Tag-Archive for ◊ Auckland Hotels ◊

02 Aug 2010 Things To See On Your Holidays In Pitcairn Islands

Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, the Pitcairn islands is the last British overseas territory in the pacific. The islands remained uninhibited in the 15th century. Later, the Polynesians started settling down in the islands. History says that the mutineers of the Bounty and Tahitian companions are kidnapped from Tahiti and they set fire to the bounty. You can enjoy a moderate climate all the year round in the Pitcairn islands.

Holidaying in the Pitcairn islands, first include an air travel up to Mangareva in the Gambier Islands. There are no airstrips in the islands and you can begin your vacation in the Pitcairn islands with the help of the cruise ships. Apart from the commercial cruise ships, there are many private yachts carrying tourists to the Pitcairn islands.

The island has a very small population with about 50 permanent inhabitants who are the descendants of the mutineers and their Polynesian wives. As there are no ports or airports, the island remains unexplored. There are no safe anchorage and lodging place in the island and it requires permission from the administration in the Auckland. After getting the appropriate permission, you will be provided with lodging and other facilities. There are no hotels in the island and you can enjoy the stay in natural homes. The inhabitants of the island are very friendly and hospitable.

You need to spend a few days to get to know about the Pitcairners and explore the unexplored land. From the Pitcairn Island, you should sail to the Henderson Island if you want a special excursion. The Henderson Island is uninhibited and it is a world heritage site. If you are a water enthusiast, you will love this place, enjoying snorkelling and scuba diving. Bird watching is another popular tourist activity here and the island has numerous unique species of birds.

The major activity of the islanders is collecting honey and this honey is claimed to be disease free pure honey that cannot be tasted anywhere else in the world. Because of this reason, the tourists are not allowed to bring any bee related items to the Pitcairn islands. The details of the history and the bounty can be found in the beautiful museum at this place.

The island has a great source of income from philately. Holidaying to Pitcairn Island can be slightly expensive but you can enjoy a great visit to one of the tough world heritage sites.

The Islands are becoming more and more popular with holiday makers coming here on a family holiday and staying in self catering holiday home accommodation. Luxury villas with swimming pools and self catering holiday apartments are available to rent.

23 Jul 2010 Finding Hotels Across New Zealand

New Zealand is a very big country and consists of two main islands (the North Island and the South Island) as well as free associations (the residents of which are citizens of New Zealand) and various smaller islands. Finding hotel accommodation is therefore very much dependant on where you wish to stay and how much you are willing to part with for accommodation. Auckland is the country’s largest and most populated city located on the North Island. It is a popular tourist hot spot in addition to which houses the busiest air port in the country. Most flights landing in New Zealand do so at the Auckland International Airport. There are a great number of tourist attractions in the city from amphitheatres, stadiums, the Auckland Town Hall, The Auckland War Memorial Museum, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and bridges as well as numerous natural volcanic cones. Auckland is the country’s commercial hub and is one of the most expensive places to stay at. Hotel rates are high and this is especially true during summer which is the peak season.

Summertime is the most pleasant time to visit the cool region of New Zealand. This is what most visitors to New Zealand do and this is when the hotel rates skyrocket. Advisable to visit the country during the off season as hotels will be reasonably cheaper.

Hotels are possibly the most expensive living arrangement that you could choose. But they also offer much more privacy, comfort, luxuries such as cable television, Internet access, telephone lines, gyms, pools etc and a variety of services from catering all meals (an especially good way to experience the local cuisine) to room service, laundry services etc. A very comfortable option for business people who are in the country on work and do not have to time to do all this on their own.

Many hotels across New Zealand offer you up to twelve months advance bookings. This is convenient for those people with a fixed purpose and agenda. It is also a good way to book your living arrangements before the rates begin to sky rocket.

In case you don’t trust your travel agent to make the right decisions for you are absolutely free to peruse the World Wide Web at your leisure to locate the best deal for yourself. Hotels are found aplenty all across the country even in the smallest towns so you will not be hard pressed to find something that suits your tastes and budget. Since there are so many hotels across the country they are always competing with each other which are beneficial to the customers. They normally offer several discount rates and schemes by which you can arrange for rooms at reduced prices. or example students can almost always get reductions on producing an I card for proof.

The rates also depend on the kind of room and number of rooms that you wish to rent. A modest room with minimum luxuries and a single bed will definitely cost less than a suite with kitchenette, en suite bathroom, television and the like.

Almost all hotels rooms can now be booked as well as paid for online. It is also possible to book a room online at the very last minute though at an extra fee.

04 Jul 2010 New Zealand Motel – Uniquely New Zealand

A New Zealand motel could be the right type of accommodation that you have been looking for. You could choose from budget, family or luxury accommodation and no matter which type you choose they will all offer you friendly service and a comfortable bed. You will find many motels in Wellington, Napier, New Plymouth and North Shore no matter where you choose to stay you will be made to feel very welcome.

Motels Auckland

What a beautiful area you have chosen to spend your holiday in. Auckland and surrounds have some vibrant scenery just waiting for you to experience. Motels North Shore is a very popular area located next to the water. So if you like water sports or sun baking and relaxing by the sea you can not go wrong especially if you have decided to stay here.

Motel Rotorua

If you are thinking of exploring this lovely area of the North Island, accommodation in Rotorua could prove easy to find especially if you book in advance to ensure a bed when you arrive. It can get pretty hectic in the peak season and booking in advance is one way of making sure you get Rotorua accommodation suitable to your needs and your budget.

Motels Wellington

So, the capital city is where you have chosen to stay for your holiday. Wellington has a lot of different types of accommodation to offer you. There is a lot of sight seeing here and night life. The city lights at night are simply superb. The best thing is accommodation Wellington has a lot of different types to offer you for your stop here, whether it is for just a night or a week, you can be assured of a comfortable stay. There are tours on offer to see the city by night or you could venture out by your self to enjoy the sights on offer. Take a trip across Cook Strait and stay in a Blenheim motel where you can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere for a few days.

Christchurch Motels

Once you have arrived in the South Island it will be easy to find that special Christchurch motel or hotel that you have been looking for. Hotels in Christchurch are friendly and comfortable and you are sure to find one suitable to your needs. This part of New Zealand is just waiting for you to explore. You will find it easy to travel and stay at a Timaru, or an Invercargill motel where the welcome mat is out waiting for you.

Dunedin Motels

There could be a Dunedin motel room just waiting for your occupancy. This area of New Zealand has much to offer the tourist like hiking and tours and water sports. Close to this unique area of New Zealand you can find picnic areas and other places of interest to the family.

When you have the right type of accommodation your holiday will be long remembered. So, where are you? Your New Zealand motel is waiting for you!

29 Apr 2010 Teaching English in China

The First Teaching Job in China by Mark Dykstra

Its February 24th, 2003, in a 40 degree humid heat, i stepped off the train in Hangzhou City. I gasped for breath, as i dragged my western worldly belongings trying to maintain a fix on where my Teaching Manager was. Void of a teaching certificate, void of speaking any Chinese and having absolutely no teaching experience or confidence, to be able to stand up in front of 10 students, let alone what would become 2000 students at one time, i was at the mercy of the elements of Chinese society. Like a small spaceship in Saturns asteroid belt, i just let the millions of frantic chinese citizens meld around me and i was lost in the fray, however after a miracle of bearing i found my Chinese Manager, the man himself who was to trust my blaringly ignorant and drastic lack of qualifications, i was whisked into his run down Mazda Coup and taken to the nearest restaurant to feed on the latest of the day live prawns, swimming in Rice Wine, and bouncing about like gipsy moths, hardly able to grasp my chop sticks after my train lagged trip from Guangzhou, i navigated my teeth over the best place i would take my first bite of the struggling and squirming prawn. It was then i realised i was making my first crunching bite into the unknown of what Chinese life was all about.

We made our journey to Huzhou City where i would begin my first 6 months teaching assignment at the Huzhou Technical College where Hundreds of students waited patiently for me for my arrival. My pre booked and paid up 3 bedroom apartment was luxurious compared to my flat back home in Auckland and everything was clean and tidy with wide open spaces. I have never felt so dignified and honored to have such new and wonderful decor and fittings that represented China so well. A beautiful, large pane of smoked glass showed the elegant engrained potrait of a Dragon intertwined in a woods seperated the living room and large bedroom. My office itself had the floor area of a 2 bedroom house. Does China really have such fantastic, modern, and lavish western standards built into its current day architecture.? The answer i found was a resounding yes, and what i found as time moved on was this clash of culture with western traditions that China had so intricatly developed in house and apartment design.

I found my life style within China expand dramatically, and i was able to travel first class by air, and by train and to travel by taxi and buy the best food

26 Apr 2010 Auckland Art Gallery

 

The principal art gallery in Auckland, New Zealand, this venue features the most extensive collection of national and international art in New Zealand. The gallery was established in 1888 and was the first permanent art gallery in New Zealand. It still remains the largest art institution in the country to date, and features a collection that numbers over 12,500 pieces of artwork.

 

The gallery consists of two different buildings, the original building is known as the Main Gallery while the new gallery is located opposite. The Main Gallery opened as the city’s free Public Library and Municipal Offices. It was only later on in that same year that a section that was dedicated to art was opened. Over time the prominence of the art gallery and its popularity lead it to take over the entire building which had been enlarged while the city library and municipal offices had moved to a nearby building.

 

Because of its historic origins the building proudly demonstrates itself as an impressively powerful structure featuring grand old style architecture. One of the strongest components of this regal quality is the impressive and enormous clock tower that is the highest point of the building.

 

The New Gallery that is located directly opposite was opened in 1995 and was originally designed to function as a telephone exchange. However after some intensive remodeling was undertaken the building was fit for usage as a contemporary art gallery.

 

The art gallery like many other institutions of its kind regularly hosts different exhibitions that relate to different themes created by various artists. In addition there are also special programs that only require the payment of the standard exhibition fee but involve special meetings with artists, discussions with industry experts and more.

 

Staying in one of the Auckland hotels that is located nearby this destination such as Langham Hotel Auckland allows guests to easily access this destination and several others that are located in the area.

23 Apr 2010 Auckland a City at the Edge of the Ocean

Auckland has the largest international airport in New Zealand. Two domestic terminals allow frequent and accessible flights throughout the country.

The Auckland region includes four cities Auckland, Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere and three districts Franklin, Rodney and Papakura.

There are twelve Visitor Information Centres around the region. They provide impartial and comprehensive information, as well as reservation services.

Auckland, New Zealand is set between two sparkling harbours. It is a city at the edge of the ocean and is New Zealands largest city. Half urban and half marine, its a cosmopolitan experience wrapped up in a fascinating water world thats dotted with more than fifty islands.

Beautiful beaches, expansive parks, fascinating Polynesian culture.

Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanted holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping youre beginning to get the picture of Auckland.

In the Maori language, is known as Tamaki Makau Rau the maiden with a hundred lovers. It earned this name because it was a region coveted by many tribes. The blend of harbour, islands, Polynesian culture and modern city environment has created a lifestyle ranked amongst the best in the world.

The natural assets of Auckland have made it a dream destination for all kinds of travellers, from doing it on the cheap backpackers to cost is no issue super yacht owners.

2002 hosted one of the worlds greatest yachting events the Americas Cup and the city now has its own Americas Cup village to explore. However, you dont have to be a yachtie to appreciate what its surrounds have to offer.

Bustling shopping district, chic waterfront bars and restaurants are as much a part of things as the lovingly restored clapboard villas in the leafy inner suburbs of Ponsonby and Parnell. Theres plenty to see and do too visit the Auckland Museum with its impressive collection of Maori artefacts and Kelly Tarltons Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World, a unique attraction. Take the lift up the sky tower for an inspiring view of the city and its stunning surrounds, which beckon those with time to explore further a field.

For those with limited time Auckland is a wise choice for a short stay, not only for the range of accommodation and excursions on offer, but because the major sites of the Bay of Islands and Rotorua can be visited in a day trip from the city.

