Road Trip Our Journey – Part 2

The next day we drove from Narooma onto the next town, Batemans Bay and found a YHA caravan site which we managed to book for a few days. A small anonymous donation to the ‘Help your child abroad’ foundation helped us out massively. What we were able to book was a tiny caravan in the YHA which was advertised as a ‘private room’. To be honest we were just happy to be inside again. We spent a few days there, blogging and showering in hot water and downloading more Netflix.

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-03 at 17.45.46-2

While we were there Olly re-downloaded the Couch Surfer App and began to look for our next place to stay. We found a local guy called Brad who was willing to take us in for a few days. We wanted to stay with locals for a few reasons. One was to save money and the other was to get more information about the areas we were in. The towns we were stopping in along this road trip I have either never heard of, or knew nothing about so locals information was crucial to use exploring.

View from Brads House - Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

We went to Brads house and immediately we were made to feel right at home. He introduced us to his 3 children and showed us to our room. A DOUBLE BED, INDOORS! Clearly we were appreciating the small things in life once again. We attempted to go and buy some food for dinner but Brad was having none of it, he insisted that he would cook us dinner and it was delicious. Brad also made his own rum which is my favourite drink of all time, was this heaven? Unlimited STRONG rum! We chilled in the living room, chatting to him and his kids, watching TV which was really nice. We looked at each other and realised how nice it was to just sit in front of the TV chatting to people. We haven’t done this in months and it just felt so nice and homely. We were instantly overwhelmed with Brad opening his home up to us and making us feel this comfortable after only a few hours.

Batemans Bay

The next day we headed out to a beach Brad had told us about called Pebbly Beach which had lots of friendly kangaroos. When we got there, there were none. Kangaroos are normally spotted at dawn and dusk so we decided to go for a walk as we had a few hours until they might appear. We checked our maps and saw a route along the coast line and headed straight for it.

 Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

This is the last time I am letting Olly plan the whole day as he didn’t tell me the hike was about 3 hours long. Well, it was meant to take an hour and a half but we stopped to take photos, explored off the beaten track ect. As we were in the trees we couldn’t really see the weather but we either kept getting cold at the edge of the cliffs and then freezing closer to the beaches. We made it to Snake Beach which was lovely but the weather started to take a turn for the worst. It started to rain so we tried to run back to the entrance but the track wasn’t as perfect as we had liked and kept slipping over. We were so focused on getting back to the car and we were so tired we forgot all about the kangaroos and jumped back into the car to head back to Brads house.

Road Trip  Our Journey Part 2. Milly running through the bush!

That evening Brad cooked us dinner again which was beautiful, and we chatted all night long about growing up in Australia and just realising the differences between our childhood and his. After a few Rums we headed to bed as I was tipsy as hell. Not drinking anything for a while really does take its toll on your tolerance for alcohol.

Lake Tabourie- Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

We said goodbye to Brad and headed onto Lake Tabourie caravan park. This accommodation seemed too good to be true. It started off at $22 a night for us to camp and then reduced everyday we stayed. In the end we were paying $7 a day to stay here. This place was huge! It had lots of camping kitchens and stoves, it had mini golf, tennis courts, swimming pool and backed onto the beach. This place seemed like heaven! We had some time to kill so we planned to stay here for a few days, making the most of our surrounding.

Date night!

The first day we sat in the outdoor kitchen, which had a TV, cooking our dinner over the stove and downloading Netflix. This was still pretty cold but they did have inside toilets and hot showers so we weren’t complaining. Most nights we spent in the car, in bed watching Netflix, trying to stay warm!

Lake Tabourie caravan park.

The next few days we worked out, running around the whole campsite, we explored the beach at sunset and managed to get some great photos, we also played some mini golf for our date night. It wasn’t until our 4th day here we realised we had been walking past a room we didn’t even take notice of. Olly had a look in and he found an indoor kitchen filled with an oven, kettles, tv, toasters, etc. We felt like the biggest idiots ever as we had been freezing our arses off for days! This made life a lot easier especially making dinner. After copious about of Tea and biscuits in the evenings we were a lot more comfortable getting into bed slightly warmer.

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The day we were leaving Lake Tabourie the funniest thing happened to me and Olly so far of our travels. We somehow managed to adopt hundreds of children that didn’t understand boundaries,  the children being rainbow lorikeets. They landing on my head and arms thinking I had food due to dropping crumbs of bread on the floor. They then started to fight one another while they were on my arm! A photo says a 1000 words… this one definitely does!

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Jervis Bay was our next location. Olly had once again struck gold and hooked us up with another Couch Surfer near Basin View in Jervis Bay. Tom was our host who was a 29 year old teacher who had once travelled him self in Europe. We arrived at his place and again were blown away with his hospitality. He invited us that night to the pub with his friends to watch the State Of Origins Game, which we knew nothing about. I am sure our 100 questions about the game didn’t help his evening but they were all very nice explaining the rules to us! Tom and his friends gave us some great places to check out over the next few days.

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The next day we woke up early and headed out, exploring every place they had told us about. We walked for a few hours when we arrived at Gosangs Tunnel. Tom had told us that we needed to go here as we could get some cool photos but had never been himself. We arrived and realised we had to crawl through a small tunnel which had naturally been carved out through the rock. If I could see what was on the other side I wouldn’t have done this, as when we got to the other side it was a sheer drop into the sea. Extremely dangerous but seriously worth it! The view was amazing and we even managed to get the drone up to capture this amazing place we had stumbled upon.

Gosangs Tunnel

The light was quickly fading so we headed back to the car which was still a fair walk. Tom had also recommended we checked out Hyams Beach due to it being the whitest sand in the world. We jumped back in the car and headed around to the other side of the bay which was a good 45 minute drive. We had also been told by Toms friend that the houses along the beach front are to die for too it being a very affluent area. We arrived just before sunset and grabbed a coffee from the small cafe on the beach front. Coffee in one hand and cameras in the other we took the short walk along the beach and we can confirm, It defiantly is the whitest sand we have ever seen!

Hyams Beach

We headed back to Toms place and made ourselves at home by making spaghetti carbonara whilst he was out at a boxing class. Tom returned home a few hours later and we spent the rest of the evening chatting and watching videos of him on his local radio station. We forgot to mention Tom is in a band and a great guitarist and singer. We said good night and had an early night due to getting up early the next day for our next adventure.

Wilsons beach

Couch Surfing is something we 100% would recommend. It is so warming to know there are nice people out there willing to help you out especially when your half a world a way from home. It’s an extremely nice feeling, especially to feel at home in someone else house after months of hostels. Not only was this experience welcoming, it gave us lots of things to do and places to explore which we would not have known about. Going to a strangers house can be scary and dangerous, but if there is more than 1 of you then please consider it! We had never done it before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was so much fun and interesting. If that isn’t what travelling is about, trying something new and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone then I don’t know what is!

Jervis Bay - Road Trip Our Journey - Part 2

Our next drive is onto Canberra to get the car sorted and back to the Snowy Mountains to start our jobs in a private members Chalet! It can’t get much colder than camping in the car, can it?

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Road Trip Our Journey – Part 1

Couple goals, Tartha NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

We started our road trip leaving Jindabyne and heading towards the coast for a NSW mini road trip, our first stop was Bega! We originally were calling it Beggar but we soon learnt it is pronounced Bee-ga. We drove from the Snowy Mountains and straight through the flattest land we have ever seen. We came to a mountain we had to drive through and stopped off at this beautiful look-out at the top, the views were amazing. This lookout was a memorial to a bus driver who drove this route for 26 years who passed away while shovelling snow off his front garden.

Olly, Fred Piper Memorial NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

As we now had 3 weeks until we can head back to the mountains to start work, we have to be very careful with money. We were hoping to find some cash in hand work along the road trip but as its winter, not many places were looking to hire people. This meant saving as much as we could but still enjoying our time on the road.

We researched places to stay and found the cheapest place, which was in a caravan park in the town of Bega. This little town had a lot to offer us in things to see and do. We drove around to Tathra and explored the beaches there. The best thing about travelling with Olly is we both love photography, so a day exploring taking photos and drinking coffee is enough for us. Not to mention it only costs us $8 for the whole day. We walked around exploring all the lookouts we could find, driving through the national parks and walking through amazing forests.

NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

 

 NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

We spent a few days in Bega and found a local McDonalds to plan the next part of our road trip. Taking into consideration us not earning anything while being on the road, we tried to cut costs as much as possible. The biggest outgoing for us was accommodation so we decided to head to Kmart to buy a blow up mattress. Sleeping in our beaten up wagon was always in the back of our minds, we were just expecting it to be a lot later in the year, when it wasn’t winter. We bought all kinds of camping gear and Olly was very excited, me on the other hand, not to much!

 NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

 

We left Bega and headed to Biamanga national park close by which we could camp in for free. Camping laws are very complex and annoying at times but we found a spot with no one around, looking out over the sea. We got to our camping spot only to find out its illegal to burn wood from the park with the threat of a $3000 fine if caught. We had literally just unpacked and blown up the bed in the back of the car, so I offered to stay put while Olly drove half an hour away to buy some wood. While Olly was doing this I sat on the beach, in the freezing cold, watching Netflix and a baby wallaby came to join me. He followed me from the beach back to the camp and pretty much spent the whole time with us.

