Monthly Archives: July 2013

Wanderlust: Europe

True Colours

My blogger friend Casey asked me to be part of her
Wanderlust: A Travel Series link up and how could I say no?

A  F a m i l y   A f f a i r 

Wanderlust has been instilled in me since I was born to two nomadic parents in a military family who were on their second three year tour in England. They went on to spend about seventeen years living abroad through out Europe and made sure my sister and I had the full experience.

4 Generations of my family have spent a significant part of their life living in Europe. I was not just ‘luckily born in England’ and moving here because of my dual citizenship.  Europe has impacted my family through the generations and has imparted a wanderlust down the line. My paternal grandfather was in Italy, not to far from where we lived, during WWII.  My parents chose overseas assignments one after another during my father’s 30+ years of service as an officer in the USAF.  For the last two years my husband and I have been living here with our kids and have no intent to move back stateside.  For my children, who are Third Culture Kids, that is 1/3 and 1/4 respectfully of their life spent so far in Europe.

I n  E u r o p e  

Already Been. There are about 15 places in Europe that I have been so far (I separated the UK as I have yet to travel to Ireland) and looking at the list of European countries that does not seam like so many places. Easily my father will have me beat when it comes to the countries he was able to visit thanks to his TDYs with the US military forces.  Still even though so many are crossed off my list, it does not mean I do not want to return. Even more to the places that my husband and kids have yet to step foot in and to experience the culture again for myself.  Three trips I already have on my Wanderlust bucket list are: Italy, so my kids can see where I grew up; Sweden/Norway/Denmark; and Austria/Germany/Switzerland,  to experience the memories I cherished with my dad growing up.

Yet To Visit. I separated this list into two columns because there are really a lot of places in Europe that I have not yet been.  So the first list are countries I foresee being able to go to first, especially with young kids and the send list are the remaining countries my Wanderlust part of me would love to see while alive.  I wish I had my own private plane so that I could jet to each destination every two weeks and photograph and share on my blog.  That would be the perfect life, yes?

In today’s world it is not that unusual for a family to be split up by distances.  But at least at the holidays families come together back home.  For my family we do not really have ‘home’ to return too.  My mum, a PHD student, now resides in Arizona the last place my dad was stationed before he retired.  She is embarking on a new career of massage therapy and holistic health. My dad is in his final resting place at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs.  My sister works as a sommelier in Washington, DC. Now that we live in England, it is too costly with four people to travel back anywhere for every big family holiday.  
So Wanderlust has affected how we keep in touch.  Need to get together? Okay where well in the world do we want to meet up? I’m not joking. While my parents and my sister were backpacking through numerous countries in South East Asia, I flew over and met them in Cambodia.  My mum wanted to catch up with my sister so she invited her to Belize. Last summer we planned a last minute trip to the Jersey Shore (a place we frequented when visiting my Grandfather in the US), and in the next several days I will have them both here for our Vow Renewal in Wales.  
We are already talking about where we will meet up for our vacation next year.  We have talked about finally getting my sons to see Italy and renting a place in Naples, taking a family tree trip to the town in Germany where my mum’s side of the family comes from, and even staying at a place in France where my sister can take us to wineries and impart her sommelier wisdom.  
I say this to say that Wanderlust is a huge part of my families life and it is something we have already passed down to my sons.  They all the time talk about countries in Europe they want to visit and what they have learned about in school or from reading in books.

Q. Do you have Wanderlust for Europe? 
Please tell me all about it in a comment below!

Il Cimitero delle Fontanelle [Travel Tuesday]

I had lived in the city of Naples twice for a total of six years before I went back to visit last summer.  As life would have it one of my military wife friends from Hawaii was now stationed in my hometown.  I had so much fun getting to visit with her in a place that meant so much to me.  The highlight was having her show to me some aspects of bella Napoli that I had never experienced before.  One of which was seeing the Fontanelle cemetery, which until recent times had been closed off and private any visitors.  
The Fontanelle Cemetery is an ancient cemetery located in the Sanita district in Naples.  It gets its name because of the presence of water sources back in ancient times.  The cemetery includes 40,000 body remains that were victims from a the plague in 1656 and cholera in 1836.  
There is something known as the ‘Pezzentelle’ which had provided people with the ability to adopt and placement of one of the unknown skulls which then ‘corresponded to a soul abandoned in exchange for protection’.   Which is why you will see many skulls in the photos below not apart of the mass pile but decorated or put in special boxes.  It was a really interesting sight and I really enjoyed getting to see it.


