Postcards from the Road: Notebook Edition Series 001

Apart from tote bags and tumblers, this January's hustle involved putting together notebooks on top of Series 001 and Series 002 of postcards. With Series 001 of notebooks, I curated these 10 photos from my travels. 

Edit: Ever since the launch of the postcards, the brand has grown into several more lines of postcards, tote bags, notebooks and tumblers.

Postcards Series 001 | Postcards Series 002 | Postcards Series 003 | Postcards Series 004 Singapore

Tote Bags Series 001 | Tote Bags Series 002 | Tote Bags Series 003 Singapore

Notebooks Series 001 | Notebooks Series 002 | Tumblers Series 001

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1. Milan, Italy

After I left Spain, I took a month long trip around Europe, and Milan was one of my first few stops. If I'm being completely honest though, I didn't love Milan. It wasn't big enough of a city to keep me entertained, nor was it small enough of a town for that quintessential small European town escape. Milan isn't all that beautiful out of all the Italian cities either, and grey skies kind of bog me down. The one respite though, was the bright yellow trams traversing through the city, an integral part of Milan's public transport infrastructure. 

Trams have been around in Milan since the 1800s, and gradually began to be replaced by the metro network, replacing many integral lines. Post War, the current trams still in use were also upgraded, but there's something about the old school charms of the older trams that make for great photos, and I manage to catch this one that stopped on the street picking up passengers, and the tram driver gave me a smile after I'd taken the photo and headed on my way.

Get the Milan Tram Notebook here!


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2. Sintra, Portugal

When I spent last Christmas in Lisbon and everyone remarked to head to Sintra for a day, this wasn't the postcard perfect picture I thought I was going to get. Yes, the palaces were jaw dropping on sight, but that I expected, this I didn't.

I took this picture when I headed up the gardens of the National Palace of Sintra, where there was a terrace overlooking the city centre. On the ground, the city centre is nice but not all different from many other Southern/Mediterranean Europe towns, but the view from up top oh man. Sintra made all my small town European dreams come true at that point.

The sun was shining overhead and its rays seeped into my lens, the buildings were weathered but still beautiful, some perched on a hill occupying more of the frame, and the rolling greens of the forest behind. This, I could do for a while.

Get the Sintra in the Sun Notebook here!


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3. Cascais, Portugal

Another day trip popular with travellers in Lisbon is Cascais, a summer beach town on the Estoril Coast where many flock to for the seaside. Even though we were there in the winter, what I've found with traditional summer beach towns is that if they're big enough, it usually becomes a cool experience in the winter. Choose a good day with sunshine (not hard in Portugal), have an idea of things to do and see, and even if you aren't sipping on cocktails on a lounger, you don't need to to enjoy it.

For me, Cascais was beautiful enough in the sunshine with plenty to do (as well as a short jaunt to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of the European mainland), and one of my favourite sunsets I witnessed was at a rocky "beach" we walked off the trail to to see the sun dip into the Atlantic Ocean. 

As the sun was setting, we passed by the Cascais lighthouse, and I have a couple other pictures in a different framing that I might do something with in the form of postcards, but this I really wanted to put on the book and it's one of my favourite memories of Cascais.

Get the Cascais Lighthouse Notebook here!


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4. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Bondi's always been on my bucket list, and when I headed to Bondi, the beach was thronged with visitors because of the Festival of the Winds, Australia's largest kite flying festival (which probably explains the crowds in the photo). There's something about Bondi on a day of sunshine, and this day could not have been more perfect. The waves were rolling in in every shade of blue, beachgoers had their mats laid out, friends got together over a couple beers, and everyone was just in a great mood. 

Get the Bondi Beach Notebook here!


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5. Bondi Icebergs Club, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Of course, I can't talk about Bondi without talking about the Icebergs Club, founded by a group of friends in 1929.

This was the picture I saw on Instagram multiple times which fuelled by wanderlust for Sydney. 

I needed to see this pool for myself.

Ocean pools, or rock pools as they're more commonly known, are a popular feature dotting the coastline, especially of New South Wales. These pools were built to protect swimmers from the strong tides and some dangerous marine life, and the way they rise out of the rocks seemingly as part of the coastline is oddly at home yet not quite at home too.

Seeing this sight in front of my very eyes was so worth it. 

I think I might've taken about a thousand photos, this being just one of them.

Get the Bondi Icebergs Club Notebook here!


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6. Greater Tokyo, Japan

One of my favourite things about travelling and photography, is when I take a picture I didn't necessarily plan to take.

This was one of those moments.

We took a train out of Tokyo to head to Kamakura, a mountainous area of shrines, temples and views of the Sagami Bay. 

On the way there, the train pulled through suburbs and small towns, empty fields, and in this shot, the mountains. I wanted to get a picture of the mountains so badly, and train photography is quite the challenge, each time an out of place lamp post finding its way into the frame and blocking your subject, the overhead cable lines dipping into frame etc.

The best photography from a train for me, is photography that doesn't look like it was taken from a train. And here's a photograph of said perfect moment, clear blue skies, perfect framing and all. 

Get the Japan Mountains Notebook here!


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7. The Maldives

I feel like this isn't really a thing worth mentioning, but The Maldives are picture perfect, especially when you find yourself on an island like this.

Many upper scale hotels and resorts occupy their island (but you don't have to break the bank to have that island paradise experience— here's how I did it) and on the resort we were on, just like many others, they offered a whole host of activities you pay as you sign up for.

We signed up for a Catamaran sailing experience to a sandbank.

This has always been something I've wanted to see for myself. 

A completely empty island with powder white sand with clear blue waters on every side?

Yes please.

Here's a photo I took of the sail we headed out on from the corner of the island, and it remains one of my biggest takeaways from the Maldives.

Get the Maldives Sandbank Notebook here!


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8. Arabian Desert, Dubai Emirate, United Arab Emirates

Being at pop up markets and festivals for booths the past few months, I've had many ask me if I shoot on film, to which the answer is that I shoot purely on digital, and I maintain that it's not about the medium or channel you use for photography, but other more important things like composition, framing and cropping to really make a picture stand out.

Case in point, I took this photograph when I was 17 on an iPhone 4 in Dubai.

An iPhone 4.

There's something about red sands for me, maybe the fact that it looks like its from another planet, so I'll definitely have to head to Wadi Rum in Jordan someday, but for now this experience I had in Dubai will suffice.

The stark contrast between the skyscrapers and yachts at the pristine marina, and the nothingness of the Arabian Desert just a short drive out is one that still boggles my mind.

Unfortunately I didn't have the interest for photography the way I do now when I was 17, so I don't have many photos of my trip to Dubai, but this was the one salvageable one I managed to pull from my archives, and I knew I had to do something with it so here we are.

Get the Arabian Desert Notebook here!


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9. Thieves' Market (Feira da Ladra), Lisbon, Portugal

The Thieves' Market in Lisbon in the shadow of the church is one of the biggest markets in the city, with antiques, vinyls, postcards and stamps from a forgotten age, old coins from when Portugal had its own currency before the Euro, old telephones, secondhand clothes and just about everything in between.

I managed to find this perfect photo opportunity with vendors hawking their wares, and shoppers bargaining for the lowest price along this street framed by a typical row of colourful houses and buildings in Lisbon.

Get the Lisbon Thieves Market Notebook here!


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10. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is known for its stunning hilltop views from many a miradouro, monument, or rooftop bar (I compiled a list of where to get the best city views here).

This I took from the top of the Rua Augusta Arch, at the edge of Praça do Comércio right in the heart of downtown, and it's where I got to take my photograph of the iconic red roofed buildings of Lisbon. 

Get the Lisbon Skyline Notebook here!