Category Archives: Travel

Same But Different – A Volunteer Review

The following post describes the experiences of ten volunteers working on the same project over a twelve day period.

No two people are the same, maybe one of the characters below will be able to inspire you to get involved… Continue reading Same But Different – A Volunteer Review

Travel, Mental Health and You

For some, travel is not just about discovering new places, but escaping old ones that have had a negative impact on our lives.

But what if the negativity in your life isn’t coming from your past?  What if it’s following you around, bringing down the day? If you’re carrying it with you, you can’t run away from that. Continue reading Travel, Mental Health and You

A 24 hour guide to Australias East Coast

If you had only 24 hours to spend on the East Coast of Australia, and some kind of epic, futuristic teleportation machine (something like Jeff Goldblum had in ‘The Fly’ but with less dismembered ears, gross body goop and weird mad science vibe), where would you go?

Here are a few suggestions for your time in Queensland and New South Wales – One for every hour of the day! Continue reading A 24 hour guide to Australias East Coast

Rebuilding Fiji – Constructing, Volunteering, Learning…

As the plane touched down on the tarmac for the third and final time and the roar of the wheels on the ground commenced, signalling that the captain was in control of the high speed aircraft, my heart slowly returned to my chest and I managed to tame my breathing to an acceptable rhythm.  It was only then that I realised the Indian lady sitting in the center seat was gripping my hand to the arm rest, as well as her husbands in the window seat to her right, eyes closed, quietly praying. Continue reading Rebuilding Fiji – Constructing, Volunteering, Learning…

The +’s and -‘s of 12 months in New Zealand

I’m Back!

Online, that is…

Wow, 3 months is a long time for a talker like me to stay quiet.  To be honest, I’ve been suffering from a little bit of a bloggers block while travelling.

I left you in November, in my final week in New Zealand, and I jetted off on my adventures with promises that I’d keep in touch.  Well shit, I do apologise, better late than never!

If anybody has been watching, I have posted one update since I flew out of Auckland, asking for help from anybody who could offer it, to build a house in Fiji.  But it seems that was my last post – what a rubbish keeper-in-toucher! I ask for your help and tell you NOTHING about progress.

I’d love to bring you up to speed on that, but the story so far is not a short one, so I’ll break it up into bite-sized chunks and I guess I’d better start at the beginning…

Continue reading The +’s and -‘s of 12 months in New Zealand

Planning Your Trip to Fiji

I’ve been planning my trip to Fiji for a few months now, sometimes I think I’m no closer to making my final decisions that the day I started.  It’s taken me such a long time to find out everything I need to know to organise my time there.  I thought it might be helpful to put this all you’ll need to know in one place.  This post includes most of the information you’ll need, the fun stuff and the serious bits you’ll need to consider before you go, along with links to the best places to find further information. Continue reading Planning Your Trip to Fiji

Come Away With Me

Somebody come away with me.

Somebody who wants to be free. Free from the chains of the modern day world we’re living in.  Free from social media.  Free from social norms.  Free from judgement. Free from the perceived personalities that are forced on us to live in a modern day western society.

Come with me to another place.  A place where everybody lives within their means and money is no object, because everybody lives day by day on just what they have available to them and money holds no true value.

Let’s pay a visit to the past and never question the future.

Come and live in the forest, away from suits, away from technology, away from traffic, away from home décor and beauty magazines.

Let’s live near a stream and fish for our dinner.

We’ll live by the beach and spend the days making pictures in the sand and our nights making fires.

Let’s live in a small community of like-minded people, where nobody is competing with anybody else. Where everybody is just who they are.  Where nobody feels the need to put their neighbour down in order to make themselves look superior.

Let’s just be free.

Come travel the world with me.

BORED TRAVELLER – Top 10 Things to Do With A Rainy Day

As an adventure addict, a rainy day can really put a dampener on your days off.  If you’re travel obsessed, but the weather is proving to be a soggy obstacle, here are a few suggestions for activities to see you through a dreary day while waiting for the world to turn a little bit further. Continue reading BORED TRAVELLER – Top 10 Things to Do With A Rainy Day

There’s a Fly on my Eyelash…

… And other Failings and Frustrations of an Unhappy Expat.

Sometimes, the reality of travel doesn’t quite live up to the romantic vision you once had of your nomadic self.

It’s not all glitz and glamour in revolving restaurants, fun and frolics in the sea or peace and tranquillity in the forest.  Opening your mind.  Discovering yourself. What if you don’t like who you discover? What if your mind is so open you can’t shut it down?  What if the big wide world is so incredible that you can’t be happy with the simple pleasures of home anymore?  It’s really easy to get wrapped up in the fantasy of what travelling should be and the effects it should have on you.

A lot of people expect to develop a new personality, the one that belongs to that happy hippy you see in every travel photo, ever. You know that girl, with her floaty dress, perfect skin and Rapunzel hair, a flawless braid along one side of her nauseatingly carefree head, dancing along the shoreline of an empty beach, laughing at something hilarious an empty clam shell just said.  But we can’t all eat, pray and love with such perfection – Screw you Julia Roberts. Continue reading There’s a Fly on my Eyelash…

*Post Updates* – The Bucket List

In one of my first posts on this site, I told you about my bucket list.

