I first started keeping holiday journals as a child on our family travels around New Zealand. My parents always told me “See your own country first” Their reason for this was that when I grew up and went on to travel the world, I could tell anyone I met all about New Zealand. And they were right! After 22 years of living in London and travelling the world extensively, I am regularly asked about what to see and do in NZ and I love sharing information on my favourite places back home. We spent many happy holidays together as a family of four exploring our own country, from Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island to Bluff in the deepest South. I would paste entrance tickets, maps, brochures, photographs, even white feathers found on the beach into my travel scrapbook and at the end of each day, I would write up a full report on the days activities. My mum once commented on my enthusiastic descriptions of what food we had eaten and where. I remember thinking then, as I do now, that it was the most important part of the day and deserved to be mentioned!
Back then, my holiday photographs were shot using what’s now known as a ‘vintage’ Canon Demi Blue - half frame camera. I remember the joy of winding on the film to the end after taking 48 very carefully composed snaps and dropping it off to the chemist to be developed. I would have to wait a week before picking up the photos. It felt like Christmas Day every time I opened the Kodak yellow envelope of holiday pics. I would always be so delighted if I got one or two good ones! I still get the same feeling today when I return from a trip, export my photos to Lightroom and make my selections for editing... although these days I expect a few more than just one or two good ones! For me, there's no better feeling than when you've shot a great photograph that perfectly captures a moment in time and that’s why I am a photographer. I still get excited by my images and I enjoy the delight they bring.
After almost 20 years of working in travel at both ends of the industry, from the budget youth market to representing high end, luxury hotels and having undertaken many fabulous personal trips all over the world, I have decided to start putting my forthcoming travel journals online. I want to combine my words, my recommendations and my discoveries alongside my photographs once again, but this time, perhaps in a more mature way!
I have stayed in tents, hostels, boutique and 5 star hotels throughout my life and I am enthusiastic about all levels of accommodation, although these days I tend to opt for luxury hotels as I am the Operations Director & Head of Photography at Mason Rose. Whatever the accommodation, my personal view is that if some thought has been given to the design, if it’s clean and in a good location with adorable staff and friendly service then it’s a great place to stay.
Before each trip, I often buy the latest Insight Guide as a starting point to my destination research, which as a series of travel guide books, have a good balance of information and photographs... but more and more I find myself asking my well travelled friends for their own travel tips or checking Instagram for ideas on where to stay, where to eat and what to see. I have decided that those will be the three main categories that I will cover for each destination that I visit from now on. Where to Stay. Where to Eat. What to do. I hope that my new travel blog is inspiring and helpful, but most of all leads you to having a good time as you explore the destinations that I cover and in turn, make your own exciting discoveries that you will want share with us all.
Andie Moore is a London based destination and lifestyle photographer writing about travel, hotels and destination weddings.