Author: Alex

About Alex

Hi, I'm Alex! I'm an audio engineer just starting out after completing a degree in studio and live sound in Sydney, Australia! My passion for audio began when I was given a CD of a film score and it is my long-term goal to record music for film.

The Land of the Long White Cloud

I finished a punishing degree in May 2016, and in celebration of the fact that I hadn’t disappeared into a black hole of essays and technical plans, my best friend and I embarked on a ten day self-driving tour of New Zealand. Both islands!

Starting in Auckland, of course we had to take a selfie with the Dwarf king…

Auckland Airport

before we were on our way down the road to Matamata.

We hired a little Fiat from Jucy Rentals that had all the engine power of a remote control car and it had the weirdest gear box I’ve ever come across; a hybrid automatic/manual. There was also a problem with the volume dial on the sound system, so as soon as I started the car we were deafened by the radio. I jumped so high in my seat that I nearly hit my head on the roof of the car while trying to claw my way through a closed window to escape. But we loved our little eggplant zoom zoom.

With our ears still ringing we set off.

Eggplant zoom zoom at Twizel

Matamata is, of course, the home of Hobbiton, and we deliberately stopped here for a couple of nights to refresh and rejuvenate ourselves. We stayed at a lovely little AirBnB called the Wash House and explored the little town and areas before taking ourselves off to Hobbiton for the night tour and dinner. I highly recommend doing this tour as opposed to the day one, if you have the time and budget of course, because not only do you see this amazing place in the late evening night, you also get to experience The Green Dragon and a eat feast befitting a Hobbit.

Bag End

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Hobbiton Feast

Hobbiton Lamp

An hour and a half drive from Matamata you will find the Ruakuri Caves, and they are well worth the journey to see incredible glow worms, stalactites and stalagmites. It is sacred to Māoris because it is an ancient burial ground, so be aware of that when you are walking through the caverns.

Glow Worms at Raukuri

Descending into the depths

We sadly departed Matamata to continue our adventures further south to Napier. On our way we stopped off to do the Redwoods Tree Walk…

Far Above

Sunlight through the Redwoods

and to see Rotorua’s hot pools…

Rotorua's Mud Pools

I failed parking 101.

I failed parking 101.

before arriving that afternoon in lovely Napier…

The View from the hill over Napier. Thank you to my best travel friend, Mich, for the beautiful photo.

The View from the hill over Napier. Thank you to my best travel friend, Mich, for the beautiful photo.

an incredible city on the east coast of New Zealand that is a monument to art deco architecture. In 1932 the city was nearly completely razed to the ground by an earthquake, and was then rebuilt in the architecture style of the time. It is well worth a visit as Napier is the gateway to the wine region of the Island.

Wine Tasting in Napier

Thank you to Mich for this photo.

Thank you to Mich for this photo.

Filled with cafés, shops, the beach, food trucks, wineries, arts, culture and art deco architecture, Napier is well worth a visit. I also bumped into a couple who were having a coffee and they had their Blue Heeler dog stretched out in the sun at their feet. We used to have a Blue Heeler before he died a few years ago, and I couldn’t resist asking for a pat and cuddle.

Next stop – Wellington, the windy city.

Snapchat

Cafés, vintage, vinyl, films, artistic endeavours, studios and workshops, museums, harbour and hills – Wellington has it all!

First stop of the day was the Weta Workshop, but on the way we had to take a stop off at Park Road Post Production, something to feed my inner audio nerd.

Weta Workshop, Wellington

Now, to Weta! This is where all the maps, costumes, figures, pieces of armour and weapons, jewellery – everything you saw in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were made by the talented people at the Weta Workshop. All the tours are conducted by people who work at Weta, and we were led around by a very enthusiastic and engaging young man who’s passion is moulds. It was great to be right there, watching these artists work, being told interesting facts that you could only learn from someone who spends their days and nights in this inspiring place! I want to take a friend of mine there – a fantastic animator-to-be, and if you have even a passing interest in the art of film, take yourself to Weta.

