The World Is Your Oyster: Where To Travel To Next

If you find you are always going to the same place on your travels, it’s time to switch it up. After all, you might love that particular city, but the world has so much to see and explore. And it’s best to go and check it out now while you are young. Otherwise, you will look back and regret not exploring the world. But where do you start when there are so many places to visit! Therefore, here are some places you should go to when it’s time to do some traveling.

 

You should go to a city in Europe

 

Europe is full of some of the top cities in the world. After all, everyone adds places like London, Paris, and Berlin to their bucket list. Not only is there amazing landmarks to see, but you can also expect fantastic food and drink, and great company if you do go to a European city. Therefore, you should consider going to one of the cities in Europe for your next trip. You can read up online to find out which one you want to go to. Or if you are unsure of which one to choose, you could get a Europe rail card which will let you travel between the countries. For example, you could get from London to Paris in just a couple of hours. Or you could even catch a ferry which will allow you to see more of Europe while you are on the continent. Just remember to take a camera as there are so many picture-worthy sights you won’t want to miss!

 

You could go on a road trip around the USA

 

A lot of people aim to do a road trip in the USA at least once in their lifetime. After all, there is no better way to see American than on the open road. And with the Route 66 being mostly long straight roads, it’s not a bad drive for you and your friends. Therefore, a road trip in the USA is definitely one to consider for your next travel experience. Before you go, you need to map out your route. You need to make sure you include top places you want to go to so that you don’t come back disappointed. You can look at guides online such as the idealist travel to find out more about places in the US like Chicago which you might want to visit. And remember to write down motels you can stop at on the way!

 

 

You could do some solo travel in Asia

 

Asia is one of the most amazing continents you can go to. With fantastic places like Thailand and China being situated here, there will be so much you can see and do. In fact, you should book to go around a couple of the great countries while you are in the vicinity. Asia is also a fantastic place to do some solo traveling. Just make sure you keep your wits about you and try and not get lost. You can read my previous blog for some help doing some solo traveling around Hong Kong!

 

And if you have the funds, you could even consider traveling across the world to spend time in Australia and New Zealand. With so much to see and do, it’s definitely something you should do once in your lifetime.

 

Wet, Wet, Wet! Why You Should Slip Into Waterspots For Your Next Holiday

 

We all know that a beach holiday has its benefits. Traveling for experience is amazing, but sometimes we want to chill out when we go away! But, there’s no reason you have to waste the time you spend on the beach. In fact, most beach holidays offer a lot more than just soaking up those rays. If you want a beach holiday to remember, why not get stuck into some watersports while you’re away? That way, you can still have experiences to remember without having to leave the comfort of the beach! It’s the best of both worlds, right? Here are a few things you might want to consider if the idea tempts you.

 

 

HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU WANT TO DO

 

We all need travel goals, and a watersports holiday is no different. It’s important that you gain some idea of what you want to do before you go. There’s so much on offer; you’ll never be able to make up your mind otherwise. Do a little research into watersports available, and see which you’re most interested in. This will help in planning every other aspect of your trip, so it’s important you get it right. While most beaches offer watersports, some are better than others. Plus, if you want to get the most from the experience, it might be worth heading to a particular destination. So, start deciding now what it is that most appeals! Do you fancy kayaking, diving, or tearing through the ocean in a jet-ski?

 

SORT YOUR EQUIPMENT

 

Most water sports locations offer equipment. Even so, it’s worth checking. You don’t want to miss out on your dream activity because you didn’t take that extra effort! Besides, if you intend to get serious about watersports, it might be worth stocking up on your own stuff. That way, you won’t be reliant on tourist specific activities. Things like a watersports facemask or wetsuit may cost, but they’ll save you money in the long run. After all, you won’t have to pay for those expensive organized sessions!

 

 

CHOOSE A COUNTRY

 

Once you know what you want to do, choose the best country for your chosen activity. This is especially important for something like scuba diving. There are some amazing reefs out there to explore. All you need do is find where they are. Head to somewhere like Australia and see the world famous Great Barrier Reef. Or, head to Ras Mohammed National Park in Egypt and dive in the wreckage of a massive cargo ship! If it’s kayaking you’re after, you’ll want different countries altogether! You could head to Vancouver Island, Canada, and kayak among orcas! Or, stray away from those beaches and head to The Amazon. Here, you’ll be kayaking among some of the most incredible rainforests in the world. It’d be a unique way to see some wildlife, that’s for sure! There will be the perfect destination for any watersport of your choosing. Just take a little time to find out what it is!

