TRAVELS WITH NINA

is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

ESCAPE HATCH

ESCAPE HATCH

  Every few Sundays, I create an ‘escape hatch from life’ for myself. Sometimes that hatch is heading off on a camping adventure up the coast, like last weekend’s mini-break to Myall Lakes. But other times, it’s simply switching off my mobile late on a Saturday night, sticking it in a drawer, and not pulling it back out again […]

SIPPING MINDFULLY

SIPPING MINDFULLY

It may have taken 17 years, but I think I’ve finally learnt to drink mindfully.  Alcohol has, for better or worse, been a big part of my life ever since I discovered it at age 15. Back then, the aim was to drink as much as possible, to get as wasted as possible, as often […]

SIMPLE + SLOW

SIMPLE + SLOW

This morning as I walked down by the river with the dogs, I stopped over and over again to gather the crisp, hard shells of cicadas that had shed their old skins. I gathered them simply because they were beautiful. But now that they’re sitting on my desk in a little glass jar and I’ve […]

A KEFIR A DAY

A KEFIR A DAY

Dry July. What can I say. It’s been… interesting. And a bit boring. But today is hump day! I’m halfway so it’s definitely going to get easier now, right? Right?? Anyway I thought I’d miss the partying side of drinking. I had a couple of dinners and a hens day that I was dreading without […]

DOWN AND DETOX

DOWN AND DETOX

It’s been a big few months of travelin’ and workin’ and hustlin’, and I’m ready for some serious down time at the farm. I desperately want to be alone for a little while so I can give my overloaded brain a break, and my beaten bod too. Which is why I’ve decided to take a month off […]

SAVOURING

SAVOURING

Gosh its been a while since I’ve posted here, hasn’t it? My only excuse is that I’ve been on the road a lot, and am only just now sinking back into life on the farm. It’s the first days of winter and already I’m feeling the urge to nest, to get grounded, to go within. […]

MORNING RITUALS

MORNING RITUALS

A long, languid morning has become a bit of a necessity for me, even more so since moving to the country. Now that I don’t have to commute to an office, I get an extra 90 minutes to fill my mornings with smoke and steam and oozy, contemplative moments. Pete always laughs about just how long it […]

ONE MAN’S TRASH

ONE MAN’S TRASH

One man’s trash is indeed another man’s treasure. Never has that been clearer to me than this year, when Pete and I moved into our new home in the country. Back in mid-January Château Tracteur, which we named our new abode, was in pretty terrible shape. The couch was a cast-off from the local brothel (no, […]

The Lost Art of the Pop In

The Lost Art of the Pop In

A little vignette from last week in the valley. There I was on Thursday night, in a top that only juuust covered my bottom, dancing around our kitchen as I chopped up – and sang to – the veggies: “Ooooh, ooh ooh, I wanna cook you UP!” (to the tune of Color Me Badd’s I Wanna Sex You Up). […]

HUNTER VALLEY HIGH FIVE

HUNTER VALLEY HIGH FIVE

I’m ashamed by how little I’ve explored the Hunter Valley over the past seven years. But I have my excuses. When I first started coming here with my then-boyfriend, now-husband Pete to visit his family’s vineyard in Broke Fordwich back in 2008, I was so entranced by the property that I never wanted to leave. So I didn’t. Sure there was the odd dinner […]

AN ODE TO CHICKS

AN ODE TO CHICKS

Over the past few weeks, “Chateau Tracteur” (as we now call our little abode in the Hunter Valley) has been filled with chicks. Lots of chicks. It’s been a constant celebration of the feminine, an ignition of divine female energy on our land. Lucky Pete. The first group of chicks to arrive were my gorgeous Sussex chooks, a […]

A ROLL IN THE HAY

A ROLL IN THE HAY

Pete and I had very different awakenings while living in India. I went there to get mystical, to meditate my head off, and to follow my bliss from Kerala to Ladakh and everywhere in between. But for Pete, whose work art directing GQ India took us there in the first place, well his bliss didn’t lead […]