Our guide recommended we go to the Te Papa museum on Wellington Harbour, so after brunch and a visit to a vinyl store, we went! Did you know there is such a thing as a giant squid? At Te Papa they have one. It’s dead and preserved. No photo I’m afraid – I felt a little queasy looking at this giant piece of calamari in a shallow pool. But they did have an exhibition about World War One, models made in partnership with Weta.

WW1 Weta Model WW1 Weta Model

We then decided, because we were pretty tired, to take ourselves to the movies to see the New Zealand film Hunt for the Wilderpeople. It is absolutely fantastic. Before the film began we took a walk up Mount Victoria – a perfect way to say goodbye to Wellington before we flew to Christchurch the next morning.

View over Wellington

 

Gandalf? Is that you?

Waiting at the airport for our early morning flight to Christchurch, we met Gandalf riding an eagle. Our island hopping flight wasn’t as epic as this, but not bad either.

Christchurch after the earthquakes is utterly heartbreaking. I’d been to Christchurch in 2005 and 2009. In 2017 the city is now a shadow of its former self: flattened areas, rubble and white dust, and a confronting art instillation of chairs, even a baby carrier, dedicated to those who died. We left the city quite quickly, but not before stopping off at the new cathedral, made out of cardboard.

Christchurch's Cardboard Cathedral

We spent the afternoon and night at Lake Tekapo. Pronounced Teka-po, not Tek-APO as we were saying it. Not as embarrassing as my pronunciation of Dunedin as DunE-din, but that’s another story.

Our first bite of winter was bracing to say the least. Lake Tekapo is an amazing little town, set on the banks of the lake (it’s in the title isn’t it), surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo's church in the view.

The next morning we took ourselves to the hot pools for a bit of pampering. I don’t know why I do it, but I insist on having massages when I don’t even like them. I realised too late that I had booked an hour of pain and embarrassment, not half an hour an originally thought. Mich enjoys massages and liked hers. Me on the other hand? Never again. Never again I say!

Lake Tekapo Hot Pools

After the ‘pampering’ and hot-pool-ing, we intrepid explorers drove the long, windy mountain roads to Queenstown! All we could do that night when we arrived was find a parking spot for the car (harder than you may think because of the high number of tourists per year v available space), find some dinner and book the next day’s activities then collapse.

Queenstown Day One – a.k.a. the day I was talked into jumping off a cliff. But before we did that we had a win by getting a parking spot in the hostel’s car park. We stayed at the Haka Lodge, and if you’re looking for good, clean, comfortable and thoughtfully designed accommodation in Queenstown, they’re your best shot. Don’t book if you have mobility or knee issues – there are lots of stairs.

No matter how hard I tired, and I tried hard by filling myself with lots of delicious New Zealand food, I was not too heavy to partake in the Canyon Fox, Queenstown’s newest adventure activity.

The kinder way to have your weight emblazoned on your person.

The kinder way to have your weight emblazoned on your person.

The Valley

 

Those cables carry you at high speed across the valley.

Those cables carry you at high speed across the valley.

Up and running for only a couple of months, it was surprisingly Mich’s idea to throw ourselves off a cliff. You are strapped into a harness and let to a platform on the edge of a cliff. (See above). Then you’re attached to a cable and told to run straight down the middle of said platform and jump. After you jump, you fall for a little bit before your harness and the cable you are attached to snaps into action and instead of falling you are whisked over the valley to the other side. Repeat but in a sitting position for the ride back.

I was up for it, and it only took me four or five minutes after being strapped in to run off the end of the platform. I’m proud to say that I was the first of our group to go. One big Australian guy in the group, all bravado and coolness, said, when the group was asked who would go first, “ladies first!” Wasn’t about to let some guy get the better of me, so I. Went First. Mich went second. #friendgoals

You know when you are so in your head that you can’t hear what’s going on around you? Instructions go in one ear, swish around your fuzzy head for a second, then slip out the other ear? That was me. Eventually I got myself together enough to jump. We loved it so much we went again.

Didn't die!

 

Queenstown Day Two – first day of the winter festival.

I am not a hiker. Going on overnight hikes with school for Duke of Ed. was about as far as I got. So when it was suggested that we go to the top of the mountain overlooking over Queenstown the next day I was totally against it. But, lo and behold, there’s a cable car!

