Travel Blog Tribe Hop Update

As I mentioned in this post I have been participating in the Blog Love Travel Blog Tribe Hop!

I thought I would share all of the posts from my fellow Tribe members just in case you missed them. Don’t forget to visit all of the posts and leave a comment so that you can participate in the competition to win an Amazon voucher.

Jess from North and South Nomads wrote a fantastic round up of her favourite blogs for 2014. If your looking for some blog inspiration then you should definitely check out her post.

Natalie from Cosmos Mariners wrote about Christmas traditions in Charleston here – do you think you would be brave enough to take the Polar Bear Plunge?

I wrote about my favourite Christmas Traditions here.

Andi from Misadventures with Andi wrote about Christmas in San Fransisco. There’s so much to do there and I would love to try the buttered rum!

Denise from Kuanyin’s Travels about the meaning of Christmas for her and her gorgeous son.

Barbara wrote about life on the circus train for her first married Christmas for her post.

To enter the competition please visit Misadventures With Andi and click on to the rafflecopter contest at the bottom of the link.



Merry Christmas from the Outback Expat


I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope that you have a wonderful day with your friends, family and loved ones and receive everything that you could ever wish for.

I’m spending the day with the Aussie and some of our friends which will be fun and I hope my family have a lovely day too. I’m looking forward to Christmas with you in 2015 and can’t wait to Skype you tonight 🙂



40 years ago today Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin leaving devastation and destruction across the top end in its wake.

Darwin goes on cyclone watch every wet season but on Christmas Eve in 1974 the cyclone was a Category 3 Hurricane (SSHS), Category 4 Severe Tropical Cyclone (BOM).

By 1974 Darwin was home to about 48,000 people and the homes just weren’t built to withstand a cyclone. Early in December 1974 Cyclone Selma had visited Darwin but didn’t really amount to much and so most people believed the same thing would happen with Cyclone Tracy.

A website has been created which explains about “Cyclone Tracy” and explains that Tracy formally came into existence at 10 AM on 21 December 1974, when it lay well to Darwin’s north. On 24 December 1974 Tracy rounded Cape Fourcroy, Bathurst Island’s western tip, and then moved along an east-south-easterly course toward Darwin.

The Cyclone passed over Darwin destroying much of the city and killing 65 people, 49 people on land and 16 at sea.

After the Cyclone the rebuilding began. Many women and children were evacuated to other cities in Australia whilst this happened and it’s said some returned and some did not.

At the Museum and Art Gallery of the Top End there is a display dedicated to the Cyclone. It has accounts from people who lived in Darwin when it hit, shows photos of before and after and also has a room where you can step inside and “experience” the sound of the Cyclone. The sound is absolutely terrifying and I understand is nowhere as loud as at it actually was. The Cyclone lasted for hours and just a minute or so in the room is more than enough.

One of our friends was a small child during the Cyclone and has told us about what happened on Christmas Eve in 1974. It’s impossible to imagine what that night was like for the people living in Darwin or what rebuilding the city was like.

We went to the premiere of a documentary called Blown Away which was created for the ABC a few weeks ago. The documentary was very well made and featured stories from people who lived in Darwin when the Cyclone hit. I was glad to be able to attend the premiere during the commemorative events that the city has been holding to mark the 40th anniversary of Cyclone Tracy.

There are lots of websites featuring photographs and videos about the Cyclone and I will list them below so you can take a look:

Cyclone Tracy Transitions

Cyclone Tracy 40 Years on Part 1

Cyclone Tracy 40 Years on – The Aftermath

Cyclone Tracy 40 Years On Rebuilding

Cyclone Tracy A Full Blown Hangover

Photo mapping the path of Cyclone Tracy from Facebook page

My Favourite Christmas Traditions

Somehow there are just 3 sleeps until Christmas, how did that happen!?! I have just half a day of work left until my holidays and I cannot wait to be able to sit back and relax for a couple of weeks.


I’ve also finally put up our not so little Christmas Tree this weekend and am loving the festive spirit it creates. I also watched Love, Actually which was as great as always.

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree

This year we weren’t able to fly back to the UK for Christmas with my family due to those annoying finances. I am though already planning the trip next year and cannot wait to spend lots of time with my family and friends (only about 50 weeks to go!).

We’ve planned to spend the day with a couple of our friends in Darwin this year. They are from America so it’s going to be fun and interesting to combine our different traditions together. We’re going to be cooking some yummy food on the BBQ and of course in the Aussie tradition will be hanging out around and in the pool!


Christmas in Darwin is quite different than Christmas in the UK. It’s obviously much hotter (around 33 degrees C versus 12 degrees C) plus there’s about 70 to 80% humidity so all you want is an ice cold drink (cider for me please) and to live in the air con and/or a swimming pool.

Last year we had Christmas lunch under the veranda whilst it rained most of the day. It was very strange being sat outside at Christmas.


