Kira Jean, author of Kira in the Middle, shares a diary with Travel Junkie Diary. “In my work, I combine my knowledge as a yoga teacher and life coach, with nearly a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry, to guide people towards living and leading from within. I work with highly sensitive people teaching coping strategies and self-management skills, as well as entrepreneurs, creatives, and people working in health and healing professions.”
Here is her Diary
Destination Tasmania, Australia
I come from the Huon Valley, which is a rural town around forty minutes south of the capital, Hobart, and I recently visited there at the end of last year.
Living in Dubai I love being able to get away and get close to nature. Not only does visiting Tasmania give me the chance to hang out with family and friends, but it’s also one of the most pristine places on the planet. It’s very much “untouched” and has a rugged, earthy feeling to it. The natural surroundings are wild, and filled with native plants and animals. It’s definitely different to the bustling city and arid desert of Dubai.
There I can connect to my roots again and it helps me feel centered and grounded.
Growing up in this kind of environment has given me a deep connection to nature and to all living things. I grew up living off local produce and fruits and vegetables grown in our backyard. There were many places to roam, and a lot of untouched land. The pace of Tasmania is slow and old-worldly, a complete contrast to the modern speed and infrastructure of Dubai.
Stayed at When I visit alone I usually stay with my parents in the Huon Valley, but if my husband is traveling with me we stay at the harbour in Hobart. My favourite hotel there is the Henry Jones Art Hotel.
There’s many restaurants around the Harbour and the location of The Henry Jones Hotel is amazing. The hotel has an incredible creative, yet relaxing, energy to it, which I love. It’s situated in a row of renovated 1820s warehouses and still holds it’s old character and charm. It was the first art hotel to open in Australia. I love wrapping myself up in warm clothes and drinking tea in the courtyard of a morning while I work from my computer. It’s the perfect location for getting my creative juices flowing.
In My Suitcase Tasmania is known for having four seasons in one day! When I go I pack clothes for cold weather, but also sun protective gear. The sun can be piercingly strong even on a cold day, so skin protection is essential if outdoors. There’s a lot of outdoor activities to do in Tasmania, so I also pack comfortable walking shoes. I’m not much of a hiker, but my husband is, and on our next trip he’ll be taking his hiking boots. Generally the climate in Tasmania is cool. It’s close to Antarctica and the breeze can be quite chilling. I also pack a waterproof jacket for rainy days or for going fishing with my Dad.
Diary As a one-woman-show working primarily from my laptop at home, work doesn’t stop when I leave the country! One of the great things about my job is that most of my work can be done from anywhere in the world. This has been my dream for a very long time. Writing and creating, and having an outlet for self-expression, and at the same time making a difference in the world, has been the driving force behind my business. When I travel I still love to wake up early before everyone else and have time to myself. I wake up around 6:30am – 7am (that’s a sleep-in for me!), shower, followed by half an hour of meditation, then fifteen minutes of journaling/brainstorming. I usually have a green juice at this time. Then when my husband wakes up we have breakfast together at the hotel,
before heading out for the day. If my husband is sleeping in I try to get some of my coaching calls or writing done, otherwise I set aside a couple of hours in the afternoon around 4-6pm. In Hobart I love walking around the harbour and visiting beautiful little boutique stores selling Tasmanian products. Around 12:30pm I visit The Pollen Tearoom in Battery Point for lunch, which is my favourite organic and raw food cafe. We also make many trips to The Huon Valley to visit family and friends during our stay. If I’m there for awhile I’ll usually visit my dear friend Ben, at Tranquil Point Yoga Sanctuary, for my yoga fix. By 5pm the shops begin to close and it’s back to the hotel for a nap or to catch up on some work if I didn’t have time in the morning. Hobart is definitely not a late-night city. The shops close around 5pm, and during the week most restaurant will close around 10pm. We go to the hotel restaurant or a restaurant nearby in the harbour around 7:30pm for dinner, and then back to the hotel and in bed with a good book by 10pm.
Dined in My favourite place for lunch is Pollen Tea Room, for the best teas and raw food. Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place is also a favourite of mine, serving a a changing menu based on fresh produce. In the Huon Valley I enjoy visiting the Cat’s Tongue Chocolatiers for cheeky treats, and although I don’t drink, Willie Smith’s Cider House has a beautiful atmosphere and great non-alcoholic beverages. For dinner my favourite stop is Garagistes. The food there reflects the seasonal changes of Tasmania and is sourced from the very best producers. It also serves only organic and biodynamic beverages. On my last trip though I was keen to check out the new Franklin Restaurant in Hobart. It was the interiors that first caught my eye, however the food was just as impressive too.
Shopped On my recent trip, I shopped in Hobart at Athol – The Art of Wellness, which had an amazing range of luxe wellness and lifestyle products. I was able to stock up on some yoga apparel and gorgeous beauty products. Belle & Paige and Luxe are my go-to boutiques for clothing, and at Gather on Liverpool Street I was able to find some beautiful hand-made gifts to bring back for family and friends in Dubai.
Tips As for what to expect – expect unbelievable views, incredible scenery, and four seasons in one day! Tasmania has that beautiful old-world charm, however is quite progressive in terms of social issues such as equality. The spoken language is English, and there’s a comparatively small international community, compared to other Australian states. There’s many outdoor activities to do for the adventurous, including rafting, hiking, and bush-walking. For me, I love to indulge in the beautiful seafood and fresh produce from the region, while catching up with old friends. Any travellers to Tasmania must visit the Salamanca Markets and MONA – The Museum of Old and New Art. My only warning is to be prepared for Tasmania’s strict quarantine laws. The government of Tasmania is determined to protect the pristine environment of the island and therefore has strict quarantine laws for incoming visitors.
Tasmania is a beautiful getaway, and if you’re looking to get back to basics and close to nature then it’s definitely worth the trip. Be sure to check out MONA – Museum of Old and New Art and the Salamanca Markets if staying in Hobart. Or if you’re looking to really get away head to Cradle Mountain or Freycinet Lodge, and let your mind drift as you look out into the gorgeous views.
A visit to Wineglass Bay, voted one of the top ten beaches in the world is a must, as well as a trip to the Huon Valley, where you can walk among the tree tops at the Tahune Forest Airwalk.
For those who want the full mind- body-soul experience, visit my friend Ben at Tranquil Point Yoga Sanctuary. He offers year-long retreats, daily yoga classes and there’s a 100% local organic store onsite.
How to get there Emirates Airlines. Getting to Tasmania is quite the trip. I flew fourteen hours to Melbourne, followed by a forty minute connecting flight from Melbourne to Hobart. Choosing a good airline for the long-haul flight is a must and I always carry healthy snacks in my bag. I flew to Melbourne rather than Sydney, as I find Melbourne airport a lot easier to get around. The domestic terminal is literally next door to the international terminal, so it’s easy to move between the two. There’s some very reasonably priced domestic airlines that fly daily from Melbourne to Hobart. I flew with Jetstar for this leg of my journey.