I heart Victoria. www.onebymeforyou.com

Oh Victoria. How I ❤ You!

Nicole Travel

Over the last 3 years of living in Australia. We’ve noticed a little pattern emerging 🙂 Every holiday we plan (or didn’t plan…) had us gravitating towards Melbourne. On our road trips, we’d explore the smaller towns around Victoria. After a couple of trips, we can officially say we LOVE this region of Australia. Now don’t get me wrong Australia is a big continent. And yes there are loads of places we’ve yet to see. But there is something about this part of the world that excites us. Our last trip took us through Bright. It’s a stunning little town with awesome …

Hot Air Balloons – A Breathtaking Experience

Nicole Travel

Over the last few weeks we’ve woken up to the sound of burner blows from hot air balloons trying to land on the Kingston Oval down the road from our apartment. And every morning we’ve I’ve jumped out of bed and run to the balcony, like a kid on Christmas morning. I’m not sure what it is about hot air balloons but every time I see them they conjure up feelings of adventure and wonder. Maybe it also reminds me of the animated Pixar movie Up… Anyways with all the hot air balloons greeting us in the mornings and the …

Maldives Resort: Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. www.onebymeforyou.com

Maldives: A Little Bit of Paradise

Nicole Travel

The Maldives – A once in a lifetime trip that changed my life forever! Ok, so that sentence was a little dramatic. But in all honesty, our trip to the Maldives back in 2011 was definitely one I’ll never forget.  It’ll always hold a special place in my heart. For one it was the magical place I got engaged :-). And two I turned into a mermaid for 2 weeks and couldn’t get enough of the ocean! This was the first beach holiday I spent more time in the water instead of lounging on the beach. We spent our days in …

African Safari, Londolozi 2010. www.onebymeforyou.com

An African Safari

Nicole Travel

The one thing I miss most about living in South Africa (besides my family and friends 😉 ) is taking a mini break in the African bush! There is nothing better than escaping the hustle and bustle of the city and heading out on an African Safari. Just to hang out with The Big 5 (Leopard, Lion, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant) for a few days! Safaris can be done with a group of friends, as a couple or as a solo traveller, either way, the journey will be totally awesome 🙂 Back in the day Safaris were associated with hunting …

Seventh Avenue, also known as Fashion Avenue, Manhattan, New York. www.onebymeforyou.com

The Garment District NYC

Nicole Travel

This time last year Chloe and I were in New York and looking back I could have spent 3 months there exploring the different neighbourhoods. One of the places we went to and would’ve liked to have had more time in, was the Garment District, which is in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The Garment District holds the rich history of the fashion and apparel industries. And today It’s a hub for creatives from advertisers and innovators, to stylists and fashionistas to boutique owners and world-famous chefs to designers and hoteliers. I absolutely loved the vibe in the area I definitely would …

Road Trip Discover Victiora. www.onebymeforyou.com

Road Trip Discover Victoria

Nicole Travel

The summer of 2014 was the year I became a W-League groupie 🙂 Following Canberra United to the semi finals which was held in Geelong was the start of our awesome road trip around Victoria and it made me fall in love with Australia even more. Having done many road trips from Johannesburg to Ballito, while we were still living in South Africa, Mike and I thought we were in for a pretty intense 7 hour drive to Melbourne. However we were ecstatic by the extremely pleasant drive! Everyone on the roads were pretty civilized, they all drove in the left lane unless …

The High Line, New York. www.onebymefoyrou.com

The High Line NYC

Nicole Travel

As a family we travelled to New York a few times however I have to admit that travelling as kid vs an adult is such a different experience. Looking back now I have to admit I took our family holidays for granted. And I’m super grateful that I’m able to travel and revisit cities with new eyes and take in all the world has to offer! The last time we were in New York was in 2000 and so much has changed since then. Last year when Chloe and I went back and friends recommended the High Line and I’m so …


