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Minibike Madness. Paris, France. Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant #travel #photography

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It doesn't have to be big to be cool. Paris, France. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).
It doesn’t have to be big to be cool. Paris, France. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

 

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

It doesn’t have to be big to be cool. Paris, France. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

I seriously lost my shit when I stumbled across this pimped-out dude lazing, arms draped on the tiniest of mini-bikes at the traffic lights like it was an old school chopper.

A few years back on a work trip to France, I caught up with 2 of my close friends over a few cheeky wheat beers at a cafe on Paris’ backstreets on a balmy, summer’s eve.

Next morning we woke up with dusty heads and wandered down to the local boulangerie to pick-up a clichéd bag of croissants for breakfast to be enjoyed with a kick-ass bowl of café au lait.

Upon leaving my friend’s apartment en route back to the airport I came across this guy chillin’, waiting for the lights to change and chuckled as I raised the SLR to my face. I wear a cheeky smile on my face every time I flash back to this scene and it just makes me happy 🙂

This 24 hours in Paris still brings tingles of joy and these kinds of trips were truly one of the perks of being able to travel to all my favourite destinations around the world for a living.

If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring exciting, faraway places with disposable income, staying in 5-star hotels and you’re not a model, rockstar or travel blogger.. then I can highly recommend working as cabin crew for an international airline.

The world is your oyster. Go do it!

DW

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Hansel & Gretel. Castro, Chile. Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant #travel #photography

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Hansel & Gretel. Chiloé Island, Southern Chile. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

Hansel & Gretel. Chiloé Island, Southern Chile. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). Chile Part II.

Following on from last week’s Blind old guitarist. Pucón, Chile post, after leaving Pucón, I trekked further south with two Canadians to the little town of Castro (via Valdivia and Puerto Montt).

Situated at the top of Patagonia in Southern Chile, Castro is a small, isolated community on the island of Chiloé, however after the hustle and bustle of jet-setting the globe with Emirates, I found this place and it’s surrounds to be a photographer’s paradise – populated by warm, proud people more than happy to take the time to pose for a photo and wait patiently as a snap-happy, Aussie back-packer struggled with his limited Spanish and green, pocket-sized phrasebook.

On one foray I stumbled across this little old lady chopping wood outside the quaintest of dusty, old houses in the countryside, that set mind alight like the scene out of a long-forgotten fairytale. My eyes shot the image before my Nikon F60 SLR did and if you look closer you can spy a little boy peeking out the window of the tiny house in curiosity. My recall of this split-second moment shot approximately 13 years ago today just makes my face and mind smile 🙂 

DW

Castro, Chile (on the island of Chiloé).
Castro, Chile (on the island of Chiloé).

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group

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5 month old female lion cub. Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant #travel #photography

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5 month old lion cub. Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

5 month old female lion cub. Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

One of the most wonderful things about working for Emirates Airline as cabin crew was that even on short trips we had the opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime experiences that most people could only dream of.

On such one trip to South Africa, I ventured to renowned Lion Park situated just outside of Johannesburg in Gauteng Province.

This 5 month old female lion cub was a little grumpy that morning and it was truly wonderful to be so up close & personal. At that age, she is pretty much the oldest where park rangers will allow tourists  one-on-one interactions with these kings and queens of the African continent.

Testament to this is the Japanese tourist attacked and devoured at the Lion Park in 1993 after leaving the safety of the car whilst trying to capture pictures of a pride of lions inside one of the park’s fenced-in enclosures. Say inside the vehicle peeps!

Man was she beautiful and I still get tingles every time I see this image of her chewing on the boot of the park ranger. Once in a lifetime! ❤

DW

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Taxi driver – Fare for Hire. Delhi, India. Horn Please!

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Taxi for Hire. Delhi, India. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! – photographic travel diary series.

Taxi for Hire. Delhi, India. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Following on from last week’s post, Little girl’s curiosity. Jaipur, India, I shot this image as we were leaving Delhi International Airport in a taxi with this gentleman who was to be our driver and travel guide around the Golden Triangle for the next 5 days.

As I captured this moment in time, I watched our driver examine each of us closely in his rearview mirror, taking in the broad, distinct London, Dublin and Aussie accents and personalities of the 3 passengers seated in the back of his old school ride. 

And for all you out there who’ve ever travelled India by road… “Horn Please!” 😀

DW

Click here for more photos from the Hot & Delicious Rocks: The Planet! travel series

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community.

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
hotndelicious.com

Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

Little girl’s curiosity. Jaipur, India. ‪#‎wanderlust‬

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LittleGirlsCuriosityJaipurIndia. Photo credit: D.Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Welcome to the new series of Hot & Delicious travel short-pieces where I share my photos from around the world and the moments behind them in short form. I’ve traveled the globe and yes, it’s long past time I started sharing some of the wonderful moments I’ve been blessed enough to experience.