The view from the top of the gondola.

At the top you get to see views like this. And you can see the hiking trail up the mountain as you sail to the top with ease. You get your photo taken as well. I’m not allowed to post that one, as it is rather unflattering. Fair enough. So here’s a pretty one of me!

On the gondola.

You can also take a relaxing walk around the lake.

Panorama of the lake at Queenstown

As it was Queenstown’s Winter Festival kick off there were fireworks and live music. A perfect way to say farewell to New Zealand.

Winter Festival Fireworks

Goodbye New Zealand

Exploring Your Own Backyard

With my imminent trip to Melbourne this Sunday, I have been thinking of the last time I explored this wild and rugged land that I call my home. The photos below are a small compilation of my five-day trip along the east coast of Tasmania, travelling from Launceston to Hobart.

All photos were taken on a Samsung Galaxy S4’s camera, and I am very happy with the way they turned out. So if you’re travelling light or are on a budget, definitely consider your phone’s camera as a great substitute.

Cataract Gorge, Launceston

 

Cataract Gorge, Launceston

Bicheno

Bicheno

Bay of Fires

Bay of Fires

20130922_120659_Richtone(HDR)

Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk

Weldborough Pass Rainforest Walk

Freycinet National Park

Freycinet National Park

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park

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Freycinet National Park

Port Arthur

Port Arthur

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Installation artwork, MONA Gallery, Hobart

Installation artwork, MONA Gallery, Hobart

Installation artwork, MONA Gallery, Hobart

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart

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Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart

Final night’s sunset, on the road between Port Arthur and Hobart

Happy travelling!

Ali. x

Haven’t travelled in a loooong time…

I haven’t travelled in this past year.

According to some people, once you have gone on your BIG trip, you get over your wanderlust. Not so for me – I went on my first big trip, and… wanderlust has stayed strong and steady within me.

I haven’t been able to write anything on this blog over the past months because I’ve gone back to University. Hence, the lack of funds to travel. Only a year and 6 months until I graduate, and I have already started planning my post-graduation trip.

The passport is safely stored away, interesting online articles and tours have been bookmarked – so it will happen. Patience is a virtue, or so I’m told…

A funny below for your Boxing Day.

 

I Was Your Pilot

“Get lost!” Why you should live overseas

I am in a slightly ruminative mood today dear reader. This has been brought on by a couple of things. After successfully avoiding most winters here at home by heading north for the past few years, I am now having to rug up and grit my teeth through the wind, rain and low temperatures without the escape of an airplane ticket. I was like a bird, heading north for the winter. My winter haven was Europe, France in particular.

The second reason is that last night I watched the Woody Allen film, ‘Midnight in Paris’. The opening sequence is a travelogue of Paris. As the images flittered past, I was mentally naming all the places and remembering all the amazing experiences I had had while living there. For the past day I have been trying to remember why I ever left that most wondrous city. Red wine at a Bistro, Van Gogh paintings whenever I wished and the smell of the place after rain.

This blog post is for you out there who may be mulling around the idea of living abroad, or you’ve never considered it and something is missing from your life and you can’t quite put your finger on it. This is for you.

~*~

An adventure unlike any other

There is nothing more magical, in my experience, than packing your suitcase and saying au revoir to your country for goodness knows how long. When I left for Paris, I didn’t know where I was going to live, I didn’t know anyone in the city, and I didn’t know if I was even going to like living there! But within three weeks of getting the go ahead, I was on the plane and I didn’t look back. You’re jumping into the unknown, and there’s no rush like it out there.

Be different

Dropping everything and moving to the other side of the world is deemed irresponsible and immature in our society. But why? Because we have the courage to go somewhere we don’t know to build a brand new life? To live life outside what is deemed the norm? Move outside the norm. Don’t let the ‘no’ of society harm your dream in any way. Discover, or re-discover, your passion for life, for work, for the world, by being different.

