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Los Liones Trail & Bursting the Plastic Fantastic Bubble of LA by hiking California – Hike #4

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Los Liones Canyon photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet). https://hotndelicious.com/
Los Liones Canyon photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet).
https://hotndelicious.com/

Los Liones Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles, California, is just the best!

One of the most important things when traveling the world over and learning about a new city or country is to hang out with people who actually live there and do what the locals do. Find your people and soak up the local culture. 

When deciding whether to spend most of my 90 days in the USA in New York or Los Angeles, the factors that I used to weigh up my decision were the culture (I felt like New York would be a better fit for me), weather/climate, opportunities and friends/networks.

Ultimately the weather and my friends/networks played a BIG factor in me deciding on Los Angeles as opposed to NYC, but one of my concerns was getting trapped up in the plastic fantastic lifestyle of Tinsel Town, like I did when based in Dubai whilst working with Emirates Airlines. I needn’t have worried.

Sure, if you’re keen to party all the time (and I had my moments), there’s something on every single night of the week in Los Angeles if you want it; a killer stand-up comedy scene at places like Nerdmelt Showroom, The Comedy Store or Hollywood Improv, world-renown live music venues like Sayers Club, Whisky A Go Go and Viper Room, a vast array of restaurants/bars and because a vast majority of the population work in the entertainment industry, there’s always launch parties, awards ceremonies or drinks and networking meetings to get to.

My focus for this trip was to enjoy LA, but it was also imperative that I knuckle down into my new freelance Australian social media contracts that I was working on remotely, to get a feel for California and start building some networks.

I also didn’t want to get trapped up in meaningless acquaintance-style friendships partying 5-7 days a week like some of those I made in my Dubai days, ’cause I’m at a stage in my life where things are really starting to take shape and I’d rather pour the majority of my time and money into something more tangible, that makes me truly happy.

As regular readers will know from my hiking articles so far on Griffith Observatory, Lake Hollywood and Hollywood Peak, I balanced my nights out in LA watching live comedy, catching up with friends or watching the NBA Finals at my local sports bar, with some of the best hikes all around Los Angeles.

And no, I’m not just talking Runyon Canyon, where all the beautiful people hang out and talk shop – I loved chatting with friends who live in LA about their favourites hikes or seeking out new ones to try together. It’s a wonderful way to strengthen friendships and get away from the bubble of Hollywood, that it could be so easy to get trapped up in.

One such trail I discovered recently with my friends Sam, Bec and Cat was Los Liones Canyon, a short drive past Santa Monica Pier to the start of the Santa Monica Mountains, a coastal mountain range in Southern California, parallel to the Pacific Ocean, with over 500 miles of trails offering the perfect escape from the urban jungle.

We hiked for a solid 2 and a quarter hours, with an array of wildlife in the area including a bunch of lizards & one solitary sleepy snake, who was struggling to get off the trail, and as the “May Gray” (yeah, that’s a thing) started to wash away from the SoCal skies about halfway through our hike, we were left with stunning, sweeping views of Santa Monica, the whole of greater Los Angeles and it’s seemingly endless beaches…

Ultimately it’s become abundantly clear to me through Californian experiences like these, that while LA is definitely Hollywood and Tinsel Town it is so much more. By trusting your gut instinct, doing a little research and approaching the exploration of cities that are brand new to you with the right mindset, you can choose your own adventure and it’ll change your life. This 90 days in Los Angeles, California was the right decision for me.

Happiness!

Article & travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!).

Want any suggestions for all the cool Cali hikes to check out next time you’re in Los Angeles? Check out my photography below, stayed tuned on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet blog, hit me up on Twitter, check out more of our USA travel photography on Instagram or via email info@hotndelicious.com. I’m more than happy to share my faves. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet entrepreneur podcast!

Our recent Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! podcast guests include Twitter Australia Managing Director, Karen Stocks, Australian comedian & TV presenter, Wil Anderson, Jules Lund, Gotye, Aussie actor Daniel McPherson, Nazeem Hussein & many more.

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter@hotndelicious 
Instagram
@hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious

Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:

For photography, blog & social media business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.

Dan Wilkinson is a social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more and is the founder of entertainment, travel & lifestyle biz, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Contact Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! for all your business or brand social media needs.

Social media strategy, monthly content calendar creation, community management, specialised team/staff social media training, creation of social media systems/ways of working and speaking engagements for your business, brand, conference or event.