Together with my cohost Belinda from Found Love. Now What? 
a Weekly Travel Linkup. Share your Travel stories and wanderlust addictions.

Grab button for A Compass Rose's Travel Tuesdays

Code below or Feel free to save this button to your computer and upload it in your post. 

H e r e ’ s   h o w   i t   w o r k s :  

1. Share a post about travel! From road trips to trips abroad and from past travels to dream vacations. You can write about travel tips and tricks, favorite places to stay or anything in between! Just make it about traveling somewhere!
2. Grab the lovely button.
3. Linkup goes live! Every Tuesday at 8 am GMT.
4. Hop around and meet new travel loving bloggers! Link up will be open for a few days, make sure to check back to visit some of the newer travel posts!
5. Please only one linked up post per blogger. Save other posts for future linkups!

*Image original to A Compass Rose blog by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved |

Weekly Wishes #4

Another beautiful week here in Bath, England and this one will be a very busy one.  My mum gets here on Wednesday, our friends get here on Thursday/Friday, and Saturday we leave for Wales for our Vow Renewal week.

This weekend I auditioned for my first round of Pantos for the 2013-2014 Holiday Season. If you are not familiar with the UK’s Pantomimes they are a huge cultural aspect of theatre here. They traditionally start on Boxing Day and run for two -three months. The one I auditioned for yesterday is Cinderella and will run in January.  It was a really fun audition with a lot of fun people.  I ended up going with my American accent for this one since I felt it would make a fine character choice of the parts for which I read.  Theres an audition for another Panto on Tuesday night and I ‘m hoping to take my boys and go to that one as well.  I loved going to the Pantos as a young girl with my dad when we lived in England. I would love to be a part of them again.

“Oh no you wouldn’t!’
“Oh yes I would!”

If you do not get the reference above, due search some clips of Pantomimes on YouTube.


Weekly Wishes # 4 
w i s h e s   t h i s   w e e k

Basically this week I just want to be able to get things complete and ticked off my list before we leave.

That is my wish for the week.  Some of the things I am wanting to get done this week are as follows:
– Finish altering my wedding gown and get it pressed
– Find shirts and braces/suspenders for the boys
– Mail my gift to Intan of Syfnz Says for the Nectar Collective Snail Mail project. 
– Pack my entire family for Wales in the most compact way possible
– Remember to take all the garbage and recycling out!!!!
– Finish reading Pride and Prejudice for the #JaneAustenBookClub
– Finish scheduling all posts and tweets for the week in case I do not have WiFi while in Wales. 
There are a good one hundred other things that need to get done but those are a bunch of the ones on my mind right now.

Q: What are your Weekly Wishes? Have you linked up?

It is with great pleasure I introduce you to one of my sponsors this month, Jade, of An Invisible Crown blog. She is a fellow expat living in England who hails from Australia.  One of my favourite things about visiting her blog every week is seeing all her photographs.  I love photographers when if I see their photo out of context, I can tell who took the photograph.  She has a beautiful style in that way with the way she sees the world and documents it.  But do not take my word for it, see for yourself. 

3 Tips for Visiting Japan

Today I am pleased to introduce you to one of my featured sponsors for July.  Her name is Lisa and she has touched my heart with her photography and gorgeous family photos.  She is a mom to her adorable son and cute dogs, Jasper & Coco, and expecting her next bundle of joy soon.  She also shares my love of travel and is taking over my blog today to share with you a combination of travel and her photography hobby.  Make sure to introduce yourself and share some ACR love her way.