Learn a new language

The sad thing about it is, my schooling didn’t teach me a second language. It just doesn’t seem to be a priority in Australia. So, the chance to learn a second language excited me, and it’s not just any old language, it’s French, the language of love! So, if you’ve ever wanted to become bi-lingual, there’s no better way to do it than to immerse yourself in it!

Widens your view of the world

The world is bigger than your hometown. It’s bigger than Facebook. It’s bigger than the daily grind. Nothing widens the mind more than setting out on your own and seeing parts of the world that’s completely different to yours.

The passion

I may be a little jaded, but in my opinion, very few people today have a genuine passion for life. How many of you reading this do things on a whim? How many of you toss common sense out the window and do something crazy? How many of you live every second of your life with passion?!

Realise how lucky you are

We are the luckiest people in the world. Out of the billions upon billions of ‘could-bes’ floating around, you were born and you have the chance to walk this earth and breathe deep. Take this extraordinary chance you have to see the world from as many different perspectives as you can!

The experience

How many times have you finished your week at work, paycheque in pocket, with a hollowness within you? Mine sits in my throat. Do you wish for something else? New experiences? New people? A new city? Then stop thinking! Over thinking is one of the most dangerous things we do. The one piece of advice from anyone who has lived overseas is this: “just go, just do it!” There’s no point in waiting and thinking. Just go!

Happy travelling!

Ali. x

 

 

 

Your first time

… in Paris.
Going to a city for the first time can be a minefield of organisation and time management. Where do I go? How long do I need to stay? What are the must sees? Guide books such as the Lonely Planet give you a very good idea of all the main tourist hot spots you should go to in any city in the world. But, I am a believer in seeing things and doing things on your first trip to a place that aren’t necessarily in the guide books. Oh, you will still have time to see the sites and to visit museums, but doing something a little bit ‘local’ will make your first time that little bit extra special.
Here I present to you the top 8 things I recommend you do on your first trip to Paris!
~*~
1. Take a walk, it doesn’t matter where. My recommendations are Montmartre, the Marais or along the river. What wonders will you discover?

2. Have a picnic at the Eiffel Tower – at night is the best, with the tower twinkling every hour until 1am.

3. Take a boat ride on the Seine. You’ll get a unique view of the city. Watch out for my personal favourite – Henry IV Bridge. It’s the one with all the faces on it. Stories say that just before the bridge was finished, King Henry held a party to celebrate the opening, and the faces you see on the bridge are the guests at his party.

4. Visit a Patisserie and try a real croissant or macaroon – hell, try both!

5. Have dinner at a local restaurant, sit outside and watch people go by. Eat at 8pm or later if you want to be like a local.

6. Visit the Luxembourg Gardens, my favourite gardens in the whole of Paris. Take along a packed lunch and sit by the gazebo. There will usually be a free concert of some kind playing there.

7. Take a small group tour. Chocolate, museum or city – it doesn’t matter. This will give you some info on the city from a local or an expat that you won’t get anywhere else.

8. Visit a cemetery. You may or may not have heard about Parisian cemeteries. Let the photo below speak for itself and go and see one of these uniquely Parisian places.

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time in Paris, I recommend you do a few or all of the above. But for first timers, doing things that aren’t in the guide books will make a place special in your mind. No longer will your first time be rushed, full of long lines and exhaustion. Take the time to see and appreciate the city of Paris like a local.

Happy travelling!

Ali. x

How to survive hostel dorm rooms

We’ve all been there. The height of luxury. An 8, 10, 12, 18 bed dorm room in some large city full of different travellers. The newbies –  up at the crack of dawn everyday and out and about all day. The seasoned travellers – taking it easy with everything. The resident – three suitcases and visa runs every few months. But you’ve all got something in common. You’re living together in veeeeeery close quarters. Some people take to it like a duck to water. Others, not so easily. So, to ensure you co-exist amicably with everyone in your room and you come out in one piece, here are my top tips for surviving hostel dorm rooms!

~*~

Luxury! Our 18 bed dorm in London.

Luxury! Our 18 bed dorm in London.

