Bel Woodhouse / thetravelbag.guru@gmail.com / Australia

September 23, 2018

I had never really thought about trains that much until I hit Europe and saw adorable little trains like these. See, in a lot of towns and villages they have these fun little tour trains that take people on tours of the city's highlights showcasing all of their attractions. It's such a fun way to get around and yes, I know, they aren't technically trains but I fell in love with them. 

I want to make friends with one of the drivers and see if I can snag a drive.

Terrifying... yes.

Fun... yes,

and you guessed it, there will probably be passengers hanging out of the windows shouting with glee or screaming in terror as my maniacal laugh rings through the streets. It will make the whole town want to jump on as I tear around the village on what shall probably go down in history as The Great Train Escapade of... (there will be more than one train and more than one town so I'll insert the year later).

This will be me, just picture people having the time of the the...

September 5, 2018

Yes, you guessed it my darling Travel Baggers, I am feeling a little mushy today so romance it is! All the wonderful goopy romantic things lovers the world over do to show their feelings for each other... from engraved padlocks to carving it into cactus paddles, it's here.

My favourite was found high on a clifftop with a sheer drop to the Mediterranean below and nothing but ocean as far as the eye could see with the sound of crashing waves dashed against the rocks below, in a tiny colourful town called Manarola, This is Manarola looking back from lovers walk on an adjacent clifftop.

Yes, this is the romantic love post full of heart melting gooey goodness. Usually, I take you off on adventures, full of exciting, strange and wonderful things but today is for the softer side of life. One we all adore being caught up in the whirlwind of.   

Love. Who doesn't love, love? I do. Everyone I know does. There is nothing quite like that feeling when you get wh...

August 21, 2018

I am constantly amazed at things that I stumble across that I didn't know. Do you ever do that? Just discover something one day you had never thought of but when you realise it... well... it blows your mind a little bit. For me it happens all the time. Like when a friend told me to peel a banana like a monkey - from the bottom not the top. This means all those strings you normally peel off separately come off naturally. See, monkeys are smart and my I was amazed that I had never,in my entire life done that! Outsmarted by a monkey... oh don't laugh, you would have been too. But seriuosly, it just amazes me that I didn't know, and for years had been annoyed by having to peel those little strings as well. 

Okay here's another example. 

Cashews. One day I was innocently wandering around a Central American market looking at all the fresh fruit and veggies, the colour, the vibrancy of it all when I look over and see these... weird fruit. They smelt sweet so I assumed they were f...

August 8, 2018

Oh if only I had a hobbit to join me! Then my caving expedition would have been perfect. It didn't stop me imagining monsters and goblins lurking in the depths or my heart quickening at a strange sound though.

See, when you enter a dark place with dimly lit pathways and feel the vast empty blackness spreading into a cavernous silence around you, it is a spine tingling sensation that I am still not entirely sure I like. 

Your heart quickens, you fingers tingle as a little adrenaline hits your system and then you round a bend and the enormity of the cave system stands before you. Well a guard rail followed by emptiness stands before you so you teeter up to the rail and look over as that cold feeling runs down your spine while the 'fight or flight' reflex of self-preservation kicks in. 

A drop off. A dark, enormous hole so wide it barely fits into your field of view as your eyes adjust to the low light, is right at your feet. Yes, of course there is a very sturdy safety rail there at Škocja...

August 1, 2018

Oh my darling Travel Baggers... it's here! My very own travel book full of adventure, wildlife and those world famous crystal clear Caribbean waters I never want to leave. Come swim with stingrays and dolphins, join me climbing all over ruins, meet the islands protector and guardian, the Mayan Goddess Ixchel and so much more. 

I've drunk tequila for you, got my hands dirty making chocolate the traditional Mayan way (hand grinding) - twice and I've dived into the ocean exploring it's depths. Nothing was safe from my curiosity. Now you can experience it all for yourself. I even hugged a donkey - that was after a couple of cocktails and a tequila tasting so you know how it goes - while writing 2
1 Reasons to Visit Cozumel Island, Mexico and experiencing all the island has to offer to share with you. (just click on the title and it will take you to Amazon)

 I sincerely hope you love it and it scratches that adventurous travel itch we all seem to get in between adventures...

