Self Indulged Online Travel Magazine
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  • September29th

    Sandra Herd_Mongolia

    I’m busy trying to get the magazine out on time which may be a big call just at the moment but I’m giving it a shot! I’m running a feature on Mongolia and just wanted to put this image up on the blog…it’s one of my favourites from the trip and is 100% ridgey digde real. You probably can’t see in this small jpeg but the thing I just love about it is the tiny red light on the the camera resting on the the tyre that tells me the guy in the left got a shot off too. Magic! Shortly after this shot was taken we were pelted in the storm and took cover under a small canvas shelter just 5 meters from the ger. Dave and I had our tent pitched that night for the first time on the trip and we didn’t feel a single drop even though the thunder seemed to roll on all night.  Again, it’s a little hard to see here but the lightening was bright pink….something to do with the haze in the air I would’ve loved to have kept shooting but in the deluge it was near impossible.

    Also, I have since found out (courtesy of Google) that the odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 3000….probably more when you’re standing in Eastern Mongolian steppe with not a single tree for miles, holding a brolly with a metal tip!

  • September26th

    Last week we were in Stockholm. Today we are home in Perth.

    When I logged on to my laptop last Friday there were emails, skype messages and facebook notifications to call home urgently. Dave’s Mum was in hospital after having a stroke and the prognosis did not look good. Luckily we were staying with friends in Sweden and within two hours we’d called home, spoken to the hospital, cleared out the car, packed up our bags and had arranged for a taxi to take us to Arlanda airport. Our boots, our tent, our camping gear and a little bit of our sanity was all left with our friends as we rushed to the airport hoping to catch a flight back to Australia.  We arrived at the airport at 3pm and by 8pm we were on a Finnair flight home via Helsinki and Singapore.

    In just over 24 hours we were home. 

    The good news is that since we’ve been back, his mum has made a remarkable recovery. Dave’s sister also flew in from the Eastern States and I think having her kids around has made a huge difference to her making her way back to us. When we first arrived she was unable to speak or even recognise who we were but this past week she has astounded the doctors by being able to walk (slowly), eat, and talk.  There’s a lot of rehabilitation to be done to strengthen the muscles in her right side (arm and leg) and lots of ‘homework’ to stimulate the brain and make sure that it’s functioning the way it did before she had the stroke.  We’ll be hanging around for a while to make sure that everything here is ok.

    Taxi to the airport $80

    Flights from Stockholm to Perth $4000

    Seeing the look of recognition on Dave’s mums face when she woke up on Tuesday…..PRICELESS! Smile

  • September1st


    Amsterdam – 1 Dave – 0

    I feel like I am currently trapped in an episode of Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure. We’ve pitched up camp at Camp Zeeburg, about 20 minutes out of Amsterdam city centre. As I write this the car next to me has run into the front concrete barrier of the car park, the two guys in the RV opposite me have taken 14 minutes to put out 2 camp chairs and a camping table and on the way to the shower block I had to dodge bodies, laying ‘peacefully’ on the grass soaking up the sunshine. There’s something in the air here….

    I felt kind of strange taking this photo….the ‘cafes’ are dark day and night and are full of people who are either stoned, in the process of getting stoned or asleep…this shot is a little bit ‘soft’, handheld…. I didn’t want to use the flash and start ‘freaking people out man!’ but did want to capture the wide range of pot that is available to the cannabis connoisseur. This particular selection includes, Neville’s Haze, Cheese (sounds tempting) and Amnesia Haze.  I chose the Carlsberg…pint of!

    The kebab shops in Amsterdam do a roaring trade.

  • August30th

    Brugge_Sandra Herd

    For the last 3 weeks we’ve been in the UK. We left China and spent a week in Langkawi before landing in good old Blighty. Since then we’ve been catching up with family and friends and have been just generally ‘hanging around’. We did however get some stuff done…we bought a car. A Citreon Xsara Picasso who we have named Citreon Sam. We didn’t start out looking for this particular car (and when you look at  the photo you’ll see why….it’s not the sexiest of machines) however we made the choice on this one because it was within our price range (900 quid), it has stacks of room for our bags (we will be living/camping out of it for 3 months!) and it seems reliable (the exhaust dropped off on our drive down to Cornwall).  So all in all a reasonable good buy….once the exhaust was repaired – ahem.