23 Apr 2010 Buying a Property in New Zealand

An island nation always has a special charm in the hearts of people who don’t have the luxury of living at such a paradisiacal place. New Zealand is one such country that oozes resplendence at every step. With nearest neighbour Australia, New Zealand is not a part of Australian continent. In fact, the country belongs to the largely submerged continent of Zealandia, which stretches from the north of New Caledonia to the south of New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic islands. New Zealand is comprised of three main islands besides several other small islands that enrich the topography of the country with some breathtaking views and inspiring scenery.

New Zealand Highlights

New Zealand is blessed with some of the choicest nature’s bounties, with pristine golden beaches, snow-capped alpine mountains, crystal-clear river waters, glacier-fed lakes, and abundant adventure activities you can indulge in. This means the country is agog with tourists all the year round offering numerous opportunities to earn handsome rental income from apartments and other vacation properties alongside some of the most-visited spots in New Zealand.

The inviting kiwi weather is an added incentive to visit the country. The outdoors of the country is ideal to indulge in plenty of activities, like bungee jumping, scuba diving, zorbing, mountaineering, kayaking, surfing etc.

The natural attractions of the country are enough to lure holidaymakers, retirees, and expatriates who look for real estate investment opportunities in the country. In fact, in addition to the vacation property, second-homes are also extremely popular for the property investors due to New Zealand’s favourable living conditions, cost of living, and the rosy projections of the nation’s economy.

If you think that New Zealand is just about adventure sports, think again. For the country has a rich history and tradition of the native Maori people, as depicted through several museums and art galleries. New Zealand also has a rich treasure of flora and fauna wildly found in the National Parks and the Ocean.

The country is extremely well connected with the rest of the world through airways and seaways. The internal transport of the country depends on efficient air, road, rail, and sea routes for a variety of commuters.

New Zealand is every bit a modern country having plenty of education opportunities for lower and higher level of students. All the modern amenities, like nightclubs, discos, pubs, restaurants, cafes, theatres, cinemas etc. can be easily accessed through major kiwi cities.

The nation’s economy is also booming with Agriculture playing a major role in its upswing.

Overall, New Zealand offers one of the best places to invest in real estate. Moreover, the British investors would love the place inhabited by majority English-speaking friendly people.

Property Market in New Zealand

In recent times, New Zealand property prices have hit the roof with surging demand from the European investors, particularly the British real estate investors. This has resulted in a slowdown in the New Zealand property market. And this also means that property is now much more affordable for the budget investors. The growth is definitely on the wane and the prices are dropping, yet no one is discounting New Zealand’s property potential.

Though low, the prices are still on a higher plank. For instance, luxury apartments in the capital city, Wellington, are highly priced at £400K+, and over in Auckland, it’s even more. However, small accommodation is reasonably priced in major kiwi cities. For instance, you can make off-plan investment in apartments in Auckland for £60K+.

The Studio Apartments in cities, like Auckland, are a safe investment. They guarantee regular rental income through people who often flock the cities for better job prospects. And with the high expectations from the nation’s economy in the coming years, major pressure has to be borne by the housing industry to feed the demand for more accommodation.

The current period is favourable for any kind of property investment in New Zealand. An astute investor will exploit the prevailing lower prices of New Zealand property, and make a killing in times to come.

The kiwi legal system is identical with the British Common Law system. Resultantly, trading in property is largely hassle-free in New Zealand. Moreover, there is no stamp duty to pay on property purchased in New Zealand.

It seems that owning a property in New Zealand is cakewalk for those who possess the required finance. However, for those who have limited budget, there are lots of financial institutions in New Zealand that offer lower interest rates on mortgages in New Zealand.

The hottest locations for property investment on the North Island include Wellington, Tauranga, and Auckland. The South Island has Nelson, Queenstown, and Christchurch as jewels in the real estate crown.

The potential real estate investors in New Zealand would do well if they hire a specialist to deal with all the legalities and other formalities required for ownership of property in the country. After all, you don’t expect to be ripped off your hard-earned money just because of some negligence on your part.

22 Apr 2010 Eaton Hotel, Hong Kong NEARS COMPLETION OF US$18m MAKEOVER

(Hong Kong, 13 November 2006) – Eaton Hotel, Hong Kong is nearing completion of a substantial US$18m makeover, giving it a new focus on exclusivity, efficiency and an understated urban polish designed to appeal to the new generation of business travellers.

“We’ve really looked closely at what today’s business traveller actually needs and I believe we are giving it to them, far more cost effectively than the five-star hotels but with no compromise on quality,” said Bob van den Oord, the 39-year old General Manager of the Eaton Hotel, Hong Kong.

Eaton Hotel, Hong Kong’s 461 rooms are being upgraded to a contemporary yet cosy style with modern high-tech features, restaurants have been revamped, a stylish new club floor concept, E Club, has been conceived, and one of Kowloon’s largest and most state of the art conference and banquet facilities has been completed.

“Our new E Club, brand new contemporary guestrooms, state-of-the-art conference facilities and a touch of urban style are just some of the features that are drawing savvy business travelers to Eaton Hotel,” says Bob van den Oord.

Located on Nathan Road in downtown Kowloon, close to the Jordan MTR station and just five minutes drive from the KCR station, ten minutes from the Star Ferry and 40 minutes from the airport, Eaton Hotel is also a superbly well located hotel for both business and leisure travellers.

The new E Club offers a stylish all day meeting and hang out space which is on a par with any top hotel’s executive floor facilities, and includes breakfasts, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and even free-flowing Moet et Chandon in the evenings. There are also computers with broadband internet access and meeting facilities, all in a comfortable contemporary environment which is a delight to linger in.

New-look guest rooms are comfortable and stylishly finished in contemporary warm, earth tones with dashes of natural colour reflecting the vibrancy of the location in the energetic heart of Hong Kong. All rooms feature luxurious 100% cotton, 300-threadcount sateen weave bedding which offers a level of comfort and luxury normally only found in the leading hotels.

Other room features include the ‘Eaton Easy Chairs’ which are probably the most comfortable desk chairs in town, as well as broadband internet links which are complemented by high-tech iHome™ IH5WB technology, the world’s first stereo clock radio connecting to iPods.

Besides these the rooms also feature comprehensive bathroom amenities, magnifying make-up/shaving mirrors, anti-mist bathroom mirrors, powerful hairdryers, the latest LCD TVs, universal power sockets and integrated coffee/tea making facilities.

Thanks to the superb new 3,000 sq metre Eaton Hotel Banquet and Conference Centre which can accommodate up to 550 guests or delegates with flexible configuration and state-of-the-art technology, Eaton Hotel now ranks among Kowloon’s top meeting destinations.

It has also become one of Hong Kong’s most popular wedding banquet venues, and features a unique spiral staircase which allows the newly wedded couple to make a unique and memorable Hollywood-style grand entrance on their special night.

Dining is also a highlight at Eaton Hotel, with the hotel’s chic, contemporary and award-winning signature restaurant Yat Tung Heen pioneering a new culinary movement in “nouvelle Cantonese” cuisine. The hotel’s newly refashioned Coffee Shop is one of the most popular all day dining venues in the district, while Eaton Hotel will be introducing an exciting new contemporary Japanese restaurant concept in early 2007.

The 24-hour Lobby Lounge is adjoined by a lush outdoor Garden Terrace – a green haven for breakfast or cocktails in the heart of the city, while the hotel’s Aroma Coffee Exchange is its own concept boutique coffee shop with trained baristas serving the world’s premium fresh-ground beans.

From now until January 31, Eaton Hotel is pleased to welcome guests with the “Eaton Room Grand Opening Package,” featuring complimentary E Club benefits, 30% off all food and beverage consumption inside the hotel, daily complimentary coffee delivered by Aroma Coffee in the morning, complimentary breakfast at E Club and Eaton Hotel’s signature Martini shaken in guest rooms on arrival. Prices start from just HKD900 for single as well as HKD1120 for double.

For reservations, please call (852) 2710 1828.

For information on Eaton Hotel, Hong Kong, please visit: hongkong.eatonhotels.com

About Langham

Langham has a legendary hotel heritage dating back to 1865 when the The Langham Hotel in London originally opened as Europe’s first Grand Hotel. For 140 years, this flagship hotel has been at the forefront of sophisticated and gracious hospitality. Today, all Langham Hotels worldwide inherit the same philosophy that reflects elegance, continuous innovation and genuine hospitality creating a truly unique hotel experience

About Langham Hotels International: Langham Hotels International (LHI) features six properties with over 2,700 rooms in five gateway cities across the four continents, namely, London, Boston, Hong Kong (2), Melbourne and Auckland. In each city Langham Hotels is associated with the prestigious “The Leading Hotels of the World” group which represents some of the world’s finest luxury hotels.

LHI is wholly owned by Great Eagle Holdings Limited a publicly listed company (HKSE: 41) which was founded in 1963 and was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972.

21 Apr 2010 Into the Blue

 

 After 16 years of banking, running three companies, caring for two children and six horses, my husband and I decided the life we had created was not for us. Despite spending 17 years together and loving every minute of each other’s company, Marcus and I, like many others, felt like prisoners of stress. We would spend our free time studying various holistic modalities, yearning to find a way to cope with our continual stresses without having to give up our careers and lifestyles. Yet we couldn’t seem to fully eliminate it from our lives – that is of course, until one day a single event changed our lives and inspired us to embark on a journey that would allow us to break free from the British mould and seek optimum health and serenity.

 

The straw that finally broke the camel’s back occurred on a cold, wet Monday morning. I received a phone call informing me that a dear friend and business associate aged 41 had died of a heart attack. Our friend was a couple of years younger than me, a typical banker – hard working and always stressed. He died on a Sunday morning in bed with his seven-year-old son playing next to him.

 

After our friend’s death, my husband Marcus and I spent so much time reflecting on our lives and how we had allowed stress to dominate our lives. Finally, I asked Marcus, “If we were free to make the choice where would we live?” His answer was the South Pacific! After much debate, we decided to set about unravelling our life. The challenge of this was all encompassing. It took about a year and a half, lots of drama and lots of heartache to let go of the lives that we had built and create a new one from scratch.

 

By August 2005, finally free from our chattels, we were ready to begin our greatest adventure. Despite not having a clue of what we would do for the rest of our lives – when one has a burning desire, fool or fancy does not play a part in the decision-making process. No matter what, we knew we had to go. The general consensus about us giving up all we had worked so hard to create was that we were either brave or stupid. Nonetheless, with nine suitcases, two kids, ages 5 and 12, we set off into the blue.

 

We planned our route via the US as it was our children’s dream to see Disney World. However Los Angeles was shocking for them and we spent most of our time explaining to our children why people were begging on the streets and why people there were so obese.

 

Next was Western Samoa, a delightful place steeped in history. Despite there being no hint of western pleasures, the people were happy, had great self-respect and looked well and vital. We got to know their culture and revelled in their uncomplicated, yet fulfilled lives. It amazed us how effortless life could be when the ‘mighty contemporary world’ was left behind. We treasured our time in Western Samoa as it was our first taste of freedom from the confines of modern civilisation.

 

Our next stop was Tonga, an archipelago of 171 tropical dots on the horizon. Let’s just say that we definitely weren’t ready for this culture shock. The Tongan people are amazing and truly gorgeous, but they know little of the outside world and frankly, have no real interest in it. They live simple lives in a place completely isolated from the ‘trappings’ of western society.

 

After some time, however, we realised that we could not home-school our children. We had initially thought that we could handle educating our own kids, but as it turned out, we weren’t cut out to be teachers. We didn’t want to become selfish in our quest for peace and tranquillity so we had to make yet another big decision and find a new place to move where our kids could be educated.

 

As we considered our options, we felt completely alone and almost like our new home had become a mental prison. At that moment, it hit us that we were on the other end of the only world we really knew, on a deserted beach, with no home, no focus and no idea what we were going to do with the rest of our lives. Having researched New Zealand years earlier, we regrettably decided to leave our tropical paradise for fairly more westernised shores. It was a gloomy day saying goodbye to our Tongan friends and the trip from Va-vau to New Zealand was very sad. In a way, we felt we had failed and perhaps lacked the right ingredients to pursue and find our dream.

 

New Zealand was yet another shock. After being on a small tropical island, the crowds of people and the noise levels were unbearable. We sat in McDonald’s, to the children’s delight and to what felt like our surrender, and contemplated our future. Then we did what the typical traveller did in New Zealand – we hired a camper van. Despite it being called a six-berth mobile transporter, it was certainly not for six people. Marcus and I spent six weeks sleeping top to toe, his shoulders too wide for us to be at the same end. New Zealand was possibly the lowest point of our journey and perhaps even our lives. We were confused and emotionally exhausted as we drove from one end of the county to the other, crossing mountain passes, over rivers and through dales, marvelling at the incredible views – but still, without a clue to what we were really searching for.

 

One thing I should point out during this stage of our journey is that we all experienced weight gain – not just a couple of pounds, but some serious kilos. Our New Zealand diet had a “Super Size Me” effect so I’d put on 13 kilos in six weeks. Years earlier, when I had opted to bleach my hair blond after it had begun turning grey, I was informed of a belief that the act of shaving one’s head allowed spirituality to enter the body – almost like a type of purification. So to add insult to injury, we shaved our heads in a campsite bathroom. Let’s just say, I didn’t feel purified, instead, it only made me look uglier than I felt already.

 

New Zealand became torturous after having driven 6,000 kilometres in six weeks. I have powerful memories of sitting on a beach called “Cape of Foul Wind” and crying into another bag of fish and chips, wondering what would become of us. Finally, we decided on arrival in Queens Town, where we would do every dangerous sport or activity we could find. When you spend years living a stressful life, it can be impossible to relax and so we were looking for any way to release our minds and bodies from the toxins and stressed energy that had enslaved us.

 

We set about throwing ourselves out of planes, bungee jumping, white water rafting and canyon swinging. The reality of sitting at the open door of a plane 16,000 feet up with only a parachute on one’s back really does remind you to be glad to be alive. Each activity brought us closer to freedom, loosening the invisible ropes we had tied around ourselves. Nonetheless, we knew that New Zealand was not a place we could live as it was just too similar to the life we had left behind. On our way back to Auckland, once again, my husband and I found ourselves facing each other and asking, “So where to now my darling?”

 

It took a week to get to the city, but even during all that time, we couldn’t decide on the next step of our journey. Upon our arrival, Marcus remembered reading about a boat for sale in Phuket, Thailand. It wasn’t a place on our list, we had never considered living there, it seemed so incredibly foreign to us and we had almost no knowledge of Thai culture and lifestyle, however, on a cold rainy day in Auckland we set off to Thailand on yet another journey to see if we could find a new place to call home. Getting off the plane in Phuket was a moment of sheer joy. Our daughter turned to me and said, “I love the weather mummy – look it’s not raining!” From that point onwards, it just kept getting better.

 

We moved into a wonderful apartment and began to look around. It’s not difficult to fall in love with a place where people are so incredibly nice and are smiling all the time. We had previously heard people promote Thailand as the ‘Land of Smiles’ and we discovered that it actually was a true account of the nation. We visited the boat that Marcus had seen advertised, which was responsible for bringing us there, but we decided not to buy it after considering how unrealistic it would be to live in it with two children. We found a house to live in, instead, and a school for the children.

 

Marcus and I finally began to relax and as everything quickly began to slot into place, we finally felt ourselves breathing peacefully. During this time, however, I had a personal and massive mountain to climb; my weight had escalated, my skin looked old and grey and despite finally having a home, both Marcus and I were still exhausted. We knew we had to find a way to reverse the damage the last few months of instability had done to our mental and physical health.

