travel

THE MAORI HEALERS OF NEW ZEALAND

THE MAORI HEALERS OF NEW ZEALAND

Traditional Maori legends and rituals come from a Polynesian homeland. It is believed that everything has a spiritual essence – land, nature, and humans. This essence is called Mana. New Zealand practitioners of rongoa Maori, known as tohunga or healers, are offering their knowledge to the world.

I spent time travelling and volunteering throughout New Zealand in 2011, learning about Maori culture, healing and the creative arts. There is a strong sense of respect for nature and wildlife in this part of the world. The local people I stayed with were resourceful and humble. New Zealand is an immensely beautiful place to explore and experience reconnection with the earth.

HOW TO SUSTAIN CURIOSITY, INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION AS AN ARTIST

HOW TO SUSTAIN CURIOSITY, INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION AS AN ARTIST

Starting a creative art business is hard. I’m sure starting any business is tougher than people expect. Staying curious, inspired and motivated is essential to keep moving forward.

Combining a love of creativity with wanting to share awareness of animal and wildlife rescue worldwide, drives me on. But there have been times when I have felt so challenged.

Hours of energy and devotion go in, with no guaranteed results. The building blocks take time. Sometimes things flow, other times it’s a struggle. And creating can be a lonely process, unless you are surrounded by a creative community.

UBUD STRUCK A CHORD

UBUD STRUCK A CHORD

A curious interest in traditional Bali and a passion for learning about world music led me to the tranquil town of Ubud. With Ubud's pleasant climate due to its location, and its welcoming locals, I felt a warmth for this place the moment I stepped foot in the town. A centre point for Balinese culture, music, arts and crafts, all of which offer inspiration to travellers from all walks of life. The lush green rice paddy fields are just one of the many beautiful views that Ubud offers visitors.

AN EVENING WITH LEVISON WOOD

AN EVENING WITH LEVISON WOOD

Levison Wood is a British writer, explorer and photographer. Last night, I ventured to the Hall for Cornwall – fighting against the ‘Beast from the East’ snowstorm, to experience an evening with Levison Wood and his good friend Alberto Caceres. Levison gave a talk about travel and why we put ourselves through the trials and tribulations of adventure. He shared video clips from his journeys around the world, and comical tales from his many encounters with the people he met along the way. Levison discussed the DRD4-7r gene, nicknamed the “wanderlust gene,” because of its link with increased levels of impatience and curiosity.

AN EVENING WITH BRUCE PARRY

AN EVENING WITH BRUCE PARRY

Last night was spent with Bruce Parry, at The Eden Project. He was showing his new film, Tawai. Bruce has spent years working on this project, hoping to reach our hearts with this story. This film is no comparison to his TV shows on the BBC. I’ve watched Bruce Parry for years, and love what he has brought to the screen. But this film was an entirely new experience – one I felt a deep connection to.

Upon arrival, guests were gathered in the canopy of the rainforest biome. We were treated with canapes made from jungle food – and donuts.

THE BUNUN PEOPLE OF TAIWAN

THE BUNUN PEOPLE OF TAIWAN

The Bunun are a group of people indigenous to Taiwan. Their tribe is well-known for vocal traditions and song. I spent a year in Taiwan, teaching English. Any moment I had the opportunity to escape city life and head to the hills, I took it. Indigenous culture, art and music stirs a curiosity within me. During my year in Taiwan, I learned about these cultures and traditions.

The Bunun tribe are the fourth largest aboriginal tribe in Taiwan. They are well known for their eight-part polyphonic singing, and speak Bunun.

I CHING

I CHING

I've been listening to an I Ching podcast (a form of ancient Chinese text) which took me back to my experience of visiting an I Ching master in a Taiwanese temple. Here are some wholesome thoughts for the day.

  • Love yourself first to create the space to love others and for others to love you

  • Care for your soul - the light and the dark

  • Forgive yourself and embrace your shadow - for this will resolve the fears and doubts that have been the obstacles to your desires and dreams

WORLD MUSIC

WORLD MUSIC

Throughout my travels, I've lived in busy cities, remote mountain villages and in between. I’ve experienced cultures from all over the world. And one thing that has been consistent where ever I've traveled, is music. From the buzzing, European city streets, to the beaches of Bali, the temples of Tokyo and Taiwan, and the Maori villages of New Zealand, there's always been music. I'm interested in how music can help people, how it lifts our spirits, makes us feel good and brings us together.