NSW Australia, Road trip - our journey

This spot was beautiful but as it was right on the beach it was extremely windy! Olly returned and we got a fire going and attempted to cook dinner on an open fire. This was the first test, to see if we could do this for the next few weeks. This night was by far the coldest I have ever experienced in my life. It was so cold I nearly cried at how much I was hating it. This first night camping taught us a lot. We knew for the next night it would be better to have everything ready such as thermals, cooking equipment and portable chargers. The next morning when we woke up we herd someone on the beach shout ‘whales’. We opened the boot and jumped out taking the drone with us. The whales were so far out but we sent the drone out anyway and it was worth it. The pictures and videos we got of this family of whales made the whole night worth it.

Family of Whales in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Our next night camping proved to be 100000% better. We drove to Mystery bay and this camp site was huge. We drove right to the top of the camp site which was like a peninsula with huge cliffs at the end. The site was guarded from the wind due to the amount of trees. We found a huge log to sit on which was already so much more comfortable than sitting on the damp ground the night before. We set up our camp, making a stove and organising our bed and belongings before it got dark. We also spent an hour gathering wood to keep the fire going. As I have never camped before I had no idea how much upkeep a fire needs! It really takes all your energy to keep warm! This night was so much better and we bought marshmallows and chocolate to have round the fire and then we wrapped up warm in our sleeping bags and got into bed and watched a film on my IPad, perfect!

 

Day three of our road trip we headed north along the coast to the beautiful town of Narooma. Although this site was quite exposed as it was basically on the beach, it was a small sacrifice for everything else that came with it. Not only was it the cheapest campsite we could find, but it came with fire pits, changing rooms, toilets inside and warm showers! This small aspect of your life you take for granted, such as being able to pee indoors, or actually have a fresh water shower. It really makes you appreciate everything a lot more. We explored Narooma taking photos along the way. We even managed to spot some Seals along the harbour wall.

Australia Rock, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Australia Rock, Narooma Australia
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma Australia - Road trip Our journey
Bar Rock Lookout, Narooma

We were saving money and having fun which was what we wanted to do on this road trip. Sleeping in our car which did I forget to mention didn’t have a roof lining due to the previous owners ripping it, again something you take for granted. Due to this lack of linking the orange foam insulation is exposed. This mean every time you climb in or out of the car and sit up to much you are greeted with a hair full of itchy foam. Additionally being freezing every night and having to buy food that we could easily cook over a fire was taking its toll. We treated our selves to fish and chips which we ate in front of our fire. It was so worth it and so nice not to have to spend hours making dinner.

Camping in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Stay tunned for Part 2 !

 

Camping in Australia - Road trip Our journey

Medicare – Everything you need to know about Australian health care

Medicare is Australia’s version of the NHS in England. We as Brits are extremely lucky to be offered this service for free. Other backpackers have to pay hundreds of Dollars to even be seen in an A&E.

I can not emphasis this enough, if you are from the following countries then PLEASE SIGN UP TO MEDICARE!!

I had 3 surgeries and one dislocated knee and I did not pay a penny! I was seen the same day I was admitted into Hospital and 2 out of the 3 times I had surgery within a few hours. 

Australia’s health care is so good and it is free for the countries above so please please please register for it as it could save you hundreds of dollars if anything happens to you.

Before one of my operations a German guy had been admitted to A&E after getting a Pool Que in the eye and he tried to leave after a long wait and he was billed around $800 for just being admitted.

DO NOT BE THAT PERSON!

 To Apply for Medicare you will need to go to one of their offices and supply the below information. Once you have applied they will give you a temporary card with your medicare number on it, your official card will be sent to the Australian address you have supplied during the application process, this normally takes between 2-3 weeks. 

Take a photo of this number, text it to your family or simply do not lose the card. You will need this number every time you are seen by a doctor and its hard to access it once you have lost it.

Search on the following website for a Medicare centre near you  Click Here<<

To be eligible for Medicare you must:

  • Be a resident in any of the above countries immediately before arriving in Australia

Documents you need to enrol in Medicare:

  • A current passport – includes those issued in Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey
  • Visa documents
  • Australian address ( use a hostel’s address you will be for a long time)

How long your cover lasts:

It starts the day you arrive in Australia.

When it ends depends on the country you’re visiting from. You can only use it while you have a valid visa.

It ends on the day your visa expires if you’re from:

  • Finland
  • Norway
  • the Republic of Ireland
  • Sweden
  • the UK

It ends on the day your European Health Insurance Card expires, or the day your visa expires if earlier, if you’re from:

  • Belgium
  • the Netherlands
  • Slovenia

If you’re from Italy or Malta, it ends:

    • after 6 months
    • the day your European Health Insurance Card expires, or
    • the day your visa expires, if earlier

 Students:

If you’re in Australia on a student visa, you’re eligible to enrol in Medicare.

If you’re a student from one of these countries

You’re not covered if you’re a student from:

  • Finland
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • the Republic of Ireland

Cover:

If you’re from any of the other agreement countries it covers:

  • medically necessary care out of hospital
  • medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital
  • prescription medicines at a lower price – this is the general rate for drugs in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Seeing the doctor:

You can see a doctor in a private practice or a community health centre. It is up to the doctor how they charge you for the service.

They can charge you by:

  • giving you a bill to pay – most doctors in private practice do this
  • sending the bill straight to Medicare – This is called bulk billing (you must be enrolled in Medicare)

Bulk Billing is a must!! This allows the doctor the send the whole bill straight to medicare ensuring that you will not have a thing. Show your reciprocal health care card and sign a Medicare form after you see the doctor, you won’t need to pay.

If you are at a private doctor the chances are you will have to pay the whole consultation cost which is usually around $70, or you will be able to claim a percentage back from medicare which is around 32%.

If you do get caught out and have to pay on the day:

You can,

Medicare can only pay the money into an Australian bank account.

Going to hospital:

You will need your passport or reciprocal health care card. Tell them you want care as a public patient.

As a public patient in a public hospital you won’t have to pay for your stay or treatment there.

You’ll need to pay the full fees if you choose care:

  • as a private patient in a public hospital
  • in a private hospital

You can’t claim these fees back from Medicare.

Everything Medicare related can be found Here.

Jindabyne – Our Journey

Road to Jindabyne The reason we came back to Australia this time round was to try to get a job at one of the ski resorts. We had been unsuccessful with our online applications earlier in the year due to visa issues, so we thought the next best thing would be to turn up and find work the old fashion way, face to face. In order to do this we needed to get to a town called Jindabyne, which is at the bottom of the Snowy Mountains and the closest town to the three Ski resorts, Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. Once we had bought our car in Sydney it was late in the day so we decided to only drive to Canberra as this is only two hours away. We also realised it was the weekend and heading to the ski resorts to hand out CV’s might not be the best idea, so we hung out in Canberra for a few days. We explored the area, which included the shopping centres as it was only getting colder and our clothes we had been wearing in the Philippines weren’t going to cut it. Whilst exploring we went to the parliament building which is located on a huge roundabout and witnessed an aboriginal protest.

Cambera Parliment House

The next day we headed to Jindabyne not knowing what to expect. There is only one hostel in Jindabyne so when we checked in and found out we were pretty much the only guests.. we were a little surprised. We started printing Cv’s off, walking around this tiny town to get more of a feel for the area. As I (Milly) have never skied before I have no idea how anything works or where you stay when you ski, this is all a learning experience for me! It became quickly apparent that the two weeks before the ski season starts the whole town seems to go on holiday, a kind of calm before the snowy storm. This wasn’t helpful as our face to face approach for job hunting went straight out the window.

Lake Jindabyne

We drove to Thredbo which is one of the most popular ski resort and started to ask around about jobs. As it is located in a national park we have to pay $17 a day to enter to hand out CV’s or talk to people, which started to add up as most of the locals were also on holiday before the season kicks off, so we were told to come back in a few days. Not only were most of the shops closed, but the locals who had already started work were complaining to us how hard it is for them to find accommodation on the resort. They explained they were living in Jindabyne which is a half an hour drive in good conditions. Not ideal for a daily commute through the snow. We were only trying to buy coffee and we got a ‘you should have applied earlier’ from a barista…thanks HUN but I wasn’t about to bother you with our visa sob story…We suddenly realised that if they couldn’t find accommodation on the resort then neither could we and the hour drive to and from work in snow looked like it might be our only option. We also learnt that most of the work was housekeeping which didn’t offer accommodation so we started to let go of the dream of working and living at Thredbo. Some lovely locals told us about a Facebook page which most of the town of Jindabyne use to find staff for the winter season, so we went back to the hostel to check it out. This page proved extremely useful as we emailed every single person advertising work on there with lots of responses. We actually got offered 6 jobs, unfortunately none came with accommodation. 

