One Reason To Travel: A Cambodia Photo Diary

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There are many good reasons to travel.

For me, I love the excitement of the unknown. It’s being anonymous in a big city or getting that small glimpse into a different culture. It’s the history I only ever read about in books or that famous landmark I see only in films. And it’s the food, oh yes, the food.

But there is one other reason that I haven’t yet mentioned and it has to do with that human relationship thing commonly known as “friendship”. I’ve written before about the kindness of strangers, but today I want to talk about new friendships that last long after travel is over.

It has been almost 3 years since I went to Cambodia. I was 20, still at uni and pretty flippin’ lucky to get the opportunity to visit Cambodia with 9 others, most of whom I’d only just met. Cambodia was all of those things I mentioned above, and more – it was exciting, unknown, eye opening and delicious. An experience I shared with only 9 other people and 3 years on we are all still mates.

Last weekend I caught up with 5 of the 9 and was reminded of how unique “travel friendships” can be. We spent the night reminiscing about Cambodia and giggling about things no one else would understand.

Gemma, Rotem, Steph, Chris and Rhys – thanks for hanging out and reminding me of how cool you all are. Looking forward to our next reunion, but in the meantime, here are some snaps from our time in Cambodia all those years ago.

- Bec x

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Cambodia 2

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Cambodia 17

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Cambodia 18

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Sydney Eats: St Jude, Redfern

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St Jude is a damn cute little cafe in Redfern.

It was the Monday morning after City2Surf when we dropped by for brunch and St Jude was the perfect place to rest our sore legs and recuperate before the drive home.

It is a small cafe with a beautiful antique table in the middle of the room for communal dining. They also have extra seating outside, which, on a sunnier day, would be sublime. Being winter though, we were lucky to score a table inside when we did. Butterflies, vintage dolls and framed paintings of saints adorn the walls, adding to the eclectic feel of this tiny cafe. And while it might be a small place, St Jude is big on good vibes – their service is super friendly, the food is killer and they make a very mean soy cap.

If you want to eat at St Jude, and I highly recommend it, go to 728 Bourke Street (corner Thurlow Street & Bourke Street) in Redfern and hope for an empty table.

- Bec x

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Canberra Cafe: Lonsdale Street Roasters, Braddon

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Today Canberra’s weather really put on a show. I’m talking blue sky and sunshine – perfect conditions to head down to Lonsdale Street Roasters to grab a coffee and a bite.

Bec and I weren’t overly hungry, but a quick geez at the menu kickstarted our appetite. We decided to share banana bread, which was topped with all the goodies. It might not sound like much, but trust me this thing was deliciously dense and perfect for an afternoon snack. The coffee was good, chai latte was killer and the atmosphere outside was perfect for a sunny Canberra day.

Roasters has 2 locations on the one street – you can find them at Number 7 and Number 23 on Lonsdale Street in Braddon. If the weather’s good, head to Roasters 23 and grab a table out the front in the sunshine.

- Steven

Canberra Cafe Lonsdale Street Roasters 1

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Sydney Eats: Reuben Hills, Surry Hills

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We had run 14km and all I could think about was food. Reuben Hills was the perfect solution to our problem. It wasn’t my first time at this popular cafe in Surry Hills and it definitely won’t be my last.

Reuben Hills is a haven for good food and exceptional coffee. My soft baked eggs veggie style was flippin’ delicious, but order at your own caution – this dish is only for people who like their chilli hot.

The menu is one of my favourite things about this cafe, inspired by their coffee buying trips to Central and South America, the dishes are big on flavour and big on chilli. The boys shared a plate of the aptly named “really fucking great fried chicken” and as far as I could tell, they thought it was really fucking great. Matt and Steve also had a giant milkshake each, one salted caramel, the other apple and rhubarb crumble, while I downed two soy caps in record time. It was post-City2Surf perfection.

If you’re into food that packs a punch, excellent coffee and unusual milkshake flavours, Reuben Hills is the place to be. Find it at 61 Albion Street in Surry Hills.

- Bec x

One Weekend in Sydney

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Every year my Dad and brother join thousands of hopefuls and run the 14km from Sydney’s city centre to Bondi Beach in what is known as the City2Surf. Every year I vow to join them and every year I’m conveniently overseas (except for that one time I did do it in 2010 or 2011 – I don’t remember and it’s not that important). This year, 2014 – it was my time to shine.

The good news is that I completed the 14km and am still walking to tell the tale. With the run done and dusted well before midday on the Sunday, the even better news is that I had almost the entire weekend to enjoy Sydney with Matt and my family.

Unsurprisingly, we spent the weekend mostly eating, but we did manage to stroll (or perhaps it was more of a hobble) around Circular Quay and the Rocks like real tourists, taking our obligatory photos on the steps of the Opera House and basking in the famous radiance that is the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

And with that, here are a few happy snaps from the weekend.

- Bec x

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pictured left: tourists // right: more tourists

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pictured: the view from our apartment on Castlereagh Street

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pictured left: pre-dinner drinks at the Argyle // right: an icon

 

 

Canberra Cafe: The Conservatory, National Arboretum Canberra

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It was a celebratory Sunday lunch a few weeks back that brought Steve and I to the Conservatory at the National Arboretum Canberra with our parents and Matt.

With amazing panoramic views out over the Arboretum grounds and beyond to Lake Burley Griffin, we scored with a table right next to the giant windows. The restaurant, located inside the Village Centre, is hard to miss – as you walk in from the main entrance, it is the cordoned off area on the far left of the enormous space. At first you might think that being so open in such a large space would detract from the atmosphere, but it doesn’t. The Conservatory manages to create a feeling of separation from the rest of the room while still maintaining an open space for those panoramic views of Canberra. On a beautiful day, with the sun shining through the windows, you do not want to miss out on that view.

First up, we ordered wine and sat down to a pretty fantastic antipasto platter. As the token vegetarians, Mum and I enjoyed the pickled vegetables, while the boys devoured the local cured meats. The menu was reflective of the winter season and fresh local produce, with hearty mains and local Canberra truffles a big feature. It was perfection for a sunny but cold Canberra afternoon. The highlight was definitely dessert – fig tart with truffled ice cream and that magic pink fairy floss.

The Conservatory is a little on the fancier side of things, so if that’s your deal then definitely give it a go. You can find the National Arboretum Canberra at Forest Drive (off the Tuggeranong Parkway) in Weston Creek.

- Bec x

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Canberra Cafe: Doubleshot, Deakin

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Last week Bec and I decided to head down to Doubleshot in Deakin for a bit of lunch and a coffee or two.

First things first, this place has some serious style. I was really diggin’ the whole wood cabin vibe on the inside and the chilled outdoor area, a great spot when the sun is shining.

The menu is super impressive – there are so many options that all sound delicious. Unfortunately, it was my turn to buy lunch so I kept it to one meal only. I ordered the burger, which, as well as being tasty, was really filling. It was probably a good call sticking to just the one meal.

Bec ordered the kale salad and, from what she told me, it was pretty killer. She also got herself a fresh juice that I was able to sneak a slurp from, and man was it refreshing.

Doubleshot is definitely one of those cafés where cool trendy types go for coffee. So if you’re cool, or want to look like you are, head down to Doubleshot. It’s located at Shop 7, Deakin Court in Deakin.

- Steve

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