Mel, a qualified journalist with more than 20 years of industry experience, has as much love for the written word as she does for travel. More interested in passport stamps than possessions, Mel recently returned to Australia after spending four years living and working in the media in Abu Dhabi.
She has written for publications both in Australia and overseas, including The Telegraph (UK), Conde Nast Traveller (US) and Ultratravel Middle East. The self-professed wordsmith launched her own business a couple of years ago and recently launched her new website. We catch up with her and find out a little more about her life.
1. What would you be doing if you had chosen a different career?
I always wanted to be a fashion designer, I even did work experience with the late Carla Zampatti at her Sydney HQ – at the end of the day writing won out in the creativity stakes.
2. How do you define success?
Continuing to achieve the goals I set for myself constantly.
3. What is the most surprising thing about you?
I lack a certain amount of self-confidence, which holds me back at times. On the flipside I have a lot of determination (typical Capricorn).
4. What is your morning regime?
Straight up and into the shower, then before anything else, coffee, usually at my local cafe.
5. Do you have a nickname?
Not really, just Mel.
6. What is your favorite meal to cook?
I’m not much of a cook, so anything I actually make a success of I’m usually happy with, if I had to name one it’d probably be my prawn spaghetti salad bowls.
7. What is the last book that you read?
The Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (Debra Marie Rodriguez)
8. If you could only eat three dishes for the rest of your life what would they be?
My mum’s speciality, chicken townhouse casserole; mushroom risotto; and Massaman beef curry.
9. Can you speak more than one language?
Not really, I know a little bit of Arabic and a small amount of Brazilian Portguese, but not enough to carry out a conversation.
10. Who is the one person that always makes you laugh?
My dad, we have a similar sense of humour.
11. What is the most played song on your playlist?
Right now, it would have to be Pink’s Cover Me in Sunshine.
12. Where is one place you have always wanted to visit?
The Arctic – I have friends living there I want to visit once it is safe enough to do so.
13. What plant or flowers do you always have in your home?
Orchids and Frangipanis.
14. Your most memorable holiday?
The time I ingrained myself in the Moroccan culture with a friend of mine and his family. We visited the Sahara, stayed in his family’s traditional home and discovered a lot of small villages. A recent trip to Jordan with my parents is up there too, you can’t beat a float in the Dead Sea.
15. How do you relax?
I’m not sure I ever really do to be honest, still working on that. Coffee and a magazine or the weekend papers.
16. How many hours a week do you usually work?
Always more than I should, but I’m hoping a move to the Gold Coast will help restore some routine and balance.
17. What are the three beauty items always in your beauty cabinet?
A brightening serum, a good quality moisturiser, and Lucas’ Paw Paw cream.
18. Instagram, facebook, pinterest or twitter?
19. What is the one thing we would always find in your fridge?
20. Your favourite board game?
21. City, country, mountains or beach?
You can’t beat the country.
22. Who would play you in a movie based on your life?
Carey Mulligan or Sarah Snook.
23. What was your first job?
Office clerk at Coles.
24. What is your favourite app?
Boomerang, I still get a kick out of that.
25. What is the most important piece of advice you have ever been given?
If a door opens, walk through it.
26. Rain, snow or sunshine?
27. What is your favorite room in your house?
Our indoor/outdoor room – the best of both worlds.
28. What is your go-to drink of choice?
Skinny cappuccino with one sugar, extra hot.
29. Who has had the biggest impact on your life?
My best friend, my mum, she’s always there for me no matter what – we are like two peas in a pod.
30. In which city do you feel most at home?
I’ve lived in so many – I’d have to say wherever my folks are.
31. Who is your style icon?
Carla Zampatti, may she rest in peace.
32. If you could only be remembered for one thing what would it be?
Treating everyone equally and being a decent human being.
33. What is the one thing you want everyone to know about you?
I have an exciting new website. It’s a Covid passion-project – I hope you love it as much as I do.