One Bag… 5 weeks

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It’s scary to think a 70L backpack will be holding my possessions for the next 5 weeks as I embark on a adventure of a lifetime. Once I zipped up the bag I realised that “this is it! I am actually about to travel to the other side of the world embarking on new friendships, experiences and friends.”

Only two more sleeps until I am helping a small village in Ecuador with their water system, teaching in the school and adventuring in the Amazon Jungle for 4 weeks, then seeing my oldest friend from Kindergarten (who I haven’t seen since year 9)!

Goodbye to Internet, Mobile Phones and what us 1st world Westerners believe is essential for our lives, and hello to living how you should be living!

Loving 2015!

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My Adventures in Thailand (Phuket)

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My first overseas trip for 2015 started on the 5th of January. We flew off to Phuket with adventure in our eyes and a unwillingness to admit my nerves for the unknown in the coming week. The holiday was a present to me, therefore feeling a sense of no control if what is going to occur. We landed in Phuket, and was one of the first to get through the small customs control. As we waited for our bags in a heightened anticipation to just get going, as we watched everyone get their bags but myself the realisation hit me that my bag was missing. Unfortunately to start my 21st birthday holiday my bag was left in Kuala Lumpur. Fortunately there was one more flight that night and the prayers were being sent to find my bag in time!
As our taxi pulled up to our hotel after 45 minutes of zooming and dodging locals on scooters our eyes widened to the realisation that we would be staying like royals in this mesmerizing hotel.
Opening the door to our room to find a jaw-dropping room with the balcony, bed and bath overlooking the beach and parts of Phukets glistening lights in the city.

Day 2:

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We awoke to realise the dream was our reality as cliche as that sounds it was just like a movie even thing was set perfectly. Thankfully my bag had come late that night and I received it first thing in the morning so I had my sneakers and we headed straight to the gym. If your a person who doesn’t like to workout well this gym would change your mind, the treadmill over looks the beach. After a slow morning of eating everything in sight at breakfast we headed off to Phuket Town. We had no clue as to what was in Phuket town just decided to take a adventure. However this time we didn’t find anything but shops, our taxi driver took us to Old Phuket town which was a gorgeous old street with 100 of year old buildings, however our adventure didn’t end there, he told us he would take us to Big Buddha… Unfortunately he did take us to a big Buddha but not THE Big Buddha then started making up a story as to why he can’t take us (I think he just didn’t want to drive that far). As I got back in the taxi I felt disappointed I was excited for it all plane trip and I thought I was actually going to see it. He took us to ride an elephant though and as much of a amazing experience it was we felt guilty for being on the elephant and how the rider was controlling him. The taxi driver took us home with a quick stop over at his wife’s work.
That night we went to see Fantasea it’s basically a elephant circus show, it’s very over the top with a huge, fake area around with shops and arcade games to play at prior to the Buffett dinner and show. It’s worth seeing the actual show but the night dragged on. We got picked up at 4:30 and dropped off at midnight.

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Day 3:
This morning we adventured off to my dream place, Phi Phi Islands. A 2 hour Ferry ride from Phuket to Phi Phi got us to the over commercialized island just after midday. When we arrived it was a flood of people trying get to their locations quickly to get out of the mosh pit of 100s of tourists on a small pier with only one exit. If only that was enough the beaming humid heat making my sweat cry topped it off. I encourage bringing a backpack to phi phi therefore more room to get through people. As our hotel taxi man (pushes our bags on a trolley) navigated us through the twisting maze of shops, bars and restaurants with only the ability to say “beep beep” continuously to get through people we finally made it to our hotel after what seemed a long walk but was only 10 minutes. We realised just a few steps from our room was Phi Phi island.
Phi Phi island would have been an amazing beach and island however sadly we have over commercialized it and it has become a 3rd world country only operating through the nightlife of the continuously changing tourists partying every night.
However contradictory we did go out that night and it was a good night but their drinks are full of sugar, I thought I slept with coke in my mouth all night.

Day 4:
This morning we had a gorgeous sleep in and decided to relax and enjoy the sun in the morning. That afternoon we went out for a Kayak to explore what the island actually has to offer! As we left we were mesmerized by the cliffs and caves naturally made around the island. We had kayaked 3kms through the clear and smooth water when we found a secluded and protected beach hiding from most civilization. It was perfect, with a gorgeous reef and white sand beaches surrounded by cliffs. As we saw the clouds get darker and a storm coming in we decided we must head back. Unfortunately the wind had hit us as we turned the corner, we had 3km to get back home with a strong cross head wind pushing our kayak sideways every stroke. After many motivational speeches from each other we finally made it to land.

