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stelvio pass

Italy, Travel

Stelvio Pass Photographic Journal

November 13, 2014

When you’re born in a country as flat as Australia and end up moving halfway across the world to even flatter Berlin, rugged, misty, alpine landscapes inevitably begin calling to you. Those soaring, jagged peaks serve as powerful reminders of just how small we are in this big, wide world. Inhaling the crisp, mountain air quickly returns the clarity of perspective that can so easily be lost in the fog of busy city life. Yes, mountain adventures are good for the soul.

Famously hailed as ‘the best road in the world’ by BBC Top Gear’s Clarkson and Co. in 2008, the reputation of the Stelvio Pass clearly precedes it and this northern Italian mountain pass has reached legendary status. 48 switchbacks slice upwards into the mountain, covering an elevation gain of 1800 metres, peaking finally at the summit at 2757 metres, making the Stelvio Pass the highest paved road in Eastern Europe.

We began our ascent with the most delightful little alpine picnic in the tiny village of Trafoi after which the road began to narrow and the first of the hairy switchbacks begin.

Stelvio Pass, Italy

Continue Reading…

Featured Writing, Hotels, Italy

Slow Living at The Medici Family’s Historic Toscana Resort Castelfalfi

March 23, 2016


A couple of months ago I announced that I was joining the team at Electrify Mag as Travel Editor and that I would be contributing to the magazine’s inaugural print volume. I’m so excited to be flying to NYC today to celebrate the official launch with the amazingly talented team behind this project later this week! Here’s a sneak peek at the introduction from one of my two longer editorials featured in the print magazine on the Top 5: Eco-Luxe Retreats of 2016. You can look inside Volume 01, ‘Global Generation’, here or better yet, subscribe!

Tuscany has long been associated with lyrical landscapes, rustic produce and a seductive, long history. The allure of living off the land, eating simple yet quality food and reaping the rewards of the vine-laden landscape has been romanticized by many. Nestled amongst the gentle, undulating hills of Tuscany, an 800-year-old medieval village has recently been transformed into a grand and luxurious resort, now known as the Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, allowing guests to realize their dream of living under the Tuscan sun, if only for a little while.


Keep reading over at Electrify Mag here.

For more inspiration on visiting Italy, you might like to browse the Italy category or check out the following posts:

10 Reasons You Will Love Bologna

Wanderlust Wednesday: 15 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Florence

Stelvio Pass Photographic Journal

Have you been to Tuscany? Share your tips and recommendations with other readers below!
Sunday Selections

Sunday Selections

February 29, 2016

Weekends are for adventures, right? Especially when you’re in LA and you have the entire, beautifully diverse, Californian state just beckoning to be explored. And extra especially when weekdays mostly involve Ben being in meetings all day and me being confined to our apartment (I still haven’t conquered my fear of driving in LA. Traffic here is on another level.) Yep, we’re living for the weekends while we’re over here.

Getting out there and exploring is pretty high on our priority list and we started this weekend with a road trip to Joshua Tree National Park, which was about a three hour drive from LA. We stayed at a beautiful little Airbnb in the Yucca Valley (get your $20 Airbnb discount here) and spent the past few days catching golden hour among the Joshua Trees, watching the most stunning sunset at one of the park’s highest peaks, eating real ‘Merican food at country kitchens and chasing sunrise in cactus gardens all to the soundtrack of Queens of the Stone Age (it couldn’t be anything else out there, really). I captured it all on Snapchat (deptofwandering) and will be sharing some highlights on Instagram next week before the blog posts come soon. Seriously, this was one of the best road trips I’ve ever done (up there with the Stelvio Pass). California, what else have you got in store for me?

One last thing. Leo, it’s about freakin’ time.


Here are this week’s favourite links:

WATCH: ‘Travel is the best when the only map you need are the people around you. Curiosity’s your compass, your curfew a sunrise. There’s no dress code, no deadline, no boss and no queue.’ Intrepid’s new promo video really does make those feet a little itchier.

READ: This piece on 17 things I’ve learned about Instagram is spot on.

EAT: Somebody send this for lunch.

MAKE: Love the look of this bench for the entrance way.

BUY: Would someone like to gift me, oh you know, this dreamy home?

GO: There’s such beauty in the desert. I can’t wait to share the desert landscapes I saw this weekend with you, but here’s some inspiration in the meantime.


As Seen In

May 9, 2015


Editor’s Roundup: 2016 Wanderlust Destinations | Electrify Mag

Travel Bloggers Reveal Their Craziest Travel Experiences, | Polkadot Passport

Travel Bloggers Share: The Best Piece of Advice I’ve Ever Received | Little Grey Box

Travel Bloggers Share: Our #1 Travel Hacks | Little Grey Box



24 Hours in Berlin | Flying the Nest Vlog

Berlin Metropolitan Detour: Rachel’s Detour | Brooks England

Portugal with the WOW Team | World of Wanderlust Vlog



Berlin Like a Local with Expat Rachel Bale | World of Wanderlust



40 Instagrams to Follow for Travel Inspo | Perrero Travel

HOW TO: Travel Like a Local | Polkadot Passport

My Favourite Travel Instagrammers of 2015 | Little Grey Box



10 Best Instagram Photos of the Week | AFAR


Published Work

6 Australian Habits I Lost in Germany | Matador Network

6 of Berlin’s Best Smoothie Bars | World of Wanderlust

10 Fairy Tale Castles to Visit in Germany | World of Wanderlust

10 German Cities you Need to Visit | World of Wanderlust

10 Must-Have Culinary Experiences in Tokyo | Electrify Mag

10 of Berlin’s Best Instagrammers | World of Wanderlust

10 Reasons Why Berlin is a Great City for Expats | World of Wanderlust

10 Reasons Why You Need to Travel to India This Year | World of Wanderlust

10 Unique Places to Stay in Berlin | World of Wanderlust

15 Tips to Stay Healthy While Travelling in India | World of Wanderlust

30 Things You’ll Never Hear a Melbournian Say | Matador Network

50 Essential Tips for First-Time Travellers | World of Wanderlust

Alfama Neighbourhood Guide: Lisbon’s Most Charming District | World of Wanderlust

A Luxe Ski Weekend in Val d’Isere | World of Wanderlust

An Expat’s Guide to Getting a Visa in Berlin | World of Wanderlust

Berlin Brunch Guide | World of Wanderlust

Berlin Coffee Guide | World of Wanderlust

Berlin on a Budget: The Top 15 Free Things to do in Berlin | World of Wanderlust

Checking In: A Luxurious Retreat in Rural Tuscany at Villa Le Maschere | World of Wanderlust

Checking In: The Capra Saas Fee for Luxury in the Swiss Alps | World of Wanderlust

Escape the Crowds to Croatia’s Most Beautiful Secret Beach: Saharun | World of Wanderlust

Exploring Berlin’s Neighbourhoods: Prenzlauer Berg | World of Wanderlust

How to Spend a Weekend in Copenhagen | World of Wanderlust

Is This the Prettiest Polish Town? Why You Should Visit Wrocław | World of Wanderlust

Mystical Sintra and Charming Cascais: The Perfect Day Trip from Lisbon | World of Wanderlust

Oktoberfest: 10 Things to Know Before you Go | World of Wanderlust

Step Back in Time to the Renaissance Period in Scarperia | World of Wanderlust

Stopover Cities: Making the Most of a Frankfurt Stopover | World of Wanderlust

Summer in Berlin: 10 Essential Experiences | World of Wanderlust

The Cutest German Towns to Visit | World of Wanderlust

The Stelvio Pass: Is This Europe’s Most Spectacular Road? | World of Wanderlust

The ‘Top 25’ Landmarks in the World in 2015 | World of Wanderlust

The Ultimate Checklist for Planning Long-Term Travel | World of Wanderlust

Visiting the Algarve: Portugal’s Most Loved Holiday Destination | World of Wanderlust

Why Every Traveller to India Needs to Visit Goa | World of Wanderlust

You Can’t Go to Berlin and not See These 20 Must See Berlin Attractions | World of Wanderlust


Guest Posts

3 London Markets you Need to Visit | Book Culinary Vacations

10 Must-See Sights in Istanbul | Outbound 



Liebster Award | May 2015

Expat Life, Travel

2014 In Review

January 3, 2015

Happy New Year friends! I don’t know about you, but I always feel somewhat nostalgic at the end of the year because I suddenly become so aware of time’s relentless march. On the one hand it feels as if it was only yesterday that I packed up my life into an empty suitcase and moved halfway across the world to Germany, but on the other hand, the vast breadth of experiences I’ve had as a result of this move is felt acutely. 2014 was a mammoth year by all accounts and before I say goodbye and begin focusing on the boundless possibilities that a new year always brings, here’s a little look back.