When I travel, like everyone else I do love ticking off boxes by seeing the sites like the Eiffel Tower, Vatican City, the Kremlin and more, but my purest travel joy is derived by venturing off the beaten track and being aware enough to capture those moments of inspiration in every day life that just seem to appear at the most unexpected times. This is one of those.

Little girl’s curiosity. Jaipur, India. ‪#‎wanderlust‬ Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

I was on a 5-day trip to India with 2 friends to visit renowned tourist circuit, The Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is so called because of the triangular shape formed by 3 cities in Northern India which each has it’s own wealth of beauty, culture and history – Delhi, Agra (the city of the Taj Mahal) and Jaipur. Whilst driving into Jaipur, also known as The Pink City, we pulled over by the side of the road to determine our bearings and these 3 beautiful little girls wandered out.

…and for just a moment …it was almost as if time stopped. 

DW

The Golden Triangle - India

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

 

 

Facebook Mentions – Lighting cigars with wads of brand Benjamins.

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Facebook MentionsWell, hai Faceook.. nice shiny news toys.. Facebook Messenger, Slingshot, Paper, Native Video being optimized and now Facebook Mentions… 

In case you haven’t heard of it, Facebook Creative Labs recently dropped their latest tool, the Facebook Mentions app “makes it easy for public figures to talk with their fans and each other on the go.” Hang on, I hear you say.. that’s what Twitter and Reddit are for.. yes, this is the latest in moves designed to keep social media users within the Facebook family.. buy Instagram, Facebook Paper for news, Slingshot to combat Snapchat, optimizing Native Video to draw advertising $$$ away from YouTube. It all makes sense right? I’m not convinced.

Celebrities, market need and the need for Facebook to have their fingers in every pie.

Now I’m not a celebrity (yet 😉 ), but I’ve been around the music industry for years and for me there’s two types of celebrities.. those who like to be seen schmoozing with other celebrities and sharing it with the world and those that like to be left alone or if connecting with other celebs, are not trapped up in making a big deal about it, so to me Facebook Mentions in it’s current format doesn’t make sense.

And what about Facebook’s perceived need for “world-domination” of all social media tools in the broader social media market?

We live in an ever-evolving technological age where consumers are spoilt for choice and each of us have our own little suite of social platforms that we use in varying frequencies depending on what drives and inspires us as an individual. Like my food and travel destinations I crave choice and variety in my social media; I enjoy Twitter for one-on-one connections with influencers, meeting every-day people I come across in the digital world whom I’ve never met who love similar things to me, friends and making new business contacts, Instagram as a photographer for daily inspiration/sharing and yes, even Pinterest has it’s place to occasionally inspire me and make me laugh when I’m struggling to get the day started and coffee just isn’t cutting the mustard. Like most of us. I want to at least “feel” like I have this choice and while Facebook Creative Labs is a cool initiative in theory, some of those smarts would surely be better utilised in improving Facebook’s user experience, as what Mark Zuckerberg & Co seem to fail to realise is you don’t need to own own every single human connection on social media. Sure, it’d be nice ($$$) and social innovation is certainly key, but you can’t be everything to everyone and when spread yourself thin over a 100 different opportunities invariably you open yourself up to falling flat on your face.

Last year I spoke with one of our top guys in Singapore about his philosophy on innovation and for his own personal development he endeavours to focus on 3 big projects a year and to do them well, nay, absolutely nail them. I come from a similar school of thought. In 2010, I burnt myself out working 12-14 hours a day 6 – 7 days a week managing 3 bands/singer-songwriters, working on a snowboard show on TV, building a business and flying around the country running various events, whilst trying to make ends meet. Now translate this to Facebook. For them it’s burning resource. It’s all very well to want to build creations designed to combat competitors and blow them out of the water with innovation, but creation’s just the first step. Once you’ve spent millions of dollars building a viable platform, to stay current and to continue to evolve, it’s necessary to continue pouring money into projects just to keep them relevant and competitive, which leaves two considerations – (a) The aforementioned market need and (b) Where’s this money coming from for development?

So my Advertising Dollars are funding this?

Yes, now comes the “fun” part. “Where’s the money coming from for your shiny new toys Facebook?” – mutter agencies, brand and marketing teams around the world. And yes, pure and simple. Brands are paying for it.

Working in social media I accept that part of my role is explaining to clients that the natural evolution of successful digital technologies into paid channels is nothing new (e.g. Google) and another reason why each brand’s social strategy should remain platform neutral and be tied to business objectives, rather than specific social platforms. But this? Uh uh.. in it’s current format and in an already saturated social media market I fail to see the necessity of Facebook Mentions and sure if it took off there may well be financial benefits in influencer/brand cross-promotions in the future, but they will be affordable for the few and when life’s already been made more challenging with the “death of Facebook Organic Reach” conversations, this is not helping.

I’ve been sitting here thinking you’ve been making some shrewd moves of late, Facebook, with your finger on the pulse and as always I’m happy to be proved wrong, but I’m concerned that this just smacks of an itchy trigger finger and you’re shooting blanks.

