Tag Archives: Backpacking

Part 10 – Mzungu!

Our coordinator met us from the bus and walked us into the grounds of the children’s centre, through the front gate and along the temporary pathway.  Is that an old toilet bowl just there on the ground? Continue reading Part 10 – Mzungu!

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Part 8 – Limuru

The tiny, gated community of Brakenhurst was the most picturesque little corner of the world I’d ever visited.  Small huts and cottages were dotted around a steady green hillside, each separated from the one next door by rows of perfectly trimmed hedges and beautiful flower beds.  A thick woodland lined the driveway to the village and beyond that, lush green fields in every direction. Continue reading Part 8 – Limuru

Part 7 – Onwards

The journey from central Nairobi was an interesting one.  It was the first time I’d set foot outside of my hotel since arriving two days earlier, and the absolute first time on the city streets in daylight.

Nairobi is an insanely busy city.  The rush hour I travelled through felt like it went on for days and I’ve never seen so many people entering and exiting buildings at one time.

The roads were so hectic throughout the city, I can’t imagine how anybody ever reaches their destination.  But there seemed some order to the chaos.  To the untrained eye this was an absolute circus, but I could tell that everybody around me knew their next move in this city-wide morning dance routine.  Continue reading Part 7 – Onwards

Part 6 – Bookings

It hadn’t crossed my mind that since my charity weren’t expecting me for another 24 hours, neither would my hotel.

The agent who had helped me with my travel arrangements had done a mostly wonderful job of setting me up with beautiful charities, hotels, tour companies and generally life changing experiences, with only the small minor mistake of booking my very first flight 24 hours too early for everything.  Nobody in this country was expecting me. Continue reading Part 6 – Bookings

Part 5 – Westgate

After some time, and several more phone calls, it had become clear that this woman, this helpful stranger, was my only hope.  In hindsight, I probably could have been a little more confident and independent and selected a trustworthy taxi driver from the crowds of men shouting “Taxi? Taxi!” in my face.

But I wasn’t confident.

I didn’t feel independent.

I was totally alone.

I was starting to question whether my charity was even real. Continue reading Part 5 – Westgate

Part 4 – Stranger

Three hours after my flight had touched down in Kenya, I was relieved to be sitting.

Sat on a knee-high wall at the exit to the airport, I had finally given up and removed my backpack, resting it safely upright between my knees.

Still no sign of a pick-up. Continue reading Part 4 – Stranger

Part 3 – Pacing

The first time alone away from home can stir up a lot of new feelings and emotions.

As I strolled through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, my first feelings were of apprehension, sadness and frankly, surprise, at how shoddy the airport looked.  The entire building seemed to be made of canvas, as though it wasn’t meant to be there.  I vaguely remembered something about a small fire in recent months, but even with tents and canopies in place of the permanent building, the crowds around me were overwhelming and disorganised.  Continue reading Part 3 – Pacing

Part 1 – Beforehand

On August 7th 2013, at approximately 4.30am local time, a raging fire broke out inside the main terminal building at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi.  The fire destroyed two of the three units within the building and incoming flights were diverted to alternative airports in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.  Thankfully, there were no fatalities as a result of the blaze. Continue reading Part 1 – Beforehand

A New Beginning – The Full, Troublesome Journey…

I know.

I’m that absolute cliché of a traveller.

I started travelling, started a blog, posted a couple of things with no real direction, came home and now I post daily pictures of the life I once had on my Instagram account.  Yuk, right?

Well, maybe.  But I’m ready to change my ways, I promise! Continue reading A New Beginning – The Full, Troublesome Journey…

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

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

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?

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