The highlights reel of 2014:



Back in Australia, we usually welcome the new year with road trips down to the beach, picnics in the park and barefoot summer barbeques. In Germany, beginning 2014 in the middle of the fierce European winter was not so welcoming. I woke one morning to check the weather on my phone, discovering with horror that it was -14°C out — the stuff of nightmares for an Australian! Needless to say, January was spent hibernating indoors with woollen socks, ginger tea and too many Shameless episodes. This Instagram snap of Berlin’s frozen river Spree explains why.

Spree in winter, Berlin



We saw very little snow fall in February, which we didn’t mind so much as we were in the process of moving flats. It was a busy few weeks of packing, cleaning and then setting up our new Airbnb apartment, which quickly became home.

Morning light, bedroom window, Berlin


Visiting Home: Australia

With a serious case of the SADs (seasonal affective disorder) from the long European winter, I almost ran onto my flight bound for Melbourne in March, I was that eager to escape the seemingly never ending chill! My days were spent hanging out with favourite people and indulging in all of the home comforts I missed now that I had moved abroad.

Carlton Gardens, Melbourne

We headed down the coast with a few of these favourite people for a few glorious, recharging days in that blissful Australian sun (more here). Time flew and before we knew it, we were back on the plane heading ‘home’ to Europe once again.

Portsea beach, Australia

As you can probably guess, I was more than a little relieved to be welcomed back to Berlin by spring’s fresh blooms.

Spring, Berlin


Istanbul, Turkey

I was spoilt rotten in April with a five-day trip to Istanbul as my birthday gift from Ben. We always gift a travel experience to one another on our birthdays — the best kind of gift! I immediately lost myself in the city’s vibrancy and energy. We spent our days exploring Istanbul’s 10 must-see sights.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

In particular, the Basilica Cistern ignited the fire of my imagination, conjuring images of Indiana Jones’ adventures.

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

Taking one of the ferries up the Bosphorus Strait was the perfect way to relax after a busy morning sightseeing.

Bosphorus Ferry, Istanbul

Of course, there was much over-indulgence of the city’s Turkish delights, including these delicious, fresh mackerel burgers served on the waterfront in the late afternoon.

Fish Burgers, Istanbul



With a friend from the States flying into Barcelona for work over a weekend in May, was there a better excuse for a weekend away in Spain? Nope. We spent our days wandering around El Born’s winding alleys and indulging in some of Barcelona’s best tapas.

El Born, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Tapas

As well as soaking up that Spanish sun at Barceloneta beach!

Barcelona beach


Belgrade, Serbia

June saw two of our best friends tie the knot in Belgrade, so of course we flew in for the big celebration. Can you believe that the Belgrade Fortress was the location of their wedding after-party? Too cool.

Belgrade Fort, Serbia

Rome, Italy

Later that month we jetted off again to celebrate Ben’s birthday. His choice of destination: Rome. Where else?

Trastevere, Rome. Italy

The heavens may have opened on us during that weekend, but Rome in the rain also meant one thing: fewer tourists! Most of them had gone into hiding so the city was mostly ours.

Pantheon in the rain, Rome


Playing tourist guide

The arrival of the good weather also coincided with the arrival of some friends from Australia who were travelling around Europe on their honeymoon. It’s fun playing tourist guide because you get to re-discover your adopted city all over again. We gave Berlin’s beer gardens a bit of a work out.

Biergarten, Berlin

World Cup

July was also the month in which Germany won the 2014 World Cup. Celebrating on the streets of Berlin with all of the locals is an experience that won’t be forgotten soon!

World Cup 2014, Berlin


Dubrovnik, Croatia

With some extended time off work over Europe’s summer, it was time to soak up the sun in Croatia. Our first stop was stunning Dubrovnik (aka King’s Landing), where one of the highlights was walking the old city walls.

Dubrovnik Old City Walls

Lokrum Island, Croatia

While we were there, we made sure that a visit to nearby Lokrum island was in order.

Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Split, Croatia

From Dubrovnik we headed north through Bosnia and Herzegovina to Split for a flying visit.

Split Harbour, Croatia

Hvar, Croatia

The next morning we caught the ferry to glitzy Hvar for a few days.

Hvar harbour, Croatia

Pakleni Islands, Croatia

And how could I resist a little day trip to the stunning Pakleni islands? Paradise found.

Pakleni Islands, Croatia

Zadar, Croatia

We continued further north up the Dalmatian coast to picturesque Zadar, a city steeped in history and a place not yet overrun with tourists, unlike some of Croatia’s more southerly coastal destinations.

Sea Organ, Zadar, Croatia

Dugi Otok, Croatia

Zadar was a base for exploring some of the islands off the coast and so it was onto the ferry again, bound for Dugi Otok.

Brbinj, Croatia, Dugi Otok

We were in search of one of Croatia’s best beaches (Sakarun beach), located on the island and oh my, we weren’t disappointed. Is this one of Europe’s best beaches?

Sakarun Beach, Croatia


Taking it slow

September was a quiet month as far as travelling was concerned. I spent my spare time writing, drinking coffee and admiring autumn’s stunning colour pallette.

Autumn in Berlin

I may very well have decided that autumn was my favourite season in Berlin and here’s why.

Autumn in Berlin


Girls’ Spa Weekend

October was more eventful. I started the month off right with a girls’ getaway to a region bordering on the Harz mountains. Pretty Vienenburg was our base.

Lake in Germany

A day trip to UNESCO world heritage-listed medieval Goslar was also on the cards. Stunning, right?

Goslar old town, Germany

The weekend culminated in a visit to one of Germany’s traditional spas. I can’t say that I was very well-prepared for the German spa experience. It’s pretty clear that I’m not German yet.

German spa

A roadtrip through Austria and Italy

I could hardly contain my excitement when I learnt that our best friends would be flying into Innsbruck for work. A road trip across the stunning alpine region of Austria and northern Italy was the only option entertained. We began in Innsbruck and made our way to Bolzano in Italy.

Road trip lookout, Austria

Arriving in Bolzano mid-afternoon, why not take a side trip to Lake Garda for dinner?

Lake Garda view, Italy

We briefly explored Bolzano’s old town early the next morning, collecting supplies before hitting the road again. Beginning our ascent over the Alps, we stopped off for the most spectacular alpine picnic.

Picnic in the alps

Pushing onwards, we conquered the famed Stelvio Pass, one of Europe’s most iconic mountain passes, before descending into the verdant valley of fairytale-like Bormio.

Stelvio Pass valley, Italy

Reluctantly making our way back to Innsbruck, which signalled the end of our mini-European road trip, we passed through picturesque little Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein street


Barcelona (again)

It was back to Barcelona again in November, but this time for work. I can’t say that I protested too much about attending a three day conference there and I made sure that it wasn’t all work and no play.

Barcelona street, Spain


Amsterdam for Christmas

To top of a wonderfully rich year of travel, I spent Christmas in Amsterdam in one of the Jordaan’s charming canal houses. Check out my Instagram for more travel snaps, with blog posts coming soon.

Amsterdam Canal Houses

What a year! I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store.

What were your highlights from 2014? Share them in the comments below!


The Department of Wandering’s Most Popular Content of 2014

December 27, 2014

Well, 2014 has almost come to an end. Can you believe that we are only four days away from 2015? I can’t! Where has time run away to? It’s been a huge first year for The Department of Wandering and I’d like to share a special thank you for coming along on this blogging journey with me and for all of the support you’ve shown so far. There are plenty of exciting things planned for 2015, but for now, here’s a little look at The Department of Wandering’s most popular content (based on page views) this past year.

Most popular content of 2014:

10. Stelvio Pass Photographic Journal

When you’re born in a country as flat as Australia and end up moving halfway across the world to even flatter Berlin, rugged, misty, alpine landscapes inevitably begin calling to you. Those soaring, jagged peaks serve as powerful reminders of just how small we are in this big, wide world. Inhaling the crisp, mountain air quickly returns the clarity of perspective that can so easily be lost in the fog of busy city life. Yes, mountain adventures are good for the soul.

