Working Remotely From Tasmania

Can you imagine an even more remote place to work from than Tasmania? I can’t — for now.

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Me and Tasmania — Tasmania and me

Last February, I was lucky enough to spend 4 weeks on that “small” island South of Australia’s main land. Yes, I wrote Australia. Tanzania is a very different story. Please stop asking me about life in Africa. 😃

During my time in Tasmania, I worked 4 days a week and had 3 days a week to explore Tassie with my little family — my favorite travel companions.

We changed apartments once to explore as much as possible and therefore stayed 2 weeks in the North of the island, then 2 weeks in the South. Tassie is an island on which you can easily end up in very remote spots, like we did in the North. We stayed in a small cottage in Riana. Our next (human) neighbors were 500 meters away. To get to our house by car, we had to open and close 3 fences to prevent the cows from changing the fields that surrounded our cottage. It’s been a remote dream!

Our cottage in Riana, Tasmania

Moving down to Hobart after 2 weeks almost felt like a shock. People. Cars. Buildings. A city center! Though admittedly, our cottage in Hobart with a view towards Mount Wellington was in a calm neighborhood. Only a few wallabies visited our garden each evening.

That clocks are ticking differently in Tasmania can be seen on dialogues like this one (with Gerke, the landlord of the Riana property):

I: “So how come the street you live in has actually your family name? Is it pure coincidence?
Gerke: “Nah. At one point, Tasmania decided that all roads got to have a name. So someone suggested to give it my family’s name as our house is the oldest in the street.”
I: “And when did that happen?”
Gerke: “A few years ago.”

Makes me wonder if they actually had internet access before they had a road with a name… but I forgot to ask!

Please click through the 2 albums below and read the captions to learn more about our fabulous four weeks in Tassie.

North (Riana and around)

South (Hobart and around)

What other remote work places would you recommend?

My standards would be:

  • a reasonable internet speed
  • the modem nearby, to be able to turn it off and on again if needed
  • an affordable place to rent for work and living (I’m working from home, not at the beach like people tend to think)

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Photo Essay: Bali

Bali with a 2.5-year-old? Yes, anytime again!

While our 2-week vacation in Bali earlier this year wasn’t flawless, we had a fantastic time there. The little one especially liked nasi goreng (fried rice), mi goreng (fried noodles), dancing and pool time, while my husband and I enjoyed all the temples, traditions and green landscapes. Bali really had something for each of us.

I can’t deny though that we suffered from the heat. While adults can more or less deal with 30°C and higher, young kids struggle. Our daughter is usually a good walker, but in Bali 200 metres were waaaayyy too long for her. So we had to do a lot of carrying, which isn’t enjoyable under such conditions. You might wonder why we carried her instead of using a stroller; the road and pavement conditions make it impossible to go for a walk with a baby buggy (especially in Ubud).

So we did a few trips with our Deuter Kid Comfort (which is a life-saver) and spent a lot of time in taxis to visit different places in the cultural Centre, relaxed East and buzzy South of the island. Word of advice: if your kid is too small to properly sit in a regular car seat with a regular seat belt, you should pre-book your taxis with a service like Bali Bubs, who do not only offer airport transfers with baby conform vehicles but also rent out baby equipment if you plan to travel light. We were lucky in a way, as our girl is way too tall for her age and was comfortable and safe in the middle seat of the taxi back bench.

Time wise, two weeks were perfect without being in a constant rush. Quiet days are essential when travelling with kids and so we spent 7 days in Ubud, 4 days in Amed and 5 days in Benoa Beach. But even the lazy days at the hotels were an adventure (pools, restaurants, kids club, …), so I would have been glad to stay for a third week.

Our accommodation was always kid friendly, which is why we can recommend:

The gallery below is chronological. Read the image captions to discover Bali the way we did and learn more about this beautiful place in the heart of Indonesia.

 

 

Can’t get enough? Here are two bonus videos I created.

Enjoy a compilation of various Balinese dancers that appeared on stage at the Peliatan Royal Palace in Ubud on the 21st of April 2018.

Get a feeling how snorkeling in Amed can look like.

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Hong Kong Through My GoPro

On our way from France to Australia earlier this year, we did a one-week stopover in Hong Kong — a great way to make the huge time difference more tolerable for kids.

My weather app had optimistic news and predicted 4 sunny days that week. Check out below how that turned out…

I couldn’t be bothered though. I admit I was impressed by what I saw. Growing up in European cities with architectural height restrictions, Hong Kong was both overwhelming and a brand new photo playground for me. Due to the tall buildings I admittedly couldn’t let go off my GoPro and I took most photos during this one-week trip with it.