Our South African Chinese Heritage

Nicole Travel

Just before Chinese New Year this year my Mom sent me the video below, it’s about our Chinese South African Heritage and our traditions.   The video is filmed in the old chinatown in Jo’burg South Africa where my Dad grew up, my aunts still live in the same flat on Commissioner Street. I remember playing in the streets with my cousins after school and hanging out in the corner shops playing arcade games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong and hoping my grandfather would buy us sweets and ice-cream!    Watching this video was awesome! Seeing so many familiar faces, …

Artists and Fleas Brooklyn. www.onebymeforyou.com

Artists and Fleas Williamsburg

Nicole Inspiring Things, Travel

Another awesome market we found on our little US adventure was Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg. Artists and Fleas have two venues in New York, one in Williamsburg Brooklyn and the other in Chelsea under the High line. It’s a fantastic collection of artists, designers, vintage collectors and makers. Every single stall had high quality goods and we took ages to make sure we looked at everything, we didn’t want to miss out on anything! The awesome thing about these markets is there are new sellers every other week so you’re always finding new designers to follow! We loved the screen prints …

Beautiful day at Fort Greene Flea, Brooklyn. www.onebymeforyou.com

Fort Greene Flea in Brooklyn

Nicole Travel

Fort Greene Flea in Brooklyn, was one of my favourite markets that Chloe and I visited on our trip to the USA last month. Thinking back on it I can’t quite put my finger on why… Or what made it more special than some of the others we went to, but we had a great time walking through the stalls. We only had a week in New York so we planned our arrival on Friday evening to make the most of the market culture as most markets run on a Saturday and Sunday. Bright eyed and bushy tailed Chloe and I …


Another year gone

Nicole Random Ramblings, Travel

As we welcomed in 2014, I can’t believe how quickly another year has passed. I’m not sure what it is but I feel like as I’m getting older (and hopefully a little wiser ;-)) time is ticking that much faster. It felt like just the other day I was writing a similar post and reflecting back on the year just gone… I guess they right in saying time flies when you having fun! And what a fun year 2013 has been! I don’t think there was ever a dull moment. It was a year filled with adventure, travel, meeting new friends, …

A Bullet for my Heart. www.onebymeforyou.com

A Bullet for my Heart – Unique Jewellery by Saomao

Nicole Travel

Ok so the title for this post is a bit dramatic…. But I did find a bullet to replace my heart… necklace that is 🙂 About 3 Christmases ago my sister gave me a tiny heart necklace which I wore everyday… Until I lost it… After a couple of months of searching for a replacement I finally found something that was suitable! On one of our excursions in Siem Reap we went to a shop near the Old Market that stocks beautiful pieces of jewellery by Saomao some of these pieces are made from old bullet casings from the war that destroyed …

Union Jack

Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you, Until we meet again!

Nicole Random Ramblings, Travel

After 7 years it’s with a lump in my throat that I say goodbye to London Town. A big part of my heart will be left behind with all the amazing people I’ve met along the way and the incredible and some questionable moments we’ve shared… 😉 London you’ve made me grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally, you’ve made me laugh A LOT, cry a little, you’ve encouraged me to seek adventure and go against the grain, you’ve hyped me up and pulled me back. You’ve helped me find my feet too many times, and most of all you’ve taught me …

Buildings in Singapore business district

I ❤ Singapore

Nicole Travel

A weird and wonderful city… There are many reasons to love this place. As most people know Singapore is known for its impeccably clean streets, but it’s also one of the greenest cities I’ve seen in a long time. I’m not referring to its energy efficiency and use of resources, I’m talking about trees and plants. Everywhere I turned there were green stems of all shapes and sizes waving at me between the concrete and steel. My favourite thing about this city is the architecture. I could get lost in awe of the enormous skyscrapers and marvel for hours at the character …

Sewing Machine in Tuk Tuk

Shopping for a Sewing Machine in Phnom Penh

Nicole Travel

Shopping for a sewing machine in Phnom Penh was quite the experience! From entering the street lined with thousands of machines on either side, it became very apparent rather quickly that we needed to know where to go as browsing is not an option purely for the fact that  it would take FOREVER. I’m learning fast that is the way for any kind of shopping in the markets. As my friend haggled her way with the shop owner we quickly found what we were looking for and that’s when the magic started. In less than 30 minutes the machine was …

