As of today, the Mr is off on a boy’s trip to Argentina to meet up with his best friend who happens to live with his husband in New York. I know how hard it is to be oceans apart from your longest and closest friends, so I am happy that Alec and Dominic get to have this adventure together!

Mr Devine travel tips for Argentina with just a carry on

Now, I am putting together this blog post because I was so impressed that Alec had packed for three weeks away in just a backpack and a carryon suitcase. Mr. Devine always has excellent travel tips to offer as well!

So, here is how he rolls… In case his main bag is over the weight limit and gate checked, all the important stuff will be carried in his new Samsonite backpack. The last backpack he bought was when we lived in Los Angeles and it has traveled the world. It even had one of those clip on holders for your cellular flip phone!!!! My last travel backpack was one from high school… Actually retro, not just retro-looking, but neither sturdy nor comfortable and certainly not safe to cart a laptop in.

The weather will not be much different than what we have at home now as he is staying in the Southern Hemisphere, but he is going to need warm clothes for the few days in Patagonia. So with the one pair of ski pants for the glacier hike stuffed into the bottom of his roller suitcase, he has just packed five days worth of outfits. They are staying at AirBnB locations throughout Chile and Argentina (except for Patagonia as there are none available) and made sure to book accommodation that had washer and dryer facilities. Not only was AirBnB cheaper than hotels in the area, there were many to choose from in the centre of the towns and all were modern and cool. One location is even offering a car they can use if they buy petrol! The only downfall in this sort of stay was that he had to pack toiletries (they make up the bulk of the weight) as they will not be getting little hotel amenities.

Some top tips for travels in South America:

Get your vaccinations! Update all the ones you have had in the past and make sure you get the ones you are missing…especially Yellow Fever. While the area is not considered high risk, you are required to have documentation upon return to Australia. You are also recommended to take anti-Malaria tablets just in case. Or just take Bug Spray and hope for the best like my stubborn husband. Some GPs can’t administer the Yellow Fever vaccination, so it pays to call ahead and ask. Alec went to a GP who specialises in Travel Medicine. Not only did they do the vaccinations required, but prescribed the proper medications he might need in case of various infections (malaria, food poisoning etc) he might get while in South America. It is best to consult with doctors who know the areas you plan on travelling around as they would be most up to date with what you might face. Remember to always travel with your prescriptions in their original packaging that shows your name as well.

Especially in light of the recent earthquake in the area, it is a good idea to officially register your travel details. Alec has registered on so that if there are any emergencies while he is overseas, the government knows how many citizens need help. Not from Australia? see if your country has a similar system. It is unlikely to be needed, but makes things easier in the case of if…

Travel insurance. Get it for all your trips by purchasing a yearly policy. That is what we do as a family so that for example, I am covered in Adelaide on Thursday and he is covered in Chile at the same time.

Take care of any visa or other arrival documents needed online before you go. Neither country has visa requirements, but they both have reciprocity fees. Like an airport tax, it is a revenue raiser for travellers. US citizens don’t have to pay the reciprocity fee for Chile. The reciprocity fee is only required if you enter the country by air as well, so on the way back to get to the Chilean airport, the guys are taking a bus over the border.

See if you can pre-book special meals online. Alec and Dom wanted to try something called Closed Door dinners in Buenos Aires. To avoid missing out, they have already made reservations. Sounds like a cool night out where chefs hold private dinner parties (sometimes at their own homes) for complete strangers!

Finally, look into the exchange rate and figure out how to get the most for your money. Alec got his Chilean cash here before leaving, but is taking American dollars to exchange for Argentinian pesos when he is there. He found out about a Blue Rate for money exchange where instead of going to a bank or traditional money changing bureau and getting 9 pesos to the dollar, you locate a place called a cave where locals trade money (US dollars and Euros) with a rate that is roughly 15 pesos to the dollar. Apparently dollars are more stable than the Argentinian peso, so locals like to hold their money in those other currencies. The papers print the exchange rate for these “caves” every morning. If you use your credit card over there or get money from an ATM it will be processed at the official bank rate.

Now, I look forward to getting photos and hearing stories from the road. I let Alec take the Olympus TG-3 with him, so no underwater photography from me until November. Sad considering it is already beach weather here in Melbourne!

I have another post brewing about why we like to travel separately as well as a family…


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  • Allison Walker via Facebook - This is the first time I have read a “Mr” post… love it! And I clicked through to his booking flights post. Where have I been????ReplyCancel

  • Aurea Gal√°n van Tooren via Facebook - I’ll be right here @BuenosAires so let me know if any need ūüėäReplyCancel

    • Alec - Thanks aurea. Any recommendations welcome including caves to exchange dollars. It first airbnb host is exchanging out first lot at 14.50… Just to get us going.ReplyCancel

  • Paula - Don’t really know of any caves as i don’t move around in Capital, but i’m sure you’ll find them easily because it’s full of them.
    If you guys have the chance to fit it in, i highly recommend going north. The north of Argentina (Salta, Tucum√°n, Jujuy) is truly beautiful and it’s awesome to compare it to the south because it’s just the opposite. That goes for money as well, since it’s super cheap (If it’s cheap for us, it’s probably even cheaper for you!)
    Be very careful of muggers. And always pay atention to your luggage and phone.
    You’re coming to one of the most beautiful parts of the world (not my intention to brag or anything). I hope you enjoy it! :)ReplyCancel

I am so proud.

You have done so many things in your life so far. Most have been marked by celebration and fanfare as they should. But as you get bigger, we sometimes forget the importance of marking the life skills you master. Things seem so easy and mundane.

We took a hundred photos when you first held a spoon. Learning to walk warranted a video.

But lately I have left the virtual baby book to gather dust. Let’s look at just the last few weeks because you have morphed into a proper big girl. From not even looking over your shoulder as I left you at your first sleepover to putting your hair into a ponytail all by yourself.  

For goodness sake, you read chapter books out loud.

But today I want to take a moment to shout from the rooftop… There really should be a greeting card for this one.

You can tie your own shoes! No more hideous Velcro sneakers for you! No more side-eye from teachers directed my way when I send you to school in Converse. Nope, now you can take those rainbow laces and wrap bunny ears into a double knot like you’ve been doing it all your life. 

Right on, big kid, right on!


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It was a bit chilly and the sky looked sad, but the weekend shows the promise of sun and warm temperatures. I thought we should practice with a few hours at the indoor pool. 

I was steeling myself to the certainty of  school holidays crowds, but there is a bigger and newer spot down the road. It is not new any longer, but it is bigger. The crowds must have been there!

 These photos look almost as if there was hesitation, but there was none. In fact, they all slipped into the water like storybook mermaid babies.

They gave me a few moments, but I had to tell myself that you get what you get.. 



I think it will be a sweet summer. 

The season of the sea. 

Another season with my big kid who is finally so big that in the wave pool she is no longer required to be within arms reach of an adult.


And my yin yang who only agree on one thing which is when they are big enough, they will still both hang off me like barnacles.   

It is going to be fun and there will be pictures!

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The third instalment of the Fat Mum Slim / Olympus Australia / Sesame Ellis photography mini-workshops for parents and kids was delightful.   

Enjoy some images of the morning. I just popped my favourites on my phone in the evening and am uploading right to the blog from there. Who has time to sit at a computer on such a lovely weekend! That is just the best part of the Olympus system, WiFi! Ok, one of the many best parts!

 This time I got to bring Gemma with me and she was just a star… Pleasant, helpful and not too shy. I am so proud. 

What a gift these days are.

 So thank you again to all those who came and shared these moments with us.   

So much bonding!

 And thank you to the gorgeous Stables of Como for a beautiful location and chickens to photograph!   

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Yesterday I got up at 4am and raced the sun by plane to the Gold Coast for the second in series of mini-workshops with Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim and Olympus Australia.
  We are putting on special lunches together to teach parents how to photograph with their kids instead of just taking pictures of their kids. This is a passion project for me and Chantelle and Olympus feel the same way! With my Photography Takeaway tip cards, parents can learn real ideas and simple information to make a difference in how they not only look at sharing photography with their kids, but how they see themselves.

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  • Jess Ray via Facebook - Would love to know how to set up something like this where I live…ReplyCancel

  • Sharlene - This looks awesome! Hanging out to hear about the Perth one and crossing my fingers that I’ll be in town for it! And then also crossing my toes AND fingers that I can win a spot!ReplyCancel