Wabi sabi mural Kyoto

You can become a better traveller by paying attention to words that don’t exist in English, says travel writer Brian Johnston. He went on to talk about a Dutch word voopret, which literally translates as ‘pre-fun’, and might be used to describe the feeling of excitement we get when planning a trip. While foreign travel…

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La Belle Esplanade NOLA Gail Holloway

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you get a little something extra. Like when you order a half dozen doughnuts or potato cakes and they throw in one more as a bonus. In New Orleans they have a local word for that – Lagniappe. We picked up one excellent word, a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice, limber, expressive, handy word — ‘lagniappe’. They pronounce it lanny- yap. It is Spanish — so they said.  MarkTwain, ‘Life on the Mississippi’. On my first visit to New Orleans in 2015,…

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Gail's 2007

In many ways 2007 was a game-changer. It was my job to help keep children safe, but toys became so hazardous we nearly had to cancel Christmas. It was also the year I began writing my novel. World attention That year I represented Australia at the first ever consumer product safety conference in China – a…

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Gail Holloway writing

I didn’t set out to write a novel. Cherry Blossom Footsteps was the first piece of creative writing I had done, and it began after an overseas trip when I had to finish writing my trip diary at home. I’d enjoyed writing the diary, so I thought why not try my hand at some creative…

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Gail Holloway songs

In Cherry Blossom Footsteps, Lauren and her travel mates go to a retro nightclub. I’ve made a YouTube playlist of songs and dance videos from Lauren’s last night in Kyoto. 1960s pop songs Of course, I chose all songs and artists that I like: These Boots are Made for Walkin’, by Nancy Sinatra. Great clip…

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I love Asian art and have several pieces that I’ve collected on various travels. Some that I picked up while travelling in Japan and Hong Kong have ‘chops’. These are like stamps, used instead of signatures, on art and on personal documents. As my book’s set in Japan and Hong Kong, I decided to get…

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