Thursday, October 6, 2016

Returning Home to Australia

For those who haven't heard, I have some big news!  
  • After 1 year, 8 months since I left Australia...
  • After a total of 29 countries...
  • After travelling approximately 450km by boat, 2,500km by train, 3,000km by car, 11,000km by bus, and 55,000km by air
  • After meeting hundreds of people throughout the world who will forever occupy a special place in my heart...
I have decided to return to Australia!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Top 3 thoughts after returning from travel

Let's start off this with an apology... It's been over five months since my last blog post.  When I stopped backpacking full-time throughout Europe and started work again, I  struggled to figure out how everything fitted together. I still am. Even though things were still new and challenging with moving to London, renting a flat, getting a job etc, after so long travelling it really was a shock to my senses.  I felt like I wasn't doing anything epic enough to blog about.

Full-time travel is such a unique experience and builds on, and often changes, who you really are. Every day you see something new, meet someone you wouldn't otherwise meet, learn something about the world, and learn something about yourself. It seems like such a cliche: quit your job, travel the world, find yourself, and forever be changed.  To a certain extent, I find this to be true. When I was on the road, I viewed the world differently.  I was thinking deeper, I was seeing so much beauty in both the world and the human beings around me and I was learning off every person I met. Everything seemed brighter and things that would normally create stress or worry really weren't such a big issue. Problem solving and making quick decisions for myself became the norm, because lets face it, any mistake I made was entirely my own fault.  Backpacking life is so poor, yet so incredibly rich.

The issue is, however, what happens when you stop travelling?  Rightly or wrongly, these were and still are my top 3 thoughts 6 months after ceasing full-time backpacking.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Top 5 European destinations you should put on your bucket list

After travelling Europe for most of 2015, I have been reflecting on the incredible memories and epic sights I have seen. The most common question a backpacker is asked is "Where is your favourite place?" This is a logical question for a number of probably very cynical reasons: it's interesting, it shouldn't take longer than five minutes, it's potentially useful if the person ever goes, and it is of course great to hear the most positive portion of a person's experience. However, this question is literally impossible to answer and even more difficult in a place like Europe, where in 48 hours you can go from desert ruins, through a famous city of the world and over a mountain range before arriving at the sea. 

The best answer I can provide is my five favourite destinations. While there are a number of factors to how much you enjoy a place, such as how you are feeling, who you are with or who you meet, the weather and your accommodation, I believe these destinations are so magical that it is impossible to not enjoy them. So without further ado, here are five destinations that you should add to your bucket list.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Update on where I am and what I have been doing

I have so much to update you on, so take a deep breath!

Here I am back in London! Below are some crazy stats about my eight month Eurotrip (safe to say 'Scotty knows' now):
  • 221 days
  • 21 countries
  • 36,224 km traveled broken down into:
    • Hitchhiking - 74km +
    • Boat - 411km
    • Train - 1,945km
    • Bus - 9,892km
    • Airplane - 23,922km

Monday, November 9, 2015

Our day seeing the Anzac battlefields without a tour

A few days ago it was my 21st birthday and we were in Çanakkale to see the Gallipoli Anzac battlefields.  While some people may initially think this is a somber way to celebrate a 21st, I am so privileged to be in Turkey and to see and learn about one of the biggest events in Australian history. It was really special to experience and Julia and I had so much fun along the way.  Seeing so many memorials to ANZACS, British, Indian, and Turkish soldiers who were 21 (lots were younger) when they were killed, it really brought home how tragic the loss of life was and always will be - especially for the little or no gain achieved.  This post will be about our adventure seeing the ANZAC Battlefields as well as providing information to those who will go in the future.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Top 3 things you should experience in Istanbul

So here we are in Turkey! I am currently travelling with Julia, an Australian girl from Sydney who I met in Croatia while volunteering at Falling Lakes Hostel. Turkey so far has been fantastic: 4 nights in the bustling capital of Istanbul,  3 nights at Çannakkale, 2 nights at Selçuk, and now a night in Pamukkale.

I initially expected Istanbul to be busy, but I was very surprised at how I underestimated it. Can you imagine the population of Australia living in one city? At first, Istanbul reminded me of an Asian city like Bangkok due to the hustle and bustle, the wonderful and not so wonderful smells, and the insane traffic throughout the city. However, staying for a while gave us a great introduction into Turkish culture, food (yumm), and the cool vibe of Istanbul. Our four days ranged from exploring incredible alleyways and lanes, getting lost in the grand bazaar marketplace, sitting peacefully and observing prayer in the beautiful mosques, getting slightly lost in poor residential neighbourhoods, getting crazy looks during our morning runs, eating like a king and queen, and lots and lots of walking.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Crazy mountain biking near Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

A couple days ago, I had my first attempt at biking Pljesevica mountain to the abandoned airbase on the Croatian/Bosnian border.  Long story short, I didn't make it to the top but was determined to give it another go.  Unfortunately, the following few days were rainy and miserable and I had to postpone. Today, on my last day of volunteering at the hostel, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a shot regardless of the terrible weather.  The top of the mountain was covered in clouds, however I was doing it more for the challenge than for the view.

I am proud to say that I conquered the mountain!  I rode over 40km (24.8 miles) and climbed 1,463m (4,800ft) in about 4 hours.

Here are the main highlights of the day:

I rode a mountain bike all the way from the ground, to the clouds.  Those who climbed Pljesevica with me, remember that amazing rock?  The bottom left photo was my view from the top - the clouds were insane.

I experienced the beautiful colours of Fall for the first time:

I experienced some incredible history by taking a sneek-peek in the abandoned base:

And, I persisted and reached my goal.  This was one of the hardest physical challenges I have done, almost half a year in Europe isn't too crash hot for the fitness.

So here comes the end of my volunteering position in Croatia.  A huge thanks to Boris and Irena (the fabulous owners) on having me for much longer than we both expected.  I had a blast and met a whole bunch of awesome people.

What comes next? I'll keep you updated.  But in the meantime, I found this quote the other day and it is now one of my favourites.  It doesn't really need any explanation so without further ado, here it is :)