Spencers Creek

We had spent a few days in the hostel in Jindabyne, mainly because I had the flu, sending emails etc and finally we received an email for a joint Skype interview with a couple from a lodge in Charlottes Pass. The WiFi wasn’t great but we managed to have our first joint interview for the roles of live-in help at a private members lodge. Having an interview with my boyfriend is probably one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever had. We have never had to sell ourselves as a couple before and I felt like it was an intense version of meet the parents. This particular job advertised for a couple, so we were pretty lucky to have seen this kind of job. It came with living quarters for me and Olly and it was helping out around the lodge with the couple that are running it this year. It seemed perfect! We knew there were others interviewing for this role but we fell in love with the idea of it. We were offered a chance to go and have a look around as Charlottes Pass is the most remote of the ski resorts, once it snows and shuts the roads you are stuck there…or you have to pay $$$$ to use the snow overground to the next ski resort. Over the next few days we went to see the lodge and meet Jules and Stephan. As soon as we left we both looked at each other knowing we both really loved it and really hope we were successful with the job. Being in the area helped us massively as the next day we received the call we had got the jobs!!!! We were so bloody excited we went out for a celebratory pizza..which is a luxury as eating out is so expensive here. 

 

We traveled back to Canberra to get some bits for the car and stock up on toiletries for the next few months and then headed back to Jindabyne. We stuck around for the ski sale which a few locals told us about and managed to get all our ski and snowboard gear for extremely cheap prices. The only thing we bought brand new were our boots as apparently that is the most important part. Safe to say my new boots are so much more comfortable than the rentals I’m used to! We stayed in a different location in Jindabyne which was essentially a cabin within a caravan park. It was amazing, there was a sauna and jacuzzi which was absolute luxury, we indulged!! 

Jindabyne Caravan Park

We took all of our heavy boots and toiletries back up to Charlotte’s Pass before it snows and they shut the roads. Once it snows we would have had to have bought chains for the car wheels and struggled to get there in our 2 wheel drive. We unloaded everything and waved goodbye to Jules and Stephan as we had 3 weeks until we officially started work.

Trader Joe's Garage

We made a plan to do a mini road trip which involves camping to try to save money as we have to make our savings stretch another month. We have done road trips before but in huge camper vans which had a bed and somewhere to sit and cooking facilities so we knew we could do it again. Olly was a scout so he loves camping and the outdoors, me on the other hand, I have never camped or willingly slept in a car. I asked my Dad why we had never camped as a family and he said because we wouldn’t have anywhere for my Mum to plug her hairdryer in. That moment right there, I could finally see myself in both parents, likes the outdoors but prefers nice hair. 

Wish us luck for our next journey on the road!

Perisher

 

All the gear, yet no idea!

 

A question we always get asked on Instagram or our blog is,

“How did you get that shot” or “ What drone or camera are you using and where can I buy it from at the best price”

So this post will be a comprehensive guide on all the kit we use, from our main camera all the way down to the filters and spare batteries.

But first a quick introduction to my (Olly) knowledge of cameras and how to take pictures and videos. 

About 6 months ago my knowledge of cameras finished at my iPhone. I had no idea about how light dramatically effects your camera, shutter speeds or exposure. But thanks to a handy website called YouTube and a lot of hours binge watching some of the best photographers and videographers, I slowly started to gain a basic knowledge of how a camera works. 

Luckily I have an amazing girlfriend who happened to study photography at university. So putting my new basically knowledge together with what she knows we ended up with the unexploredfootsteps Instagram page. 

Fast forward those 6 months and we are getting all our kits ready for our next travel adventure. Below is all the gear we use and a link to where to find it at the best price.

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 18.52.46

So let’s start with the BAG we are carrying all this equipment around in.

Manfrotto Bumblebee 220L light camera backpack

(click on the photo for the best price)

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This bag comes with some of the best protection for your camera gear that’s on the market. With 3D shock absorbing foam and a structural reinforced board you can be sure you equipment won’t be getting damaged anytime soon. We have literally climbed up a waterfall and bashed it around doing so and nothing was damaged or wet.

There are a number of compartments on this bag, one designed for your laptop and charger. The main front compartment for your camera, lenses and drone. Then a number of outer pockets for documents headphones and a water bottle. All this is then neatly wrapped up in a lightweight rain cover allowing you to continue shooting whatever the weather.

We easily manage to fit ALL our camera equipment including our drone within this bag and still have a little room for extras. Additionally it is small enough to take on the plane for your hand luggage. 

Cameras

Main camera – Panasonic G80 with kit lens 12-60mm

(click on the photo for the best price)

g80_mkit_slant_k_lcdThis camera with the kit lens is great for a beginner who is looking to practise and develop their camera skills. With a flip out screen which allows you to see what you’re shooting at any angle and a water-resistant body, which allows you to shoot some of the best waterfalls in the world. If video is more your thing then this camera can shoot up to 60fps at 1080p for that smooth slow motion or 30fps at 4K. This camera as a package with the kit lens is a total steal. If you were to buy them separate you are looking at a few extra hundred pounds, together it is a great bargain, even if you sold the lens on its own after.

Second Lens – Panasonic 25mm/1.7 ASPH

(click on the photo for the best price)

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If you are on a budget then this lens is another great purchase. At a lower aperture than the kit lens it allows your camera to shoot better in low light and also get those beautiful portrait shots with the blurred back ground. 

GoPro- Hero 6

(click on the photo for the best price)

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GoPro’s are a must if you want to get those underwater shots. Not only that they are so versatile that you can throw them around to an extent and they won’t break, which is great for travelling. They are super small and can shoot in all different formats. You can also buy a number of accessory kits so you can strap your GoPro to basically anywhere you like. We would recommend this GoPro due to the incredible colours and stability this camera offers. The comparison of quality, colours and stability to the models that came before it are amazing. Check out YouTube videos comparing the 5 to the 6.

Spare batteries

(click on the photo for the best price)

51tcbFTMcAL._SX355_The last thing you want is to be out in the middle of nowhere getting some amazing shots and BOOM your batteries dead. We always travel with another two spare batteries for all our equipment so we never miss a shot. Now you can get the Panasonic branded ones which are expensive. Or just get the aftermarket ones which do the exact same job just as well at a fraction of the price.  GoPro Hero 6

SD cards

(click on the photo for the best price)

f70fc355-4971-4183-a23b-3c3b1a510408_1.30bcc702b96cff8ed18ac7d389d9b42eJust like the batteries you don’t want to be running out of space once you get a little carried away taking so many shots. I would highly recommend spending a little extra money and buying cards with a quicker write speed especially  if you are going to be shooting videos in 4K or taking lots of images in quick succession. Again like our batteries we always have lots of spare cards and they are easy to lose and corrupt.

ND Filters

(click on the photo for the best price)

Hoya_A77VDY_77mm_Variable_Density_Filter_857429This is a must if you are going to be out taking pictures in the middle of the day or in bright light. Essentially the filter is a pair of sunglasses for your camera. Even though it is a small piece of kit it will dramatically improve your images. There are two ways to buy filters, you can either buy a filter for every size lens you own which will quickly start costing you a small fortune ,or the more cost-effective way is work out the size of your biggest lens and buy the filter in this size then purchase some step up rings which are very cheap and will allow the filter to fit all your lens sizes. I would recommend a variable filter this allows you to change the strength of the filter depending on the light conditions.

Tripod/ Gorilla Pod

(click on the photo for the best price)GPod_Hybrid_ExplodedView_SQAlthough we don’t currently use a large tripod we are finding ourselves in more situations where having one would make our lives so much easier. It would allow us to place the camera in some crazy locations and positions and being able to capture the unique shots. The only downside is they are a lot bigger to carry around, therefore we only use the gorilla pod which is still great as it allows your to attach the camera to pretty much anywhere, although it isn’t as stable.

Now let’s talk about DRONES!

This is probably the number one question we get asked.

DJI Mavic Pro

(click on the photo for the best price)0012457_dji-mavic-pro-official-by-dji-msiaThis drone is incredible. If you are someone looking to buy their first drone, or starting to get into photography and are planning on travelling this is the drone for you. Although DJI have made the SPARK and the AIR the Mavic still has some big advantages over the other two smaller models. Being slightly bigger than the other two means the battery is bigger, which means a longer flight time. Not only that it means you can fly the Mavic higher and further. The other advantage of having a slightly bigger drone is that it will handle better in the high winds. This gives you a better chance of getting those perfect focused shots. Your final choice will predominatly come down to how much room you have in your bag and how much weight you want to carry. All three drones are great but for someone looking for a slightly high spec of drone the Mavic is the one.

If you really want to up your photography game then you can always upgrade from the Mavic and get your hands on the DJI PHANTOM 4 Pro. This come will a longer flight time and a huge upgrade on the camera quality. 

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Again just like our cameras we always have spare Batteries and Micro SD Cards. The drones take micro SD cards so unfortunately you can’t switch them from your camera. For the best prices on drone battery’s and micro SD card check the link below.

