Welcome to the World of Boutique Adventures!
Hi! So glad you visited! Well, it’s a given that as a luxury travel blogger I love to travel and that I do it frequently. I’m over 40 (well closer to 50 ugh! ) and strangely the older I get the more adventurous I get.
But I do like the little luxuries in life. I can enjoy a day out trekking much more when I know there is a hot shower, glass of good sav blanc and sheets with a high thread count waiting for me at the end.
On my site you’ll find a mix of off the beaten track places to go as well as some different perspectives on places you may know well. You will find ALOT about food and wine and photos in particular.
What Exactly is a Boutique Adventure?
So glad you asked! I was initially inspired by the wonderful tales of the world’s early luxury travellers. I loved reading about adventurers in the 1930s taking loads of cases and gin and tonic into a desert or on safari – all wearing some fabulous hats.
These travellers were heading into the unknown but with life’s luxuries to keep them comfortable once they finished exploring for the day.
So where can you have adventures these days? I live in London (more of that to come) and I love it. I write about London quite a bit as well as other frequently visited cities. But I tend to look for the tales that are not so commonly told. I love finding interesting new neighbourhoods when I travel, food tours, food markets, street art – where the locals go for fun.
I also love finding the spots in a well-known country where the locals go. I am originally from Melbourne so I like writing about places like the Mornington Peninsula. This is where people who live in Melbourne go when they want a holiday but don’t want to travel too far. Cornwall in the UK. nova scotia in Canada. These are some of my favourite places to explore and share.
I do love a boutique hotel. I am not so into the classic 5 star hotel. Boutique adventures mean that you know exactly where you are when it comes to where you are staying. What is the point in visiting Fes but staying in a hotel that could be anywhere in the world?
Hotels that have been designed using the best of local talents and ingredients are my absolute favourite. Even better if they are run by the owners.
Once in a destination, I focus on finding great food and wine, unique experiences and taking photos, When I travel I ask the locals – where or what is there to do here that cannot be done anywhere else?
This could be a food or wine experience, it could be meeting a UNESCO listed hat block creator in Caussade France or seeing Taipei at sunset from the top of 101.
Who is the Luxury Travel Blogger The Boutique Adventurer?
Let’s start with the fact that my name is Amanda O’Brien. I was born in Melbourne, Australia in the early 1970s very close to Ramsay Street from Neighbours.
My first overseas trip was when I was 10 years old to Hong Kong with my mum and grandmother. Most of that trip was spent searching out Hello Kitty items, chicken sandwiches and chocolate milkshakes. I was not so into discovering the local culture at that point.
When I was 11 my family moved to the United States and we lived there for 4 years. My dad was a big traveller. He had gotten on a ship at 18 years of age and left country Victoria to travel on his own through Europe for a year. He was determined that we would travel as much as possible whilst based in the US – and he created life long travellers of myself and my two brothers.
I returned to Australia aged 15 and my next big travel adventure was 4 months backpacking through Europe after studying at Monash University.
At the time I promised myself that if I didn’t complain too much about the youth hostels I would never ever stay in one again. I am proud to say that I have honoured that agreement with myself.
At the age of 31 my then husband and I moved from Melbourne to London to travel and have adventures. This is where my travelling really went to the next level. We were the classic Australian in London travel cliche – heading to Heathrow every weekend we could to literally go anywhere!
A couple of years in this became rather exhausting and we calmed down but still travelled frequently. Over this time I worked in marketing for organisations including Heinz Foods, Direct Line Group and B&Q.
After my husband and I split up in my late thirties I couldn’t imagine how my travels would continue as I was petrified about travelling alone. However, I don’t like being scared of things so I became determined to figure out how I could travel on my own and enjoy myself.
I have written quite a bit on the blog about how I learnt to do that – and today I am still my own favourite travel companion. I always have such great ideas!
Luxury travel blogging started during an ill-fated year when I decided to try living in Australia again. To cut a rather long story short I realised London was my home and returned.
However, whilst feeling rather miserable and out of sorts, my travel blog began sitting on the couch at my brother and sister in law’s home in sydney with my niece designing my first ever logo – which featured a hat of course,
I fell in love with being a luxury travel blogger and decided to put a hold on my career as a marketing director and try marketing consulting combined with travel blogging. And four years later, fingers crossed, it is all turning out rather well.
Half the week I am a marketing consultant for organisations like London University UCL and the other half I travel the world working with tourism boards and travel organisations. I love what I do and am so delighted to have found a second career in my forties.
My world now revolves around digital marketing which I love. The last thing for you to know about me is that I have had a competition going with my brothers for many years involving who has visited the most countries.
There is an elaborate set of criteria for what visiting a country actually means eg minimum time spent, must have at least one meal, must use local currency etc. I am delighted to say that I am the reigning champion even though I am the youngest. (that’s what happens when you stop and have children guys!).
Latest count is that I have visited 77 countries and I don’t plan on stopping until I have visited them all. Since I started blogging I have been lucky enough to work with a number of tourism boards and hotel companies.
These have ranged from Visit Nova Scotia to Tarn et Garonne in France to VisitBritain to Latvia Tourism plus many more. My articles have appeared on numerous tourism websites from Discover Halifax to Visit Calistoga California to Visit Nova Scotia to Visit South Devon.
I have written articles for some of the top travel blogs in the world from A Luxury Travel Blog to the Y Travel Blog to Girl About the Globe to Female Travel Bloggers. I have also written for local websites like Sassy Hong Kong, Medellin Guru and Medellin Living.
I would love to hear from you. Please do email me at [email protected] and make comments, ask questions etc etc.
Read my Ebooks
There is nothing like a good book to keep you company when travelling! I keep adding to my list – please email me with more suggestions at [email protected]
I keep them all in my Amazon shop. And I have just launched a range of Ebooks that are aimed at solo travelers.
Join me on Social Media
More than 115,000 people follow me on Social Media – they can’t all be wrong. Come and share in my adventures on
And of course please sign up for my newsletter. I only send it out once a month and I try to make it a mix of somewhat entertaining and featuring some good deals.
And if you’re a cat lover check out my website The Discerning Cat – For Finnicky Felines and their Discriminating Servants living their best 9 lives.