random musings

Page 1 of 212
Over the years I have travelled to several countries on different occasions in North Africa and the Middle East including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates. Like many, I now look on with interest as the populations participate in a wave of uprisings across the region. Tunisia and Egypt have overturned multi-decade unpopular regimes. Libya is on the brink as I write this ....Continue Reading >>
The people-driven winds of change blow through Egypt and its Middle Eastern and North African neighbours will hopefully lead to improved leadership across the region. It is difficult to imagine what the average person on the street must be thinking in a country that has been characterised by submission to a ruler since the times of the pharoahs (how else would these remarkable temples such as the pictured ....Continue Reading >>
Over the last three weeks, a combined area the size of France, Spain and Britain combined (or Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma for US readers) has been flooded in Australia’s north-eastern state of Queensland. Over 80 towns and cities, including the capital Brisbane has been seriously affected, many isolated with roads cut, changing the lives of 100,000s of people and flooding over 30,000 homes. ....Continue Reading >>
In Melbourne recently, I heard a story about the origins of the term daylight robbery. During the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain, households were taxed based on the number of windows their house contained. As richer people were more likely to live in larger houses with a greater number of windows, it was introduced as an early method of progressive taxation. In times past, it was seen as an invasion ....Continue Reading >>
To all my readers, thank you for all your supportive comments through 2009 and best wishes for a healthy and fun-filled 2010. May your travel dreams come true. ....Continue Reading >>
Look up a phonebook in Iceland and a surprise awaits you. It is listed in first name order followed by surnames, occupations and addresses.This makes good sense when you realise that everybody in Iceland is known by his or her first name and nobody uses Mr. or Ms. in any situation. Young children call their teachers and friend’s parents by their first name and Icelanders even reference their president ....Continue Reading >>
At 12:34 and 56 seconds on the 7th of August this year, the time and date is 12:34:56 07/08/09. That is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 in order in a freak of numbers.For Americans that tend to write the month then the day, this same phenomenon happened around a month ago on the 8th July.In 80 years time for those of us around, the same thing will happen in 2090 with the added zero on the end.Just a bizarre combination ....Continue Reading >>
I rolled over trying to work out where the alarm was. I'd only got into Hong Kong late the night before so what moron had set the alarm for 5:30 in the morning? Startled from my deep slumber, I suddenly realised it wasn't the alarm but a phone. I flapped about the table in the semi-dark slowly coming into mild consciousness and finally answering this obtrusive device. I scrambled open a curtain to ....Continue Reading >>
I have two abiding memories of Anzac Day – a national day celebrated in Australia and New Zealand on April 25, when the two countries remember those who fought and lost their lives in military actions involving the countries. It commemorates the specific day in 1915 when ANZAC forces landed in Gallipoli, a remote peninsula in Turkey, meeting stiff resistance from the Turkish army. Over 10,000 died ....Continue Reading >>
As Australians and New Zealanders approach Anzac Day, a day where the two countries remember and pay respects those who died at war, I recall a story of herosim from my school days. It is the story of Simpson and his donkey. In Gallipoli, a remote peninsula in Turkey, ANZAC troops were ordered to land and take out the Turkish army, a key ally of Germany in the First World War. Meeting stiff resistance ....Continue Reading >>
Page 1 of 212

Follow Travel Wonders

Welcome to Travel Wonders

My name is Mark and I’m a keen traveller. In fact, over the last 25 years, I’ve travelled to every continent and over 80 countries. This blog is about the most memorable destinations – the places I regard as the travel wonders of the world. I’m also a keen photographer, and have taken nearly all the photos you’ll see. During my travels, I’ve met some incredible people, seen inspiring places, viewed extraordinary wildlife and scenery and had some amazing experiences, and I’m writing these stories not only to entertain but primarily to inspire others to discover their own travel wonders.

Awards and Affiliations