DJI_Mavic_Filters_PolarPro_Cinema_Shutter_ND_Filter_1024x1024(click on the photo for the best price)

ND filtersfor your drone is also a huge MUST. High up in the sky it is bright and I mean very bright. Luckily the lens on the drone is all one size so you can easily buy a pack of filters in a number of strength and are easily interchangeable depending on the weather and location.

Editing

Apple 15” MacBook Pro

(click on the photo for the best price)

macbook-pro-2017-13-in-refurbished_00This is really down to personal preference as to which sort of laptop you use to edit your images and videos. We both love Apple Macs and believe they are by far the easiest devices to use when it comes to picture and video editing. It helps we both have iPhones so everything nicely syncs together. The only thing you really need to be aware of is the amount of RAM your device has. The more RAM your laptop has the quicker it will perform the tasks. This is especially important when editing videos as low RAM will lead to major lagging.

Iphone 8 Plus

Mobile phones have come along way since your first Nokia playing snake. This also includes the cameras and the software built inside allowing you to take all sorts of videos and photo’s. Our phones are one of our go to cameras when we haven’t got our big camera bag on us or we need something quick on hand to capture the moment. Getting a device with a large storage is also a must, even with the iCloud you will still fill this bad boy up quickly.

IPad Mini

With both of us tapping away trying to edit and writing blog posts having two devices is very handy. The iPad is perfect for people who are planning to travel and don’t want to spend the money on a laptop or worry about taking such an expensive item away with them. We mainly use ours for watching movies but I have actually written this whole post on our iPad mini. 

Headphones

(click on the photo for the best price)

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Now you can stick to your standard apple headphone/earpods which get pretty uncomfortable after length of time. This is why you need a nice comfy pair preferably wireless with noise cancelling to drone out the screaming babies on the plane or just send you to sleep at night. There are so many different types and brands so i cant give a detailed review. But these are the ones i use and they are extremely comfortable and are not stupidly expensive.

A handy top tip to save money on music whilst you are travelling is to take advantage of the big company’s offers such as Amazon. They regularly promote free trials for a month or two of their music streaming and downloading service. Sign up and then feel free to cancel your free trial at any point and listen to a months worth of free music. You can just change your email address and sign up again or just find a new offer.

Below is a link to an amazing offer Amazon are giving away. Use the link to sign up free now

         Portable Battery Charger

(click on the photo for the best price)

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There are lots of types of portable chargers. I would recommend getting a larger bank which gives you multiple charges throughout the day.

Hard Drive

(click on the photo for the best price)resizeThis is how you will be storing all of you work and it is very important to have more than one!! You hear horror stories of people who backup all their hard work to one hard drive, and then a moment later it slips out of your hand or some how becomes corrupt and you have lost everything. This is another plus with using a Mac, all our work is saved to the iCloud along with two hard drives. Again its better to get a larger storage size rather than run out of space.

Adobe Suite

The software we use to edit all our images and videos is the Adobe suite package, this included Lightroom and Premier Pro. We both have used YouTube again in order to learn how to use this software and then add our own style.

Bondi – The Travel Guide

We loved Bondi so much that we felt it needed its own blog post! The famous Bondi beach is one of those places you’ve either heard of or seen on TV, mainly for Bondi Rescue! It is a beautiful beach not too far from Sydney with lots to see and do! If we can tell you to visit anywhere in Sydney its Bondi! The whole area is very relaxed and Bondi & Brunch go hand in hand.

Bondi The Guide

Accomodation - Bondi the Travel Guide

Bondi Backpackers The best ocean views at Sydney’s most iconic beach – Bondi Backpackers is the perfect place to live the Australian beach lifestyle. Experience the culture of Bondi and its surrounds at its waterfront location, mere seconds from the sand. This is one of the best hostels we have stayed at in Australia! It is by far one of the cleanest hostels and every single person cleans up after them selves which is unheard of in hostel life. The people here are really nice and super chill. The hostel offers free morning yoga, free personal training and free surfboard hire.

Bondi Backpackers - Bondi The Guide

Bondi Backpackers - Bondi The Guide

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Bondi Beach…Durr

Bondi Beach- Bondi The Guide

Bondi to Coogee walk – Highly recommended!! Whale season is between June – November and along this walk you are able to see Whales if you are very lucky! The areas along the walk are Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. Many of these areas have salt water baths/swimming pools which you can swim in as well as many cafes and toilets. The distance is 6km which roughly takes around 2 hours, this walk can take as long as you want if you stop as much as we did to take photos..it took us 6. We highly recommend stopping at Bare Naked Bowls along the way for a healthy smoothie or snack in Bronte! 

Bondi Beach- Bondi The Guide

Bondi Beach- Bondi The Guide

Bronte Beach- Bondi The Guide

All below pictures are from each locations website., unless stated otherwise.

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Depot 

Menu <<

Location: 286 Campbell Parade, North Bondi

Depot - Bondi The Guide


Speedos 

Menu<<

Location: 126 Ramsgate Ave, North BondiSpeedos - Bondi The Guide

Lox Stock And Barrel

Menu<<

Location: 140 Glenayr Ave. Bondi Beach.

Lox Stock And Barrel - Bondi The Guide

 Porch and parlour

Menu<<

Location: 17-18/110 Ramsgate Ave, North Bondi.

 Porch and parlour - Bondi The Guide

The Nine

Menu<<

Location: 163 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Beach  

The Nine - Bondi The Guide

Bare Naked Bowls 

The menu is a dream! Check it out here <<

Location: 145 Macpherson St, Bronte NSW 2024

Bare Naked Bowls - Bondi The Guide

Bare Naked Bowls - Bondi The Guide

Raw

Menu<<

Sushi! Location: 1/136 Warners Ave, BondiRaw - Bondi The Guide

 

Marceleria 

Menu<<

Steak! Location: G09/180 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

Marceleria  - Bondi The Guide

China Diner

Menu<<

Location: 75 – 79 HALL STREET, BONDI

China Diner  - Bondi The Guide

Brown Sugar

Menu <<

Location: 106 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach

Brown Sugar  - Bondi The Guide

Bavarian Bier

Menu <<

Location: 108 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach

Bavarian Bier - Bondi The Guide

The above photo is our own.

Gelato Messina 

Ice Cream!

Location: G6/61 Hall Street, Bondi NSWGelato Messina - Bondi The Guide

 

 

Coogee Pavilion 

Great pizza! Menu <<

Location: 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee

Coogee Pavilion - Bondi The Guide

Icebergs 

Looking out over the whole beach!

Location: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026

Bondi Beach- Bondi The Guide

Bondi Fish

Location: 120 Ramsgate Avenue North Bondi 2026

Bondi Fish - Bondi The Guide

Bucketlist

Location: Bondi Pavilion, Shop 1, Queen Elizabeth Drive

Bucketlist - Bondi The Guide

Coogee Pavilion

Location: 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee

Coogee Pavilion - Bondi The Guide

This blog post would not have been possible without Becky’s help & recommendations! 

 

Sydney – The Travel Guide

 

Sit down, this may shock you…Sydney is not the capital of Australia, Canberra is.

Things to know

Sydney is an amazing city with lots of things to do. There are different parts to Sydney which are all worth checking out. All the tourist spots are located near Circular Quay which is also where you will find the area called ‘The Rocks’ which has great bars and restaurants. The nightlife centre is an area called Kings Cross..enter at your own risk! If you want more of a chilled out day then head over to Surrey Hills. You also can find Bondi beach, Coogee and Manly beach (which is a short ferry away) all within this city. 

 

Lock out laws apply in Sydney which is basically an objective to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence. This law requires 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks at bars, pubs and clubs in the Sydney CBD.

 

Opera House- Sydney Australia, the Travel Guide

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Getting from the airport to the city is very quick and easy. Australia’s public transport is like no other, double-decker trains which are clean reliable, its shocking coming from using the London Underground my whole life.
From the airport you can find the train station located to the left, once you come out of the arrival gate. You will have to purchase a Opal Card, which is Sydney’s version of an Oyster Card. There is also an Opal card app which is super handy to have. You can top up on the go and also it will insure your money if you ever lose your card. Unlike Oyster cards, you have to tap off on buses with these cards. 
You can get the train straight to Central Station which will cost you roughly $16, this is the most expensive journey you can make so don’t panic, travel isn’t extortionate like in London. 
All travel on Sunday’s is $2.50 so I would make the most of it and explore as much as you can. You can go on a 30 minute ferry with your Opal and visit Manly which I would highly recommend. In order to get to Manly you will have to go to ‘Whalf 3’ right outside the train station.
The closest station to The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Oprea House is Circular Quay.
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Accomodation - Bondi the Travel Guide

Backpacker only..I cant afford to try out anything else!

Wake up! – Huge hostel with a night club underneath. It’s really clean and I met loads of people here. Like everywhere in Sydney, lock out laws apply here and you are not allowed your own alcohol in this hostel. Dorms from $41, private rooms from $114

Mad Monkey Coogee Beach Dorms from $30, Private room from $99

The Village Surrey HillsDorms from $22, Private rooms from $84

The Village Kings Cross – Located in the night life part of town – Dorms from $21, Private rooms from $85.