Rice Paper drying in the sun

Rice Paper Village

Nicole Travel

On our way to Wat Ek Phnom Temple in Battambang we stopped off in a little village. Our tuk tuk driver Mr Tong explained to us that this village is known as The Rice Paper Village. Most of the rice paper in Cambodia is made here and is exported to neighbouring countries like Thailand and Laos or sold to the many restaurants in Cambodia. The rice paper is of such high quality that the families who make it do not have to go to market to sell their product as customers will come to them directly to buy in bulk. …

Bat Man

The Bat Cave in Battambang

Nicole Travel

When people ask me what my favourite part of traveling around Cambodia was it’s a pretty tough question to answer, because each part of this trip has been life changing for so many different reasons. However I would definitely say our trip to Battambang was a big highlight! It’s much less intense than Phnom Penh and not as debaucherous as Siem Reap, it felt a lot more relaxed and we discovered the beauty of rural life in Cambodia, which is more our cup of tea 🙂 We explored the Rice Paper Village, saw first hand how dragon fruit is produced, and visited …

Rain clouds over Siem Reap

Water and Earth Boutique in Siem Reap Night Market

Nicole Travel

Wandering through the night market of Siem Reap, we stumbled on a stall called Water and Earth, a boutique that supports disadvantaged Khmer artisans who are skilled in stone and wood carving as well as weaving.   Whilst browsing through their beautiful hand-woven kramas (traditional Cambodian scarves) we heard the sound of a storm rolling in… Realising we weren’t going anywhere anytime soon I continued to look through their lovely stock. A rail of clothing caught my eye. I loved that each top was different from the fit to the finishing. After trying on every top on the rail, I decided to …

Palm Sugar Tree

Palm Sugar Tree – You will be my Candy…and a few other things :-)

Nicole Travel, Yummy Things

Palm Sugar Trees are quite the resource here in Cambodia. There’s not a single part of the tree that goes to waste! Leaving Banteay Srei temple we stopped on the side of the road which was lined with lovely ladies making palm sugar treats 🙂 The male part of the tree produces the sap or “juice”. The stems are slit in various places and the sap is drained into bamboo containers. The containers are collected every morning by climbing up a rickety bamboo ladder. This is then boiled down till it thickens and then can be made into sugar and/or 100% pure sugar “tablet” …

Angkor Tickets

Siem Reap the Ancient City

Nicole Travel

It’s been 3 days of exploring these awesome sites near Siem Reap province, and it’s left me speechless. Words truly can’t explain the beauty and grandeur of this Ancient City. No wonder this UNESCO World Heritage Site sees about a million visitors per year! Nestled in the forests and surrounding farmlands the ruins of Angkor carry the history of Khmer architecture. Whilst walking through the archeological marvel of the ancient city, I did wish my eyes could take photos. Although we were there in low season there were still lots of people to test our photography skills 🙂 None the …

Samphor's Model - Sewing duo in Cambodia. www.onebymeforyou.com

Samphor’s Model – Sewing Duo in Cambodia

Nicole Travel

This little store, near the Psar Touch Community, Phnom Penh, is run by sisters. The store is small. It’s stocked with the essentials like fabric, threads, embelishments and a couple of sewing machines. But I love how simple and effective it is! Their main line of business is evening dresses. But if you bring in a picture reference they’ll be able to tailor make most items of clothing. Not only do they create these beautiful dresses, they also support women empowerment within their community. They teach women how to sew. They hope that this will help more women in their …

More fabric in Orrusey Market

Orrusey Market in Phonm Penh

Nicole Travel

Orrusey Market, is possibly the biggest market in Phonm Penh, and is mostly frequented by locals. You can get virtually anything you want from fresh food, household goods to electronics! The market is situated in a big square building, on Street 182, Orussei 1 Commune, Prampi Makara, Phnom Penh and is open Mon – Sun 7:00 am – 5:00 pm. It’s enormous inside and not that easy to navigate. It’s got three floors and every inch is occupied by stalls. On the ground floor  you’ll find food in all all shapes and forms, kitchen supplies, tools, garden tools, and electronics.  The first and …