Continue reading…

Stelvio Pass, Italy


9. Great Coffee in Berlin: Silo Coffee

Still looking for that perfect drop to start your morning right in Berlin? Last week, I suggested Café 9 in Kreuzberg next door to Markthalle Neun for a quality cup. If you’re situated more east than south, however, Silo Coffee is your place to be.

Continue reading…

Silo Coffee, Berlin


8. 10 Instagram Accounts to Travel the World With

We all need to escape the daily grind now again, don’t we? Whilst I do travel as much as possible (and as often as my bank balance will allow!), I’m forever dreaming of the next adventure. Instagram helps.

Here are my top 10 Instagram accounts to travel the world with:

Continue reading…

Murad Ossman, Instagram, Travel

7. 5 Things Not to Miss in Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, is a chaotic, throbbing hub of existence to over a million people. Being the international arrival point for the majority of independent travellers eager to explore the nearby Himalayas or engage in eco-tourism initiatives, many choose to stay on for at least a few days to explore this vibrant, colourful capital.

Here are 5 of the best things to do in Kathmandu:

Continue reading…

Sadhus, Kathmandu, Nepal


6. 10 Travel Quotes to Inspire Your Wanderlust

Beware wanderlusters: these 10 quotes about travel may very well result in the spontaneous booking of a plane ticket!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. –Mark Twain

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5. Visiting Berlin This Autumn: 10 Reasons Why You Should

With cooler weather, fewer crowds and lower prices, visiting Berlin in Autumn is a great option.

Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Berlin this Autumn:

Continue reading…

Autumn in Berlin


4. 10 Reasons Why You Should Become an Expat

It’s almost been 18 months since I relocated halfway across the world from Australia to Germany to experience life as an expat. My, what an adventure it’s been! Building a completely new life from scratch, brick by brick, without the support structures in place at home has been the single most challenging experience in my life. At the same time, it has also been the best decision I ever made. 

Here are 10 reasons why you should become an expat:

Continue reading:

Expat in Berlin, autumn


3. My Top 5 Greatest Travel Adventures So Far

This beautiful world we live in continues to amaze me every single day and I’m determined to make the very most of this incredible life I’ve been given. Every moment is a true gift. I’ve been fortunate to travel to some truly spectacular places over the past five years, all of which are markedly different to one another. Here are the top 5 greatest travel adventures I’ve had so far:

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Trekking Annapurna region, HImalayas


2. An Easy Day Trip from Dubrovnik: Lokrum Island

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Dubrovnik really is one of those places you won’t soon forget. After spending a full day strolling around this magnificent medieval city, there’s no better way to spend day two than by taking an easy day trip to Dubrovnik’s Lokrum Island.

Continue reading…

travel to lokrum island, dubrovnik


1. The German Spa Experience: Warning: Nudity Expected

Having lived in Europe now for almost 18 months, I had definitely become aware of the Freikörperkultur (free body culture) naturalist philosophy so common amongst Europeans. Many Europeans, and particularly Germans, find it incredibly joyful to experience relaxing activities nude. Think nude Swiss alpine hikers or sunbathing beach-going Scandinavians. Germans too are famously relaxed about public nudity and don’t immediately associate the naked body with sexuality, unlike many other cultures around the world. So when a trip to the Bad Harzburg Sole-Therme was organised as part of our girls’ getaway a couple of weeks ago, I knew exactly what to expect. Nakedness. A whole lot of it.

Continue reading…

German spa

Which post was your favourite in 2014? Share your opinion below!

Hotels, Italy, Reviews, Travel

Review: Agriturismo Rini, Bormio

December 3, 2014

You know that moment, don’t you, when you first arrive at your accommodation for the evening, you gaze around in wonder, immediately sigh and lament the fact that you only booked a single night? Yeah. I know that moment. I had a moment like that at Agriturismo Rini.

This charming bed and breakfast, nestled neatly in the verdant valley of Bormio in northern Italy, is a pretty special spot to spend a night, but trust me, you won’t be satisfied with just one. Situated on a working dairy farm and framed on all sides by the thrusting peaks of the Alps, the setting couldn’t be more picturesque. One night in a place such as this just doesn’t suffice.

