Self Indulged Online Travel Magazine
  • Blog update
  • February5th


    Well…it has been A LONG time between posts and for those of you following the mag and FB page you’ll know we’re just about settled back at home. I’ve been waiting for something big to spark the blog again and here it is. I am thrilled to announce that I have been shortlisted in the Landscape category of the 2013 Sony World Photo Awards along with 6 other Aussies in the competition.  The series ‘El Chalten Enchantment’ was taken in Argentine Patagonia earlier this year. We camped on the trail and awoke to a blanket of snow on the trail up to the wonderful but illusive Mt Fitzroy and passed these striking trees on the way. This series and will make up just some of the images that will form part of an exhibition I will be holding at the end of this year. Big changes are afoot, including a new website, new travel photography workshop and plenty of new images!

    Good luck to all of the finalists.

  • February29th



    You can be forgiven for thinking we’d fallen off the face of the planet, it has been a long time between posts. But, as always, we’ve been travelling, shooting and planning the next leg of the trip.  We just recently completed a one week whirlwind tour of Ireland. We caught the ferry with the car (GBP215) from Pembroke to Rosslare on the Emerald Isle then drove via Galway to the wonderfully windswept Achill Island. This was a bit of a pilgrimage for me as my Great Aunts family was from there and she once told me that her father had said that there was only a paper wall separating it from hell! With a description like that we couldn’t resist popping in. In the one day we spent there we endured gale force winds, rain, hail, snow and brilliant sunshine. It really was an experience of four seasons in one day…OK maybe not…the sun wasn’t that hot, summer was definitely missing.  From the wild west coast we headed North East to the highlight of the trip for me, the Giants Causeway. The landscape here is epic and we weren’t disappointed. We were lucky enough to get a break in the grey weather for a spectacular sunset.  As a rule I don’t tend to shoot much HDR but I think, in this instance, the scene warrants the treatment.

    We leave today for South America…a new episode begins.

  • January21st


    The publishing site ISSUU has recently released a mobile app for Android users (Apple users will have to wait a little longer I’m afraid) which means that now you can read Self Indulged at will. How exciting is that! Just type in your mobile phone browser and follow the prompts to download the app for free. Once you have the app search for Selfindulged (all one word) and you can download all of the issues to your mobile phone to read anytime, anyplace without having to be online. Double click on the text to bring it up on your phone for easy reading.
    Next time you’re waiting for a bus or on the train to work, Self Indulged will keep you company…and what’s even better is it’s all for free! 
  • December24th


    Tallinn St Johns by Sandra Herd

    Two nights ago we saw the biggest gingerbread church in the world.

    We watched as the church was decorated with yellow and blue icing…and then we watched in delight as huge ‘bites’ were taken out of it.

    We were witnessing an unusual light display put together by video mapping artist, Taavi Varm. His canvas was St John’s Church in Tallinn’s Freedom Square. For nearly twenty minutes the church morphed from one spectacular light display to another as images and lights projected onto the church facade delighted us, and the thousands of others who had come to watch the closing display to celebrate Tallinn as European Capital of Culture 2011.

    The light show was accompanied by ten churches around the city filling the Old Town with the sound of their bells, ringing in harmony and complimenting the light show.

    The ‘grand finale’ was the setting alight of a huge 2011 ‘sculpture’ which you can see in the foreground, creatively called, ‘2011’. Unfortunately there was only one can of lighter fluid and one man with a match! By the time the ‘1’s were alight the 2 and the 0 were nearly extinguished which made us giggle. The highlight though was the fantastic work of Taavi Varm, it was a beautiful display and a real treat for us as we’d only heard about it the day before. By the time we arrived for the show there were thousands of people already in the square. Luckily I found a spot on the hill to position the tripod and get some shots off. The shot above is, of course, the gingerbread church.


  • December3rd


    Norway Sandra Herd

    The has car died.

    Last night we should have been watching the Northern Lights through the dome of a glass igloo at the wonderfully picturesque Hotel Kakslauttanen. Right now we should be on a date with a reindeer, sliding through the snow on an open sleigh…on my way to Santa’s resort with a good meal and log fire awaiting my return. Instead, we are stranded in a hotel in the dark days at Lakselv, Norway.

    Where, you ask? Exactly.

    I’ve been wanting to get to these glass igloos for months. We re-scheduled because of our emergency rush home to Oz and had the dates locked in for this weekend. We were driving to Finland from Honningsvag down the E6 when we lost power to the wheels. Engine still running – car going nowhere. Thankfully we were only about 40kms north of Lakselv. We called the emergency breakdown service (who have been fantastic) 5 hours, two episodes of Stargate (on the laptop) and one tuna and sweet corn sandwich later, we were picked up by the tow-truck and our injured team member was towed to a cold and lonely carpark to await a diagnosis. It will be a long wait… the repair shop is closed over the weekend.

    And so we are stuck…not in the middle of nowhere but close to it. Yes, we’re lucky the car didn’t conk out on the mountain pass a few days ago (pictured above) where the outside temperature was -16o and yes, we’re happy to be safe and well but we’re so, so sad to be missing out, once again, on the great plans we had at Hotel Kakslauttanen.

    Dear Santa,

    Please arrange for our car to be OK…or send us a new Jeep!


    Sandy x

  • November20th



    The good news…Dave’s Mum has made a full recovery.

    More good news…we’re BACK on the road again.

    The bad news?

    It was -2◦c when we landed in Sweden.

    We spent the week with our friends Nic and Jess who deserve a huge thank-you for allowing us to dump our stuff (and the car) when we had to rush back to Perth over two months ago. We kitted out the car with ‘winter’ tyres (got a good deal on some second hand tyres and had them fitted a day later), anti-freeze and an ice scraper for good measure. Dave also managed to pick up a Star Wars advent calendar while he was shopping for car products???

    ‘Dibs’ on Yoda dressed as Santa, I have put.

    Anyway. Enough of this. Back to the story at hand….

    We’d been threatened during our stay with a traditional Swedish dish of Surströmming which, translated, means ‘soured herring’ which, to you and me, means rancid fish! On our last night in Stockholm Nic and Jess (well, mostly Nic actually, Jess couldn’t stand the smell and waited safely in the corner of the garden) very kindly –ahem – made a traditional meal for us of rancid fish served with tunnbröd (thin bread) boiled potatoes, raw onion and whipped cream.

    The fermented fish bubbled and sprayed from the can as Nic opened it up outside. And then the smell hit. Luckily ten weeks through China had prepared us and, although we’d smelled worse things in China we’d never actually had to eat the source of the smell. Apparently a Japanese study has shown that the smell of a newly opened can of surströmming is the most putrid smell of food in the world. Mmmm-m.

    To be fair, if you can get past the wiff, the fish isn’t too bad at all but you do need a big blob of the whipped cream to help tone down the rancid saltiness. Of course, once it’s washed down with a bottle of schnapps and a few beers you forget the whole thing ever happened.

    Until you wake up the next day with a stonking hangover and get a fresh wiff of leftover rancid fish.

    Want to know more about Surströmming? I can’t imagine why but you can find out HERE 

    Pick up a tin at your local Ikea Smile

  • 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!

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