KEEP IT NEAT AND TOGETHER

To ensure a healthy and happy dorm room atmosphere, for the love of god keep your possessions neat and together! You want to make friends on the trip? Then make sure your luggage isn’t left open and spilling into the middle of the room, your shoes are tucked away somewhere and your wet towel isn’t dangling onto another person’s bed.

EARPLUGS

You’re in a dorm room so there is bound to be a bit of noise, but that shouldn’t be an obstacle to a good night’s sleep. Earplugs will block out those little noises, and sometimes the big noises from the snorer in the corner, to ensure blissful slumber.

INVEST IN A SLEEPING MASK

I can’t tell you the number of times I have been woken up in the middle of the night by someone turning on the lights to search for their jim-jams or toothbrush. Is it inconsiderate? Yes. Should you chew them out for it? Possibly. But you can’t stop them from doing it. Instead,  you can invest in a sleeping mask. Maybe one that has padding or a slogan on the front. One of my favourite ones was a baby pink mask with Fuck Off written in cursive. You can also ‘invest’ in one by keeping the one the airline gave you on the flight over.

TORCH

Had a bit too much to drink before going to bed that night? You’ve woken up at 2am with that foreboding pressure in your lower abdomen that you think you can threaten or cajole away? Take it from one with a small bladder that there is nothing worse than leaving your warm bed in the middle of the night to struggle your way through a 12 bed dorm to the bathroom. Queue stubbed toes and getting caught in people’s towels as you walk towards the door. A little torch in your hand will make sure that you make it to the door and back again in one piece.

TOMORROW’S CLOTHES ON TOP

I cannot stress this enough! Whenever I travel, because of the hideous time changes, I am an early riser when travelling. There is nothing more annoying to the other people in your dorm and frustration with yourself when you have to dig through your luggage in search of today’s clothes. Be a smart cookie and put them on top the night before to save yourself all that trouble.

TISSUES FOR TOILET PAPER

You’ve waited and waited patiently for the loo to be free, bladder bursting. You finally get in there and are doing the business when you look around and there is no toilet paper! I don’t panic, my stomach doesn’t lurch, nor do I look around frantically for the secret stash. I’ve been clever and stuffed a small packed of tissues in my pocket. Crisis averted. This trick is especially good for those middle of the night escapades.

ALWAYS WEAR SHOES IN THE BATHROOM, ESPECIALLY THE SHOWERS!

You know those ads on TV, the ones about the yellow fungal nail infections? Well, that curse be upon you if you venture forth into the bathroom without proper feet accoutrements. No one wants to have smelly, infected feet, especially when you’re on them all day trudging around the sites. Save yourself the pain and embarrassment by wearing a pair of thongs in the bathroom.

POWER BOARD

I bet that everyone can sympathise with this. On hands and knees looking underneath bunk beds or behind luggage  for the elusive powerpoint. Usually you can find one, but alas, you have three separate electronic devices to charge up. Never fear, your power board is here! Take along a four plug power board and an international adaptor and you never have to choose which device is more important to charge again. You can charge them all!

~*~

This is not an exhaustive list, but these few tricks and tips will help you to survive a hostel dorm room. Don’t let these situations scare you away from staying in a hostel. Staying in places like this is an experience not to be missed and I have had some of my best adventures and met some of my best friends when staying in hostels, and you will too.

Happy travelling.

Ali. x

Do You Speak English?!

We can’t speak every language in the world. As an intrepid world traveller, you’re going to find yourself somewhere were you do not speak the language and the people around you do not speak English. This can often put you off travelling to a place where you know you’re going to run into this problem. But never fear! I am here to help you with these handy hints to help you communicate in foreign climes.

The Mime

Miming what you want is the near fail safe way of making yourself understood – but that all depends on your skills as a mime artist and your embarrassment threshold. I’ve always been the class clown and when overseas I’ve never been one to shy away from miming what I want. It still brings a smile to my face when I think of my friend and I miming squat toilets in a little village in China near Tiger Leaping Gorge to a group of old men. We were even shown the way, once they had stopped laughing at us. 

A little tip for you, think outside the box when you are miming. Get a friend in on the act, as we had to do in China when we wanted massages. Or tell a story! For instance, you want bug spray! Mime a bug, with sound effects of course, then mime a spray bottle, with more sound effects! Try and better your travel buddy for the most outrageous mime!

