Living The Dream

Sydney siege: Rising from the ashes – I pray for understanding &…

Image Posted on

Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson

This morning I watch the news with tears in my eyes… 

My heart goes out to those affected by the Sydney siege, an event which is now at it’s conclusion, but will live on in our hearts, minds and future actions.

Like many Australians I am well travelled and having spent half of my life in Melbourne, I left Australian shores for a life in the Middle East in 1999 with the misguided notion that because I’d grown up in a city with a melting pot of nations that I understood how the world worked and the people living in it.

It wasn’t until I returned to Australia in 2006, having spent 6.5 years living in Dubai, traveling around the globe working for Emirates Airline, working with & managing people from over 100 different nationalities and cultures, that I begin to appreciate how misguided this notion was.

Every day around me I see a casual racism that’s so prevalent and ingrained in Australian “culture” that it’s glossed over, passed off and readily accepted as good humour, whilst in reality has an ongoing impact much more than the user can quantify and know.

What many of us forget is that all of us living on this world’s largest island, a land of wondrous beauty and contrasts, are originally are from somewhere else… black, white, green & gold, true blue… even our indigenous Australians originally came to this land mass some 40,000+ years ago… it existed long before we all got here and will continue to do so long after we’ve left this earth.

Now more than ever, in the wake of the awful events that have just transpired, I’m hopeful that as Australians we can pull together as a people and use the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the diverse range of people across a range of cultures and nationalities that live within our borders.

Many of us fail to stop, recognize and appreciate that essentially as a species we’re all the same in so many ways – watching in wonder as a loved one’s small child takes it’s first steps or the magic of making that child smile as we cradle him or her in our arms, watching as our family puppy does something stupid and makes us laugh, working our hands to the bone during the week, so that we can all enjoy the simple pleasures of spending time in the company of family and friends at night and on weekends, listening to much-loved songs or going out to a live show, cheering on our favourite sports teams, the desire to travel and learn… we all have our own little quirks and idiosyncrasies, we all fear, we all hate, we all love, we all love… and this is what I want us to focus on…

Our fear of those different to us and the fear of the unknown is where prejudice is born, but once we take the time to look beyond colour, race, creed and actually get to know our fellow man the world is a different place. When we step outside of what we think we know to learn more about our fellow man and embrace our differences, we open ourselves up to realizing that we’re not so different after-all.

When you step outside into the world today, with the events of Sydney siege not far from your mind, do me a favour and do one thing that I guarantee will give you fresh perspective, a burst of positive energy and put a smile in your heart.

Take the time to perform a random act of kindness for a complete stranger – whether it be to hold a door open for someone coming up behind you and allowing them to walk through first, getting up to give another your seat on the train/tram/bus/ferry, saying hi and ask the person behind the counter how their day’s been or even sharing the simplest act of kindness through a compliment or smile.

With small steps we can work towards making a positive impact on those within our own world and it’s wonderful how one simple, selfless act can generate warmth, energy and love.

From the red deserts of central Australia, to the mountaintops of snow and pristine beaches lapped by turquoise and aqua waves – like our land, the people in it are blessed to be able to enjoy a wealth of contrasts and we are better for it. 

We are many. We are different, yet still so much the same and by looking out for our fellow man we become strong.

We all love. We are as one. 

Dan Wilkinson

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

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

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

Listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series by clicking here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Little girl with the most amazing eyes. Uttar Pradesh (India).

Image Posted on Updated on

Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). https://hotndelicious.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant – Hot & Delicious:Rocks The Planet

#15. Little girl with the amazing eyes. Uttar Pradesh.India.
Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

A trip to the Taj Mahal is a once in a lifetime experience… although for that is just 1 highlight of a country that will blow your mind…

Everywhere we traveled on my 5 day journey around India’s Golden Triangle involved an explosion of colours, cultures, cows with their arses parked in the middle of busy streets, Horn Please and of course an Englishman, Irish lass and Aussie boy as pale as the white of snow being followed around by locals, who were either curious at how different we were, keen to get a cash lining for their pockets from the rich foreigners and sometimes a combination of both.

I must admit, at the time I got quite frustrated at the lack of space, being followed absolutely everywhere and constantly begged, hassled and cajoled for money. Life was crazy busy with Emirates Airline and to me holidays were a time to get away from the masses – the hundreds of people I met every single day at work and I was craving a little time to myself/solitude.  Blame yourself, Jack… it was never going to be that kind of holiday! 😀

Anyway, 23 miles along the road from Agra (where the Taj Mahal lives) to Jaipur we stopped at this beautiful ancient city on top of a ridge overlooking the rich brown lands of Uttar Pradesh called Fatehpur Sikri. The city was founded in 1569 by the Mughal emperor Akbar and is a beautiful, walled city of red sandstone.

I was blown away by the architecture and busily snapping away on my Nikon SLR, when all of a sudden I turned around and this beautiful little girl was gazing up at me… like a deer in the headlights she stood stock still and just stared.

She had the most amazing eyes, I was just captivated and I can’t explain it, but in those few seconds for me it felt like time stopped. Everywhere I went in India people were constantly asking for money, which I almost never obliged and when I offered some to this little girl she wouldn’t take it.

She just kept standing there staring…

DW

The ancient ochre city of Fatehpur Sikri. Uttar Pradesh, India.
The ancient ochre city of Fatehpur Sikri. Uttar Pradesh, India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

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.wordpress.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.

 

Journey to Jaipur, Rajasthan (India) – Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant

Image Posted on Updated on

Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). https://hotndelicious.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Roasted peanuts. Jaipur, Rajasthan Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Flashbacks to India and another fantastic snap from my trip to the Golden Triangle.

Spending a night or two in Jaipur was just magical and a real eye-opener. Everywhere we went we were followed by crowds of people and I (like most no doubt) was captivated by the striking colour of the buildings in this majestic city in Northern India.

Jaipur, also known as The Pink City, is so named as Maharaja Ram Singh (the ruler of Amber) had to entire city painted in pink in colour to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria when they visited India on tour in 1876. Pink is considered to be the colour of hospitality and tradition has been maintained ever since with the locals now obliged by law to keep their buildings pink.

I clearly remember shooting this little dude on the side of the road roasting his peanuts. The 3 of us were wandering around town and everywhere I looked was a photographers dream. Most people hassled us for money, but this guy just kept about his daily task, looked me in the eyes and smiled.

I never did try his nuts…

DW

You can also listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

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.wordpress.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.

 

Pt Roadknight, Australia… beautiful – Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant

Video Posted on Updated on

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

Pt Roadknight, Australia. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

First day off in 2 weeks… time to escape 🙂

Work’s been insane for months, so that coupled with my new podcast & creating this travel photography series in my “downtime” = close to burnout, so last weekend I jumped in the car and hit the road.

Cruised down the Great Ocean Road with one of my buddies who’s just moved here from Brisbane via Sydney. Bodysurfing in Jan Jac, drive from Torquay to Lorne via Bells Beach, cheeky couple of beers at Lorne Pub in the sunshine and then back to Torquay to catch-up with another mate of mine who lives down there for sundowners overlooking the water… perfetto!

The Great Ocean Road is truly one of the most beautiful coastlines in Australia and yes the world. Pt.Roadknight holds a lot of happy childhood and adult memories for me. Until a few years ago, my folks had a small beach shack down here and I’ve spent many hours walking along this little stretch of beach. My old man even broke a mast windsurfing here back in the day 🙂

Shot this little vid when we pulled over by the side of the road, took a deep breath and soaked it all in.

Beauty is everywhere…

DW

Listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

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.wordpress.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.

Byron Bay sunrise. My happy place – Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant

Image Posted on Updated on

 

Byron Bay - my happy place. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group)  https://hotndelicious.wordpress.com/

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

Byron Bay sunrise – my happy place. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Sunrise bursts through the clouds.

I’ve just finished an early morning run along the beach and at daybreak it feels like the world is my oyster 

Byron Bay is amazing. A perfect blend of beach, bushland, wicked live music and surf culture. I’ve been there for festivals, with friends on holidays and even flying solo for a mini escape. Whenever I’m there the world feels right and so much so that I even looked for work there once and considered working remotely from the northern beaches of NSW.

If you’re going to lock in 5-10 must-stay places when visiting Australia. This is definitely one you should see.

Take a long early morning walk in the rising light and then chill on the grassy banks next to Byron Bay Surf Club watching the sunrise.

I can tell you, there’s no place you’d rather be.

DW

Listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

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.wordpress.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.

 

Escape to LA – Venice Canal District, California – Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant

Image Posted on Updated on

Escape to LA - Venice, California. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group)  https://hotndelicious.wordpress.com/

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

Escape to LA – Venice Canal District, California. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

So here I am 12 hours after finding out that my brain scans are clear for another year and I have got another twelve month leave pass.

Grateful, relieved and happy to find out that I’m tumour-free for another year, I’ve spent some time today reassessing where I’m at, where I want to be and what makes me happy – reflection of previous goals I’ve set myself, flashbacks to watershed moments and memories of experiences that have changed my life for ever.

1 such trip was to LA and Texas last year shooting photos and providing social media for a series of international Australian music industry showcases called The Aussie BBQ. I’d returned from the Middle East in 2006, with grand plans (some might say delusional :p ) of being a rockstar living in the USA within 6 months. Flash forward to 2013 and I finally land in LA, not as a rockstar but a photojournalist of questionable technical proficiency, but a keen eye for a the money shot and social media skills to boot.

Upon landing into LAX, Andrew Bongiorno, one of my best mates and an Aussie actor who’s been living in LA for a few years picked me up from the airport and we cruised straight down to Venice Beach for breakfast and a stroll down to Santa Monica Pier. It wasn’t my first adventure to Venice, but this trip was under different circumstances… on my terms… and paid for through my hard work and a tenacious, relentless driving passion to love what I do for a living.

Captured this shot in the Venice Canal District on zero sleep after flying 15 hours across the planet and I can’t describe the happiness I feel as I stumble across this photo amongst a swag of others from my trip to Los Angeles, Austin and Houston last year.

My heart soars knowing what’s possible and following on from the Calling All Cars post 2 weeks back, following your dreams is a way of life and this moment in time has got me thinking about what my next steps are.

I’m floating on the sensations of the delirium and joy that come flooding back as I look at this snapshot of my life and clarify exactly what I want in my mind.

DW

Listen to the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series here.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is a weekly podcast interviewing inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

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.wordpress.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.