Travel Photo of the Week: Stunning canola fields in the Goulburn Valley, Australia

A Facebook friend was recently in the Goulburn Valley region to do a video gig, that’s his thing. That evening he shared this image and others on Facebook from his trip to north/central Victoria and this one in particular caught my eye. I just love it. A simple scenery comprising of 3 elements only but so effective. I cheekily asked if it was OK to share the image and was happily given permission. I hope you enjoy the photo of ‘big sky’ country as much me!

Canola fields Wunghnu in the Goulburn Valley region

Photo courtesy of Mick Russell from Linchpin Studios

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When travelling, you need all the help you can get. Traditional maps are now outdated, but there are several apps for your smartphone or tablet you can use. From communicating to finding specific locations, here are seven apps that will make your trip easier.

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Google Maps

Imagine all the maps in the world at the palm of your hand – that is what Google Maps essentially is about. Available for all sorts of Android-, OSX- and PC-based devices, it will assist you not only pinpoint the exact location you are looking for, but also measure the distance between two places – this is of great help to me in big cities like Tokyo and New York – give you directions and allow you a 360° view of certain places.


Another app available for basically all known platforms, this is a mobile version of a popular website. It allows a detailed search of hotels, restaurants and other venues you are looking for when travelling, but it also heavily relies on customer reviews. These feedbacks give you the real picture of a certain location and I always read them when choosing where to stay.

WiFi Finder

When in another country, even a neighboring one, you have to pay attention to roaming regulations and not use your mobile data package. That is why it is essential to find Wi-Fi and an app like this is more than useful. It scans available connections better than your device’s default app and alerts you which are free and ready to use.


A popular social network – also available on all devices – has a location-tracking option, so you can see all the photos taken at a spot you want to visit. This allowed me to prepare for my last year’s trip to Rome better. Moreover, it has a hashtag search, so you can view photos with certain city tags.

Google Translate

This great app can be used even by professional translators when they get stuck on a specific word, but it is more than handy when abroad, too. For example, I had a great conversation with an elderly Chinese man in Paris once – he spoke no English, I spoke no Chinese, but we used Google Translate and managed to understand each other just fine.


This app is used by business- and travel-oriented people who want to calculate their spending. It is basically an expense tracking app that collects receipt data – both online and physical – and calculates how much money you have spent, providing you with a list of expenses. When on a trip, it helps you a lot because it is connected to your credit card and tracks even the smallest expenses you could easily forget – I always forget postcards and stamps, for example.


There is a difference between wearing a sweater on a hot summer day and leaving your house without a jacket when it is -10°C. That difference lies in whether you know weather conditions or not, and with AccuWeather, you will always be updated. Extended forecasts and minute-to-minute synchronization are available and even how certain weather affects your health.

Other Apps

In the sea of travel apps, you do not need to install them all, but opt for an efficient combination of these seven essentials and perhaps one or two made specifically for a certain city. Foursquare is also useful – when I was in Rome, I found the best bars in Trastevere by reading the recommendations of locals on this app.

About the authorPic 5 - Author

Marie Nieves, student of economics who loves unusual trips and have a plan to travel the whole world. She has always loved to travel, and she loves to talk about her experiences. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and loves to surf the Internet. Photography lover.

Find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.






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United States are one of the most important countries in the world. This huge land has everything from tropical beaches, desserts and prairies to thick pine forests and is home to some of the biggest metropolises in the world. America is inhabited by interesting people that are creating the culture which is being spread around the world 24/7 by the powerful US media and Hollywood. Some of these places and festivals you probably saw already on TV, which makes this list even more interesting.

Demolition Derby Madness

These motorsports events will take you directly to the heart of the American consumerist culture. Everybody knows that in United States having a car is almost necessary and that each year thousands of older models get scraped, some other old models are becoming the main stars of events like these, where drivers are ramming them into each other in an attempt to make other driver’s vehicle totaled.

All this is usually followed by large amounts of beer and snacks that crowds consume during the show. The mad, turbocharged atmosphere might be a little scary in the beginning, but only for a few minutes after which you adjust to the right frequency.

Demolition Derby Madness

Take Me To The Ball Game

Another typical American pastime. If you are not to familiar with baseball, try to watch some of the famous baseball movies before visiting the States and learn typical slang that comes with this sport, so you can engage a conversation with other fans about the game. You can also bring a foam hand, home or away team jersey or cap and try to catch the fly ball.

If you decide to go on a baseball game you should first pick the stadium with a good atmosphere and the teams you want to watch. Dodgers stadium in LA can be very interesting. One of the biggest rivals of LA Dodgers are LA Angels of Anaheim, and Dodgers vs Angels games are known for the great atmosphere which is nicknamed the Freeway Series, after New York’s Subway Series, and since stadiums of these two rival teams are connected by interstate 5.

Take me to the ball game

Find Out Who You Are, Than Take It One Step Further

Black Rock Desert in Nevada is home to one of the most famous and the most controversial festivals on Earth- the Burning Man. This festival started in the weirdest possible way, when Lee Harvey and Jerry James burned a 8 feet tall wooden man effigy on the Baker Beach in San Francisco. They described their actions as “spontaneous act of self-expression” and since then tens of thousands of people come to Nevada on Labor Day to spontaneously express themselves. Some other words that follow this effigy burning festival are: community, art, and radical self-reliance. During the week of the festival all these individuals live, breathe, and eat as one and all of their creative energy is united in a big bone fire event.

Take it one step further

Appalachian Trail

This hiking trail goes through some of the most interesting parts of eastern United States, and it takes people far from the comfort of NYC. Becoming a thru-hiker on your first trip to United States will definitely make you proud of yourself and it will enable you to see parts of this country that you can rarely spot on popular TV. Awe inspiring scenery and interesting flora and fauna are trademarks of this 2,200 miles long mountain road. You should also be aware of brown bears, deer ticks and poison ivy, but stay open for close and personal encounters with less dangerous animals and interesting people who live along the trail.

Appalachian trail

Get Your Kicks on the Route 66

This route goes through the heart of real America and it is the most famous historical road route in the whole world. The old road starts in Chicago and ends up in California while going through many interesting locations from Amarillo, Texas where roadtrippers can try to eat 72 oz beef steak to Barstow, California where “drugs began to take hold… and huge bats, are swooping, screeching and diving around cars”. On this road you’re also going to see a lot of artifacts of old and long gone America, from old water towers to almost deserted gas stations and road-side bars.

Get Your Kicks on the Route 66


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What sort of luxury traveller are you and how does it fit into your ideal travel experience? This infographic just might shed some light on the options available.

The Many Types of Luxury Traveller

Infographic source:

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