We want one of these - massage, yes.

We want one of these – massage, yes.

The Artist

Drawing what you want and showing it to the locals is another great way to make yourself understood. If you’re a half decent drawer that is. I have been completely bypassed in the artist stakes, despite being primarily right brained, so this little trick never helped me. But if you can draw a bowl of noodles, a hotel or a bus stop half well you’re well on your way to being understood! My stick drawings never helped much.

The Phrasebook

This is probably the most difficult way of communicating with others, but I think it is the most worthwhile and, in a way, respectful. Not that miming and drawing is disrespectful, it isn’t! But, by trying to speak the language of the country you’re in, you’re showing that you’re not just a blow-in looking for a great time – you’re there to experience the country and learn about it! So, break out the phrasebook or a language App and let her rip! Having a bit of a practice at home would be a good idea. Your dog won’t mind your bad pronunciation.

The Interpreter

Get someone to speak for you! You may have a travel buddy who speaks the language and you could leave the speaking up to them. This is simple, easy, and fun. Your friend may be a bit of a practical joker and order you freshly barbecued crickets for dinner – but it’s all part of the experience eh!

You may be a cashed up traveller and you could hire a local guide to take you around the city for the day, showing you around and maybe teaching you a few phrases along the way. The way to go about doing this is to approach a local tour company, and asking them if they have any guides who could provide this service! I know that we did this in Paris when I worked there and it just made things so much easier for those travellers who were unable or unwilling, for whatever reason, to try the options above.

 

Whichever way you choose to go, know that there are no barriers to communicating with others while you’re overseas. Leave your embarrassment at home and you’ll find yourself with some memories that will make you smile and laugh long into the future.

Happy travelling friends.

Ali. x

Thank you

I just wanted to give out a HUGE thank you to those people who have been reading my blog in its infancy. It’s very exciting to see that people from all over are reading this!

If you wish to post a comment on a post or have any questions, please feel free to! I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you

I look forward to you reading my posts and hearing from you all in the future!

Happy travelling!

Ali. x

 

That feeling…

See what there is to behold.

See what there is to behold.

That feeling when:

You work out the city’s public transport system and have effectively bought your own ticket all by yourself. Cue the strut to the train/bus.

Your passport is stamped and you’re in! You slide that passport back towards you and walk into the new re-energised and ready!

You find that one perfect, tacky souvenir that will remind you of your adventures for years to come!

Your city map stays in your bag all day and you still make it back to your hotel that night after successfully navigating the city without it.

You sit, and you watch, and you listen. New sounds, sights and scenes.

You make new friends who you will know and cherish for the rest of your life.

You are nearly killed by a scooter, (why is it always a scooter?!), as you look the wrong way when crossing the street.

You take the obligatory selfie at the Eiffel Tower/Pyramids of Giza/Great Wall of China.

You buy extra bandaids to cover your blisters as you’ve spent that past two days walking through galleries/museums. Ouch.

The lights in your dorm room are banged on a 2am in the morning by an inconsiderate roommate and you’re too stifled and achingly polite to ask them to turn them off so you spend the next 10 minutes wishing that you’d practiced your telepathy skills more.

You’re cold and tired after a long day of transport disasters on your way to your next destination and you get to your hostel room and find someone sleeping in your bed. Cue tears.

You finally figure out how to use chopsticks! Yay to a full meal and clean clothes!


 

I guess the reason for this post it that no matter what your experiences are when you travel, whether they are good or bad, absurd or beautifully life changing, they must be treasured. I often wonder what we miss out on. If only we looked up. Look up! See what is going on around you! Don’t spend your days with your head in a guide book, staring at a screen at the bus stop, walking around with your earphones superglued to your ears. Do that and you will miss it! It doesn’t matter what ‘it’ is. It’s different for everyone. But that ‘it’ is the reason you stepped out of your door in the first place.

Happy travelling and don’t forget to look up!