 

Road Trip Part 1: Becoming a nudist

Despite my upbringing, I’m a city girl. There’s something so convenient and exciting about living in the hustle and bustle. If you want to hop on a bus, go dance til 5am and have a greasy burger at 6am you can. If you want to go to the cinema mid day, then go ride on a ferris wheel while eating gelato, you can. The world is your oyster, and I like that freedom. That’s not to say I don’t miss and appreciate being out in the middle of nowhere. I had been putting in quite a bit of hours at work and needed a little vacation. Luckily my equally free spirited friend Hannah (who you may remember from my previous post My dormitory sex show) was in Melbourne and willing to take the risk of an American behind the wheel.

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We left Melbourne with only 3 conditions: Returning the Rental Car by Thursday, paying extra cash for damage insurance and not using GPS. We could only use an old fashioned road map because we are smart and didnt want to rely on technology. As I made a left turn, in a 5 speed manual, driving on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car, I made a sign of the cross and we hit the open road. 30 seconds into driving I scraped the side mirror against a wall. Then everything in the city was so confusing that we immediately had to use GPS breaking rule #1.

After chuckin’ a Yuey into the servo for some arvo sangas to shut our guts up (what?? IDK.) We approached the Great Ocean Road. Where were we stopping? We didn’t know, but a truck with 2 surf boards sticking out of the back happened to be in front of us so we followed them because surely they knew. That’s when we approached a beach, and appropriately for us, it was a nude beach. We nervously began a stroll on the beach, but then decided that it would be unaustralian to wear clothes on a nude beach. We had to respect the local traditions so it was off with the clothes.

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Is there anything more free than dashing along the emerald waters, giggling with your breasts flapping in the wind with sand on your butt-cheeks? The answer is no. There isn’t.

cutest bum in Norfolk

Sorry mom and dad for this

Sorry mom and dad for this

I jumped in the cold shark infested waters and when I came out, I felt like I was baptised by the sea.  We had a lay down, perved on the hot naked surfer and let the sun bake our bodies. If we gained anything from our time in Australia, we were surely leaving the country looking like leather handbags.

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God Bless Australia

Being a frequent nurse to the geriatric population, I wasn’t in anyway shocked by the naked old man strolling past us, but I was soon shocked by his actions. As Hannah and I decided to move along, we noticed him sitting on a rock, looking at us and playing with himself. Then he took it up a notch and started swinging his old penis around in a helicopter motion. We figured he would be excited by us reacting so we didn’t pay him any mind and left the nude beach. I always ignorantly thought that nudists were kinda weirdos, but yeah I get it. Being naked is natural. It feels awesome. You know what’s not awesome? Seeing an old man play with himself. Life is full of ups and downs, isnt it?

 

Sunsets, Sunrises and Bus Trips – Hervey to Airlie

Among many other magical things, Queensland seems to have 2 major highlights. Fraser Island and the Whitsundays.  In Hervey Bay I looked at tours, talked to travelers and decided it would be most practical to only choose one. Fraser has a big focus on wild dingoes and 4WD vehicles, and while I do love wild dogs, I’m not overly into speeding vehicles. Sailing sounded way better.

After having to kill 10 hours in Hervey after checkout I met a girl at the bus station. She was American, actually she was from “the valley” in Los Angeles, I will nickname her Ashley. I try to enjoy people’s company, despite differences but something about her just seemed off. She was quite unphased by Australia and really talented at complaining – but she did give me a free slice of her pizza so I thought I’d continue to give her a chance.

The journey was a hefty 540 miles, and 12 hours overnight where, in order to give the driver some rest, we had a few service stops where we had to leave the bus for 30 minutes at the worst hours possible.

That was a bad decision on my part after taking a legally prescribed travel Valium. The only way to force myself through the mental haze was by eating Milo scoop shakes and listen to gangster rap at maximum volume. Though it really wasn’t bad to see the sunrise from a servo in who knows where Australia.

We arrived into Airlie Beach, the departure point for the Whitsundays sailing trips. Feeling a bit drowsy and anti-social I decided to intentionally go to a different hostel than Ashley.

Airlie Beach was very small but beautiful. Wild Cockatoos screeched wildly soaring across the sky and would climb right up on your arm if you had the right food. I lazed around most of the day then walked to the beach for the Sunset.

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I sat on the sand in a lagoon and listened to Alt-J’s album “This is all yours.” There couldn’t possibly be more appropriate music for what I was witnessing before me. The Rainbow Lorikeets created a charming commotion in the trees overhead as the pink and orange sky reflected on the water, sailboats scattered the horizon sending me into a really good mindspace. Then someone came and tapped on my shoulder ruining my moment. Who was it? Ashley, of course.

“Oh Hey, this Sunset is so great isnt it?”

Then guess what she said. She said

“ehhhhh its okay I guess… Ive seen better *shrug*”

EWWW WHO WAS THIS GIRL? Did her parents just give her a bunch of money to go be internationally miserable?

She then told me what sailing trip she was going on and I made a mental note to get stuck with her for 3 days at sea, because no one wants to end up in a foreign prison, not me especially.

I slithered away and back to my hostel where our team annihilated Trivia Night and won a bottle of Champagne.

 

The greatest day of my life

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It all began when I was sitting in the back of a New South Wales police car.

I just want to preface this post: I know this might seem totally fantasy-fictitious to you but it its 100% real and I was so in the moment that no photos are really necessary but I’d like to digitally record this day forever.

I hopped on the bus from Newcastle to Coff’s Sunday night and it was totally shitty but that’s what you get when you choose the most budget friendly public transportation option possible. I tossed my backpack in the bottom of the bus, and as the driver nicknamed me “backpacker lady.” told me to “just find a fucking seat.”
The bus was smelly and next to me was an old aussie couple in their 60s both clad in old Elvis Memorabilia having the most verbally-vicious fight I’ve ever heard that had me hysterically laughing on the inside.
We pulled into the sketchiest truck stop for about an hour “break”, where potato chips were way overpriced and the Elvis couple continued their savagely battle.
“baby- they’ve got an elvis CD collection for sale…”
“Oh shut up you piece o’ shit we’ve already heard all the farking songs now fek off!!! You know I fukn hate to travel!!”
His tail tucked between his legs, started to rub her back. I thought to myself, damn… she must be something else for him to keep sticking around.
The truck stop was filled with seemingly meth addicted late night visitors who didn’t quite need shoes, despite the chilling temperatures, and us, the suckers of Premier Bus-Lines. Where you should probably just spend a bit extra for Greyhound.
The main form of entertainment being the claw machines all koala themed that somehow lifted Cricket balls out and the appropriately placed $60 blankets for tourists like me who weren’t quite prepared for the bus.
As we arrived to Coff’s Harbour it was nearing 5am and I thought to myself how I couldn’t be bothered to drop a whole $20 on a cab when I could just walk a bit, and so I walked.
I walked past some early morning window cleaners who gave me a strange look then I walked down a long straight path where I was soon approached by the local police with their lights on.
“Whaterrrya doing at this hour??”
“I’m walking to my hostel.”
“Just hop in mate…”
The lovely policeman and his associate gently tossed me in the back of their drunk tank in the nicest way possible and gave me a free lift to my accomodation.
“It’s safe here but we’d hate for you to get robbed.”
This was my first encounter with the Australian Police and it was a quite lovely one. I asked them if they accepted Mastercard and with a deep chuckle the Cop helped put the massive backpack on my back for me. He told me about the time he backpacked through my hometown, not expecting snow and paying extra for a pool.
Little did I know that just hours later I would experience the most life changing moment of my life.
I fit in a couple hours sleep then hopped on the bus for the Hostels “daily activity,” put on by a mutual friend from back in Los Angeles and we rode off to a place called Emerald Beach.
As we climbed up the grassy hill, dotted with yellow and orange flowers, actual wild Kangaroos began hopping around. As if this wasn’t enough to drop my jaw, Dolphins (including baby dolphins as well, like 20 total) began diving through the surf, jetting out majestically in the sky and behind them was an actual massive WHALE FLOPPING AROUND AND THEN THE WAY THE SUN HIT ME FROM BEHIND AND THE WAVES CRASHING BEFORE ME CREATED A RAINBOW AND I JUST DONT EVEN KNOW.
If for some sick reason, the grim reaper came to get me…say tomorrow, just know that today made up for every bad moment in my life.
I actually got a bit emotional at that point, behind my scratched cheap glasses, a single tear dripped down my cheek.
I’m really not a good person, I try, but I’m not, and  at this moment I really felt like what did I ever do to deserve this moment. What did I do to deserve being here in the most beautiful country in the world? as we got back to the hostel I pondered the possibility for a nap but then I realized nothing good happens while your sleeping so I took a walk. As if today couldn’t be topped, I soon found myself along a steep trail which led out to an island providing panoramic views to the Harbour and of course, as predicted whole listening to the most lovely points of my Jamie XX playlist, a whale’s tail popped out of the sea in front of me and about 40 white birds circled it like paint on a canvas.

I know this all sounds a bit dramatic but I also am lacking sleep so maybe I’m being a bit emotionally vulnerable. All I know is today is a day I will never ever forget, you see Australia is a place of magic.

Too many Tooheys in Newy

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One of the weirdest things about traveling alone is going on awkward adult friend meetups. Unless you meet someone serendipitously in a cafe, sometimes you end up making friends in a less traditional way. For example, my mother just met an older Aussie couple in a pub in Dublin and they want to meet for drinks in Melbourne… Often times you’re just meeting up with complete strangers who have some type of connection to home or someone you know. Much like a platonic overseas Tinder date, you cross your fingers, try not to be super awkward and hope that you end up liking each other’s company. Sometimes it’s awful and you never speak again and sometimes you hit it off amazingly and become BFFs.

this is Jordan guys.

this is Jordan guys.

I met Jordan off of a backpackers group on Facebook.  He, essentially, was a total and complete internet stranger. I posted a question about my Visa and we began chatting and turns out he was also a nurse from America. He even helped me get a job with his company before I even got to Oz. I know one could be skeptical of an internet friend but after a thorough background check and some deep internet trolling, I determined that he seemed legit. I had bought a bus pass with unlimited stops up to Cairns and it turned out that the first stop from Sydney was in a town called Newcastle, where Jordan lived with his lovely Aussie housemates Lily, Mikey and Sam.

This could be really fun or really awkward I thought to myself as I fumbled with my maps application trying to find their house and alas there it was on the corner with doors wide open.  As soon as I met Jordan I knew I had made an awful decision. (JK!!!)As soon as I met Jordan I was super glad I made the decision. Along with our career choices and general bad life decisions it had almost seemed like he was my twin brother, separated at birth.

imageI happened to arrive on Jordan’s birthday and that was wonderful timing on my part because I got to experience my first solid dinner party. Not to mention Mikey, one of the residents here, is a chef and a damn good one at that. Him and his friends were all extremely musically talented and as I tried to drunkenly join in their jam sessions with a metal flute, I thought it best to just sit back and enjoy the music. I just loved these people so much. While hostel life is nice to meet other internationals, it was nice to hang out with actual Australians. One of these being the most Australian man I’ve ever met, Mikey’s father Bill. He joined us into the late night with stories and Jolly Australian songs that he played on his accordian (including the very heavy tune Waltzing Matilda) As we all drank too much wine and passed around a bag of Clinkers,  I was very much enthralled by the experience, and the potato bake.image

Newcastle is such a strange town because it feels like midwest America to me. There are little mom and pop antique shops and it’s really small with saloon-looking bars. People drive dirt bikes and there’s a ford car dealership, but then suddenly, as expected is an absolutely astonishing beach. We went out to the local bar “The Lass” which felt a lot like my favorite bar back home. It was a real pisser of a time *literally*

Some other highlights from Newcastle include:

 

The Bogey Hole that is a bath inside the ocean and its really lovely, especially at sunset.image

 

I was able to see my first Koala and it actually had a tiny baby koala nuzzled inside of its furry body (ommmmmmmmggggggggggggg)

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I had my first actual Vegemite the proper way (on toast w avocado and butter) and it’s actually really good (im not just saying that.)

Veg-Veg- Yall

Veg-Veg- Yall

I have a very special place in my heart for Newcastle and the lovely people that I met here. Somehow after all the shenanigans I’ve pulled, I’ve managed to always have a couch here to stay in the future, and for that I am ever so surprised. Tonight I’m off to Coffs Harbour where Kangaroos are wild on the beach and there’s a giant banana statue. Until we meet again Newy <3

Sydney, you’re truly fantastic.

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I know you shouldn’t throw all of your eggs in one basket, but Sydney had me sold straight away. Honestly, I could have just set up shop there, forever.

 

Sydney incorporates everything I’m looking for in a city. It’s big but not too busy, the architecture is thoughtful and aesthetically drool-worthy. The food game is very strong. The beaches are breathtaking and they have magical free wifi in the air and free gas bbqs where you just bring the food and turn them on. There are little paths connecting some of the beaches where you can just stare out to the ocean and see whales just casually glimmering in the distance. The nightlife was fantastic. The weather, even in winter, just lovely. The public transit (once you finally understood north from south) was very easy and accessible. The city is so big but has so many little neighborhoods and subcultures that no matter what you’re into, you’ll find your spot.

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I moved to a hostel suggested by my friend Danny (he can take the credit) but actually I chose it on Hostelworld.com because it was literally the cheapest hostel in the entire city. It was in a massive dormitory. Like 40 humans in one room. You can only imagine the possibilities. (Please see my previous post “The Dormitory Sex Show” for starters)

Surprisingly there was none of that. In fact, I was probably the biggest nuisance there from snoring so hard. Moving to that smelly pillowless top bunk bed in Sydney was the greatest decision I could have made. I met some really great people, had some really great laughs, and some very horrendous hangovers. I probably could have lived in that nasty dorm for a lot longer but sadly I had to force myself to move North. It’s easy to get in holiday mode, but I only have so much time to see the country before I start my job and begin to contribute to society again.

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