    We caught the Dover to Dunkirk ferry yesterday morning and within 2 hours we’d sailed to an entirely new country…France. And almost as soon as we arrived we drove back out again, I don’t have anything against France it’s just that we’re on a schedule and, for the moment we have to stick to it. The plan, you see, is to reach the artic circle by the time September’s new moon comes around in the hope of glimpsing the Northern lights and ticking off the thing that has been on my bucket list the longest.

    Crossing the border from Fance into Belgium was a little bit of a none event. I spotted a blue EU sign on the side of the road with a B for Belgium and that was it…3 countries in one day…not a bad effort.

    So now we’re with Sam in Brugge. For those who don’t know and can’t be bothered looking it up, it’s a beautiful and historic town in Belgium and tonight we intend to sample it’s wares…..namely beer!

  • July21st


    Street food in Beijing: I first saw this photo effect a while ago and then more recently a series of fashion images by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg that were really inspiring.  I’ve been dying to try the effect in some of my travel images and have been capturing them since I arrived in China…and now I’ve finally had chance to do some processing.  The term coined for these animated photos is the ‘Cinemagraph’ but I’m calling mine ‘Gifographs’ becaause it is, after all, just a humble gif. This was taken on the street outside our hostel in Beijing.  The Happy Dragon is down a side street to the North-East of Tiananmen Square, there’s no outdoor area to sit and the beers were expensive so we sat outside on the street in the warm summer air with another traveller from Canada (Hi, Flora!) and ordered cold beers and meat skewers from the guy in the photo. The beers were cold the food was good and cheap and the whole evening cost 75RMB (about  $10 ) for the 3 of us. Gotta love China!

  • June14th

    Zhangjiajie National Park_Sandra Herd

    We’re currently hauled up in China’s beautiful Hallelujah mountains – Zhangjiajie National Park.  The mountains that James Cameron based his Avatar ‘Hallelujah’ mountains on…and the references to Avatar are everywhere.  We arrived on Sunday and are staying in a small hostel right in the middle of the National Park. The entrance fee is 238RMB which, by Chinese standards is quite expensive so by staying in the park we only have to pay the one fee and can stay and take photos as long as we like. The accommodation is fairly basic and mainly full of Chinese tourists, as such the staff don’t speak any English and ordering food from the menu is like dining roulette.

    Ya makes ya choice and takes ya chances!

    There is an English translation but we’re struggling a little bit with it – when we ordered what was written as ‘fried rice’ we got egg noodles and last night we ordered the ‘regular dinner’ which was meant to be a soup dish with rice and then a vegetable and meat stir-fry. We got a soup dish with rice and an egg and tomato stir fry- it all tastes OK , I’m just a little concerned that tonight’s meal may end up being chicken feet…eeeek! Luckily we’ve managed to communicate that the beers need to be kept in the fridge.

    Anyway, we’re hauled up here today because it is wet, wet, wet outside. We had thunderstorms last night so have spent most of today snuggled up with the laptop and the very first series of Doctor Who. Sad, I know but at least we we’re warm and there’s no chance of seeing the peaks when the cloud cover is so thick and low. We’ve booked an extra night here in the hope of some sunshine tomorrow, there’s so much of the park to see and the stone pillars are just stunning, we really don’t want to miss the opportunity now that we’re here.

    The photo above is just a 5 minute walk from the hostel, I’m hoping to get out there for some sunrise shots tomorrow and am praying for the rain to stop. The trails are pretty hairy for someone like me who is terrified of heights and we are so high up…when the trails are wet it’s even worse. The Chinese tourists skip down the rocks like mountain goats, some of them in high heels (the girls, not the men!) I’m frozen to the spot with fear and they’re asking to have their photo taken with me. Renren (the Chinese equivalent of Facebook) must by now have at least 50 photos of me up – hot, sweaty and with a look of terror on my face making the peace sign for their photos…not a good look.

    I’ve zoomed in on the photo so you can see the white railings on the Natural Bridge walk trail, just to give you some idea of the size of these giant monoliths and how high up we are as we walk along the trails.  This is just a tiny section of the park and there’s no way you could see it all in just a few days.  We’re hoping to head over to those white rails tomorrow….lets hope the weather clears.