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Day 5:
We had another lazy morning with our only plan was to sunbake and listen to music. In the afternoon we went out on a tour group to see Maya Bay (where the beach was filmed) we saw monkey beach, snorkeled in Maya Bay and eventually had over an hour to explore the island and white sanded beach. As we were heading home the sun was setting in the horizon. As Nick over looked another boat they had seemed to be waving their arms in a manic state, so our driver just waved and kept driving when we told him we
Think we should go over he finally did. They had a flat battery so thankfully we had saved them. As we pulled up to the beach I was satisfied with my day that we had seen else where other then Phi Phi.

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Day 6:
We awoke early to watch the sunrise at the viewpoint, the top of Phi Phi. As
We reached the first checkpoint we had to convince the lady that we had no money as apparently it is private land so you must pay $30 Baht. She thankfully let us and we reached what we thought was the top, as we realised then we were facing the wrong side of the island to see the sunrise we went on a unforgettable adventure. We went down a path in which we thought we were gojng the right way, however once we had walked through the dark forest gojng back down for 10 minutes I started questioning our decision. We turned around and I have a leg full of mosquito bites to allow me not to forget. Once we got back along the path out of the jungle we found a little sign saying “sunrise and sunset view 5 mins this way” so if we hadn’t had gone on a detour we wouldn’t have missed it but we made it their and still saw the sunrising in the sky. Unfortunately it was a amazing morning but the rest of the day we both got ill so thankfully we had already been on our adventure.

Day 7:
Today we headed back to Phuket, leaving Phi Phi behind. We missed the morning ferry at 9am so we had to wait till 2pm which meant we wouldn’t get back to Phuket till 4pm. We went straight to our hotel and jumped in the ocean as the sun was setting. We decided to go all out on dinner as we had extra baht left over and it was our last night after all. We had a 3 course dinner for entree I had garlic prawns, mains tornado (sirloin steak) and dessert was a chocolate fondant with a bottle of wine it was a magical night. We were so engrossed in the food, atmosphere and conversation that the waitress had to ask if we would like to move “as it’s raining”.

Day 8:
Today was airport day, we checked out early and headed to Big Buddha for real this time. I was so thankful we saw it, it’s mesmerizing. And the view on top of the hill is gorgeous. From our first hotel you could see it from the breakfast area. We stopped off at a little restaurant just down the hill from big Buddha and had lunch, then adventured to the airport to come home.

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Overall the trip was an amazing week and although it went extremely fast I will never forget the memories I made.

CJ

Wanderlust

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Throughout my life my parents have taken me all over the world! I’ve been to Europe (Belgium, Austria, London, Scotland, Paris), Thailand (Phuket, Bangkok), Indonesia (Bali), Fiji, Mauritius, Africa, Singapore, New Zealand (Queenstown and Auckland) and of course around Australia (Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Gold Coast, Darwin and Broome) where I am from.

However, a few years ago when I started embarking travelling overseas without the guidance of my parents I realised how different travelling was and needed more help then I thought (“I thought I was an expert traveller”). I needed help in regards to where I should actually go in that country and what to see and the conditions. I continuously looked online and in Lonely Planet books for guidance. Finally I realised that I should be the one giving back to the community of what I have learnt from travelling in these parts of the world and the future countries to come!

So, lets pack our bags and just go somewhere you never thought you would! That’s how to live your life!

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I’m off on a long flight (7+ hours)… What do I actually need?

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I’m sitting in the International airport waiting to board my flight, I thought it would be helpful to write from my experience what is essential to have on the plane.

1. Passport, now this might just be a given but just incase your a forgetful person or have never flown, always keep your passport with you at all times when flying as they will check numerous times before you get on the plane when you check in, customs and getting on the plane.

2. Currency in your destinations money and your own currency. It’s best to pack money in your suitcase as well as onboard with you incase anything happens. Therefore you always have a backup. NEVER put all your money together!

3. If your going to a country that requires you to have certain vaccination(s) when you come back to your home country and there, bring your vaccination records with you, where it can be easily reachable for Customs.

4. Music, most flights, if not all flights now have a television for each seat, with lots of movies, tv shows, music and games. However there not going to have all your music you, so it’s best to bring your iPod and headphones. If your on AirAsia learn from my mistake on a 7 hour flight because they don’t have any tv’s, you can rent a Ipad but they only have a couple of movies. “They weren’t any good anyway!”

5. Neck Pillows, now I’ve noticed that people rave about these pillows, but I’ve personally never tried it, but if your one of those people, please try and convince me.

6. Change of clothes, especially if your embarking on a big trip to the other side of the world, always bring a change of clothes you will feel refreshed, as well as the climate is more then likely to be different in your destination.