Women hard at work

Week Three Volunteer in Cambodia: Crochet Workshop Wraps Up

Nicole Travel

I can’t believe how quickly these three weeks have flown by! It feels like only yesterday that I was getting ready to embark on this epic journey and nothing could’ve prepared me for this experience of a lifetime! As week 3 of my crochet workshop in Cambodia comes to a close I look around and am so pleased with what the class have produced! The creativity and teamwork has been contagious this week. I am so impressed at how quickly these ladies have learnt to crochet, working with different yarns and hooks, as well as applying what they have learnt in each …

The Bag Lady

Upcycling Lesson in Cambodia: Turn Skirts into Bags and Shirts into Skirts

Nicole Travel

Volunteering in Cambodia has been an amazing experience. For the past few weeks I’ve been running crochet workshops teaching the women in the community how to crochet we even had a lesson on how to follow a pattern. But this week one of the ladies, Danni, wanted a break from crochet, as she prefers to sew. So I did a quick lesson in upcycling I showed her how to turn skirts into bags and shirts into skirts. Here’s what we did:   Then we turned a shirt into a skirt: We also did some mending on an old pair of …

Boat trip to silk island

Koh Dach Island – The home of Traditional Silk Weavers

Nicole Travel

About an hours boat ride out of Phnom Penh, this is a fun day trip to get away from the busy city, which is exactly what we decided to do over the long weekend. On arrival we were treated to a delicious lunch which was prepared especially for us. I have to admit it was possibly the best meal I’ve eaten since I’ve been in Cambodia! I’ve never tasted chicken like this before and the mango was so fresh and sweet. Absolutely delicious! After lunch we were shown around the workshop. The silk weaving showroom is a family run business …

Crochet Pattern Reading Lesson

Week Two Volunteer in Cambodia : Deciphering Code

Nicole Travel

I’m so glad my first week as a volunteer in Cambodia ended on a high note because it allowed us to seriously push the boundaries  in the second week! It would be fitting to say we had a couple of eureka moments this week. The most important one to mention was working out how to teach the women to read a pattern (as you can imagine this was like deciphering code), so that they can continue creating products once the programme came to an end! The biggest obstacle was the reading and understanding the patterns in English as none of …

The cook

Local Eats Cambodian BBQ

Nicole Travel, Yummy Things

I think the best way to really experience a new country whilst traveling is to taste the local cuisine like a local! And this weekend we had our first Cambodian BBQ! These restaurants are often tucked away in the streets of the main tourist track but not too far away that they’re impossible to find. You could say they’re hidden in plain sight 🙂 and can usually be recognised by their big signs like the one here. The restaurants are usually family run businesses and a lot of the staff don’t often speak english. Each table gets one or two …

Volunteer in Cambodia - Week one - The Foundation Chain. www.onebymeforyou.com

Week One Volunteer in Cambodia: The Foundation Chain

Nicole Travel

One week in and looking back at the decision I made to volunteer in Cambodia and the crochet supplies I bought for this trip it’s the BEST investment I’ve made in my life thus far! This week has been… To be honest it’s just impossible to describe… But I’ve absolutely loved every minute of it! Who would have thought that I’d be teaching a crochet workshop in cambodia! I think I’ve set a good foundation for the teachers to continue teaching groups in the future. The women I’m teaching are incredible, they’re strong, ambitious, enthusiastic and such quick learners! They’re taking …

Supplies from John Lewis

Giving a little back, One Stitch at a Time – Teaching Crochet in Cambodia

Nicole Travel

Crochet supplies have been bought and packed and the start of our 3rd adventure for 2013, is about to begin. In a few days we’ll set off to South East Asia, where I’ll be spending 3 weeks teaching crochet in Cambodia, to women in the Psar Touch Community in Phnom Penh. Over the last year my husband Mike has been back and forth to Cambodia with a UK based charity called KungFuture, who have partnered with a local organization called Riverkids. Through sports and play they have taught the children in the Psar Touch Community basic skills about health and hygiene. …

