What I Have Learnt From Travelling Overseas

Living in Australia offers many benefits: welfare support; free access to public hospitals; riding kangaroos to school, etc. The idea that anyone would want to expand their horizons, have new experiences elsewhere, and learn about another ‘kulcha’ are laughable.
straya
However, if you find yourself inclined to explore above and beyond the nether regions of the planet, you may begin to notice a few things. Firstly it is really, really, expensive to try to leave the country by any means of transport, and secondly if you are looking to travel to a ‘Westernised’ country your money will be about as worthless as the paper polypropylene plasticy-stuff it is printed on.
Whilst I love everything Down Under (…that’s what she said.) I have spent some time travelling to foreign places, ie. destinations slightly further than the Gold Coast. Following these extensive journeys, I have taken the time (during my work schedule) to compile some teachings which may offer little to no help for your future travels.

Things You Should Know About The World Beyond The Mainland:

  • Not all toilets were created equal
    Have you ever wiped the contents of your asshole and then placed your dirty toilet paper in an open bin next to you? I have, and it is every bit as disgusting as your are imagining. Throw in some ‘Bali belly’ and let your mind wander.
    Or, perhaps you have found yourself looking into the abyss of a squat toilet which is equipped with all the technological features you would expect from a hole in the ground?
    Ahh, finally I can relax.

    3-ply newspaper sold separately.

    3-ply newspaper sold separately.

  • You can never be too early to arrive at an airport
    I can’t stress this enough. And if you are travelling with me you will have no choice but to turn up early to every major event planned on the trip.
    “What’s that? We should catch a bus at 6am to get to the terminal? Great. See you there at 4.”
    “Nothing to do at the airport, you say? Hmmm, how about this GIANT SLIDE!!”
May cause travel sickness

May cause travel sickness.

  • You should always clean your house before you go
    Trust me, if you haven’t you will hate yourself and your life when you get back.
  •  Economy class really is as bad as you remember.
    But that’s ok, it’s not like you or anybody else needs to stretch their legs when on a 14 hour non-stop orgy of personal space.

    Your emergency exits are located next to those bitches who get slightly more legroom.

    Your emergency exits are located next to those bitches who get slightly more legroom.

  • You probably don’t need more clothes
    So you’ve packed your entire wardrobe into a suitcase and then you decide to do a little shopping. I find that shopping on a holiday is a bit like when I visit a buffet; things can get out of control really quickly.
    Generally speaking, any shirt you buy which states the place you visited will become your designated ‘bed shirt’ in no time at all.

    My next trip was to the charity bin.

  • Relish in any of the free shit on offer
    A holiday is hardly the time when one is expected to display any sense of self-control. One place where there is absolutely no place for judgement or self-restraint is at the hostel’s free communal breakfast. After spending your money seeing all the attractions, this may be your only meal for the day.
    Just eat everything available and steal a couple of apple juice poppers for the road like everybody else does.
A healthy mix of foreign cuisines.

A healthy mix of foreign cuisines.

  • You will encounter annoying people
    As with anywhere you go, you will encounter some form of interaction with strangers.  Inevitably one or more of them will start to get on your nerves and soon you may find yourself in the presence an obnoxious, loud, disrespectful, rude person. Please note that such people are commonly known internationally as ‘Western tourists.’
Please remain seated at all times.

Please remain seated at all times.

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Holiday Ideas VS Reality

“As a stubborn dreamer, I offer the worst of both worlds – I’m completely unrealistic about pretty much everything, and yet I also refuse to budge an inch. Having a vivid imagination is great, unless you take what it produces seriously and expect it to be replicated in real life.”

Kristy Chambers, Author
“It’s Not You, Geography, It’s Me”

cropped-adventures.jpg

ROADTRIPS:
Idea:
Fun, hanging out, music blasting, beeping the horn at attractive pedestrians, wind in your hair.
Reality:
Limited legroom and air-conditioning when riding in the backseats, long tiring stretches of driving, pit stops at clearly unmaintained roadside toilets.

wrong turn

BACKPACKING:
Idea:
Being at one with nature, working out and earning your dinner, seeing sights off the beaten track.
Reality:
Battling excessive seating and mosquitoes, back pain that is only slightly relieved when you lay down on your yoga-mat sized mattress, realising you packed more useless crap than you needed and didn’t pack a few of the things that might actually have been handy.

wolf creek

HOSTELS:
Idea:

Saving money, staying in the centre of cities you normally wouldn’t be able to afford to, meeting new people.
Reality:
Not being able to sleep through the noise of the city, finding out there are only 2 toilets and showers for every 100 guests, bunking in an unventilated room that smells of your own and others body odours, meeting creepy people.

hostel

TROPICAL LOCATIONS:
Idea:
Clear water, jungles, romance, street food, relaxation.
Reality:
Vaccinations, no apparent health and safety rules on and off the rules on the island, mosquitoes, unbearable heat, seeing unhygenic practices after eating street foods.

reef
SNOWY LOCATIONS:
Idea:
Snow-capped mountains, snowball fights, snow man building, skiing, sipping hot chocolate by a fireplace.
Reality:
Constantly going in and outside and therefore having to repeatedly remove or add several layers of clothing, inabilty to feel any sensation in the face and fingertips due to frozen numbness, unexpected sunburn.

frozen
HISTORICAL LOCATIONS:
Idea:
Viewing a piece of history, understanding more about a culture and it’s people, being filled with wonder.
Reality:
Trying to get a photo without it being ruined by an obnoxiously-dressed person with a visor on and a camera around their neck, sitting in an un-air-conditioned bus for 3 hours to have a 25 minute look around at the site and a 35 minute compulsory stop at the gift shop.

ruins
TRAVELLING SOLO:
Idea:
Going at your own pace, doing all the things you want to do, freedom.
Reality:
Realising that being a lone female tourist is not actually the same reality as a lone male traveller and therefore making sure you don’t go down any alleyways and always returning to your room before sundown.

tourists

Anyway, ‘Bon Voyage’ and all that, I guess…