into an illuminated wonderland with live music and night markets, it’s a great way to enjoy the start of a beautiful Australian springtime!


Image by vivid Sydney Gold Coast Airport Marathon Floriade

 

ST.MARTIN

St. Martin is at the center of many U.S. destinations thus making traveling easier. As you walk through a small trail, you can’t imagine what awaits you. The heavenly view seems like a mirage. There are plenty of supermarkets and grocery stores and therefore no worries in case you have forgotten something. It is a great destination for family holidays as it provides kid friendly activities. At St. Martin the kids can visit the zoo, Loterie farm for older children, butterfly farm or go for a horseback riding. There are also plenty of beaches and nice pools. It offers great accommodations, including stunning family vacation rentals in St. Martin like the Chale Da Ilha Fernando de Noronha island Brazil.

The kid’s activities in St. Martin include:

1- Dip in the pool at one of the stunning family vacation rentals

exceptional villas

Most of the vacation rentals have outdoor pools where the kids can enjoy themselves. Kids can learn to swim or even have swimming competitions. Safety standards are ensured at the pools as the water is clean and friendly to everyone. This helps the kids to enjoy their lazy afternoons.

2- The great carousel in Simpson Bay

A ride on the antique carousel is a delightful surprise for the whole family. It offers an authentic merry go-round and ice cream parlor. All kinds of carousel related tchotchkes are sold at the souvenir store. Beyond the attractions, there are many delish flavors of homemade ice creams. It is thoroughly worth your vacation time.

3- Building sand castles on the amazing beaches.

The dawn beach has sugar white powdery sand which is perfect for your kids to build sand castles with. Other beaches which are quiet and perfect places to spend a lazy afternoon include Baie Rouge beach, Anse Marcel, Cupecoy beach and Orient beach.

4- A visit to the Santa house situated in the Cripple Gate.

This treat offers both the old and young a magical, unforgettable, and spectacular display of Christmas colors and lights. Each corner of the Santa house brings delight to the visitors. If you are here for Christmas, this, hands down, offers the best Christmas ever.

5- Exploring the butterfly farm.

butterfly farm

With large meshed enclosures you can see hundreds of real exotic butterflies flying freely- a truly beautiful display of the most spectacular species from all over the world. They offer a free return pass at the entrance. The butterfly farm is open daily throughout the whole year. From 8:30 am to 4:30pm and the guide tours are there fulltime and you are welcome to stay for as long as you want. Different shops sell a huge selection of butterfly-related souvenirs and gifts. They also offer refreshments, restrooms and parking. It is most ideal for families that like animals as most kids are afraid of butterflies.

St. Martin, also known as St. Maarten, is the place to be. It is one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations as it accommodates the whole family and kids friendly activities which are affordable. There are plethora more of family friendly things to do, including but not limited to, boating, jet-skiing, kayaking and hikes for example. In short, get ready to have fun at your St. Martin vacation.


Image by Acid Mo Exceptionalvillas jpoage under cc license

 

world traveler

If you are a world traveler, you will definitely have had your eyes opened to the way people in other countries decorate and furnish their homes. You can take their ideas and ways of doing things and apply them to your own home to give your property an original and personal identity.

Western ideas

But why should you turn to other cultures for interior design ideas? Because by doing so, you will be able to achieve an interior that looks nothing like your neighbor’s, utilizing items that cannot be found in every main street store and colors that are out of the ordinary.

Using decorative items that you have brought back from your travels, or using a color scheme that comes from a vacation can help to bring back happy memories and inspire you in other areas of your life.

African art

Africa is a huge continent and offers a wide range of decorative interior choices. Many of us are familiar with the distinctive styles of Egypt and Morocco, for example; indeed, many of their iconic designs have found their way into mainstream Western art in some way or other. It is not unusual to see a basalt Egyptian cat serving as an ornament or Moroccan tiles decorating a bathroom. But the other African countries have much to offer as well.

For small accent touches, you can use woven baskets as decorative items, boldly patterned cushion covers and other native fabrics for soft furnishings, or carved wooden figurines that represent tribal gods that can be used as ornaments or wall art. These minimal design elements are perfect for those who are still unsure about doing a complete overhaul. For large-scale redecoration, larger design motifs can be laid upon the very walls of your interiors by choosing shades of paint that echo the natural landscape, such as tans and light browns to represent the sands of the African desert areas.

European style

The Western world naturally incorporates the continent of Europe, but perhaps the New World still has something to learn from the Old. Much of American interior design ideas come from our Quaker heritage and borrowings from England, but continental Europe has a wide range of styles that can be applied to American homes.

Take France as an example. Their interior design history is rich with ornate metalwork gilded in antique gold that lends any room a feeling of opulence, mixed with furniture that has ornate woodwork detailing. Much of French style features a distressed look, so that even if the pieces are brand new, they give the impression of having been passed down from generation to generation.

The Scandinavian countries have an almost opposite idea of style, paring down the essentials of a room to a bare minimum and showing off the beauty of natural wood furniture, teamed with plain and simple soft furnishings. This is a style for those who love minimalism and appreciate the clean look Scandinavian style offers.

Use your travels to influence your interior design style to create a home that not only represents you and your personality, but that also acts as a reminder of the places you so enjoyed visiting.


Featured Courtesy by Memi Ketie Kokovich under cc license