Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist

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Tipsy Travelling

Detail of Painting on handmade Thai paper, 70 x 100cm, 2010

My life is split between two amazing cities: Sydney and Bangkok. At first glance they seem to have little in common besides loads of fresh produce and a generous dose of sunshine. Bangkok has double the population, ten times the pollution, and costs a fraction of what it takes to live in Sydney. But both cities are a haven for long-term travelers – and the travel industry that caters to them.

Last night the Sydney Travel Tribe met in the city’s CBD (Central Business District), and we talked late into the evening, fuelled by a World Nomads-sponsored bar tab. Most of us run websites – like the Travel Tribe co-founder Ian, who runs Travellr.com – or we write about travel online. It was an excellent chance to talk travel p*rn. I saw Stuart from Travelfish for the first time in years; met Brooke, a fellow American in Sydney; ran into Dina, who’s passing through town on her trip around the world; was bowled over by the character behind Brokepacker, a new discount hostel site; met several writers; and had a look at the BUG guidebook and publisher.

All of the websites at Travel Tribe have different goals. Their creators range from burgeoning travelwriters to seasoned guidebook professionals.

But one thing we all have in common: without exception, we’d all skimp on our hotel room for the sake of an extra beer.

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