As an award-winning, highly experienced social media professional, Dan Wilkinson has worked with a range of international brands, spoken at Social Media Week – Miami and has had two campaigns from the past year now featured as global case studies on both the Twitter Success Stories and Instagram Business Blog for his work at SapientNitro, working with brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer and more.

Dan recently wrapped up his position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro in Australiato pursue freelance social media contracts, influencer/public speaking opportunities and further build his own brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Los Angeles Hike #2 – Hollywood Peak – California State Parks.

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Hollywood Peak - Travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet). https://hotndelicious.com/
Hollywood Peak – Travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet).
https://hotndelicious.com/

Wicked hike the other night!

It’s been a hectic week or two at Hot & Delicious HQ with a couple of brand new clients in Australia and the UK on board and I only had a 1/2 day off last week, so this hike up to Hollywood Peak from Griffith Observatory is EXACTLY what I needed!

I’d seen Hollywood Peak from Griffith Observatory and shot sunset silhouette photos of its majesty before, but hadn’t had the chance to scale her heights… and boy am I glad I did! With sweeping 360-degree views of the city of Los Angeles, Downtown LA, the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park below, this climb (and it is a climb in parts – you can also take the easy, winding route) it the perfect place to spend a Californian sunset.

You can either Uber/Lyft/public transport it to Griffith Park and then hike up in 2 stages (about 1.5 – 2 hours one way) to Griffith Observatory then Hollywood Peak or drive/Uber to Griffith Observatory and then hike/climb the rest of the way up the top to Hollywood Peak.

Smashing way to clear the head and man… when you hit the top… Glorious!

Article & travel photography by Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!).
Map to Griffith Park Observatory and Hollywood Peak.
Map to Griffith Park Observatory and Hollywood Peak.

Want any suggestions for all the cool Cali hikes to check out next time you’re in Los Angeles? Check out my photography below, stayed tuned on the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet blog, hit me up on Twitter, check out more of our USA travel photography on Instagram or via email info@hotndelicious.com. I’m more than happy to share my faves. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet entrepreneur podcast!

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter@hotndelicious 
Instagram
@hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious

Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.
‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ entertainment, travel, photography & lifestyle blog:

For photography, blog & social media business enquiries contact: info@hotndelicious.com.

Dan Wilkinson is a social media professional who has driven social media for a range of international brands including Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, Peroni Italian Beer, Philadelphia Cream Cheese & more and is the founder of entertainment, travel & lifestyle biz, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Contact Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! for all your business or brand social media needs.

Social media strategy, monthly content calendar creation, community management, specialised team/staff social media training, creation of social media systems/ways of working and speaking engagements for your business, brand, conference or event.

As an award-winning, highly experienced social media professional, Dan Wilkinson has worked with a range of international brands, spoken at Social Media Week – Miami and has had two campaigns from the past year now featured as global case studies on both the Twitter Success Stories and Instagram Business Blog for his work at SapientNitro, working with brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Peroni Italian Beer and more.

Dan recently wrapped up his position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro in Australiato pursue freelance social media contracts, influencer/public speaking opportunities and further build his own brand, Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Breaking down cultural barriers – ‘Through These Eyes’ – with hip hop artist, Zii.

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Super sweet & inspiring podcast hangs with rapper, Zii
Super sweet & inspiring podcast hangs with rapper, Zii

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

“Wealth is an investment in other people, rather than the the riches that you have back home

From Harare, Zimbabwe to Melbourne suburbia, trail blazer and hip hop artist Zii is a man who just lights up the room with his outlook, energy and positivity.

The son of a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Zii arrived in Australia from Africa 10 years ago to pursue a career in IT and whilst mentoring a young fellow church-goer, fell in love with music himself and began pursuing the dream.

I am privileged to meet fascinating people on a weekly basis through the Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast and this one left me feeling truly inspired and with a renewed determination to strive to be a better man… we spend today’s podcast chatting openly about culture, race, religion and music… the distinct cultural and behavioural differences of how Australians interact with each other as opposed to people from the country of his birth, ‘Through These Eyes’ – an inspiring EP and project that Zii’s created to educate, challenge and change Australian perceptions and understanding of the African continent, being empowered and fuelled by his parent’s integrity and belief and inspired to greatness by Grammy Award winning American rapper, Lecrae.

Whilst we are from vastly different cultures and backgrounds, Zii’s story resonated with me and his perspective on life mirrors my own. This was the first time we’d met but I am now left buzzing with energy and excitement…. 