Places to Eat

The Grounds of Alexandria 

 They roast their own beans, the ingredients on the menu are sourced from their own organic kitchen garden and the cafe is encased in a rustic, industrial and heritage-listed warehouse in Sydney’s west.

Location: 2 Huntley Street, Shop 7a Alexandria NSW 2015

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The Grounds of Alexandria 

Three Williams 

Just have a look at their instagram and tell me it doesn’t look amazing.

Location: 613a Elizabeth Street, Redfern.

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The Three Williams 

The Fine Food Store

Amazing coffee and brunch!!  Tucked away on Kendall lane in The Rocks, The FFS offers lip smacking coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch + specially selected local wine & beer! (Picture stolen from their instagram as we ate all of ours before we could take a photo!)

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The Fine Food Store

More info on places to eat and drink in Sydney can be found here <<

Places to visit

Bondi Beach 

The famous Iceberg swimming pools can be found here! Such a chilled out place it is our favourite place in the whole of Sydney! 

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Bondi Icebergs

Coogee Beach 

Beautiful beach only 1 bus ride away from the centre of Sydney.

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Coogee Town

Manly Beach 

This has a whole other vibe here! Everyone skate boarding or sunbathing, very relaxed area.

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Manly Beach

Blue mountains 

A day trip here is 100% worth it. These beautiful mountains are just outside of Sydney and is the perfect place to explore and take photos. There is a YHA Hostel here if you wanted to spend more than one day exploring everything the Blue Mountains has to offer.

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The Blue mountains 

Luna Park 

Located the other side of the Sydney Harbour bridge, at night it is all lit up and worth checking out. The views from the other side are something you don’t often see either. 

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Luna Park

Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden

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Botanical Gardens 

Want to know more about Bondi and Coogee? Click here ! 

Sydney – Our Journey

Leaving the Philippines 😦

 We were in Coron and managed to catch a hell-ish ferry back to Manila which took a very long and hot 15 hours. Once we arrived in Manila we realised it was 7am and we couldn’t check in until  2pm. I had a brilliant idea of going back to the hostel we stayed in on our very first night in the Philippines, Lub D! They served good coffee and from memory, they had a Netflix room. As you can imagine we got a great nights sleep on an open air, 200 person bunk bed sleep over…not. We were exhausted, I was still slightly ill and didn’t fancy walking around Manila for the next 6 hours so we got a taxi straight to Lub D. Olly had some breakfast and we snuck into the Netflix room and I passed out straight away, it was one of the best naps I had ever had! I woke up and it was time to check into our hotel. We simply got up and walked out and no one said anything, it was brilliant! Our hotel was thankfully just around the corner and we checked in to our new digs. I say hotel, it was actually a residence apartment which meant we had access to the gym and swimming pool. We just chilled here, going to the shopping centre and watching a film in the cinema and just relaxing before we have to catch our flight to Sydney!
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WE HAVE ARRIVED IN SYDNEY!!!! Finally back in the land of OZ where we met! During the flight Olly passed out, shock! And I stayed up watching movies and starving as the food was probably the worst food I have ever had… I cant even remember what it was as I am typing this because I have tried to forget everything about it and push it into the depts of my mind. We landed super early and again had the issue of not being able to check in for a while. We took advantage of this and stopped for breakfast at the airport. POACHED EGGS AND SMOKED SALMON, My god it feels good to be back in a place that appreciates brunch as much as we do. I had been craving poached eggs since I left England.

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Olly being the travel savvy guy he is, had been to Sydney airport before and directed us to the train station. We both got a Opal card, which is basically an oyster card, and took the right train to our hostel. I haven’t actually used much public transport in Australia as last time I was used to either walking or jumping on the Greyhound. Being back here just feels right! I think its because I’m with Olly and he knows what he’s doing, and just being able to figure out how to use public transport in a foreign country makes you feel like your home. It might sound silly but when you are travelling the feeling of being ‘at home’ in the weirdest of situations is such a nice feeling. 

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We walk from the train to our hostel and it dawns on us how bloody cold it is! I know it wasn’t going to be philippine weather but still, it was freezing! We arrived at our hostel and checked into our rooms. Being back in australian hostel life for real was an eye opener!! The room stank of gross boys, we were put in a filthy room and there was 1 shower and toilet. There were some more downstairs but you would have to walk through a haze of smoke and drunk people to get to them and in your PJ’s.. its not the most comfortable of situations. We dumped our bags and headed out, freezing we decided to go shopping to try and buy a jumper or anything that could to keep us warm. Finding H&M and Benefit damaged my bank account, but I was able to be slightly warmer for us to face exploring Sydney. 

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The night we landed was our 2nd year anniversary to when we met, so we got slightly dressed up and headed to the Opera house for dinner and some drinks. It was so nice to actually take in Sydney as last time I was here I didn’t experience very much. This was due to the fact I had no money what so ever, I didn’t enjoy Sydney and I really wanted to. This time round felt so different, we took a stroll around the harbour area and walked home, we wanted to head out early and explore more. 

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We spent one day over at Manly beach which was a ferry ride away. This place was beautiful and so much more relaxed than the city. We got there quite late as when Olly has his camera out it takes us hours to get any where. Getting there later meant we had to rush to get the drone up before the sun went down but the golden hour proved to be worth all the rushing!

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The next day we got up early, got out of our disgusting room as quickly as we could and got the train back into the city. We spent hours walking around taking photos, having amazing food and taking in the sights. That night we were pooped, we had walked so much and just wanted to relax but we came back to hell. Two of our room mates had a fight in our room, so our room was a tip and had blood all over the walls, my bed was soaking from god knows what and Olly’s bag had been moved. I didn’t feel safe, others wanted to keep the lights on for when the boys came back from their night out so they wouldn’t fight again. It just put me in a bad mood as I didn’t remember travelling being this repulsive.. maybe thats just boys? Olly is so different to these cave men and I cant even put that down to him being older as they were the same age! It was just bizarre. We are all up for having a good night out and drinking but this hostel was just too much. We booked a different hostel and headed to Bondi to live out the rest of our Sydney days.

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Bondi was a different ball game altogether! The hostel was amazing, the people where nice and we had a private room which helped! It just blew our minds that everyone was cleaning up, making food and wanted to just chill and have a chat. This is what I remember travelling to be like! We noticed everyone was super healthy which prompted us to try and be healthier than we had been. The only happy hour we saw here was $5 off salads.

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Bondi beach is one of the most famous beaches there is in Australia and we could see why. Even in the freezing wind we went and relaxed in the sun on the beautiful beach and watched the surfers for hours. We got up early most days and explored to the max! We managed to do the Bondi to Coogee walk which was breath taking and we even had a healthy stop on the way thanks to my sisters friends recommendations!

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We even managed to spot some whales in the distance and was able to fly the drone out to capture it. Not only was this the furthest we had every flown the drone but it was so refreshing that we weren’t on a boat chasing the whales. It actually gives me hope for the future that technology like drones can get people closer to natural wonders, without the danger of getting too close and disturbing the whales.

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One of our main aims while we were in Sydney was to buy a car. A car that would be reliable, get us to the snowy mountains with the potential to sleep in her too if need be. We present to you…BASIC BETTY…! If you have ever seen Riverdale you will know how basic that Betty is, so she is named after her!

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We waved goodbye to Sydney and planned our route to Canberra for a night! We have booked one of only two hostels in the whole of Canberra. Until next time..

 

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Lolz behind the Holz

Travelling to those who are stuck in their 9-5 jobs seems like heaven on Earth and don’t get me wrong, it is, but.. its not always the perfect Instagram picture its made out to be..

This page is to show you the truth behind the glitz and the glam of travelling 

Speaking of  getting the perfect Instagram shot, some picture perfect moments are often more crowded than expected. I find it extremely awkward taking photos in front of other people anyway ( shocking I know when I have as many Selfies as I do) but I do get funny around stranger and taking selfies which makes these situations horrendous. 

Behind the scenes..

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The walk to this swing was 20 minutes of hell walking on extremely sharp shells and then waiting my turn and fending off the profession photographer who wanted to sell you a picture of your self. Nah mate

The end shot 

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Or when strangers think this is acceptable..

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Or sometimes trip adviser lies to you and you actually end up visiting a building site..

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Or when you try and get someone else to take a cute candid photo of you and these are the results.

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Or when you’re too scared to carry on hiking over a waterfall with your new friends so you let them go on ahead and then suddenly you realize you are all alone and if you fall and crack your head open, that’s it.

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But it isn’t all bad. You get to meet the locals too..

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HE BROKE MY BAG!!!

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Don’t forget to do as the locals do..

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Thailand’s Hulk Hogan

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The hat kills me every time I see it..

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She popped up everyday in Phuket with the same Hat 

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Travel in style, always.

