…and we’ve all been there. No lies, putting yourself out into the big bad world is a daunting thought.
The good news is, most of the fears associated with going public with your content come from within, which means they can be managed.
Let’s take a closer look at why many aspiring writers, entrepreneurs and marketers are apprehensive about making their work public:
Not knowing if someone cares about what you have to write
Uncertainty in the credibility of your information
Spelling and Grammatical errors
Facing adverse reception over a unique opinion
Published articles not being read
How does Leakd help
The Leakd network includes individuals and businesses from all walks of life.
By collaborating with your peers through our Readers and Reading function, you’ll have the confidence of knowing your expertise is heard.
Moreover, make sure you’re periodically reviewing your Insights.
This data details exactly how your work is being perceived by a wider audience; who’s reading it, where are they reading it from, how often they are reading.
The intelligent Leakd Editor delivers a range of tools that are precisely designed to help bloggers seamlessly go from idea, to writing, to publishing.
Some of these features include:
Easy to use vanishing toolbar.
The toolbar gives you all the functionality to create a stunning written article. Removing all the arbitrary items with other programs, the toolbar will vanish as you glide up and down your screen, giving you an uninterrupted, filtered blog space
Easily find something to write about by selecting a category that piques your interest. From there, leakd filters Images and Sources to deliver real-time data related to your selected categories
I would like to first congratulate and thank you for being early adopters of what will no doubt be a revolution to the world of Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, Digital Nomads and Intrapreneurs.
Before being a platform to create, publish, monetise and connect long-form content, Leakd is a thriving community; an evolving ecosystem of bold individuals sharing their expertise, experience and vision. With our values firmly rooted in support, we want nothing more to see this growing army of self-employed visionaries succeed at their craft.
I’d like to now share our exciting roadmap with you. Let’s start with all the exciting features available to our users today.
Use our incredible Editor tool to create beautiful content. Features include Grammarly, SEO imputation, video embedding and much more
The best data Insights – industry-wide – on topic selection, visitors, readership, keywords and sources
Import any existing published content with one-click
Content discovery with a paywall-free public-facing Headlines page. This is where your work also gets published and found
Follow and unfollow fellow writers
As you can see, there’s so much you can do and achieve on Leakd today. But we’re about 10% away from the goal, so I’d like to share with you what the other 10% looks like.
Journal feature– create and monetise multi-content email campaigns for your dedicated readership. You choose your subscription price, how often you send and which of your content is public-facing – 6 months
Entrepreneur zone – share your wins, gains and challenges with other Entrepreneurs in a special space for like-minded contributors and creators. You can join various tribes by category, campaign and followership – 6 months
While these are our broad development plans, we’re always trialling and testing the platform in order to give our users the optimum Leakd experience. If you have any suggestions for improvement, I urge you to email me directly at email@example.com.
Having ducked and weaved through the masses of Beijing and Shanghai, I was aching for that unique Chinese experience. One that didn’t liken China to a massive super power, taking over western civilisation. Something that represented the country at its roots.
Like me, if you are searching for a truly unique experience during your travels in China, then look no further than the Ultimate Guide to the Shaolin Experience.
How to get to the Shaolin Monastery from Beijing
The Shaolin Monastery falls in the city of Dengfeng (Henan province), which is close to a 2-hour journey (via the high speed trains) from Beijing. If you’re exploring the North-East and you’ve decided to travel to the Shaolin Temple, make sure you get the train to Zhengzhou from Beijing. You can take the bullet or high speed train, which will get you to Zhengzhou in just over 2 hours. Alternatively (and my personal preference), take the slow train that will get you to Zhengzhou in anywhere between 5-7 hours. Plan ahead and give yourself enough time to get the slow train. The sights and sounds on the way provide a genuine Chinese experience, from ghost-towns with unoccupied 20-storey high towers to the very best of rural China. Of course, 7-hours in a train means you’ve got plenty of time to mingle with your neighbours. I got dragged into an intense game of poker! Less said about the results the better. When you get to Zhengzhou, take a taxi or bus to Dengfeng. As in most cases, the public transport option is more cost effective and will give you that extra cultural experience. I took the bus and it was a nice smooth ride to the entry area of the Temple precinct. Either mode of transport will get you to temple in no more than 2 hours.
Songshan Mountain/Shaolin Precinct
To enter the temple area you will have to pay 100 yuan (about $20 Australian dollars). The main Temple area is about a 20-30 minute walk from the entry gates, so make sure you’ve got your walking shoes on. As a photographer, I am continuously looking for inspiration and out of that need, I’ve come to the conclusion that inspiration is borne in individuality and uniqueness. So if you are looking for an unique experience in China, here’s your perfect Shaolin itinerary.