The Rooms:

Agriturismo Rini’s rooms are spacious, bright and are furnished with natural and high-quality materials: wide floorboards and supporting beams are cut from Spruce and Larch trees and the king-size bed is dressed with brushed, soft cottons and linens. The skylight together with the pale wood furnishings give the space a clean, open feel. Most rooms are appointed with a balcony overlooking Mount Vallecetta or Mount Reit; the perfect place to open a bottle of wine and watch the sun sink behind these peaks. The rooms are well appointed with all of the expected amenities: heated towel racks, satellite TV, a safe and free Wifi.

Agriturismo Rini offers guests the choice of five different room types, catering to all budgets and needs. We stayed in one of the ‘Classic’ rooms, pictured below, which was comfortable, cosy and bright. Large two-storey apartments are also available for bigger groups or families.

Agriturismo Rini room, Bormio

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Food and Drink, Italy, Travel

An Alpine Picnic

November 6, 2014

The alarm clock screeched at us early to get up and get going. Still bleary eyed from a late return to Bolzano from Lake Garda the night before, our bodies were heavy in our beds and protested against this abrasive order to rise. Soon though, the fog in our minds began to dissipate and the haze was slowly replaced with a sharp sense of excitement: today we would take the third highest alpine mountain pass in Europe and arguably the most dramatic of them all, the Stelvio Pass.

But first, Bolzano. With growling bellies we set out to explore this darling little northern Italian town, which was craving our attention, and to find some breakfast in the process.

Bolzano, Italy

Continue Reading…

Expat Life

The Perks of Being an Expat: Travel

September 22, 2014

One of the things I have to love the most about being an expat is the constant opportunity to travel. Living in Europe means that there really is no shortage of options when it comes to weekend escapes. When you can just nip across to Amsterdam or Paris for the weekend, taking a flight that’s as short as an hour or two in length, it means that there is always an excuse to plan the next trip! Coming from the south coast of Australia, where it takes forever to travel anywhere, I’m like a kid in a candy store over here. To not take advantage of these benefits really wouldn’t be right, would it?

Here’s a little peek at what my past year of travel has looked like since I moved to Berlin in July 2013.

Departures Board, Airport




Moved to Berlin (Germany)
Santorini and Mykonos (Greece)
Prague (Czech Republic)


Continue Reading…


February 23, 2014

Thank you for wanting to learn a little more about the girl behind The Department of Wandering.

About Me

My Story

Living in inner-city Melbourne, Australia, my boyfriend Ben and I were what many would describe as a successful couple. We both had stable jobs that we worked hard at (I was a secondary school teacher in a well-respected private school and Ben was an automotive designer at General Motors). We both earned good incomes and were never really concerned with where our money was going, as long as we could save enough for a trip overseas somewhere every year. We lived for these adventures and when we didn’t have any travel plans to look forward to we never felt quite right. As the years ticked over one by one, our trips seemed to become more and more adventurous:

2008: We hired a car and went on an epic four-week road trip in New Zealand from the tip of the north island to the bottom of the south island. We trekked the 54 km Milford Track, heli-hiked on the Franz Josef Glacier and went blackwater rafting in the Waitomo Caves.

2009: We travelled to Japan during hanami (cherry blossom season) and got lost in the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagoya.

2009 - 2010: Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam were on the cards for a four-week trip over Christmas and New Year. Some highlights were visiting local schools, cycling around the Mekong delta and spending NYE on the streets of Saigon.

2011-2012: hungry for adventure, we headed to India and Nepal for seven weeks over the Australian summer. We sailed down the Ganges River in paddle boats, went on camel safari in the desert in Rajasthan, rode motorbikes around Goa and trekked for 15 days in the Annapurna region of the Himalayas. This trip really threw us out of our comfort zone but was one of the most memorable experiences we’ve ever had.

Where to from there?

We noticed a little pattern developing. Every time we travelled we returned home a little hungrier than before. Hungry to see more, to do more. Restless to move. We started feeling less and less fulfilled by our work. We were both bored and realised we were stuck in a rut.

We had always talked about one day living abroad and so we asked ourselves, ‘Why not?’ and ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’. In early 2013 Ben applied for an automotive design position with Volkswagen in Germany and got the job. Before we knew it, we had purchased two one-way tickets to Berlin. We’ve now been here for two years.

Why The Department of Wandering?

Initially, The Department of Wandering was a creative outlet for me and helped me share with friends and family back home what living in another country was like.

