Meet the surfer running a business from his sailboat

By Larissa Ham

Operating a business from a sailboat – or Indonesia, or anywhere with Wi-Fi really – is the stuff many cubicle-bound folk dream of.

But for Ryan Scanlon, managing his wetsuit business in this way is a daily reality, albeit one that was a couple of decades in the making.

“I’ve always wrestled between career and being a surfer,” says the 39-year-old founder of Need Essentials. “I’ve always worked three years on and taken two years off and travelled all over the world.”

Published on ShortPress, December 2015. Read the full story here.


These are the best places to buy property in 2016

By Larissa Ham

After more than three years of sharp increases, Melbourne’s and Sydney’s property markets have finally begun showing signs of slowing, according to experts.

CoreLogic RP Data senior research analyst Cameron Kusher says a lack of affordability is starting to put the brakes on property prices.

Meanwhile, CoreLogic RP Data figures released on Monday showed 2015 was a lacklustre year for rental growth in Australia, with rents increasing by an average of 0.3 per cent across the country. That’s bad news for investors, but good news for renters.

Published on The New Daily, January 13, 2016. Read the full story here.

On board Australia’s newest cruise ship

Without getting too salty, losing your ‘virginity’ (cruise virginity that is) is apparently quite the big deal.

Indeed, it’s clear there are two types of people on any cruise. Those who have, and those who have not sailed the high seas.

Those who know the difference between a boat and a ship, for example. Or those who can stroll from starboard to port without a second thought.

Published in Traveller, Fairfax on January 12, 2016. Read the full story here.

A million Insty followers and counting

By Larissa Ham

It was something like shopper’s guilt – not quite remorse – that first inspired friends Yiota and Thessy Kouzoukas to start their fashion blog Sabo Skirt.


Going on “wild shopping trips” after uni classes, the friends decided to share photos of their spoils online, says Yiota (who has the same surname as her friend because she later married Thessy’s brother).

“We didn’t expect anyone to look at it. I think it made us feel better having another avenue for these clothes.”
* Published on MySmallBusiness, Fairfax Media. To read the full story, click here.

Meet the world’s cutest animals

Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, Facebook.

Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, Facebook.

By Larissa Ham

Can you fall head over heels at first sight if the object of your affections is considered lazy, dirty and only goes to the toilet once a week?

The answer – clearly written across the charmed faces of our group at the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica – is a most definite YES.

“It’s very easy to fall in love with a sloth,” confirms guide Jeff Rochte, clearly himself smitten with the slow-moving, ever-smiling animals.

Rochte, an American who has lived in Costa Rica for the past nine years, is here to help carry on the legacy started by his grandparents – Alaskan Judy Avey-Arroyo and her late husband, Costa Rican Luis Arroyo.

* Published in Traveller, Fairfax Media. To read the full story, click here.

Meet the Costa Rican miracle couple


By Larissa Ham

It’s a wild old day when I meet Australian Sarah Trinler and her Swiss-American husband Scotti in a small surfing town on the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

The tropical rain is thundering down, and we’re trading shouts to make ourselves heard. The town’s main, dirt road is turning into a sloshy mud bath.

Powerful things seem to happen in this part of the world – surfboards are snapped in two by unforgiving waves, rivers flood, kaleidoscope-coloured sunsets put on a nightly show and crocodiles swim among stand-up paddle boarders.

But last year something completely unexpected struck at the heart of everything the Trinlers – a world-travelling, thrill-seeking couple – loved.

* First published in Fairfax Media on October 13, 2014. Click here to read the full story.