jenn jay tales

Jennifer Johnston shares her travel tales; life adventures; observations, photos and random thoughts


Giving back – an inspirational story

Meet My Huong Le

When travelling through Vietnam, I was fortunate to spend a day in Vung Tau with this amazing woman. She opened up to me about her childhood, being taken from her mother at the age of five during the Vietnam War. My Huong was part of operation baby lift, an initiative towards the end of the war by American President Ford, where children from southern Vietnam were adopted out to American and Australian families as the Vietcong invaded the south,

My Huong Le returned to her country of birth 30 years after leaving. As an adoptee herself, could there be a better person to understand the plight of orphans?

My Huong now helps manage an orphanage in Vung Tau and also works closely with a learning centre for disadvantaged children. She has an incredible life story and is only just beginning it she says!

My Huong Le at her desk

Her story about giving back despite all the challenges in her early childhood is incredible and inspiring.

Please find my story about my time with My Huong Le LIFT Magazine Issue 8 Winter LIFT 8 15-19  published in Lift Magazine.

Long Hai learning centre grounds Vung Tau, Vietnam


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Singapore stopover – transit in an oasis

Be at their reception in less than 15 mins from the baggage carousel

Be at Hotel reception in less than 15 mins (walk) from the baggage carousel

One night in Singapore’s Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel is NOT enough – but long enough for me to write a review on it. Please take a look.

what better place to relax in Singapore while in transit

what better place to relax in Singapore while in transit


Outlander Fervour and the lesson I learnt

Outlander fans are getting excited

The trailer has been released for Outlander Series 2, to tease fans for what awaits them in 2016. I confess to being one of those fans. So much so, I combined my love for Scotland and Outlander together into a Travel Story – a tourism trend piece on Scotland with Outlander as the hook! That story was recently published via Fairfax New Zealand’s on-line site : Scotland and the Outlander effect gathers momentum

On location - Doune Castle

Scotland revels in Outlander Fever – some of the Outlander cast on location – Doune Castle

I’ve already written a post on my Travel Blog about the story behind the story.  With a few Outlander posts, I may appear a little Outlander obsessed at the moment. Maybe its because I’m still caught up in the excitement of finally seeing my story published. (Written in June, the original story commissioned by an Australian publication was never published – for reasons that shall remain “unspoken!”)  But it’s more than publication joy. I wrote this wee blog post because Diana Gabaldon – the author of the popular Outlander books who also happens to have major responsibility in the series being developed for TV – recently made an announcement on her Facebook page.  Continue reading

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Darwin you don’t have to be dying to get there

It took me 50 years to get there but a recent visit to Darwin for something special allowed me to discover a city with unique charm and an interesting history.

Read about my top ten things to see and do in Darwin


The bright colours from the Parap Village Markets

The bright colours from the Parap Village Markets

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Thank-you Sam Walker from Journo and the Joker for nominating me and a few others in the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, to recognise the role we women play in the blogging stratosphere. I’m chuffed just to be mentioned among a group of fabulous writers and bloggers.  My Travel Blog is relatively new and requires more love and attention. But my blogging philosophy is simple: happy to write / happy to share.

This is me sharing from my Travel Blog – never one to back down to a challenge!

Blog Post to respond to my nomination


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Melbourne is the Bombe

Donovans - bubbles at St Kilda Beach on a beautiful day = perfect

Donovans – bubbles at St Kilda Beach on a beautiful day = perfect

Travel with me on my week-end escape to Melbourne – birthday to celebrate, food to eat, hotel to relax in, bubbles to consume – but the Bombe – you’ll have to read this to discover more …….

Donovans Bombe Alaska - wow!

Donovans Bombe Alaska – wow!

It looks even more enticing on the inside

It looks even more enticing on the inside

Melbourne is the bombe

Melbourne in Autumn - beautiful!

Melbourne in Autumn – beautiful!