Ali. x

Plane Pet Peeves

Your passport has been scanned and you’ve been through Duty Free and picked up your log-sized bar of Toblerone for munchies on the flight. You’ve entered the air bridge with your boarding pass clutched tightly in your hand. You’re in the plane and are on the way to your seat, hoping against hope that you don’t have the passenger from hell sitting next to you. There are many things which can grate on your last nerve when it comes to good behaviour on the plane. Here’s a list of the top pet peeves which I’ve run into on my plane travels which have had me searching for the emergency exit to push these passengers out of.

Extra Leverage

When getting up from your seat, do not use the seat in-front of you as leverage. No one likes to have their seat jerked every time the person behind them has to get up. On a 22 hour flight to London, lurid and violent reprisals are going through the poor person’s mind.

Loki

Three – two – one – smack!

Getting a full frontal smack in the face as soon as the seat belt sign goes off as someone robustly reclines their seat is the most hated of all hates in my travelling experience. Being quite tall, the little leg room I do get in economy class is closely guarded. But when you, my nemesis, push your seat back for the entire duration of the trip, including meal service, I just – grrrrrrrrrr! No words can convey my anger and frustration at these people! It’s very simple to check if you have anyone sitting behind you, and if you do, ask them if it’s okay for you to recline your seat. Then, when those meals services come around, put your seat back upright! It’s not hard people! If you recline your seat for any other reason other than sleeping, you’re on my list.

Three two one smack!

Keep it closed

You may be unaware of the truly terrifying sound you are emitting from your cake hole, but the person sitting 15 centimetres away from you can hear you loud and clear. Every slosh, every smack, every slurp as your try to inhale your food is heard in surround sound. It’s basic etiquette like this that has gone out the window in our society, magnified exponentially at 40,000 feet. Shut your mouth or feel the full wrath of my British-esque ‘tut-sigh-long look.’ Feel the buuuuurn.

Keep it closed

Left foot, right foot, they call it walking!

The number of times I have been stuck behind a glacially slow person on the way to their seat when boarding! This isn’t your chance to browse through business class and look through every window at the view on the plane next to us at one-degree increments. Get to your seat, put bags in overhead locker and sit down! I am not advocating you charge down the aisle with all the tact of a howitzer either. Steady forward movement at a pace humans can withstand is a good start though.

They call it walking

Catwalk Airlines

I don’t care how many times you’ve seen Kim Kardashian walk off a plane perfectly groomed and clothed. Spending five hours in a plane toilet while you spruce yourself up to Kim’s level is not appropriate. Neither is brushing your hair next to me and hitting me in the process, or spritzing your perfume all through the cabin so even those in row 50 can smell the noxious fumes. Have some respect for other people’s bladders and nasal follicles. This plane is not your personal fashion show.

Dancing-poodle

The happy chatty

You’re going on holidays. Yay! I am very happy that you are travelling, but I don’t need to hear about it constantly for the next 10 hours.  It may be a nervous thing, or you could just be the most annoying person on the flight, but I don’t need to hear it. I don’t need to hear about what your friend said to do in that city. I don’t need to be shown your Instagram/hashtag journey from farewell to plane. I REALLY don’t want to hear about the number of pairs of underwear you have packed! A little decorum, please! I will politely nod and then stealthily leave for a long walk around the plane, hoping beyond hope you discover the new releases on the plane’s entertainment system.

Bert-snaps

Phwoar!

Try not to breathe through your nose! The B.O train has parked itself right next to you! Showering, deodorant and toothpaste are magical things! Try it out sometime

Phwoar

You don’t know more than them

This is a more important point. Acting like you’re god’s gift to air travel and know absolutely everything and not listening to the professionals pushes my buttons. When they tell you to turn off your electronics, phones in particular, do it. I spoke with an airline pilot on one of my tours once and he explained why they’re so stringent on this issue. It’s not because if you make a phone call the telcos won’t be able to charge you for the call – honestly! Take a look around you. How many thousands of different electronic products are out there these days? There is no way in hell that they can all be tested to see their effect on an airplane.  Therefore, a blanket rule applies. So, for the sake of common sense, turn the electronics off or I’ll do it for you.

You don't know more than them

Happy travelling!

Ali.