Where to stay in the Shaolin Precinct
I recommend allocating 3 days/2 nights to gain the complete Shaolin experience. One of the most unique experiences I had in China was staying in the small kung-fu village about 20 minute’s walk from the temple precinct. The humble village is where budding Shaolin masters practice their art, but also a place for them rest and rejuvenate. The Kung Fu hostel is the perfect place to spend a couple of nights in the village. The village is small but it comes equipped with convenience stores, restaurants and transportation to and from the temple precinct. Venture into some of the family owned make-shift restaurants. With a generous assortment of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, from garlic vegetables to pork noodle soup, they will do their best to cater to anyone that comes in peace.
The Shaolin Kung Fu Show
The famous martial arts show is an extraordinary ensemble of skills and discipline, as well as an opportunity for brave crowd members to get involved in the act. Many of the students are taught in the local school at the precinct, a short walk from the Martial Arts hall.
I recall a surreal moment when one of the students put on amazing impromptu display of martial arts with a steel-rope. A crowd of his peers gathered around the budding monk, watching in silence as he rolled, ducked and jumped, but the greatest mark of appreciation came from his teacher, standing arms folded behind his back, watching in admiration. It’s times like these that make the hours of slogging around a SLR all worth it. See image above. Make the most of your time in the precinct, wander around the temple, schools and halls and you are bound to capture something truly unique.
There is a set structure to the shows, so make sure you plan ahead. The school will typically host 6 shows during the day, the first beginning at 9:00am and the last at 4:00pm. Check before you travel as seasonal changes do occur.
Visit Mount Song and Dharma Cave
The temple area sits neatly among the Songshan Mountain ranges. With many surrounding peaks and treks, some longer and more difficult than others, the region is truly a hikers delight. The Dharma cave walk was suggested to us by the lovely Hostel hostess. Buddhists believe that Bodhidharma arrived from India and introduced Zen Buddhisim to China after meditating for years in the cave – now appropriately known as Dharma Cave.
Approximately 7km one way, the trek up Mt. Songshan is certainly not long by hiking standards but be aware, a significant portion of the climb does involve steep (and I mean really steep!) staircases – which makes for a fantastic work out to burn off all those noodle soups and dim sims! – which was certainly the case for me. My friend and I elected to chow down some noodles before the steep journey ahead in a conveniently located take-out place at the beginning of the climb. On a less lighter note, the steps are certainly not for the faint-hearted, so if you are carrying any niggling physical issues, you may want to sit this one out.
The mountains are not immune to the Chinese street seller syndrome, so prepare yourself to be encouraged to purchase incense sticks, key chains, jewellery and of course, food! If your answer is “no” to all of the above then perhaps a photo? Everyone loves a family portrait! The man in the Tiger claw mould actually gave us a lift back to Zhenzhou! We met him on the walk. It’s not always recommended to take lifts from strangers but we felt we’d assessed the crowd well, so this adventure was definitely on!
As you ascend, remember to look back from time-to-time because the views over the ranges are exceptional. Dharma himself will meet you at the peak, meditating, as he looks over the Songshan mountain ranges. Away from the selfie sticks, baseball caps and waiting lines below, the Dharma Cave experience provides the peace and harmony that you typically associate with places of worship. The cave is usually accompanied with a sitter who will help you pass on any gifts, flowers, incense etc. that you have to offer. Just after the sun had set behind the ranges, we began our journey down the mountain and back to the hostel. I recall embracing a new found feeling of wonder after our meeting with Bodhidharma. Having spent time in Shanghai and Beijing, I needed a culture dose and the hike to Dharma cave certainly reunited me with that feeling. Without having to travel thousands of miles, overnight or by flight, this was the alternative mainland China experience I was searching for.
Wander the Shaolin precinct
There is good chance that a morning visit to the temple will include rubbing shoulders with the masses i.e. other travellers. While incomparable to a walk down to the Bund in Shanghai, the Monastery is a major tourist attraction for nationals and as we all know, when the Chinese travel, it’s in herds.
But remaining positive, I went looking for history and inspiration around the temple grounds. Almost immediately I was taken away by the tumultuous history of the region, dating back from the 5th century to as recent as 2018, when the temple for the first time raised the national flag to make a stance on patriotism. Ultimately, after so much destruction, unrest and dispute, the Pagodas, schools, halls and temples still stand strong, reflecting the resilience of the monks and their supporters. At the foot of the Shaoshi Mountains is the remarkable Pagoda forest, an area marking the tombs of many high ranking monks and affiliates. The concentration of Pagodas date back to as early as the 8th century. In various sizes, detail and meaning, the forest is an unique example of Zen spirituality.
Take the slow train from Beijing. You’ll be in Zhengzhou within 7 hours. Save cash, gain experience!
Give yourself enough time to truly experience this unique part of China. Organise a 2-night stay in the Kung-Fu village, just a 20 minute walk from the temple. Wake up to students practising martial arts and indulge in some humble home-cooked cuisines
The Kung-Fu martial arts show is a must-see. The entry fee is covered as part of your temple entry cost
Re-connect with your spiritual side with a hike to Dharma Cave
Immerse yourself in the Temples, Pagodas, Relics and Monuments of ancient China and the inauguration of Zen Buddhism
By now I am sure you’ve seen the uncanny images of Australia compared to the US and Europe in geographical size. While a little intimidating, they are an accurate representation of just how wide-spread this Island truly is. With masses of barren land taking up most of the inland area; industry and residence is concentrated across the coastline. In fact, every Australian capital city, except Canberra (national capital), borders ocean.
With all the sights and sounds on the coast, is it really worth travelling to Uluru?
YES! …and here’s why Uluru should be at the top of your list when you decide to visit Australia.
Where is it exactly?
Uluru or Ayers Rock is found in the Kata Tjuta National park in Northern Territory (NT), one of eight states and territories of Australia.
How do I get there?
Being in the centre of a country the size of 7 western European countries, you can be assured there is going to be some transit involved. Fortunately, there are many transportation options at your disposal, offering their own unique experiences.
Using Sydney as a starting point.
Car/Van : Expect 2 days on the road – roughly 30 hours of travel time. Exploring the various terrains that Australia has to offer, the rustic traveller will enjoy this option.
Fly: 3-4 hours direct flight time. This the most common method of transportation to Uluru. Being so far away from all the capital cities, most travellers want to just ‘get there’ through the most efficient means possible. During peak season – the Aussie winter, May to October – flights can fill up quite quickly, so be sure to plan ahead. The two carriers that I recommend flying with are Qantas and Virgin Australia. These are Australia’s preeminent interstate carriers and therefore offer multiple daily non-stop flights to Uluru. Other options may fly to Uluru at obscure times, with stops.
Flying to Alice Springs: Alice Springs is the closest major town to the Kata-Tjuta National Park. Many people choose to take a flight into Alice Springs, followed by driving or a bus to Uluru. This is a good option if you want to save on time (by flying) but also experience everything the Australian outback has to offer (by driving), and not spend 2 days in a car. Uluru is about 500kms from Alice Springs, so expect to be behind the wheel for 5 to 6 hours.
When is the best time to go?
Temperatures around Uluru sway with the seasons. The best time to travel is between May and October – Aussie Autumn and Winter. Temperatures are comfortable, staying between 20 – 30 degrees Celsius. The warmer months can average in the high 30’s and reach the high 40’s. With the heat also comes showers and lightening – excellent for photography but not so ideal if you are travelling with family. If you are on a budget, however, flights to Uluru tend to be cheaper between October and April.
Why should I go to Uluru?
I recall the first time I saw the Taj Mahal. After seeing it in books, on posters, on the internet, in photos, on place mats, on the back of cigarette packets, pretty much on anything that had print; I thought to myself, “yeah it looks big, but how big can it really be?” I tell you, every time I go back, it seems to just get bigger or my eye-sight is shrinking! I’ve only been to Uluru once and admittedly, I held similar sentiments to that of the Taj. Uluru is a goliath. Larger than life. While the Taj Mahal is architecturally flawless, pristine and modern (relatively speaking); Uluru is ancient, rugged and intimidating.
Surrounded by plain grassland, Uluru offers a unique native Australian experience. There are no latte serving cafeterias, no vending machines and no boomerang-filled souvenir shops. This is a truly natural Australian experience, and that is what makes the national park so special, not only for the first inhabitants of Australia but its current citizens.
Uluru holds deep ancestral ties to the first inhabitants of the land, the Australian aboriginals. You may be fortunate enough to meet indigenous Australians during your travels and learn about their history and culture. You may also come to understand their tumultuous journey from ruling the land for many thousands of years to the atrocities committed during colonisation. While this article does not go into the specific spiritual significance of Uluru or the cultural heartland that surrounds it; suffice to say, this natural phenomena is not only a representation of the aboriginal people but a mark of their resilience over time.
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It’s crucial you know exactly what your readers are interested in reading from you. This way you can begin to focus publishing for a niche, fine-tune a particular style of writing and realise how frequently you need to publish your work.
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