June 26, 2017

When I think back to my very first solo backpacking trip around Southeast Asia in 2013, I remember having moments of feeling lost and homesick, and moments of laughing like crazy during beers with new friends. I remember wandering temples and unsuccessfully haggling fo...

May 24, 2016

Sometimes the internet can ruin our travels before we set foot there. We roll up to the bus station after a jerky overnight ride and we know exactly what we’re going to see. We’ve looked up the best restaurants on Trip Advisor, we’ve read lists of all the top local act...

May 13, 2016

Backpacking really brings out the daredevil in me. It must be because out in the world nobody knows what a big scaredy cat I am, so out there I can be the person I want to be. Or it might be that travel is all about saying yes to life and giving all those crazy adventu...

April 11, 2016

I love street markets because they are entirely unpredictable. Eager saleswomen call out to me, they drape scarves around my neck and give me slithers of fruit to taste, cajoling me to buy this, or this, or maybe this?

I would begin my night market wanderings at the fir...

November 1, 2015

So it turns out that silk weaving is not my calling.


In the lovely land of Laos, we fortunate travellers can take a class and learn to weave silk. There’s a wonderful little silk weaving workshop in Luang Prabang oddly named Ock Pop Tok and for $60 I dyed and weaved m...

August 20, 2015

Southeast Asia is phenomenal.

Here is where you will spend lazy days on marvellous beaches and eat the most sumptuous dishes of your life. You will have adventures in weather that warms the soul, and every corner of the region holds the secret of something new.

The lang...

August 7, 2015

While planning my first backpacking trip to Asia I googled the cost of travel over and over and never really believed the claims that I could backpack the region on $30 a day and now I’m here telling you its entirely doable with the right know-how.

However, I felt that...

May 27, 2015

Please excuse the terrible pun in the title; I really don't know what I was thinking.


Vientiane in Laos is the sleepiest capital city I've ever set foot in. Traffic is languid.  Days are lost roaming the quiet streets in search of cups of iced coffee and observing peop...

January 10, 2015

It is French. It is Asian.

It is young monks in saffron robes talking on cellphones.

It is a wet heavy heat, and it is the heady perfume of frangipani.

It is the smell of freshly baked baguettes and steaming spicy noodle soup.

It is fierce dragons adorning proud golden tem...

December 1, 2014

Sunset in Vang Vieng

The golden temple Luang Prabang

A typical bridge, washed away and rebuilt after each monsoon

I´ve been thinking a lot lately about this unpresuming little country tucked snugly between Vietnam and Thailand.

Proud and lovely temples around every corner....

November 28, 2014

Southeast Asia is truly the home to the dishes of my dreams. It's the fresh ingredients, the simple balance of sweet and sour flavours and the punch of chillies that we just can't achieve in our Thai restaurants at home. Even the simplest street stalls across Asia do i...

November 22, 2014

I'm a chef and I´m not always excited to try new foods.

There. I said it.

I just couldn´t manage the fried tarantulas in Cambodia, or grasshoppers in Thailand. I tried to talk myself into crunching through their crispy little bodies, but there´s something about creatures...

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The Travel Natural

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Hey, I'm Emma

Fuelled by wanderlust, curiosity and a little restlessness, a natural at budget travel, so naturally, a travel blogger. An experienced chef, a proud kiwi, and a burgeoning photographer. And my old friends reading and writing? We go way back.

All content is copyright of The Travel Natural and cannot be used, reproduced or manipulated without my express consent.

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Thailand & Myanmar

Napier, Lake Waikeremoana, Wellington - NZ

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