It was humbling. The number of entries in the Herald's recent travel writing competition served as a reminder to those of us who get to do this for a job that we are pretty fortunate.

Don't worry, I'm not about to start gloating. Truth is, most of my job seems to involve sending off other buggers (Herald staff members and freelance writers) on great trips. (In the trade, such trips are called "famils" - a contraction of "familiarisation trip". Whatever you do, don't call them "junkets".) Now, for something new, I get to send a reader.

Stephanie Simons is the winner of the competition and gets the chance to have a go at travel writing for the Herald. She'll be off to Australia - with our partners in this, Emirates and Accor Hotels - and the story from her travels will appear in these pages. It'll be fun.

A tragedy ... but keep travelling


The terrible news about MH370, the Malaysia Airlines flight that disappeared on the way to Beijing, shouldn't put us off flying.

Fascination with an aircraft crash is understandable, but the most dangerous part of any international journey remains, by a long way, the drive to the airport.