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Yes this is a train, a train I slept on 

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Don’t put plaster on and then be in the Sun, just dont

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And always bag up lotions and potions 

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Apply sun cream every 4 hours in Australia.. this is no joke

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If the animals wont get you, then the bad weather will

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Travel insurance comes in handy when you are a backpacker

Australian Hostel Bible↓ You will be amazed how many stupid people are allowed out of their houses.

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Australia Help Guide

 

If you are looking to work in Aus the first thing you will need to arrange is your working Holiday Visa which is about £230 from memory. I did mine in STA Travel shop as they fill out everything for you and you will receive an email confirmation when it has been processed, this can take up to 6 weeks but I got mine in 2 days. A working holiday visa starts from the second you step foot in the country and you have a year in the country. The only way to extend your first year is by doing 88 days regional work or to get sponsored. I will go into more detail below about farm work later on but Click here for more info on Working Holiday Visa’s.  If you are only going for a few weeks then visit on a tourist visa which is 3 months. I would also not recommend going to Australia in December or January as that is when flights are most expensive, if you complete your first year and want to come home, it will cost you a lot more to come home near Christmas!

 

What to Pack

This is where I struggled as I came from Asia where everyone and everything was dirty but in Australia everyone is beautiful!

  • I had a comfortable rucksack but I also had a small carry on roll on suitcase.. You don’t really need a rucksack in Australia
  • Of course pack things like Trainers and comy clothes but there are so many shops out there I brought new clothes to feel normal again after Asia. All you need are clothes to travel in on coaches, which can be very cold so pack a hoodie!
  • As many Bikinis and cover ups as you can, its so bloody hot you wont want to wear many clothes in the day but be warned in cities such as Sydney it is more pretentious than Slug and Lettuce on a Friday night so glam up!
  • Flip Flops, they will break, you will go through at least 4 pairs I promise you
  • If I was to go back I would take my iPad as some nights you stay in and you want to watch a movie in bed, an iPad would of been ideal
  • Camera, with a hard drive and lots of memory cards, I backed up everything and also had an online storage which I used every time I had an afternoon with WiFi.
  • Ipod/ Music – It is worth having a Netflix account to download movies for long journeys.
  • Portable charger
  • Tiger Balm saves lives
  • So does Bug Spray
  • Printed Colour copy of your passport and Visa
  • Copy of your travel insurance
  • Blow up pillow for long journeys and easy to fold away/ eye mask/ear plugs
  • Roll on Deodorant lasts longer and some hostels ban you from spraying them in rooms because they can set the fire alarms off
  • I always had a note book and pen on me with a few important numbers written inside in case I got my phone stolen
  • Lipstick can turn any day outfit into an evening outfit so always have some to hand!

 

Apps you will need

  •  Maps.ME – Which is an app which lets you download countries, cities and areas without WIFI and you have the ability to save where you have been. It helps out a lot when you are lost!
  • Wiki Cams for all your road trip needs! 

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A large majority of people start in Melbourne and work their way up the coast which I would highly recommend over starting in Cairns and going down. As most people go up, you make friends along the way and you tend to see them again as its all one route.
If you aren’t on a time schedule you can do what I did which was to plan it all when I reached Melbourne as we gave our selves a few days in between places if we liked where we were, we could stay or if we didn’t we could move on quicker. I stayed at BASE in St Kilda which is a great hostel! It’s cheap and there are things on every night at the hostel bar which is a great place to meet people. Mad travel is a travel agent within the hostel which can hook you up with everything you need. We brought a ‘Hop on Hop Off‘ greyhound ticket from Melbourne to Cairns which was around $400. This type of ticket meant we could get a coach the whole way up the coast with no time limit as we had a year to use it all up the coast. We also booked the 3 busiest places along the coast in advance as they sell out very fast. They sell out as they are very popular and often only have one hostel in the area. These places are Frazer island, magnetic island and the Whitsundays -Note there are other cheaper bus companies but Greyhound offer great air con, comfy seats, wifi and plugs to charge phones and cameras. If you are doing 16 hour coach journeys comfort and air con is a must!!
The most common stops along the East coast are; Melbourne, Sydney, Byron bay, Surfers Paradise/ Gold Coast, Brisbane, Noosa / Rainbow Beach (Fraser island tour starts from), Hervey Bay, Airlie Beach (Whitsundays), Magnetic Island, Townsville and Cairns.

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Melbourne

Hostel’s 

BASE st Kilda, United Backpackers in central Melbourne

Things to do

Trams in the city are free so take advantage

Melbourne city centre has lots to see and do! The famous ABC aka Asian Beer Cafe has amazing food with really cheap happy hours so defo worth checking out as well as the centre it is in.

Revolver bar

Night Markets on a Thursday.

Cookie is a really nice rooftop bar with a cinema.

Madame Brussels is a Tea Party themed rooftop bar with a whole lotta sass!!!

Federation Square always has bits going on.

St Kilda has the beach with great bars and places to eat accompanied by every single backpacker. You can also see penguins on the pier at night around 7pm.

To see some of the city’s best street art, head to the following locations;

AC/DC lane and Duckboard place, Hosier and Rutledge lanes, Centre place, Flinders Court, Union Lane, Presgrave Place, Russell Place, Croft Alley, Stevenson and Tattersalls Lanes, Drewery and Sniders Lanes, Caledonian Lane, Corner 361 Little Bourke Street and Rankins Lane, Finlay Lane, behind Corner of Queen and Franklin Streets and Blender Lane. Click here for a map!

Other must see’s if you like something a bit different from the typical tourist traps can be found here ->Weird and wonderful shops in Melbourne

 Great Ocean Road 

The Great Ocean Road is one of the best road trips you can do! It was one of my favorite things to do. Download ‘Wiki Camps’ its an amazing app where you can filter different things you want from a camp site, for example we needed power and I wanted a shower, and it brings up all the campsites along your route, it is so worth having this app if you are doing lots of road trips. Top things to see on the GOR are:

Loch Ard Gorge

Apollo Bay

Twelve Apostles

London Bridge

Lorne Beach

Erskine Falls

The Frotto

Gibsons steps

Split Point Lighthouse

Sydney

So it is probably worth mentioning Australia has lock out laws, these laws are slightly different in each state but they all suck were ever you go. Lock out laws were put in place to stop drunken violence and to control the youth slightly better due to so many people actually dying from being punched once on the back of the head. Yep Australians are a rowdy bunch and after talking to my Australian friends, these laws do actually help keep people safer on nights out. The laws in Sydney are as follows;

The legislation requires 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks at bars, pubs and clubs in the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct. This means, no re-entry in a club after 1:30- not even to smoke. No shots/doubles after 12, you are not allowed to down your drink, it is illegal to be drunk in a club so they will remove you, or keep you hostage and force water down your throat and call you a cab, it is actually a law they make sure you are able to get home! All drinking games are banned- most clubs will play ‘water pong’ or give you ‘food tokens’ as prices but actually it is a shot.

These laws to prohibit you drinking but they are designed to keep you safe, if anything it just means you start drinking earlier! Great article to read about it all here –>Would the last person in Sydney please turn the lights out?

Hostels

Wake Up! Sydney Central

Avoid Big Hostel as much as you can! It is filled with Chinese families and mainly people that work in the city so they are not looking to make friends and this hostel has the most bizarre rules such as you are not allowed plastic bags in the room, you are not allowed the lights on past a certain time, they do not have wifi in the rooms as they do not want you skying family members if someone is asleep..its just rubbish, avoid!

Bondi Backpackers – Beautiful clean hostel right on the beach! Offers free activies and so many discounts for in town.

Things to do

‘The Rocks’ has really nice bars and restaurants with Pancakes on the rocks which is beaut.

Coogie beach, Bondi beach and Manly beach are worth going too. Manly you have to get a ferry over to but it’s a nice day out. The walk from Bondi to Coogie is very popular.

New Town doesn’t have lock out laws! It has cool bars and shops worth checking out.

Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden

Gordon’s Bay

Taronga Zoo

Day trips to the Blue Mountains is one of the best things to do !

Byron Bay

Hostel

  • Arts Factory (the inbetweeners movie). You can stay in the hostel in the main building or you can stay in Tiky Huts which are so much better but this is where I learnt what a Huntsman Spider looked like very close up!- Note the staff here are vile but the atmosphere make up for it!

 

Things to do

Nimbin, the only place it is ok to buy weed, hash brownies and weed cookies. I honestly asked a 10 year old where to buy them and he led me to his Grandmother..

Everyone and their Nan sells weed here, it is a hippy town with one road and takes about 20 mins to see the whole thing. It is very , much a gimmick but equally very funny to see extreme hippies welcoming tourists with cookies.

Surf Camps

Dolphin Kayak trips

Light house walk, from the main beach to the light house there is a very beautiful walk which you are able to visit ‘the most easterly part of Australia’ so this means it is the earliest part of the day in that spot!