  • May29th

    Dumbling chef_Chengdu_by Sandra Herd

    Here we are finally in China, Chengdu to be precise.  After the last minute rush to pack up the house and pack up our lives we’re finally here in a cosy hostel, drinking beer for 72 cents a bottle and finding our ‘travel feet’ in a slow but steady fashion.  There has certainly been some culture shock…not so much because we’re in China but more because we’re not used to lugging our luggage around.  I’d forgotten what it was like and it came flooding back pretty quickly as we stuffed our bags into the back of the taxi from the airport and spilled out in a dishevelled mess on our midnight arrival at the hostel.

    That was over a week ago and already it feels like we’ve been away for weeks. We’ve been out to Jiuzhaigou (an eight hour bus trip North of Chengdu) and Huanglong and stayed a night in Songpan before coming back here to the hostel where we started from. We’ve taken a bicycle tour through the manic streets of Chengdu and sampled the steamed dumplings  made by the man in the image above.  Our legs hurt, our backs ache and my camera trigger finger is worn out but we are loving every minute of it…and it’s only just begun.

  • May13th

    Ok, so yes, I have been away from the blog for a while but that is all about to change.  Next week we head off to China and I’ll be updating the trip as we go on the blog and in the Self Indulged magazine….the more images I see of China the more I fall in love with the place and the next issue of Self Indulged will be a China special so that I can share some of these places with you. In a few days I’ll post some more about our plans but for now I am suffering a China Crisis. I’m finishing up last minute jobs for clients, packing up the entire house for the people who are moving in next week (YIKES!!!) and tomorrow I have the last DSLR workshop at the zoo for a while which I’m actually really looking forward to…it will signify “the end” of work. Then I have to sort out travel insurance/jabs (YIKES-again!) and all the other stuff that goes along with extended travel. I’m also very happy to announce we have some fantastic sponsors on board for the trip and Self Indulged so will be looking forward to adding their logos to the site in the very near future.  Onwards and upwards!!

  • April1st


    Issue 3 of Self Indulged is out now and one of the features is ‘Cruise Ship Diary’ about our cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage. The glaciers are just beautiful…and sooo blue.

    There’s no de-sat on the top shot, that’s just how it looked on the day. Grey skies, grey rocks, blue ice. We flew over Mendenhall Glacier in a chopper which is a great way to get a handle on just how epic this landscape is….you can read more about it in the mag.

    The Inside Passage is just the tip of the Alaskan iceberg….I’d love to get back there with my camera and explore the real Alaska, further up and further in.

  • March29th


    Three UK photographers have set up an international project to help the victims of the Tohoku earthquake in Japan. The Print Aid Project now involves renowned photographers and designers from around the world who have donated their images to be sold on the project website – with all money raised going to the Red Cross charity.

    The project is raising money in two ways:

    • A selection of prints are being sold at a special reduced rate from the website. This allows people to pick up a bargain while helping the charity.
    • Other limited edition prints will also be sold in a series of charity auctions on this website.

    The artists involved have donated their images and time to the project and set up the website for free. This means that after printing and postage costs, every penny raised will be donated to the victims of the Tohoku earthquake.

    The site is accepting submissions for possible inclusion via the submission page:

    One of the project’s founders Pete Carr said:

    “In January one of my photographs was sold for £2,000 in the Photos for Fairbridge charity auction. I was astonished and really proud that my work raised so much for a good cause. This really opened my eyes to the potential that my images have to help other people and has inspired me to help set up the Print Aid Project.”

    Matt Thomas, who came up with the idea to set up the Print Aid Project with Pete and fellow photographer Dan King, is an experienced fundraiser who is currently planning to travel a third of the way across the world for charity in this year’s Mongolia Rally. He said:

    “Nobody who saw the scenes of devastation caused by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami could fail to be moved. I immediately wanted to help and when I realised that others felt the same we established the Print Aid Project. The response from other photographers wanting to take part has been fantastic.”

    Co-founder Dan King:

    “Not everyone can afford to bid huge sums of money in a charity auction, so we felt it was important to have two strands to the project and offer the special rate prints as well. We hope that these will be really popular and raise a lot of money for this important cause.”

    Further details of the photographers involved and prints available are on the website

    Click HERE for Twitter feed and HERE for the Facebook page.

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