7. Face wipes allow you to wash your face quickly and easily. I always take these when I’m flying and camping it makes me feel cleaner, especially after traveling for hours.

8. Warm and loose clothing for the plane I find planes can get cold due to the air conditioning so I always bring a jumper that can be easily “squashed” in my bag, therefore not taking up room that you need for essentials.

9. Toothbrush and toothpaste Who doesn’t feel more awake after brushing their teeth? Just remember on International flights place all liquids in a see-through bag. In addition all liquids must be only 100ml.

I would love to hear what you have found necessary to have onboard with you on a plane.

Bon Voyage! And enjoy your trip of a lifetime.

CJ

Help! I don’t wanna pack for my holiday!

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Does this picture remind you of yourself? Because that’s what I’m like every time! Now I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that packing is the worst thing in the world! I just can’t seem to handle putting a few clothes in a bag, because I always think I’m going to forget something! Right now I’m packing for Phuket tomorrow and although I have been on many overseas trips, lived interstate for a year and even just weekends away I still am not a good packer, so Ive developed a few tips from my own experience (mostly mistakes I’ve made along the way) and from what others believe is important. Now we are all different and we are all embarking on a completely different trip with different experiences but there are a few tips that are relevant to everyone.

  1. Pack LOTS of underwear! Although you might only be going for a week I always pack at least 10 just incase I swap outfits numerous times. Plus they don’t take up any room.
  2. Organise your washing early. For this trip to Phuket I did my washing a week before and layed out the clothes I wanted to take and the maybes on the spare bed. Although you don’t need to do it a week early a couple of days is good that way your leaving yourself more time incase you need to go out and buy something because you realise you don’t have it.
  3. Play music while packing. This just might be a personal choice but I have found when I play music the task doesn’t seem as daunting cause I’m distracted singing away.
  4. When your putting clothes in the bag always take out what you don’t actually need. If your going for a week you really don’t need 7 tops I’m pretty sure you can wear a outfit twice because your on holidays and who is going to judge you?
  5. Shoes… I hate packing shoes they take up so much room and weigh so much and I swear I never really know what shoes I should actually take, but personally high heels are unnecessary. If your a lover of high heels only pack one or buy a cheap pair when your over there. I personally only pack the shoes that I will use everyday so for Phuket, thongs and sneakers.
  6. Beauty products, some people feel more comfortable if they take their hair straightener, curler, hair dryer and every makeup they own, and sure if your one of those people then pack it but I find it so unnecessary. Of course I pack makeup but unless I’m going somewhere specific like to a wedding interstate or overseas I find the rest just a waste of space that you could be using to buy things over there.
  7. Leave room for buying things you should not pack a bag completely full, if you can pack the bag half full and so you leave enough room and weight to buy things when your overseas.

I hope that this has helped you to stay calm when packing, don’t forget if you do forget something that you need you will probably be able to buy it over there or equivalent to what they have.

thanks

CJ

New Year Resolution For 2015!

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Happy New Year!

Now, i’m aware that probably 90% of Bloggers have made some sort of post about the new year but I wanted to share it with you from my perspective. Everyone sees the new year differently some make new years resolutions and actually stick to them all year round, whilst others just say something to make it sound as if they are interested. For myself I was always that person until last year when I wrote my resolutions down on a piece of paper and stuck it above my desk. 2014 was the first year I really stuck, or at least tried to complete all my resolutions because it was constantly hovering above my head when I was studying.

So I decided this year I would write down my resolution on a piece of paper again as well as on here, so it’s out there for the world to see, and to feel as though I must complete it for myself and no one else.

I thought seeing as it’s the new year it would be good to give you some tips on New Years Resolution and how I changed from the person who never completed one resolution to sticking to it for 365 days!

Tips

  1. Write down your resolutions and stick it in a visible place that you will most likely see most days (I found my study area the best)
  2. Write SMART goals (AKA)

S= Specific

M= Measurable

A= Attainable/ Achievable

R= Realistic

T= Timely

(For example I was going to write down try a new food every week but I knew that I was just making it more difficult for myself and I wouldn’t ACHIEVE it so put down each month)

3. Goals that are relevant to YOU (Not whats in trend at the moment)

4. Lastly, Goals that are going to make you the person that you dream to be!

My 2015 New Year Resolutions:

1. Write a Blog Weekly

2. Exercise Regularly (4X A week)

3. Eat Healthy

4. Try a New Food Every Month

5. Get a Job

6. Finish My Psychology Degree

7. Save Money for Travelling in 2016

8. Join a Sporting Team

9. Get 1 HD in Semester 1

10. Travel Overseas

Well I hope you enjoyed this blog, please leave a comment, so I know what you guys are interested in and what you want to hear and know about.

Thanks,

CJ