As time has progressed, however, The Department of Wandering has become much more than that. Today, this blog aims to inspire those who are contemplating a move abroad and also assist them in the process. I share lots of information here on the realities of expat life that many current or future expats find useful as well as the city of Berlin itself. The blog also contains lots of inspiration for travelling in general, with a wide range of travel destinations featured.


Want to know more but not sure where to start?

Being an Expat

10 Reasons Why You Should Become an Expat

The German Spa Experience: Warning: Nudity Expected

The Perks of Being an Expat: Travel


Favourite Travel Experiences

Slowly Down the Ganges, India

Stelvio Pass Photographic Journal

My Top 5 Greatest Travel Adventures So Far


Popular Posts

The Department of Wandering’s Most Popular Content of 2014


Looking Back

2014 in Review


Still curious?

29 Fun Facts About Me


Here are a few travel snaps:

Winter in Himalayas, Nepal

Camel trek, India

A forest in Nepal

Dubrovnik Old City Walls

Annapurna trek, Nepal

Hindu blessing, India

Stelvio Pass, valley

Agriturismo Rini, calf

So are we friends yet? Visit my Contact page to connect with me!

Inspiration, Travel

20 of the Most Clichéd Travel Quotes You Should Stop Using (And 20 to Use Instead)

November 20, 2015

There’s nothing like a good travel quote accompanied by a dreamy image of some faraway and exotic destination to make you want to book a flight, pack your bags and travel the world. Instagram and Pinterest users love sharing travel quotes, and I have to admit that I also like to compliment an image with a well-chosen quote occasionally too. But in all honesty, if I read another caption quoting J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘Not all those who wander…’ (blah blah blah) again, I think I’m going to puke. The same travel quotes that once served to inspire wanderlusters and adventure-seekers have circulated around and around for so long now that they have become clichéd, cheesy and, well, wholly uninspiring. So the next time you want to inspire others with a quote on social media, choose something unique and surprising instead.


20 of the most clichéd travel quotes you should stop using:

1. ‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.’ – Saint Augustine

2. ‘Not all those who wander are lost.’ J.R.R. Tolkien

3. ‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.’ — Helen Keller

4. ‘I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.’ — Susan Sontag

5. ‘Take only memories. Leave only footprints.’ — Chief Seattle


6. ‘To travel is to live.’ — Hans Christian Anderson

7. ‘A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.’ – Lao Tzu

8. ‘Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

9. ‘Two roads diverged in a wood and I — I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.’ — Robert Frost

10. ‘Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’ — Ibn Battuta


11. ‘Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.’ — Dalai Lama

12. ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ Mark Twain

13. ‘One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.’ – Henry Miller

14. ‘All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.’ – Martin Buber

15. ‘A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.’ – Tim Cahill


16. ‘For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.’ Robert Louis Stevenson

17. ‘Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.’ — Author Unknown

18. ‘Collect moments not things.’ — Aarti Khurana

19. ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’ — Marcel Proust

20. ‘The journey not the arrival matters.’ — T.S. Eliot


And 20 you should use instead:

1. ‘She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.’ — Roman Payne

2. ‘Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.’ — Alan Keightly

3. ‘Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.’ —Ray Bradbury

4. ‘Every one of a hundred thousand cities around the world had its own special sunset, and it was worth going there, just once, if only to see the sun go down.’ — Ryū Murakami

5. ‘I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.’ — Diane Ackerman


6. ‘Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.’ — Isabelle Eberhardt

7. ‘You get a strange feeling when you leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you miss the person you are at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again.’ — Azar Nafasi

8. ‘I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.’ — Cheryl Strayed

9. ‘And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by  the unforgettable thread of wasted time.’  — Donald Miller

10. ‘For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you will long to return.’ — Leonardo da Vinci


11. ‘One day, you’ll wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.’ — Paulo Coelho

12. ‘Everything I was I carry with me, everything I will be lies waiting on the road ahead.’ — Ma Jian

13. ‘Once the travel bug bites, there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.’ — Michael Palin

14. ‘The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.’ — Albert Einstein

15. ‘The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.’ — Dr. Seuss


16. ‘Life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone…It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?’ — Donald Miller

17. ‘My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.’ — Rumi

18. ‘I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.’ — Mary Anne Radmacher

19. ‘The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.’ — John Muir

20. ‘And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.’ — Randy Komisar


Do you have a favourite lesser known travel quote? 

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