Susantha Kumara – Sri Lanka Tour Guide

Nicole Travel

We met Susantha as our Sri Lanka tour guide / driver and left him as a friend! We went through so much together from burying a peacock, to prayers in the temples, to developing our own sign language… Sharing food and the love of coffee, meeting new friends… …and old friends throughout our trip! He made our Sri Lanka trip the most memorable one! A lot of the things we saw, did and experienced would not have been possible without him. We are so glad we met him and wish him all the best hopefully we will meet again in …

Another beautiful sunrise in Tangalle, Sri Lanka

Pure R&R in Tangalle Sri Lanka

Nicole Travel

After checking into to our hotel in Tangalle Sri Lanka, we went for a walk on the beach… We were so excited to see what this picturesque place had to offer and of course make sure we weren’t missing out on anything! Tangalle is secluded on the southernmost shores of Sri Lanka looking over the Indian Ocean, we soon found out that it’s the go-to place for a laid-back, forget-about-everything kinda place. So for six days we took advantage and all we did was relax… 🙂 Our daily ritual in Tangalle Sri Lanka went like this: Watched the sunrise… Caught …

Letter Print Sarong

Batik Factory and Workshop in Koggala Sri Lanka

Nicole Inspiring Things, Travel

I was so excited to have stumbled upon this little Batik factory and workshop in Koggala Sri Lanka. It must have been fate as it was our last day and this sign caught my eye as we were driving back to our hotel after a long day of adventuring. Although we were all a little tired I’m so glad we stopped to have a look at this batik factory. It’s the first place we’ve come across where 100% of the staff are women! Well done ladies. I absolutely loved their workshop super simple and very functional. Such an inspiration for my …

Loggerhead Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle Farm in Habaraduwa Sri Lanka

Nicole Travel

The Sea Turtle Farm in Habaraduwa Sri Lanka is a Turtle Conservation Project, that has been running for 20 years. It’s privately run and not government-funded. In 2005 the Tsunami destroyed the farm killing all the turtles in their care, including 300 hatchlings. Not to mention the damage caused to their natural habitat & breeding grounds in this area. This set back the conservation project by a huge margin because turtles only return to breed when they are 30 years old. The team not only collect the eggs off the beach to ensure they’re not eaten by predators but also buy …

Cinnamon trees

How To Make Organic Cinnamon

Nicole Travel, Yummy Things

Today we took a boat trip round Bird Island and met Sarath who taught us all about organic cinnamon! And I managed to document the process 🙂 How To Make Organic Cinnamon: Frist: The branches of the cinnamon tree are cut and bark of the branch is grated off Then the bark is dicarded and used for compost The exposed branch is now green, this is then rubbed with a copper rob which turns it brown in colour The branch is now sliced – once down the middle and around the top and bottom This is then peeled off And finally …

Fishermen in Koggala, Sri Lanka

Great Team Work

Nicole Travel

  The epitome of team work – Watching the local fishermen, of Koggala, set off for their morning catch, was awesome to see how everyone works together to get the boats out and pull the nets in 🙂 Nothing like fresh fish for dinner! Nom nom nom 🙂

Peacock Mating Dance. www.onebymeforyou.com

The No Pants, Dance – Peacock Mating Dance

Nicole Travel

Today we spent the day in Yala Nature Reserve looking for leopards but there were so many land rovers in the park that it was a rather unpleasant experience so we asked our driver to not chase after the poor leopard. But instead to randomly drive to see what we could find instead. After driving for 10 mins we were treated to a peacock mating dance. This was a spectacular display of the male peacock opening his beautiful blue and green tail like a fan and shaking it to impress his peahen. Of course she played hard to get and wasn’t …

Arun, Mambos, Aragumbay, Sri Lanka

Be Alive, Be Free! – Arugam Bay Sri Lanka

Nicole Travel

As I write this post I’m sitting in a hammock looking up at stars and listening to the waves crash against the shore… It feels good to be free of all the hustle and bustle of city life. Arugam Bay has been my favourite place on our epic journey so far. I’m not sure if it’s the fabulous people we’ve been surrounded by, the place itself, the cold showers that have made us appreciate little luxuries or the fact that it has been a journey to get back to our roots, either way, these last four days have been magical! …

Heritance Tea Plantation, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Adventures in Nuwara Eliya and Ella Sri Lanka

Nicole Travel

After the 8 days of monumental sights we were looking forward to a bit of a break and enjoying the towns and villages at our leisure. It was only fitting to take some time out to Relax, Recharge and Digest in tea country. Nuwara Eliya, the locals call it little England as it’s the coldest place on the island! This town sits 1868m above sea level and its the perfect climate to grow tea! And in true English style we sampled – A LOT of tea! The architecture of most of the buildings also has an Old English Colonial feel to …

Giant Buddha, Kandy, Sri Lanka

8 Days Touring the Heartland of Sri Lanka

Nicole Travel

We decided to book an 8 day tour through Rail Tours for our next leg of our journey. The booking included train tickets, all accommodation (B&B, very basic but clean), car with A/C, driver, and fuel. It did not include any entrance fees to the sites, or tips for site tour guides (if you choose to have one.) The tour operator’s name was Prasanna he was very helpful (094-011-243 5838). We opted to get a guide at most of the sites to explain the history behind the ancient ruins. Our train left from Colombo to Kandy at 7am. It’s about …

Women in Saris

“Kidnapped” by a friendly Sri Lankan Man

Nicole Travel

Traveling to different corners of the world gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with some fascinating cultures and customs. No matter how many books you read before you embark on your journey you will never be able to capture the true essence of these unfamiliar lands. Sri Lanka’s people are down to earth and always happy to help! We’ve been saved many times staring at a map on the corner of dodge little side streets 🙂 We are often welcomed with “Ayubowan” meaning: “May you live long”, this is often offered by bringing your hands together close to your …

Map of Colombo

10 Days Exploring Colombo the Capital of Sri Lanka

Nicole Travel

As the Sun beats down on the streets of Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka, I would never have thought I would long for an umbrella or shade so much in my life! The air is thick with humidity leaving your bare skin slick with sweat, you have no choice but to move at a snail’s pace to soak up the atmosphere 🙂 A multi-layered city of culture filled with temples and history, Colombo is a great place to start exploring this tropical wonder. We spent 10 days in Colombo getting our bearings and planning out what our next 60 days …

Amsterdam 2011

Disneyland for Adults – Amsterdam

Nicole Travel

Amsterdam – What a fascinating place where all the forbidden fruits are completely legal, well for now anyway, it’s a roller coaster of excitement and wandering through this animated land will not disappoint! In the 5.5years we’ve lived in London I only managed to get Amsterdam once, October 2011. It was literally a quick stop from Barcelona on our way back to London. I do wish we were there for longer! A quirky little place packed with beautiful scenery, good food, chilled locals and its the only place in the world where there are more bicycles than people, even the …


A Walk Along the River – Thames River Path

Nicole Travel

We don’t often hit 31˚C  in London but last weekend we were lucky enough to have two glorious days of sunshine and yes we took full advantage of it! Woke up early on Saturday and decided to go for a walk along the Thames River Path. We walked all the way to WWT London Wetland Centre which is across Putney Bridge and through Barnes Common. We spent the day enjoying the bird and plant life. Who would have thought you would have a place like this in the middle of London! I’m now obsessed with ducklings! Fluffy little things that …

Mirror Cube Room

Treehotel – Lapland Sweden

Nicole Travel

This fabulous boutique hotel is definitely worth a visit! Located in Harads, near the Lule river, about 100 kilometers from Luleå airport, puts you right in the middle of nowhere! We spent four days nestled in the trees and was the perfect little break from the city. The nearest town is about an hours walk from the hotel although I can’t recommend anything here – we booked our trip over the Easter Break in April 2012 and all the shops and restaurants were closed. All our meals were home cooked and were enjoyed in the guesthouse (which is also the …