In the UK also everyone wonders whether it is going to be a white Christmas but in Darwin we are all wondering when the rain is going to come. Apparently the monsoon rain won’t be coming until mid to late January so we have a little while yet for this humidity 😦

The weather also influences what we do and most importantly what we eat on Christmas Day in each country.

As a family we would probably only have turkey a couple of times a year, at Christmas and Easter so it’s a bit of a special treat and I always look forward to sitting down with the family on Christmas Day for the turkey with all the trimmings including pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon), sprouts (apparently I used to steal them from everyone’s plates at Christmas which must have been pleasant) and you can’t beat some bread sauce.

In Darwin, and Australia really, I understand that it’s more likely that you would eat some roast beef or lamb than turkey. Ham is also popular as well as anything you can cook on the BBQ and your less likely to have a full roast dinner because it’s too hot to cook which is a shame as you can’t beat some proper roast potatoes.

I did have a go at a full roast last Christmas and managed to cook it all on the barbie!


The Aussie’s brother is visiting us on Boxing Day for lunch and we’re planning a bit of a full Christmas dinner then depending on how hot its is. I’m definitely wishing we had a BBQ still because it would be great to stick everything in it to cook whilst sitting in the cool house rather than running around in the kitchen.

We also always watch the Queens Speech with my family and I am looking forward to sitting down and watching it because they also show it here for us because Australia is a Commonwealth Country. I am looking forward to watching the Doctor Who Christmas special after watching the trailer recently. It also will be on here before in the UK because of the timezones so will have to make sure I don’t give away any spoilers because my brother is a HUGE Doctor Who fan.

In the evening in the UK, after watching all the Christmas TV specials we would sit down around the table again and enjoy some cold meats, pickles like pickled beetroot or cabbage which is amazing.

We probably won’t do that here this year but instead I am really really excited to FaceTime my family when they open their presents on Christmas morning. Last year we did the same and whilst I wish I could be there with them FaceTime is the perfect way to feel part of the day with them.

Last year I even got to sit down with them whilst they ate their Christmas lunch, though I had food envy!! My Mum’s a fantastic cook.

What are your families Christmas traditions? What do you always look forward to at Christmas?


Check out the other posts from our Blog Love Travel Tribe Blog Hop. You can find all of the links here.

To enter the competition please visit Misadventures With Andi and click on to the rafflecopter contest at the bottom of the link.

The Wait is Over

Well kind of!

I heard at the end of this week that I have a place at Charles Darwin University to begin the courses I need to study to qualify as a solicitor in Australia! I had heard last week that I would most likely be offered a place but would not hear until early in the New Year when the Law Department is back after the Christmas break, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear back from them with confirmation that I was in!

I remember when I applied to Universities during College to study my law degree in the UK when I was 17/18 years old (faaaaar to many years ago now it turns out!), and having to fill in the forms and personal statements as well as just trying to work out where I actually wanted to go to uni. Then there was the waiting for the envelope to drop through the postbox offering or not offering you a place. This was before even getting your exam results. Luckily I was offered a place at the University of the West of England in Bristol, where I wanted to go and got good results so I could go where I had planned.

I always wanted to be a solicitor from a young age, no idea where I got that idea from but my Mum tells me I was always convinced that’s what I wanted to do. Everyone in the family learnt all about the law during those 2 years at College I think.

The process to become a solicitor is long in the UK because if you chose the university route you have to spend 3 years studying the law degree followed by one year studying the post graduate legal practice course and then up to two years working on a training contract.

This is often a difficult process because there are just so many people to compete with and so it took me several years to start my training contract after finishing the academic studies but I qualified on the 1st February 2010 and I was so over the moon to be admitted as a Solicitor. It’s a bit crazy I have to go through this process again but the way I look at it, I’ll be dual qualified which will be useful in the future, plus I will be able to call myself a solicitor here at last.

Some of my friends in the UK are still going through the process and I think they will probably qualify around the time that I complete all of the academic studies so we will have lots to celebrate then.

Travel Blog Tribe Blog Hop Coming Soon!

Welcome to the Travel Blog Tribe Blog Hop!

What’s a tribe? Well its origin comes from a book written by the amazing Seth Godin in 2008. It is a group of people creating their own movement. Blog tribes usually consist of people writing in the same niche, at different skill levels and tenure. They support each other and hold them accountable for their blog goals.

Sound hard? It’s not, we have a lot of fun! Proof? Our blog hop!

Over the next two weeks the six bloggers that make up the Blog Love Travel Blog Tribe will be posting on their individual blogs. You will recognize a post by our blog hop image. Once they are all live, we will be adding a Rafflecopter to facilitate a $50 Amazon giveaway. If you visit each of our five blogs and leave a comment on our blog hop post – easy and fun!

The Rafflecopter will be available on all our blogs in the next two weeks: Barbara Vogelgesang Cosmos Mariners Kuanyin’s Travels Misadventures with Andi North & South Nomads and Outback Expat

Barbara Vogelgesang

Cosmos Mariners

Kuanyin’s Travel

Misadventures with Andi

North and South Nomads

Outback Expat