The key to breaking down barriers and understanding our fellow man no matter what their religion, race or creed is all about the desire to make world a better place by inviting people to be a part of your community, asking the right questions and seeking to make a connection.

Enjoy!

Free Download #56 Zii (Hip hop artist).

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Tweet Zii on the Twitters & let him know you heard his tunes on the podcast.
Check out his latest tunes ‘Belief’ and ‘This is Africa’ on Soundcloud.
And check out more of Zii’s music, social media channels and tour dates via ziimusic.com

Drop Vanessa Picken from
Comes With Fries a line via her website or Twitter if you’re after PR & publicity for your artist/band.

Hit Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet up on social media here:

Twitter @hotndelicious 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/HotnDelicious
Hot & Delicious YouTube – Ballistyx Snowboard Show, interviews & more.

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

Mindfulness. Relaxed & Happy = Success+. Bring on 2015!

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St Kilda pier. Christmas Eve. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). www.hotndelicious.wordpress.com

Christmas Eve 2014. Kickin’ it here on St Kilda Beach pier with this view. Amazing start to the day and pretty spectacular!

While I am exhausted and still winding down from 6 months of 60-80 hour weeks (between agency work and my own biz), I am at peace.

Agency life has been insane having gone from overseeing the social media for 2 global brands to 6 brands with more on the way in the new year.

In the 2nd half of 2014, my first love and passion project Hot & Delicious Group, has also taken several significant steps with the launch of my “Photographic Tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant” photography travel series and the “Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet” podcast series, which captures 1-on-1 audio interviews with inspiring people and entrepreneurs across a range of industries that fuel the fire of my own inspiration, personal business ambitions and the desire to inspire up & coming dreamers who aspire to their own success.

I am quite excited for the year ahead and while I’m not a New Years resolution kind-of-guy, I already have a swag of plans for the ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ project including ramping up the profile of podcast & guests, kicking back into my own music, holding a “Photographic Tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant” photo exhibition, creating a new ‘Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet’ website to start tapping into other revenue streams and sounding out global business opportunities.

Now to the outsider and friends who know me a little, this probably sounds like the standard year of unwavering ambition, but in reality, despite being exhausted right now I am at peace and energized all at the same time.

I’m at peace because if there’s one area of self that I’ve developed this year it is this… My ambition for the future is only strengthened by soaking up & living each moment. And what is the one key thing that’s helped me achieve this? Meditation. I shit you not.

In my very first post for 2014, “2 days ago I woke up to a beach sunrise over the ocean, sand & the waves at my feet.. 2014.. I’m ready..”  the final paragraph finished as follows:

Living in the moment is what I want to see more of from myself this year and not a concept that’s new to me, but taking time out to reflect & enjoy is where we get fresh energy, a sense of calm and it’s in this headspace where the fresh ideas & magic flow.. 2014.. I’m ready..

Meditation started for me when I got to a point in my year and my life when exercise alone wasn’t enough to keep me fresh and clear-headed – I realized that despite living a wicked existence and working on many amazing projects over the past 20 years of my life, that I wasn’t happy, craved some quiet in my mind and inner peace in my heart.

Being time-poor and not a true-believer of meditation at the time, I began setting aside 10 minutes every morning after my daily workout and tried out free meditation app Smiling Mind, which was recommended to me by a friend of mine. This meant that the skeptic in me could trial meditation without giving up too much of my time.

After a period of meditating regularly using Smiling Mind, I began to get bored of just using the app all the time; in my life I crave variety and so I brought other styles of meditation in to combine with Smiling Mind so that I could mix it up and keep my meditation sessions fresh. I evolved to trying different forms of meditation including listening to a 10 minute track of waves washing gently upon a beach that I downloaded from iTunes, taking time out on my lunch-break to sit in the sunshine listening to relaxing songs I love and focusing on the music/lyrics whilst breathing steadily or quite simply even meditating in silence with my iPhone on timer.

Almost immediately I noticed the difference and over the coming weeks and months I found myself unplugging from music and podcasts whilst traveling to work or from place to place, varying my route to our South Melbourne office in search of visual inspiration and the peace of a few deep breaths whilst enjoying another Melbourne sunset. Come Christmas and I’ve spent the past 4 days pretty much hanging out by myself doing something new and different every day – chilling by the beach reading books, a long cafe breakfast and the morning paper while everyone else is at work, photography down by the water at St Kilda, lunchtime beers in the sunshine at Ponyfish Island, shopping down at the markets for fresh deli treats, summer fruits and veggies… so many simple everyday pleasures that make me happy.

