Off The Beaten Track

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

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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:

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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.

 

Do not try this at home kids. Sydney (AUS) – Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant

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Do not try this at home... Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group). https://hotndelicious.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Do not try this at home. Sydney, Australia Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

Do not try this at home, kids… 

One of the joys of working with an international airline is the diverse array of people you get to meet across a range of nationalities and cultures. Living away from home in an expat community like Dubai your friends become your family.

As a result, I became friends with a whole bunch people I met through Emirates, the Dubai Dragons rugby team and the Emirates Muppets (Emirates Airline rugby team) whom I had the privilege of touring with around the world to play in tournaments in Paris, Cardiff, Phuket, Johannesburg and more.

I became friends with pilots, lawyers, dentists, teachers, guys in construction and even a group of Sydney-based Emirates engineers who would travel up to Dubai every year to complete new aircraft certifications or renew old ones.

Many of those people I met in my time in Dubai became life-long friends and so almost every time I flew through Sydney on a 5-6 day DXB-SYD-AKL return trip, I’d catch-up with the Emirates engineer boys in the city or down at the seedy Cronulla establishment known as Northies. Invariably we’d spend the afternoon smashing beers and putting the world to right, then head back to one of the boys houses for more bevies and a BBQ, which is when this image was shot. It’s not too clever, but one of the lads was playing around with an aerosol can and a lighter after we finished our meal and me being me I had the camera out and I snapped this image. Looks impressive as a full colour photo, but I just love how the image came out in black and white and captured my imagination.

8 years on I miss jet-setting the globe on a weekly basis, being in a new city every few days with exciting new adventures, visiting the little hidden bars, cafes and restaurants that become your favourite regular haunts when you visit different capital cities around the world and catching up with some of my closest friends who are now spread far and wide across this vast planet of ours, but that’s also a big part of what inspires and drives me.

Ever since I left, I’ve been working towards getting that lifestyle back on my terms doing something I love. I’m close now… I can feel it. 🙂

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.

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

 

Bangkok checkers – Photographic tales of an ex-Emirates flight attendant

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Bangkok checkers. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).
Bangkok checkers. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

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

Bangkok checkers. Photo credit: Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious Group).

I’ll do almost anything to feel alive… to escape the mundane… 

Every day I mix up even the little things up in my daily routine to keep the spark in me alive; walk a different way to work, decide on what flavours I’m craving that day and use them to fuel my meal choices rather than planning ahead, listen different tunes across a range of genres to clear my head or enhance existing emotions, change-up my fitness workouts and the days I do them on, varied styles of mediation… just several examples of little things I do kind to keep my life & mind fresh.

This also translates to my study & career path. I’ve worked many and varied roles including studying biochemistry at Swinburne University of Technology, working behind the barat Crown Casino, Emirates Airline flight attendant, a Cert IV in small business management, music industry (event operations & logistics/photographer/music supervisor/sponsorship & more), entrepreneurship & innovation at Swinburne Uni again and now social media… I base my choices on what I’m curious about and think I’d be good at and most of all I explore… my emotions, my faults, tastes, sounds, the lives & experiences of the people I know and those I’m fascinated by, the city I live in, the cities I don’t… It’s how I grow, have wonderful new and unexpected experiences… it’s how I feel alive. In short, pretty much my whole life I’ve walked the path less trodden. I like to get off the beaten track.

On my weekends in Melbourne and during the week, I’ll use different streets and alleys to reach my destination, taking in the sights and people around me. Jet-setting the globe with Emirates, I’d often wander around cities full of life and colour with no set plan, purely for the opportunity of what I might stumble across.

It’s quite amazing how many special little moments you experience and the people meet when you’re not so trapped up in the destination and by opening up your mind/soul to do things differently.

I captured this image on one such excursion stumbling around the streets of Bangkok. While I’ve taken more immediately eye-catching photography in my life, it’s amazing how such a simple photo capturing 2 local Thai gents playing checkers with Pepsi & Coke bottle tops can still capture my imagination and make me smile a number of years later. 

Your move 😉

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.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.

 

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 
Instagram @hotndelicious
Facebook.com/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.