So did my 2.5 year old daughter (see second gallery in this article). For some reason she loved getting into photography in Hong Kong and I gave her my GoPro with a lanyard around her neck to secure my precious tool 📷.

And here are my daughter’s takes on Hong Kong:

While I clearly enjoyed photographing Hong Kong with my GoPro Hero 6, I came across a few situations when I preferred using my regular DSLR, especially for views over vast landscapes, night shots and close-ups. Who would have guessed?

Here are some of my favorite Canon 60D photos to complete the Hong Kong gallery above.

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Dancing Butterflies In Tasmania

Sometimes, the simplest things are the most beautiful, like thousands of butterflies fluttering across the meadows of Riana, Tasmania in a unique choreography as soon as the morning sun had warmed up their tiny wings.

They might be mating…

mating butterflies Tasmania

…or wandering.

brown butterfly Tasmania

I’m not entirely sure why these butterflies did what they did, but the owner of this Tassie farm told me that the phenomenon of the dancing butterflies only happens for 1 to 2 weeks each year and he has rarely seen as many as in February this year. 🦋🦋🦋

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Backyard Kiwi Release In Parua Bay

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Meeting a kiwi up close is a wonderful moment for kids

If I was to recommend one New Zealand location for kiwi watching it would be the region around Whangarei in Northland. Already a few years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Sparky here. In March 2018, I made acquaintance with Ross and 3 of his friends. The 4 kiwi birds have been released into the wild at Parua Bay (Whangarei Heads), after settling over from the stoat free Limestone Island.

Since more than 15 years, Backyard Kiwi (WHLF) is monitoring wild kiwi in the area and capturing chicks shortly after they have been hatching. The birds then get transported to the predator free Limestone Island off the Whangarei Heads coast where they can grow and get strong enough to stand a chance of survival against all kinds of mammals populating New Zealand’s mainland.

Once strong enough (after 6 months or more), the kiwi are recaptured and brought back to Whangarei Heads to introduce wider genetic variety into the area. This might sound like a lenghty procedure, which still does not guarantee the kiwi’s survival once it’s back on the mainland. Still, the success rate speaks for itself: from previously 80 kiwi birds in the region (2001), the number went up to 800+ kiwi (2018). Their movements are tracked and regularly updated in this map, proving that the Whangarei Heads community can truly claim to have kiwi in their backyard.

Backyard Kiwi is organizing regular kiwi releases. If you would like to use the occasion to meet these nocturnal birds up close, keep an eye on their website or Facebook page, where they announce their release dates ahead of time.

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Lots of audience for 4 little kiwi birds

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Backyard Kiwi staff has been sharing valuable information, like the fact that uncontrolled dogs are a major threat to kiwi

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Before releasing the kiwi birds into the wild again, locals and all other visitors had a great chance to see the kiwi live and ask questions

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What a star. Photo. Click. Photo. Click.

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This one got a bit upset by all the people and the lack of sleep

kiwi release nothland

Whereas this one didn’t mind and fell asleep again

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Ross was the one who got released first

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On the way to Ross’ new home in Parua Bay

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Home sweet home! This is where the kiwi got released. After catching up some sleep it probably went out to search for food. The kiwi birds can move around freely and aren’t forced to stay at their release place. Some of them have been tracked over a distance of 10 kilometres.

Here is a short bonus video from the moment when the kiwi got placed into his new home in Parua Bay. Good luck little fellow!

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Photo Essay: El Hierro

After visiting El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, I have been approached several times by people asking us how much time to spend there. Obviously, it all depends on your holiday style. If you love spending quiet days at the beach you can stay there forever. But if you are interested in visiting all the popular corners recommended in travel guides, I’d say 1 week is perfect, especially if you travel with kids and don’t want to (read can’t) go at a crazy speed.

Here are my personal highlights from our week in El Hierro. Please click through the gallery to read the captions for more details…

And here is a short bonus video of some crabs in La Caleta, fighting against the strong waves of the sea. I filmed this on our way out from the public pools in La Caleta. Who’s up for a bath?

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Sun(🌇=’set’, 🌅=’rise’) Time On The Canary Islands

Sunset Lanzarote

The blue hour is not only my happy hour :)

Before moving to the Canary Islands for 3 months, I had read in several travel guides that the Spanish archipelago is a perfect location to capture stunning sunrises and sunsets above the mountains and the sea. As you can see, I was not disappointed!

Here is my personal list of the best places on the Canary Islands to catch amazing, colorful and inspiring sunrises and sunsets. Happy shooting!
💛🧡❤💜💙

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