The Rainbow Temple is about an hours drive from Byron, so we rented a car and headed to Guy Feldmann’s extraordinary love offering to humanity. It is amazing and not a lot of people know about this place, it is one big hippie commune! He has built this huge tree house and the best bit is walking through the cave..I wont ruin the surprise what is down there

Crystal Temple

Brisbane

Hostels

Bunk is very good! Great bar underneath (pictured below)

Nomads private rooms are also rooftop penthouse style rooms with balconies.

Things to do

Lagoon- There isn’t a beach here as it is a city but they do have a man made lagoon which everyone heads to.

Shopping Helllaaa lot of shops and lots of pubs and bars but one place looked amazing which was Prohibition which is 1920’s theme.

Cinema is $6 I think

Day trip to Surfers Paradise, but there isn’t much to do here either! Do not do the bar crawl, rip off and horrendous!

Noosa

Hostels

Nomads. I genuinely think that is the only hostel that Noosa has..

Things to do

 Fraser Island

Surf Camps

You book a package with nomads to stay on Frazer Island for 2 days and to have a night in the hostel either side of the trip I think we booked with ‘Dingo’s’. I met everyone the night before, loaded a small bag into the trucks and set off for Frazer where we where put into 6 cars and drove around the island along a 75 mile beach seeing every thing it had to offer such as SS Maheno Shipwreck, Lake McKenzie, Champagne Pools, Lake Allom, ,Lake Wabby which has sand dunes so take a body board, Indian Head, Lake Birabeen and Eli Creek – Take a floatie!

Note you have to be over 21 to drive on Frazer and have to have been driving 3 years!

Hervey Bay

Hostels

Flash Packers Hervey Bay (pictured below)

Aussie Woolshed

Things to do

Whale watching!!! Between July and October whale season, it is the best thing I have done on the East Coast!

img_6957-2

 

Airlie Beach

Hostels

Nomads/Base, same reception but personally the rooms were nicer in Nomads.

Things to do

Whitsundays – I went on the Clipper which is a 3 days and 2 nights on board which is notorious for being the Party Boat but it really wasn’t that bad. I hate boat parties as I get sick very easily but they do not let you drink too much in the day as you are snorkeling and it would be dangerous for you to jump off the boat drunk. The evenings are filled with drinking games and fancy dress, which I would highly recommend if you want to meet people and get smashed. They have 2 slides, a hot tub and stop off at White Haven Beach which is amazing!  Other chilled boats can do a day trip or one night rather than the 2 nights on board with the Clipper.

You are not allowed to take zip bags on board due to bed bugs, only draw string bags. They say there is a limit on alcohol but there isn’t, you are not allowed bottles or red wine, so stock up on goon or as much as you can carry and you can put it in the fridge.

Hamilton Island – Which is a Millionaire island.

 

Magnetic Island

Hostel

BASE, the only one worth staying at. It has beautiful huts with Half moon and full moon parties.

Things to do

Barbie Cars! Literally why most girls go here

Hike up some massive hill to see wild Koala Bears

West Point to see the sunset, dont get caught taking a barbie car otherwise it is a $200 fine, lol

Drink

Geoffrey Bay to see wallabies!

Cairns

Hostels

  • Gilligan’s backpacker Hostel is a party hostel with great rooms. The hostel is huge and the rooms on the 3rd floor have TV’s and every room has a balcony which most people party on.
  • Nomads hostel is further out of town with a free bus every hour to and from town, I can’t not mention this hostel as I lived and worked there for 6 months and met some of the most amazing people there. It is no where near as convenient as other hostels in town but it’s a lot cheaper and more chilled out.

Things to do

  • Waterfalls!! -Crystal cascades is the closest with moderate hiking involved.

Uncle Brian’s tours- this is a day tour of all the local waterfalls such as Babinda Boulders, Milla Milla (herbal essences advert and where Peter Andre filled mysterious girl) Josephine Falls, Devils boulder, Lake Eachum . These waterfalls are all relatively close by so me and 20 friends rented cars brought some BBQ food and split it and it came To £3 each!

  • Great Barrier Reef!! This is a once in a life time opportunity so I say go big and do the most expensive tour. I did and it was amazing, 2 dives and 1 snorkel with a huge buffet breakfast and lunch!!

I wouldn’t recommend doing the helicopter tour here as I have herd it is better in Airlie beach as you get to see the heart shaped reef.

  • Cape Tribulation – there are many tours here which is much further north with lots of crocodiles. It’s much more jungle with beautiful beaches which I did in a day in our own car. Note the car was a 4×4 as there are many dangerous roads and animals up there.
  • Nandos! Also has a great Chinese food court which is super cheap.
  • Woolshed!! The only bar it is encouraged to get on top of the tables and dance until you fall off. I lived in this club and loved every night out there! Also does great food in the day!

 

Hiring Cars

There are lots of companies which you can hire cars from but we found one way which required very little money. Relocation cars are a popular way to get from city to city without huge costs. You type in what city you are wanting to start from and end up and they find cars/camper vans which need to be driven back to that city. For example we were in Brisbane and needed to get to Melbourne so we applied to this website –>Transfer Car and within a few days they responded with a camper van which needed returned to Melbourne. It has a time limit so we had 5 days to get there so we took a detour and did the Blue Mountains on the way down and had a great road trip! I would highly recommend this method. You do have to pay a $2000 insurance bond up front which they return into your account once you have returned the car.

Farm Work

In order to get your second year visa you will need to do 88 days regional work on a farm. This never actually takes 3 months, it takes much longer so I would highly recommend doing your farm work as soon as you get to Australia as it took me 4 months due to a bad season or weather problems. You do not need to pay an agent to find you farm work, this is a con. You will probably need a car in order to do farm work as you will have to get there and probably to work every day.

If you’re in Cairns AVOID EZZY LIKE THE PLAGUE. She owns a shop called Adventure Cairns and Beyond and she is a con artist/Witch who scams people for cash to place them, when the doesn’t have anywhere to place you and if you try and argue with her, she will tell the whole town you threatened her and tried to burn her shop down lol told you, witch!

Good farm work is hard to find, most places pay by the bucket, so you have to work hard to earn money or other places are working hostels which place you at different farms on different days. Being paid by the hour is extremely hard to find!! The problem with being paid by the bucket is work is not guaranteed, most days they will only ask for boys or will only have space for 3 people and it is who ever is ready first gets a days work. If you work on one farm continuously then it is 88 days ( most farms count 5 working days as 7) but if you are at a working hostel on different farms then it is 3 months pay slips you will need to provide for your second year visa. Only 1/4 people get asked for evidence when applying for a visa, I have friends that didn’t do farm work and still got a second year visa, where people on my farm where investigated and eventually given a visa. Every one is different, every country is different so don’t listen to all the rumors about more English people get investigated because we don’t.

Research your farm!!! It is worth checking out the Harvest Guide to see which fruits are in season in which areas in this link here –>Harvest Guide I did blueberries which are easy to pick but it is a known thing Banana’s are very hard and those farms tend to only hire boys as ‘Humping’ takes a lot of physical strengthen as well as spiders and rats that  are dropped onto your backs. I have friends that also joined many Facebook groups and wound up at a Puppy farm! She had to look after puppies for 3 months! Loads of people post jobs/info on Facebook pages such as ‘backpacker jobs in Australia’ or the most popular ‘Australian Backpacker’.

My farm was amazing, I was paid by the bucket but I had the best time ever! I worked at Mountain Blue Farms in Tabulam with the closest town being Lismore, which is close to Byron Bay, for more info on this farm click this link Mountain Blue Farm. There was 800 people on my farm and I lived at the closest hostel to the farm which was called Tabulam Backpackers.  There are different jobs on this farm, they are Packing shed (Hourly rate) boxing shed (Hourly rate) Supervisor (Hourly rate) Driver (Hourly rate) and Pickers (paid by the bucket). This was by far the best place to stay at! With 100 of us living there you have an option to either stay in cabins ($156 a week), camp with power or without($70-$110). I paid slightly more to stay in a cabin with 7 other girls but I had my own bed, fridge, wardrobe and mirror! It was so good! The hostel is clean and safe, always has clean water to drink and hot water in the showers, there are 2 kitchens with one sofa room with hundreds of DVDs and cooking space where everyone hangs out. They do have wifi but it is not that great, but its nice to be off the grid. There are other hostels around but none come close to how amazing Tabulam Backpackers is! The Hostel owners Brenton and Rose care for you as if you were their own children and always help out when they can, they put on free BBQ’s and games which include everyone. The nearest town was Casino which was an hour away where you can get food shopping and wifi! This farm is not accessible without a car. We had 2 cars between 6 of us which came in very handy when one broke down. There are so many thing to do here like go for a swim in the lake, jump off cliffs, chill in the hammocks and go to some amazing Bush Duff raves. House parties in Tabulam are the best!

Farming is hard, It can be horrendous, it is hot, it is exhausting and some times you can be working your arse off but there is always an Asian who is 5 rows in front of you. You start off broke and hear stories of people saving thousands of dollars and It can kill your spirit and when everyone has a bad day it is really felt within the hostel. People see you from the minute you wake up to the minute you fall asleep, they see you at your best and worst. You can be sweating your life away, dirty and pissed off and be surrounded in a group of 10 people who are all in the same boat. These people become your family, they become your life. You notice when someones having an off day and evenings are spent talking for hours because you cant sit there on your phone. You actually get to know people through and through. It can feel like you have known these people your whole life and you wonder how you coped before without them. Friendships become stronger, relationships are put to the test and come out stronger than ever and yet you will never forget the time you spent on a farm!