It would seem redundant to have posted that list if I had no intention of ticking items off somewhere along the way, so this is just a quick update, to say that I have marked two items off in the last month:

Number 9 – Bungee jump

and

Number 16 – Get a tattoo

You can check up on my progress at Act Positively, Plan Negatively, And Expect Nothing

I’ve been fairly quiet lately, I’ve been silently brewing a few posts under the surface

New material COMING SOON!

A Travel Tally

I’m repacking my bag, ready for the next adventure.

It turns out there are only about 3 items I still carry with me which are originals from the first bag I packed.

Time for a tally!

Days away from home: 916

Amount of times I have had to replace/re-purchase the following items:

Bank cards x4;

Cameras x3;

Earphones x3;

Thongs/Flip flops/Jandals x4 (It should be noted, that the first pair had lasted me 7 years prior to this trip); Continue reading A Travel Tally

The Facts and Feelings of K Road Crime

Karangahape Road – the unglamorous and drug addled roadside hooker centre of Auckland.

Known fondly among locals simply as “K’ Road”, this is a street in upper central Auckland famous for its bars, clubs, smaller shops and being a former red-light district.

The conversation started half way along this street, at about 11pm, sober, bar one or two experimental cocktails.

“I feel very safe here” Continue reading The Facts and Feelings of K Road Crime

Excuse Me, Do You Sell Prawn Cocktail?

Where is Home?

1. Home is a small town in South Wales, where my immediate family live and where I grew up.

2. Home is Fremantle in Western Australia, where I felt healthier than I’ve ever been and made great friends.

3. Home is Broome, where I discovered a person inside me I’d never even known existed, faced my fears and fell in love.

4. Home is Auckland, where I am right now, looking for work and a place to rest my head at night.

5. Home is wherever I can get my hands on a prawn cocktail flavour crisp sandwich.

Continue reading Excuse Me, Do You Sell Prawn Cocktail?

While You Were Tweeting…

Sitting on the bus, watching Melbourne pass me by, I spotted a small alleyway. A side street from the main road. Colourful. Exciting. It was Hosier Lane, famous for street art and elaborate graffiti. I would later visit it and see incredible artworks the size of the buildings. People around me on the bus are on their phones. They didn’t see it. It belongs to me. Continue reading While You Were Tweeting…

Act Positively, Plan Negatively, And Expect Nothing

Everybody has one.

It probably grows unexpectedly every time you go somewhere new and exciting.

It might only be a short one, but it still counts.

You may not have given it a name, still counts.

It might not have been formally documented in a Microsoft Project plan, with timescales and budget afforded to it, but it definitely counts.

It may not even be all that realistic, but you still might try, yup, counts.

I want to take a minute to share, with anybody who’ll read it, MY BUCKET LIST!

Continue reading Act Positively, Plan Negatively, And Expect Nothing

Don’t Fart in a Shared Dorm

The Ten Commandments of Backpacker Etiquette

 

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all have little quirks that annoy others.  Friends, family, loved ones, they are most likely to tell you when you’re doing something that causes frustration, or give off clear signals to suggest that your behaviour is not to their liking.  But what about people you don’t know?  What about the ever-so-polite people you meet every day who you don’t even realise you’re upsetting!

 

For those with the money to do it in style, I’m sure you’ll shrug off the trusty backpack.  Maybe you always choose the upgrade to a private room on group tours, or have a personal chauffeur to drag your overweight suitcases to and from the limousine for you, where you travel with leg room and a three course meal and champagne, served to you by a monkey in a top hat and tails on golden roller skates.  Maybe not.  I don’t know you.  But when you travel on a shoestring budget, you are likely to experience some pretty cosy sleeping arrangements, a few sweaty and awkward public transport journeys and some accidental elbow bumping at hostel mealtimes.

 

Your experiences whilst travelling are completely unique to you, but wouldn’t a few universal ground rules make things mildly more comfortable?  Please take a minute to consider a few suggestions for appropriate backpacker conduct.

Continue reading Don’t Fart in a Shared Dorm

VIPASSANA – Can You Really Un-think Yourself Happy?

Meditation. It’s not as easy as it looks.

 

Four months ago, I was messy. The kind of messy that makes people you know stop answering your calls encase you cry, again. But luckily not everybody is as harsh as my mother, and a good friend suggested to me that maybe there was something more productive I could do with my time than sit around complaining and feeling sorry for myself. She wasn’t wrong. My brain works at about 100mph and could probably do with some down time. Ten days of silence, alone with your own thoughts, learning to meditate. That sounds like BLISS! Not everybody’s initial response I’m sure, but at that stage in my life, perfect!

 

Vipassana is a Buddhist meditation technique, focussing your mind on you, teaching people to accept the reality of the present moment “As it is”, the basic idea being, to lead people towards a simple and happy life. One important thing to understand is that this is NOT a religious preaching seminar. You do not need to be a Buddhist, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Jedi or even if you still have gils, this is a course and a technique which is available to absolutely anybody at no cost, as long as you’re lucky enough to have a 10 day gap in your working / living schedule which corresponds with a course.

 

In my prior ignorance, ten days of silence sounded extremely difficult. I talk incessantly to anybody who’ll listen, so most of my friends and family snorted at the idea I could even entertain an hour of zipped lip. But I love a challenge.

Continue reading VIPASSANA – Can You Really Un-think Yourself Happy?