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The World Awaits: travel tales to inspire your wanderlust Join travel journalists and editors Kirstie Bedford and Belinda Jackson for insightful stories from Australia and the world that will inform, entertain and inspire.

  • EP 23: Take the Slow Road or the Spice Road
    by The World Awaits on November 29, 2023 at 10:12 pm

    Have you ever wanted to pack everything up and do the Big Lap around Australia?  Kirianna Poole did, and so along with her husband, they bought a vintage camper, refitted it, and with a toddler in tow, circumnavigated Australia. They’ve now also covered the length of New Zealand and have Japan in their sights. Kiri talks to Kirstie about her book, The Slow Road Cookbook, her remarkable journey (and two more pregnancies along the way), some of her favourite spots to stop, and her love of cooking on the road, See theslowroad_ on Insta.  “The spice trade is the second oldest profession and has about as many rogues in it as the oldest profession,” says Belle’s guest, Ian Hemphill. The founder of spice emporium Herbie’s Spices, Ian talks about the world of spices – and why he never brings them back in his luggage. Ian has spent decades travelling the world seeking the best spices, from the markets of southern India to Spain’s Basque region, and he also leads occasional spice tours to India, see We also reveal the newest travel trends from Expedia, and talk about some of the newest and refurbished airport hotels, and give you the low-down on Skytrax’ award for the world’s top airport hotels.  A big thanks to our sound producer Alaisdair Leith and if you’d like to buy us a coffee (so to speak) so we can keep the show on the road, please check out our ko-fi account at .. and we’d love it if you could hit that subscribe button, too, at  (00:15) Travel writer of the Year link (05:23) Expedia’s travel trends link (08:28) Author Kiri Poole about roadtripping in a vintage Kombi link  (22.37) new airport hotels and Skytrax’ best airport hotel link (27:32) Ian Herbie Hemphill on the world’s spice routes link #theworldawaits #travelpodcast #wanderlust #explore #escape #adventure #vanlife #spiceroad #herbiesspices #herbies #theslowroad #india  — Send in a voice message:

  • EP 22: Brit film hotspots & Wellness in Mornington
    by The World Awaits on November 23, 2023 at 12:19 am

    Fancy taking broomstick riding classes, or discovering the Peaky effect in the British Midlands? Maria Sykes of Visit Britain encourages you to load your watchlist with the best new Brit flix, including the new Bridgerton and The Crown series, and Welcome to Wrexham for some Welsh football action. Add Wonka to the mix, then go explore the destinations, including Oxford, Bath and Lime Regis. For more inspo, see “People are exhausted… we see a lot of people burning out, so guests are looking for a solution for exhaustion, for stress, for how to live an ambitious, successful life but not burn out,“  says Lyndall Mitchell. An author, accredited coach and founder of Aurora Spa Group, Lyndall talks about why wellness travel is in demand, the types of people seeking it out and what the future is going to hold., We also talk about the best tourism villages according to the World Tourism Organisation (⁠⁠), and Conde Nast Traveler’s wellness hotel hotlist – which includes the divine new Banyan Tree AlUla in Saudi Arabia, — Send in a voice message:

  • EP 21: Rebuilding Maui & Life in Bhutan
    by The World Awaits on November 15, 2023 at 11:15 pm

    “Maui needs visitors, it’s very much open .. and the more people that come to visit and spend money here, the better it is for Maui’s recovery”, says Lianne Driessen from Sail Trilogy, a 50-year-old tourism business integral in helping rebuild Maui. Lianne talks to Kirstie about the fires that devastated Maui, including claiming her own home 12 weeks ago, and what you can do to help in its recovery,  Did you know there are only 45 foreigners living in the tiny kingdom of Bhutan? One of them is Carissa Nimah, an Australian who is responsible for marketing the Land of the Thunder Dragon to the rest of the world. Surrounded by snowy Himalayan peaks, temples and a Buddhist approach to everything, she talks to Belle about the hiking trails, homestays and spirituality of Bhutan,   We’re also announcing the winners of our giveaway, two copies of Lonely Planet’s new book, Best in Travel 2024  We also give you some tips to ensure your insurance claim is successful if you suffer the fate of monkeys (or people) stealing your belongings, and we cover Fodor’s 2024 No List; travel list of places to avoid,  (00:05:22) Rebuilding Maui (00:28:21) Let’s go to Bhutan! — Send in a voice message:

  • EP 20: Mindful travel in Nepal & Hiking with refugees
    by The World Awaits on November 8, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Walking slowly in silence in the Nepalese Himalayas is just one of the ways travel writer Nina Karnikowski says we can embrace mindful travel. Belle talks to Nina about taking the time to travel, and taking in the world around us on a more acute level. “We can travel at a pace so fast, we actually miss all the wonder around us as we tick our boxes and return home exhausted,” she says. You can see more about Nina’s work, including her latest book, The Mindful Traveller, at ⁠, and for more about her tour to the Nepalese Himalayas, visit For many refugees from war-torn countries, settling into Australian life can be daunting. Especially for those who have suffered trauma most of us can’t even imagine. Finding solace in nature himself, Neil McCulloch decided to start a charity where he could help new refugees in Australia settle into life here, and experience an Aussie pastime, camping and hiking – and First Hike Project was born, Neil talks to Kirstie about how the transformative effect of nature on many of the refugees he takes into the Aussie bush, and why it’s so life-changing. We also reveal the world’s most loved landmarks, including which Australian landmark makes the list (it might just surprise you), share tips on the best ways to save money when you’re travelling in Europe, and take a little ride down the Great Victorian Rail Trail, see — Send in a voice message:

  • EP 19: Bill Bensley on philanthropy & Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2024
    by The World Awaits on November 1, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    Bill Bensley is world renowned for his unique, inspiring and award-winning hotel designs and eye-catching architecture, bringing to life more than 200 resorts, hotels and palaces in over 30 countries. He is also a concerned conservationist and passionate philanthropist, and a pioneer in helping communities, and preserving conservation and wildlife. He tells Kirstie why he’s so passionate about philanthropy and his next big project, Also, Lonely Planet has released its new Best in Travel 2024, an annual guide to the top destinations to visit next year. Chris Zeiher from Lonely Planet tells Belle why Mongolia is the place to be in 2024. We also talk about new cycling and train routes, best sustainable destinations and great value travel; expect to hear about destinations as far afield as Spain and Palau, and Australia’s own Kangaroo Island, GIVEAWAY! We also have two copies of the beautiful Best in Travel 2024 coffee-table book to give away – just drop us a line at [email protected] or leave a message via our contact page, And if you’d also like to do a walking food tour of Footscray, which Belle did recently with Intrepid Travel and the Australian Society of Travel Writers – or a morning in Delhi or a tour of New York’s brownstone buildings, amongst other experiences – check out Intrepid Travel’s awesome Urban Adventures, ⁠ We also chat about the best (and worst) places to travel as a solo female traveller, from Malaysia to South Africa, you can see the results here (though we disagree with some of them!) And the world’s top sunset locations according to research commissioned by left luggage specialist Bounce, is right here in our own back yard, in Uluru. Find out where the other top spots around the world are for a setting sun, — Send in a voice message: