8 Unexpected Things I Learnt About Myself While Traveling Alone

No one was available to come on the trip of my dreams, so I did it myself.

What I Learnt From The Worst Date Of My Life

Luckily there are plenty of polite fish in the sea…

13 Inexplicably Weird Cafes You Need To See To Believe

Petting an owl while sipping hot cocoa from a toilet is the next big thing.

Diary Of A New York Fashion Week Intern

Lucy King, a student of Sydney’s The Fashion Institute in Surry Hills, had the amazing opportunity to fulfil a dream she’d had for years. She attended New York Fashion Week last month as a fashion intern – and it’s safe to say to experience has changed her forever. Here are some of Lucy’s experiences:

NYFW shows

Tome was by far my favourite show. Working backstage was amazing, the rush of energy I felt the whole time makes it the most memorable. The clothes were beautiful and so were the models we were getting ready. Famous faces of the likes of Shanina Shaik and Jessica Hart to name a few were present backstage, it was a brilliant start to kick off my time in New York.

Related: 6 Up-And-Coming Australian Designers

Tome, NYFW, New York

Favourite boroughs

I am definitely in love with the old world nature of cobble stone streets in a modern city. The West Village and Soho is full of history and hidden gems. I roamed the streets of these boroughs for hours on end. Soho is fantastic for shopping, where as the West Village is more so I place I would like to call home. It’s quaint and quiet streets definitely make you feel much more relaxed and there are plenty of nail salons and day spas to visit in your spare time.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is much better to go to at night; according to many New Yorkers I met. I visited at nine o’clock on a Sunday night and still lined up for an hour plus. Though the view is completely worth it! The silence and cold crisp air of the night made it a beautiful moment of my trip to remember. Definitely worth the wait.

MoMA/The Met

The Museum of Modern Art is great to spend part of your day at. Unlike The Met, which will take a full day to see and completely exhaust you. MoMa is in walking distance to Times Square and a five minute cab ride further downtown, where as The Met is all the way up in the Upper East Side. Central Park is right across from it though which is definitely worth a walk through.

New York Earth Room

One of my absolute favourite things I did in New York was see the New York Earth Room. One thing I love about this city is there is always something to do which will not cost you a thing. In a second floor loft in SoHo, there is a huge art installation which is made up of soil in a white room, with natural light streaming in from the floor length windows. If you love art like me this is definitely worth a look. Something so simple can really be quite beautiful and if you’re passing through Wooster St, just take a few minutes out of your day to take a look.


The Great Frog and The Cast are hands down my favourite shops in the entire city. The Great Frog makes sterling silver jewellery which is really beautifully crafted. They also have an amazing antique store hidden in the back which is worth checking out. The Cast is owned by a lovely couple Elisa and Chuck who hand make everything in store. They specialise in custom leather jackets, so this is definitely my go to place for anything leather!

The Smile/Café Gitane

One of the best brunch spots in the city! The food here is so natural and healthy and completely to die for. I feel that having sunday brunch in New York is a civic obsession. Expect a lot of mimosas and organic produce! My favourite.

Words and images via Lucy King

An Even Bigger Apple: BMID In NYC

In 2007, while on a trip to New York, a friend booked dinner at a hot new restaurant in an up and coming area of the city; the Bowery. “Now make sure the cab drops you right at the door”, she said, as the area was a little salubrious. Well no longer, the Bowery is now another hot spot on the ever changing island of Manhattan. Once the home of the down and out, the Lower East Side is now full of restaurants, bars, funky new hotels and residences.





A recommendation from another friend, this one in the hotel industry, had us based on our most recent trip to New York at the fabulous Hotel Ludlow, right in the thick of the Bowery; so new that the restaurant is still under construction. This pumping new spot, frequented by many in the arts industry, looks like it could have been an old bank or boutique department store in years gone by, but in fact it’s all new construction, with beautiful wood panelled walls, exposed beams and mosaic marble tiled floors. The furniture and lighting is a fab mix of custom, contemporary pieces and funky vintage. A cool eclectic sound track full of remixed retro music, makes the public spaces a delight to spend time in. The rooms have a perfect mix of Bowery vintage and contemporary luxury, with larger suites including potted garden balconies. Obviously I enjoyed my week here.



The neighbourhood is full of casual dining restaurants and bars, many with an industrial chic aesthetic. The clothes boutiques are another sign that this is a hot area; definitely a district made to wonder and explore. I loved the name of a bar a block from the hotel. It has a neon sign “No Fun”. With the “No” never being switched on. Love it.



Now that there doesn’t seem to be a bad area to live in Manhattan, some of the once questionable areas in the boroughs have also come into there own. None more so than Brooklyn, that includes the centre of the hipster universe, Williamsburg. This once industrial area has gone into hyperdrive as warehouses and small commercial buildings are developed into restaurants, hotels, stores and residences. This is the place for cool little boutiques, vintage markets and easy market style food. A visit to “Smorgasburg” is a must, with small stands selling an array of delicious home made food and drinks. The lobster roll is delicious. The “It” place to stay is the Wythe Hotel; it includes a fantastic restaurant on the ground floor and a sky bar on the 6th floor, with a killer view of Manhattan. Dress funky casual and prepare to hang with the uber cool.



The areas of Brooklyn heights and Park Slope are full of beautiful architecture from the late 1800s, most predominately the “Brownstones”. Spectacular rows of ornate terrace homes grace tree lined streets. It’s a quick subway ride into Manhattan, so these neighbourhoods are perfect for family homes. We have the great pleasure of working on one of these homes for our clients who have relocated from Sydney. This visit was our first site inspection and we were delighted with the incredible potential this grand old home provides, with 12 foot ceilings, marble fireplaces, ornate plaster work and concealed shuttered multi paned windows. The look for this home is NY loft meets Brooklyn funky with a gallery edge. A beautiful space with great clients, a perfect mix. This city never fails to inspire.





By Brett Mickan, a Sydney-based interior designer specialising in high-end residential design at Brett Mickan Interior Design

How To Get A Job In Your Dream City

In the words of Alicia Keys, New York City is the place dreams are made of. And for so aspiring professionals, myself included, we are willing to go anywhere to chase down a dream. Whether your ambition is to move into a swanky flat in the city or venture to the land Down Under, finding a job in your dream city is never easy. But when faced with those (seemingly) vast, job applications, you can see equally vast opportunities – and adventures. The hardest part about planning a big move is actually landing the job to make moving a reality. Here’s some tips on how to land a gig in your dream city:

Bucket list #1: Live in (insert dream city here)

Type “dream city” into Google, and you’ll be bombarded with thousands of search results. Forget everything you’ve seen on Pinterest: the sunsets, model poses with delectable eats, and creeper crowds of random people having fun in the streets. You might be down for any adventure, but it’s crucial to narrow it down to one or two of your dream cities to keep from breaking the bank.

Don’t get us wrong, we’d love to frolic along the beaches of Fiji or hit up sun, sand, and surf in Hawaii, but you need to find a winning combination. Hone in on looking for jobs in a couple cities that have both summer excursions and career advancement opportunities. If you find yourself not feeling the love, take time to regroup and come up with a new strategy. Coming up with a long-term plan with your dream city as the end goal is a good stepping stone for opening up your options.

Look into companies that have multiple offices with one being in your dream city. It may not be exactly how you want to kick off your wanderlust escape, but you’ll have the opportunity to transfer down the road.

Hunter-gatherer mindset

Upon grazing the potential job landscape, one has to use their primal instincts and connect with the herd. No, we’re not asking you to run wild into the Outback with the dingoes. One of the first steps you should take when searching for jobs in your dream city is reaching out to everyone (we mean everyone) you know who is living in the location you’re looking to move to. Sort through your LinkedIn connections to see if you know anyone who lives in the area or sign up for Google Voice phone number with the local area code. You can also hit up your college alumni association, this is a great way to remain plugged in.

Knowing someone who can connect you with a company contact, or provide you with a local address to borrow for your resume can be what you need to get to the next tier before getting an interview.

Book a ticket and just leave

At the very beginning of the job-hunting process, start saving for a travel nest egg, this chunk of change is what’s going to help you get to the last checkpoint. Schedule a trip a few months before your ideal move date and request an interview from all your job leads during the window of time you’ll be in town. By reaching out to request an interview on a specific date you might be more likely to get a response in a timely manner. Also, use your trip to scout out places to live and find new companies you may not have found through your online search. You can use MeetUp to search for events going on in the area. Getting your feet on the ground can greatly increase your chances of getting a new job title.

Don’t forget the nitty gritty details

If you’re moving within your own country, you can skip this pesky part but if you’re looking for work in an international company – you’ll need to understand their rules. In Australia it’s pretty common to ask to be hosted but not every company offers this option. This is the time to fully understand your own skills and what you can offer this company that their own citizens can’t. Go ahead and brag, this is the time when the spotlights all on you – let your inner narcissist shine. If you’re not in a rush, get those extra certifications you’ve always said you’d take, take a leadership course and brush up on your negotiation skills – you’re going to need them.

Keep moving forward

If all things go according to plan and you’ve followed some of the previous tips, we can only hope you’re packing up your life along with some snazzy new desk accessories for your new digs in a matter of a couple months. If location has been a huge barrier in your search the next step might be to bite the bullet and make the move anyway. You can always keep your items in storage if needed. This is definitely the most costly option, but you’ll be in your dream city 24/7 making it that much easier to get that job.

Throughout the process of moving also make sure to be tracking your expenses and hold on to receipts. Your employer might offer to reimburse you or you could be eligible to deduct the move as a job-related expense on your taxes, which would be the cherry on top after landing a job in your dream city!

The journey to your dream city can at times have some nightmarish obstacles, but as long as you do proper planning and stay fiercely focused you’ll be well prepared for buying that one-way ticket.

By Leah Rise, an accomplished world traveller and wolfdog charmer. She lives and breathes the balance of Search + Social every day in her dream city of Sydney, Australia. After touring over 20 countries, Leah has established her home base with seoWorks leading and developing strategies for several global clients. 

Has Lara Bingle Gone Too Far?

There are lots of pretty girls in the world but Lara Bingle has certainly made a business out of it. Not just by modelling and red carpet appearances but also by a string of public ‘dramas’ and a steady flow of selfies – often topless. To silence critics who claim she’s another Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, Lara makes her money promoting clothing brands and attending events the rest of us would never be invited to. (Wait, isn’t that exactly what Paris and the Kardashian sisters do?)

Despite parting ways with another management team, don’t feel too sorry for Lara. She has a new beau, actor Sam Worthington, and they look head over heels in love. Why wouldn’t they be? Lara has a frankness about her that is refreshing. She tells the truth in interviews, even when her publicist is frantically gesturing for her to stop talking. And Sam is on track to become one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. But is Lara a liability?

Lara Bingle, Sam Worthington, Hollywood, New York City, red carpet

Recently, her impulsiveness becomes an issue when she became embroiled in a paparazzi beat-down, while the new couple strolled around New York. In February, Lara was followed for four hours by paparazzo, Li Sheng. Li followed her from store to store and called out her name relentlessly. One of the many reasons celebrities leave New York is that it is impossible to get away from photographers. Every time you turn a corner, there they are. In Los Angeles, celebs jump in a car and disappear into their compound where the paparazzi can’t snap them.

What is an everyday occurrence for all NYC-based A-listers took a nasty turn when, after pestering Lara constantly, she turns and storms towards the paparazzo and strikes Sheng and/or grabbing for his camera. What Lara did after she hit/pushed the photographer was call Sam and plead with him to come and help her. When Sam arrives, she can be heard telling him the photographer kicked her. Sam then hits the guy. He could have had a stern word with Sheng and slunk off but, when your girlfriend claims to have been attacked, the instinct is to start swinging and ask questions later.

It seems Lara accidentally forgot to mention she approached the photographer first and grabbed for his camera (where he can be heard yelping, as if getting attacked, on video footage.) After Sam allegedly strikes the photographer four times in the face, Lara keeps trying to wrestle the camera from Sheng. She doesn’t have anything to lose, her career is built on public spectacle. But, with an assault charge, Sam could lose his ability to work or possibly even enter the US again. He is one of Australia’s most talented actors and it would be a shame for him to lose those opportunities because no one can find an insurance company willing to insure him (a necessity for even low-budget films) with a felony conviction.

In Hollywood, anything goes if it’s not caught on camera. Video of these altercations is what the paparazzi make money on and Sheng hit the jackpot that day. He made cash both ways: selling the footage to news outlets and the inevitable settlement he will receive for his injuries. What is uncertain is whether the blissful union of Sam and Lara can withstand her public displays of affection/affliction…