What you will need for farming

  • Probs a car or befriend someone that does! A lot of my friend rented a car called Spaceships which seemed reasonably priced.
  • You will need Trainers, hats, long sleeved tops, sun cream and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and defiantly an iPod/spotify account you can access without internet as picking for 6 hours a day can be hell when you have no one to talk to or music to get through the day.
  • You will need to have an Australian Bank Account which you will be paid into. You will need to stay in once place for atleast a week as they send you your card and info via post
  • You need to make sure you have opened a ‘Superannuation’ with your bank account which is basically a pension your employer pays into. You are able to get your superannuation back once you leave the country for good and as for tax..the laws have changed so its pretty messed up.. I think you don’t get this back now.. but I could be wrong!
  • Tax File Number
  • Your Visa Number
  • First Aid Kit, I got bit by spiders, ants, mossies and cut my foot on a rock in the lake. Trust me you will need one!

 

Medicare

I can not emphasis this enough PLEASE SIGN UP TO MEDICARE!! I had 3 surgeries and one dislocated knee and I did not pay a penny! Their health care is so good and it is free for us Brits to use it so please please please register for it as it could save you hundreds of dollars if anything happens to you. Before one of my ops a German boy had been admitted to A&E after getting a Pool Que in the eye and he tried to leave after a long wait and he was billed around $800 for just being admitted. DO NOT BE THAT PERSON!

To be eligible for Medicare you must:

  • be ordinarily resident in any part of the territory of the United Kingdom immediately before arriving in Australia

Documents you need to enrol in Medicare

British citizens need to provide 1 of the following:

  • a current British passport – includes those issued in Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey
  • a Northern Ireland passport

If there is evidence you weren’t a UK resident before arriving in Australia, you must also provide 2 or more documents to confirm your residency in the UK.

Non-British citizens need to provide a current non-British passport and 1 of the following:

  • a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with the initials UK
  • a National Health Insurance Medical card if you’re from Great Britain or the Isle of Man
  • a Health Service Medical card – Northern Ireland
  • a certificate issued by Social Security Committee of the States of Jersey
  • Proof of Insurance issued by the Guernsey States Insurance Authority or other proof of residence in the Bailiwick of Guernsey,
  • 2 residency documents

Your entitlements

Eligible visitors from the United Kingdom, including Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland can access:

  • Medicare benefits for medically necessary out of hospital treatment
  • medically necessary treatment as a public patient in a public hospital
  • prescription medicine available under the PBS – at the general rate

Period of cover

You’re entitled to Medicare from the day you arrive in Australia to the day your visa expires.

Students

If you’re in Australia on a student visa, you’re eligible to enrol in Medicare.

 

Everything Medicare related can be found here.

HOMECOMING

Sunday 12th February 2017

So of course I couldn’t plan a surprise without a little help and MC planned everything! He was picking me up and had told Ellie and Jess (Adopted sisters) that they were having dinner so they would be home and ready. I landed and I met Olly’s family for the first time which was extremely nerve racking as I didn’t exactly look my best after been travelling for 48 hours and I wanted to make a good impression but also just wanted to hug MC! I also got surprised with Tracy at the airport!!! I can not express what it feels like to see a familiar face after 15 months of being apart. Also having my first Costa in a year felt soooo good. I was so excited but it was bloody freezing!!! We made a stop to pick up Holly as I needed my photographer to capture the big moment and we all arrived at Jess’s new flat which I had never been to before so me and Holly had to hide while MC and Tracy went inside, leaving the door unlocked. All they told me was when I get in the door, turn right so in the video you can see my confusion when I am confronted with a wall..anyway watch the video to see Jess’s utter disgust that I have come home when she is ill and doesn’t have make up on. SHOCK!! It was the best thing ever!!! I have pictured this moment for months on end and I finally did it!! And she had no idea!! I bloody did it!!! Next person on my list was my mother, but I couldn’t see her till the following Friday, so it was time to lay low in North London!

​We said goodbye for the first time in weeks and it didn’t feel right!

MY JEWOOOOOO

 

Of course the first thing I do the next morning is go to tesco and buy the meal I have missed the most. A TESCO MEAL DEAL!!!!

​Once Muma bear and Dawn were surprised it was all a matter of how many people I could get. Thankfully Jess had made plans with Ollie and Callan before she even knew I was coming home so they got it next. Ollie tried to walk straight passed me and then realised and started shouting in the street, while Callan was jumping around and nearly knocked a bystander out cold. This was the best surprise due to sheer volume and excitement haha So good to catch up with these two and them meeting the new Olly in my life.

 

Just so happened my Dad was also back from Trinidad that week and I got to spend some time with him in London! Going to places we can both eat at now I am not fussy anymore.

Seeing Best friends from Travelling like no time had passed made the travelling blues bearable. It is so revealing having other people to talk to about how hard it is coming home. That and seeing them in normal clothes, in a city getting drunk! 

I have missed my muma more than I realised!

And coming home to my adopted family, the ones and only THE COHENS!!!! My favourite people in the world!!! Getting to see them all, feeling like its been ages but at the same time feeling like it was only yesterday we were all sat around on a Friday night laughing at one of Phils one liners!

Being back with this one.. I don’t think words can even being to explain what it is like coming home to your best friend. It is like putting on those old shoes you love and fit you so well. Everything just works, she knows me better than my self and it is just easy! It is like being with another, less funnier, version of my self. That and for once in my life I am browner than her! HA!!

Being home and not living with Olly will be difficult as we have been together for months on end now but coming home and meeting everyone I have only herd about is going to be so exciting. Doing normal things will be exciting. It is like I know him so well, but we still haven’t done the basic things couples do because I don’t even know where he lives. Coming home with someone is the best thing I can imagine. I would be so much more depressed coming home with no one to talk to who truly understands everything I was going through. Being home is hard and it sucks! I have no money, I live in North London where all my friends live in South and I have no car to go and see them. Its hard coming home, I wont sugar coat things and sell you dreams like I do on Instagram. Being home sucks oh and I don’t have a job which really sucks. But somehow Olly has put up with me the whole time! He met me when I was carefree, fun and brown and for some unknown reason, he still likes me poor,pale and pissed off. 

Travelling is honestly the best thing I have ever done. I know everyone says that but when it is the first thing I have ever done for my self and probably the most selfish I have ever been, I mean it! I loved every second of it. I know I have grown as a person, I know I look at things differently, I know I value my friends and family sooo much more than I have ever done I know I am grateful for everything I do have and I know I am a better person for it. Oh and I also am not a fussy eater anymore and I drink water out of choice!  Every day was an adventure, every thing good that happened is an unforgettable  memory and everything bad is a hilarious story! I have seen some of the most beautiful places on Earth and I know how lucky I be able to say that. If I could tell anyone to do anything with their lives, it would be to travel. You have no idea how big and beautiful the world is out there until you go and see it. It actually pains me when people have what I call ‘ Small town syndrome’ where they think going to the pub every Friday night is living. It is not! Living is jumping in someones car you met that day in the pool, heading to a waterfall you heard about through someone you spoke to in a kitchen of a hostel a few days ago and going and being blown away with how beautiful everything is and how you where so small minded before. I laughed every day, I met amazing, interesting, funny or beautiful people everyday. When is the last time you can say you’ve laughed so much your stomach hurt?  Travelling is life changing, I met the love of my life because we both just so happened to think ‘Fuck it, I am going travelling’. Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that after meeting some of the most amazing people while I was away and having the most fun anyone could have. I love travelling and I will forever have the urge to go and see new places and see what the world has to offer. Until the next adventure – M x

Unexplored

 Everything in Australia will kill you 

It’s true what they say, everything in Australia will kill you. Like me, if you’re stupid enough to get close them in order to get a good photo, you probably will die soon. Most these animals were at the farm which makes you get over any insect or spider fear pretty quickly. Even though the most times I was bit was from hundreds of ants or caterpillars. I have stolen some photos from other people at the farm as they were simply better photos !

Another point to add, when I asked my sister or my Australian friends if they have seen any scary animals they all said no you don’t see them.. I call bullshit!

 

All the below are Moth’s..

Lauren became queen of Moths

Lauren Quinn’s picture above

Lauren Quinn’s picture above.


Brown snake that charged at us

This little sugar glider lived in the hammocks next to our hostel!

We found this little guy on the floor, gave him a cool backdrop of a leaf and let him be.

My first wild 🐨 nearly became road kill

This is Tabby or Mr Tabulam, this was very early on when Matilda first rescued him as he was regected out the nest.

Him and his mumma, she fed him day and night, taught him how to fly and saved his life! 

He got so big!!

and my baby Socks!!!

And finally, a very dead wombat.