DW

Hot & Delicious Group.. Passion, Creativity & Community

Culture, travel, music, news & sick live photography from around the planet:

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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.
Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

 

The Aussie trek to Gallipoli – ANZAC Day 85th Anniversary Gallipoli trip & podcast.

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ANZAC Cove

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

It’s 1am and I’m struggling for sleep, so I put the pen to page to release thoughts that have been burning a hole in my brain.. my journey to Turkey to experience ANZAC Day’s 85th anniversary on the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsula. This week I recorded a Bondi Beach Radio show and Hot & Delicious Rocks The Planet! podcast that I created around ANZAC Day, my trip to Turkey for the 85th anniversary of the dawn landing in Gallipoli and what April 25th means to me. Download it here.

On April 23rd my flight touched down in the beautiful city of Istanbul and we hit the road in the station wagon that was to be our home for the next few days. After a brief encounter with a Turkish policeman (clip-on koalas are great for avoiding speeding fines ;)), we arrived in Eceabat on the Gallipoli Peninsula, parked our “hotel” on a grassy lot across the road from Vegemite Bar and immersed ourselves in the local culture… ah, I mean drank copious amounts of 500ml Efes beer cans with other Aussies/Kiwis who’d made the trek to Turkey for ANZAC Day.

The next morning with dusty heads we headed off to the nearby ANZAC Cove and surrounding battlegrounds to learn about Australia’s first foray into war as a country in it’s own right. For the uninitiated, during World War 1 Allied forces were sent ashore at ANZAC Cove to capture the high-ground overlooking the Dardanelles, the strait of water connecting the Aegean and Black Seas. Securing the Gallipoli Peninsula would mean being able to protect Allied ships being sent to re-supply and support the Russians who were under heavy threat by advancing Turkish forces.

Map of Gallipoli

In the cold dark dawn of April 25th 1915, our Aussie diggers hit the beach below sheer cliffs which meant initially that less than a few hundred Turkish soldiers were required to hold their ground against thousands of ANZACs whilst the commander of the Ottoman forces, Mustafa Kemal, (later known as Atatürk, the founder of Turkey) mustered the Turkish 19th Division to contain the ANZAC troops.

If you’ve not had the privilege, the Gallipoli experience is one that is almost impossible to describe. After spending the day traveling around the various battle-zones, our crew headed down to ANZAC Cove at midnight along with thousands of other Australians, Turkish nationals and New Zealanders. Sitting there in the freezing cold night at the base of the cliffs at ANZAC Cove, I tried to imagine what it would have been like for the young Australian and New Zealand soldiers (many of them younger than 18) half a world away from their loved ones and home. Soaking up a mixture of emotions I recounted tales of World War 1 horror, acts of selfless bravery and thousands upon thousands of casualties on both sides. I was also struck by the tribute later made by Atatürk to those ANZACs who died in Gallipoli that is now inscribed on the Atatürk Memorial in Turakena Bay, Gallipoli:

“Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

All these emotions and a moving pre-dawn service on the crowded foreshore left a lump in my throat and tear in my eye. It is for this reason that every ANZAC Day no matter where in the world I am, rain, hail or shine, I rise in the early hours to attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service.

Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance has been my port of call in recent years and to this day whenever I stand in silence for the Ode of Remembrance and the bugle call of The Last Post, the memories, goosebumps, lump and chills return.

It’s just impossible to fathom the sacrifice of our ANZACs both past & present.. but this is what ANZAC Day means to me… This is what it means to be Australian..

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning.. We will remember them.. Lest We Forget”

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

ANZAC Day 2013

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

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2 weeks ago I saw a request on @theright.fit influencer app to create content for @DefenceCare, their 2017 ANZAC Appeal and I immediately jumped right on the opportunity. The funds raised by donations to the ANZAC Appeal go directly to Australian service men and women with physical injuries and mental illnesses.
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Ever since my Turkey trip in 2001, I attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service every year as I feel, regardless of your perspective on military service and war, that those past and present who have sacrificed their time and lives in the service of our country and way of life are to be championed, supported and adored.
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I’m wearing my ANZAC Appeal badge all weekend and if you too would like to make a small, but positive impact on the life of another person today, then head on over to http://www.anzacappeal.com.au to buy a pin or make a one-off donation.
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I’m also wearing my grandfather’s medals at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance ANZAC Day Dawn Service on Tuesday. I never knew him as he was tragically killed in an accident just 6 months after my parents got married in an accident 1968, but my dad tells me that I am a lot like my grandfather in appearance and personality, so finding his photo albums of his military service in the Middle East and Kokoda in World War II, seeing his service records and wearing his medals for the first time this year brings me closer to him and makes me happy.
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Be selfless and make someone else’s day today. Head on over to http://www.anzacappeal.com.au.

With thanks to:
Images by Victoria Bryce, Letisha Dall and Dan Wilkinson
http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/
http://chattours.com.au/
http://www.ataturktoday.com/

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST.