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


I wanted to share a little outtake from my recent interview with DISfunktion Magazine. A few things to watch, read, listen to and indulge in if you want to get inspired to have some outrageous adventures. Enjoy. And please share your recent travel inspirations with me below, I’m always searching for more!


What’s your favourite book?
At the moment it’s Phenomenal by Leigh Ann Henion, a tale of Henion’s search for wonder in the natural world after she felt she’d lost it following the birth of her son. The book takes her to see the Catatumbo lightning in Venezuela, the Monarch butterfly migration in Mexico, the northern lights in Norway… The spiritual realizations Henion comes to along the way had me in tears, over and over again.

What’s in your record player as we speak?
Ethiopiques Volume 4. I’m a bit obsessed with sexy, slinky Ethiopian jazz from the 60s and 70s, and these anthologies cover the cream of the genre.

Your favorite movie?
Hideous Kinky. A young Kate Winslet plays a vagabond single mum wandering through Marrakech, Morocco in the early 70s with her two little girls, contemplating becoming a Sufi and trying to find herself. I only recently discovered that it’s actually based on the autobiographical novel by Esther Freud, Freud’s great-granddaughter. (P.S., you can actually watch the entire film on YouTube below.)

What’s the beauty product you can’t live without?
I’m not really into beauty products; it sounds cheesy but I try to focus on feeling good on the inside and hope that’ll shine through. Scent is important to me though, and I’ve recently fallen in love with The Ayu’s Black Musk Ayurvedic hand-blended oil. It makes me feel grounded and #sexi at the same time.

Your favorite guilty pleasure?
My husband and his dad make the most delectable sparkling shiraz at their biodynamic vineyard Krinklewood where we live. I like to think of it as grape medicine, but after an entire bottle it definitely becomes a guilty pleasure.

What’s something no one knows about you?
I play the violin! At least I did for ten years until I was about 17 when I started, stupidly, to get embarrassed about it. Of course now I know it’s totally badass, so I’m starting to delve into the world of gypsy fiddling.

A favorite place you’ve visited?
Papua New Guinea. I climbed an active volcano that blew just a few days later, watched ancient masked tribes dance by firelight, swam with dolphins… Truly a last frontier that I fell head over heels for.

What’s next on your bucket list?
Trekking through the five ‘stans – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – a congregation of mountains, steppe grassland and desert tucked between India, Russia and China.


  1. Jen Laceda
    December 1, 2015

    Coincidentally, I watched Hideous Kinky at our riad, on our last night in Marrakech circa 2009! Why I was watching a movie in Marrakech – I don’t know – but the movie has really inspired me!

    Uzbekistan is totally on my list!

    • Nina K
      December 1, 2015

      Jen I love that! I think if you’re going to watch a movie while you’re there, then HK should be it 😉 Hope to see you in Uzbekistan in 2016! Nx

  2. Naomi
    December 11, 2015

    You might like “The Valley” by Barbet Schroeder. It’s made in the 70s in Papua New Guinea… A diplomats wife meets a group of hippies and goes travelling with them abondoning her old life as she discovers herself…..
    Oh and his movie “More” which is made on Ibiza in the 1960s has amazing clothes & interiors. x

    • Nina K
      December 18, 2015

      These are fantastic recommendations Naomi, thank you! They both sound totally up my alley, can’t wait to watch them both. Nx


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