Thence what started as daily 10 minute meditation sessions grew to me enjoying and being mindful of the peace and joy in everyday moments that can occur multiple times every single day. It’s even got to the stage where I’m conscious of when I haven’t had enough meditation or these moments and know exactly what I need to even myself out.

This sense of mindfulness and almost perpetual state of peace (with multiple daily sense-checks of course), has lead to one of my most productive years of late despite supposedly having less time to cram it in.

I can honestly say for the first time in my life that instead of spending my days wishing for my future successful self that we all envision and crave, that I am happy and thrive on the pure joy of the here & now, whilst still fuelled with my ambition for the future. And that’s made me a better, more efficient and more successful as a person, colleague, family member and friend.

I am truly excited for 2015 and have many goals that I wish to achieve including a serious increase in travel, personal business growth and a swag of others as stated above, but if I can keep on this path of mindfulness, appreciating and living everyday moments, whilst fuelling ambition for the future, I have no doubt this will be a very, very exciting year indeed 🙂

Thank you one and all for listening and reading, especially those who’ve supported myself, the blog and the podcast this year.

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

DW

P.S. I will be taking the opportunity to recoup from the madness of 2014 from Xmas to New Years Day by switching off all social media technology and taking the opportunity for catch-ups with friends and little day trips to the beach and countryside to clear my head and get back a little bit of sanity. And yes, if you found this article via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, I scheduled this shit so feel free to message me but you won’t get a reply until January 😉

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.

 

 

Scrap Xmas/New Year schedules. Go your own way. Me-time ftw!

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Ponyfish Island. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Christmas time.. grumpy shoppers abound, horns tooting, long queues, very few smiles… everyone rushing around like chooks with their heads cut-off, stressed-out with last-minute shopping and here I am chillin’ at Melbourne’s Ponyfish and soaking up a cheeky Christmas Eve beer in peace. Day 4 of “me-time”… 

Don’t get me wrong, 2014 has been a mad, busy year, but I’ve used a balanced diet of meditation, exercise, healthy food and me-time to get me through the ridiculous hours worked over the past 6 months of agency life + business pursuits in my “spare” time.

How do we define “me-time” and why should we take it?

The answer to the ideal “me-time” is entirely down to each individual. For myself, it means stepping away from the rat-race, eschewing social media, technology, schedules, alarms and tasks that are obligation-based and going with the flow – taking each day, each hour, each minute and soaking it up as it comes.

4 days ’til Christmas – I feel like escaping to the country on a road-trip. Do it. 
3 days ’til Santa comes down the chimney
– snoozing solo on St Kilda Beach and reading a book? Why not? (p.s. I did this and towards the end of the afternoon a pod of dolphins rocked-up playing and splashing not 20m from shore).
2 days to go
– wandering Melbourne’s backstreets with a camera without a destination or plan except retail therapy (buying shit for myself!), delicious food, coffee, a cheeky beer and getting off the beaten track. Yep, sounds good.
Christmas Eve
– early morning beach walk, long breakfast & the sports section and lunchtime beers at Ponyfish on the Yarra River which has some of the finest views in Melbourne. I’m sold!

Mental-health days when every other mofo’s exhausted from rushing to this party and that, book-ended by wrapping up work for the year and last-minute gift-excursions to 24-hour shopping centres… Screw that! Time for a sense-check.

Honestly, it’s not that revolutionary. You don’t have to give-up Xmas drinks friends or precious time with family, but just imagine… an extra 4-5 days off work b4 Christmas to recharge for Christmas… seriously… #heaven

Just one day out from St Nic and as hectic+++ as my year has been, I am so relaxed… I’d usually reserve the crucial period between Boxing Day – NYE for sleeping and recovery, but instead I’m not nearly half as exhausted as usual, quite looking forward to Christmas Day celebrations with the family and actually doing a bunch of fun shit from the 26th onwards including road-trips and more (there will still be plenty of snooze, cricket and couch-time 😉 ).

I haven’t booked in Xmas/New Years holidays for 2015, but I can tell you this… for me Xmas is all about having the time to feel grateful for what I have and soaking-up moments of joy with those that I treasure most, so I know what I’ll be doing with this time comes around again.

Love every single minute, lose the Christmas Day family arguments, Fuck the stress… go on… Try it!

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.

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

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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.