July 25, 2018

There is nothing as life altering or heartwarming as when you finally live out a dream you've had since childhood and it is exactly how you imagined it. For me, this dream was Florence. I had wanted to stand at the foot of Michelangelo's white marble masterpiece David, since I was a little girl. To wander the streets that centuries ago master artists had wandered on a daily basis and soak up the atmosphere of their inspiration and get an idea of their daily lives. The feel of them. The essence of them, and it is overwhelming. Yes, I admit I may have hid behind my camera as I shed a tear of joy gazing up at David. He is spectacular.

But there is more to this city. The history, the culture, the epic battles of legend and of course the food meant that every day exploring Florence was full of wonder, beauty and had my heart bursting with joy. The streets held amazing architecture, old world charm and such a feeling of greatness that it's no wonder mos...

July 15, 2018

I heart Mexico! There's no other way to say it. I love the food, the people, spending as much time exploring the amazing turquoise Caribbean waters as I can and fumbling around trying to speak Spanish laughing at myself. A beautiful country with such a rich cultural heritage and history you can't help but fall in love with it.

Grand plans of roaming from one end to the other were in my mind so now viola! (look left) The Southern most point of Mexico, I made it! This huge sign only shows other islands and is made entirely of a massive driftwood log that washed up on shore. It took 6 men to carry it up to the lighthouse where they proceeded to recycle it, making all of these countries signs, the signpost itself and a small canoe... now you can fully appreciate the size of the log. And can I just say that I LOVE that Australia is pink... it's the colour of romance, love and all gooey girly things so what's not to love right?

To give you an idea o...

July 10, 2018

That sentence, that terrifying and gross sentence was the first thing out of a ladies mouth once I had saved her from an awkward foreign 'lost in translation' airport moment. Appropriate after coming to the aid of fellow traveller? I think not. 

So I ask you. Would you eat spiders? Big ones. Huge hairy ones. Tarantulas... like this...

and yes, that is my arm. 

Well I wouldn't eat her. That's my little mate from Tikal in Guatemala, a Mexican Red Rumped Tarantula so we're on the wrong continent but I think she's gorgeous so no, I definitely wouldn't eat her.

But this question was asked of me in Cambodia. I don't know the kind of Tarantula they have there but they're friggin huge! 

So, what do you think my answer was to that strange lady glaring at me on the shuttle into Phnom Penh? 

You guess it.. it was a NO. Actually I was a little annoyed, so it went something like this ... "hell no, I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat anything with eyeballs so I'm definitely not going to eat somethin...

July 7, 2018

Hello my darling Travel Baggers, it's me Bel and this is a purely personal post full of colour, exotic places and wonderful pictures to steep you in foreign lands and amazing cultures. 


Many of you in times past have sent messages saying you love my photos and all the colour, adventure and serenity that goes with them making you feel like you are right alongside me in my adventures.

And I love you for it. It has given me the courage to build a photo gallery on The Travel Bag for you to browse through and hopeful it will add some sunshine to your day and some wanderlust to your soul making you yearn for travel.

As Bilbo Baggins said:

"It’s a dangerous business going out of your front door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.”

I have squillions (yes that's a word) of photo's from around the world which make my heart smile every time I look at them. Now, thanks to you, I have the courage to do something with them....

June 29, 2018

While others sleep, you are treated to the early morning medley of exotic birdsong carried on the cool mountain breeze. Mist covered volcanos stand watch over the lake and your intrepid little party of five quietly picking their way though the jungle in search of the brilliant coloured plumage responsible for that sweet song. That is how my day started when I went on a nature tour with Giovani in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

Scanning the surrounding treetops something stops you in your tracks. There's movement. The whole group stops in breathless anticipation as slowly emerging into the dappled canopy light is a monkey. His rusty coloured fur gleaming in the sun, he wipes his eyes then head first, tail gripping an above branch he dangles down to take his first mouth full of leaves. 

What an amazing start to the day. Experiencing this I could whole heartedly relate to my childhood heroes Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall and how they dedicated a lifetime to p...

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© 2015 by Belinda Woodhouse

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