 

The holistic skills we had picked up along the way were put to the test. We used self-hypnosis techniques to curb our eating habits, Thai herbs to cleanse our body of toxins, colon hydrotherapy, a designed diet plan to help us all regain the strength we had lost due to our terrible travelling diets and coconut oil, which is truly the most remarkable product for weight loss and cell regeneration. We also met an incredible third generation Thai herbalist, 85 years young, who inspired us to try Thai herbs with ‘magical effects’. By implicating all these techniques and herbs, it took us only five months to drastically change our appearances; my skin looked and felt years younger and 13 kilos fell away with ease.

 

All of this was accomplished with the help of many friends who volunteered their help with tasks such as grinding raw ingredients by hand. As people noticed the amazing transformations Marcus and I underwent, they started following in our footsteps, helping themselves and others regain their health and vitality. Without meaning to, we had somehow moulded a ‘purity’ program that served as an effective weight loss and anti-ageing tool, as well as a fantastic way to revitalize the mind, body and spirit.

 

After a year of research, trials and tribulations, we took this concept into production. We found an organic Thai farmer who had been producing Thai herbal preparations for twenty years and convinced him to grow our herbs in his farm. We also decided to introduce ourselves to the luxury hotel and spa market as we felt it could facilitate people’s purification journeys, supporting and pampering them during their experience, as well as provide them with a venue where they could get educated and motivated.

 

Finally, everything was falling into place and we found ourselves witnessing remarkable results in ourselves, our children and our program, which we appropriately called ‘Puriti’. We had found our calling, ‘our flow’, and it has kept on ‘flowing’. Puriti has progressed at a tremendous rate, driven by our passion and the world’s new “wellness” consciousness. With the success of our program, we realised to what extent the “educated wellness seekers” are yearning for real solutions and guidance to their personal wellbeing.

 

During the last three years, we have witnessed the wellness industry in Asia explode! As spas and wellness centres around the world look into purification as the route to their guests’ wellbeing, people are waking from their slumber to the reality that we have one life to live and that life is precious.

 

So now I ask you, can you imagine looking and feeling better than you did ten years ago? I can… because I do look and feel better! It may be a bumpy journey, but there is always a way – a route – to optimum health and vitality. Speaking from my personal experiences, you can always find a path that is in keeping with our soul’s purpose.

 

“Everything will be ok in the end, if it’s not ok, it’s not the end…” (unknown)

 

For more information on Puriti programs, log on to www.puriti.org.

 

 

 

 

17 Apr 2010 Best ways to keep your house warm on a winters day

I have lived in extremely cold winter seasons in Canada. They have central heating, so it wasn’t so bad keeping my apartment warm. When I moved to Auckland, New Zealand, the winter was cold but not cold enough to have central heating.

Here, winter mornings can go down to five degrees C. It is important to keep the heat you have generated from your gas or electric heater. Windows are the most culprits where your precious heat escape. Go to a curtain place a buy thermal curtains. These curtains may be expensive but it is worthwhile in the long run because they are among the more useful tools for keeping a house warm. They use thermodynamics to keep heat locked in.

Next, check that your windows are not leaky and let cold air to seep in. Seal the windows, and if your windows are old and have broken frames. A more economical way is to install new aluminum frames. Double glazing is a good solution. Check for draft around the door frames and the bottom of the doors. Weather prove your doors. From the hard ware stores, you can buy weather stripping or a door sweep. You can make a wheat snake and put it at the bottom of the door, this is economical and does the job. If you don’t have time, roll a towel and stuff it at the bottom of the door.

With the duo mechanism, preventing cold air from coming in and warm air from escaping, half of your battle is won.

A major project, if you can afford it, would be to line your ceiling/attic and walls with pink batts. This is a major job but a worthwhile one. This is not a DIY (do it yourself) job. A commercial will come and line the rolled pink batts on your attic. They also have a blower to blow the insulating stuff between your walls.

A good habit to cultivate is, when you are not using a certain room, shut it so you don’t have the expensive heat escaping to that space and wasting your money. Train your children well. In the bathroom, it is good to invest in an extractor, to remove the water vapor without having to open the window. Remember to shut the bathroom door.

Follow my recommendations, your house will be cozy and heavenly to live in in a cold winter.