Hi, A Compass Rose readers! 

My name is Lisa and I blog at  
I blog about my family and also my photography hobby. 
Reflected temple (after) | copyright Lisa C. Ng for
I’m so honored to be sharing 3 tips for visiting Japan to you today on Bonnie’s lovely blog. In my former life (before marriage and kids), I lived in Taipei for two years and traveled to Japan twice. Once with some friends, and a second time all by myself. Japan really is one of the countries I’d visit over and over again. I love the food, culture, and how tourist-friendly it is (at least the cities I visited). Hope you enjoy the tips!


Tip 1: A little Japanese goes a long way
I know two Japanese phrases, and they took me a long way while visiting Japan. Need directions? Have a question? Just say “Sumimasen“, which means “Excuse me“. Another I used all the time, “Arigatou gozaimashita“, which means “Thank you very much.” Listen to the locals use these words for their correct pronunciation.

  Flag over river (after) | copyright Lisa C. Ng for

Tip 2: Trains, trains, and more trains
I visited the Kyoto region on my second time to Japan and took trains just about everywhere. If you’re planning to take a lot of trains, look into a Japan Rail (JR) Pass. Be sure to read the FAQ page to find out the details on the pass. For longer-distance trains, I reserved seats and got my pass stamped at the various stations – Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo. It was fun collecting them.

Tip 3: Restaurants with food displays are everywhere
When in doubt, eat at a restaurant with a food display. I once took a waitress outside to the window to show her what I wanted to eat. A few times cold noodle dishes were served when I was expecting a warm dish, but it certainly didn’t affect my appetite. Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisines.


Hope the tips are helpful! 
I’ll leave you with one of my 
favorite photos from my trips to Japan! 
Please let me know when you visit Japan, 
so that I may live vicariously through you.

Reflected temple (after) | copyright Lisa C. Ng for

*All photography in this post is copyright to Lisa C. Ng for © 2013

Self Portrait: ‘North Wind’

There is a line taken from the film adaptation of Chocolat  
that as a Third Culture Kid it truly speaks to my nomadic nature.  

“But still the clever north wind was not satisfied. 
It spoke…of towns yet to be visited, friends in need 
yet to be discovered, battles yet to be fought”
I am a free spirit that feels blown to new places.  
When you have yet to ever live in one place for longer than a three years, 
you wonder if you can ever truly settle down.  
Since I have only been in my current location since Christmas, 
we will just have to wait and see.  
Where do you think I be in two and a half years from now?
Self Portrait ‘North Wind’ by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved –
Like this self portrait? This was a self portrait I was commissioned to do for Girl Gone International magazine. To see the other self portraits I did for the magazine, check out issue two which is out now

Are you a Girl Gone International?

Find out from our Facebook page: Girl Gone International on facebook



I try to do one every week and post on a Saturday. 

 If you would like to link up with me, add this button to your blog. 
I would love to see your photography!

*Image original to A Compass Rose blog by Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007-2013 All Rights Reserved |

Best Week Ever #4

Another week is wrapping up this summer and it has been quite warm.  How hot has it been here in England?  Well to give you an idea Betsy at Betsy Transatlantically  wrote about it in Heat Wave! I honestly love having a summer in England and I know I will miss it once we go back to freezing in coats for the rest of the year and the beginning of next.  I will say that not having AC is making me want to wear not much more than a bikini in the house. At night especially I feel like I am melting. 
 Wales is also experiencing the heat which means we potentially have a great week ahead of us for our Vow Renewal!  I am more than excited about the possibility of not being rained out *knockonwood* and have been getting a nice tan this week in preparation for wearing my white wedding gown again. Overall despite the high heat it has been a really productive week and the last week of school for my boys. After school today my boys are officially on Summer Vacation and that makes this: 
I have been featured on two different blogs this week.  Here about The Craziest Thing I Have Ever Done for a Boy with Patricia at Kisses and Croissants and Painting Pictures: Passort to the World with Rachel Pieh Jones at Djibouti Jones.  The later is about Third Culture Kids and how I view my past in relation to my future.  It was a fun piece to write as I love sharing the insights of being a TCK.

1. Self Portrait Saturday.  This Saturday my portrait was entitled ‘In the Wings‘.  Which was pretty perfect for the weekend given that I went to my first audition in about nine years.  I would have gone sooner but have let my accent hold me back. I’ve finally decided to start really working on softening it and start going to auditions.  I grew up in the theatre as a girl and acting became the one constant in my highly nomadic upbringing.  I majored in Theatre in Uni and it was how I met my husband.  However after having kids and being a military wife I knew I would have to put my passions on hold for a while.  Its been really nice to come out of the shadows and start pursing an interest that has been hidden inside for a while.

2. A Perfect Sunday.  I love my weekends the best because it is family time. Last sunday we went for a lovely stroll along the canal into town and I posted about it on  Sunday.  This weekend we spent a perfect Sunday by taking a taxi into town of Lansdown.  It is the location of a battle from the English Civil War and we went for a total 8 hour country walk in Lansdown and then walking back to our home.

3. Weekly Wishes.  Another entry for the link up with Melyssa from the Nectar Collective.  I talked about my situation with the wedding dress I wore ten years ago this August and what I’m attempting to do to wear it again for our vow renewal in Wales.

4. Travel Tuesday. Our Second #TravelTuesday with my beautiful cohost Belinda of Found Love. Now What? was my second part of the Pompeii series. Last week I shared the Darker side of Pompeii and this week I shared the Lighter side of Pompeii. Did you link up?
5. A Moment to Reflect. It is okay to not completely plan out posts. While I tend to have a structure going with my daily posts on ACR, I used this Wednesday to just reflect on life.  I talked about how Pinterest was making me rethink my wedding plans and what I am most excited about for the Vow Renewal. 
6. Throwback Thursday. My photography post on Thursday was a throwback to my Model of the Month project in 2010 with a LookBook shoot in Hawaii.  In the digital age where photos can just be forgotten on hard drives it is nice to bring them out again. 

f r o m   t h i s   w e e k 

Kayleigh (The Way I Wanderlust): 30 before 30 List
Luchessa (Beauty Expression): Essence Peel off Base Coat
Mrs. B (World Traveling Military Family): Homecoming Photos by a Yellow Ribbon Photographer
Jessica (Jessica Lynn Writes): Loving My Tiger Stripes
Belinda (Found Love. Now What?) Five Lessons I Learned in Paris
Jade (An Invisible Crown) My Top Five London Attractions
Q: How has this been your Best Week Ever?

Link up for BEST WEEK EVER!
Join the Weekly link up.  How has this week been your best week ever? 
Share your weekly recaps and add this button to your blog.
1. Add this button to your post
2. Join the Linkup
3. Hop around to other participants and share with them your BWE.


also I am linking up with Casey from We Took the Road Less Traveled:

We Took the Road Less Traveled

*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | 

Photography: LookBook Hawaii Pt. I

For today’s Throwback photography post I take you to the LookBook inspired shoot with model Kristen in Hawaii.  You might remember her from the title image on my post Photography and the Lies I Believed.  Kristen was one of several models that partook in my ‘Model of the Month‘ project in 2010, being the cover girl for April.  She also modeled with Alysha, the model of the month for March, showcased in my posts the Living Dolls and Colour Pop.  For the LookBook series the clothing came from selected choices from her own wardrobe and we shot in and around her home with my lighting setup from AlienBees. It became a part one of a two part shoot as we met up soon after to shoot at Lanikai beach.  My favourite moments of the day were making use of the amazing window light coming into the sun room which I used as backlighting against a monochromatic outfit choice. 
Q: Which was your favourite Cover option from the three pictured above?

*All photography (minus the sponsored photo) belongs to Bonnie Rose of Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |