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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

My Travel Tips

Some travel to reach a place where they plan to have a restful holiday, others travel to let loose, have fun OR party central! Then there's the ones who travel to learn, and I'm one of these, (of course a little rest and a little fun is also included). I did once go on a purely 'restful' holiday to a resort hotel by the sea, it was beautiful and I was spoilt, but it sadly took me only a few days before I got bored, and ended up going in search of ruins, architecture and the "real locals". Besides enjoying the rest on a beach and swimming in slightly warmer and calmer waters than Australia, travelling for me is above all about learning. Fortunately my partner feels the same way, and our travel destinations are always sorted out based on a combination of cultural and artistic appeal, with some great architecture, street life of the locals and historical strength.

images James Treble - Istria region, Croatia​

Renting a car, we often drive short distances from where we make our base, to old towns we've never heard of before. The main square always seems to have a charming church, a town hall, sometimes a fountain in the square., hopefully a meeting place for locals, and a source of great coffee! History leaves its mark, and while nowadays we often look for cost effective and quick to build structures, past architecture and its decorative details were ways to celebrate and affirm cultural identity. So, walking around the streets of old but not always popularly known towns, I look around and discover what art, architecture and design mean to the locals and how this stimulates my understanding of beauty.

images James Treble - Venezia, Italy

Travelling reminds us that whatever the news headlines choose to focus on, there is an exciting world out there, and that our way of seeing things is never the only way. New flavours, new sounds, new styles... new ways to create and experience beauty, and the pleasure of seeing how we react to new places and experiences, can be so profound, sometimes even life changing! Travelling teaches our minds to be ready for 'more', and appreciate what we may not be familiar with. It's worth accepting the challenge and question your tastes and habits, small changes in what you do everyday, can have an enormous and positive effect on your life!

images James Treble - Bologna, Italy

My family in Italy is a big drawcard, and seeing them once or twice a year is a luxury that allows me to live like a local, to see 'in this case' a part of everyday Italian street life, not the usual yet beautiful tourist destinations. I even manage to fumble my way past the language barrier... (you'd laugh at the words I create which sound Italian, but clearly aren't!) this is the way I like travelling and the way I recommend you do too. Live the life of the places you visit, wherever you are drawn to go; learn, taste, listen to local music... and take lots of pictures, like taking notes in an art class.

images James Treble - Roma, Italy

From my very early love affair of building houses with Lego, I'm still so passionate about history and architecture, and find it so exciting walking between old buildings, admiring the choice of quality materials and techniques which have provided us with long lasting structures, ones which tell many stories of past ways of living. I document all this with photography which I later use in my work, guiding and inspiring me with my clients, builders and design students. I invite you to follow my Facebook page, if you wish to share the knowledge I acquire from my travels, and perhaps get inspired for your own.

Rome, daily market in Piazza Campo de' Fiori

My travelling tips:

  • choose destinations you are attracted to instinctively

  • try to fit and live like the locals do

  • plan to go everywhere you can by walking

  • appreciate what you see around the streets and not only in museums

  • try to understand what the locals see as beautiful and why

  • see how the local understanding of beauty translates to you

  • take notes and pictures; most of what you learn will soon reflect in your taste.

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.


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