Road Trip: Blighty to the Snowy Mountains

IMG_344611 Days ago Chris and I were still in Blighty, NSW. Being our last weekend there, it was pretty busy and non-stop. We cleaned our wee farm house top to bottom, squeezed all our belongings into our campervan, and said our goodbyes to friends, work colleagues, the dogs, cats, and cows. And after 6 months of working and living in the same place, just like that, we were gone. To be honest I was too excited about the thought of travelling again to feel too sad about leaving! And it didn’t take long to used to campervan living again. Once I got used to the colder living conditions, it was like I’d never stopped!IMG_0160

Continue reading

Campervan Hardships

Travelling by campervan can be great. You’re free to explore and go where you want when you want, you have a portable bed and kitchen with you at all times, and overall it can be a lot of fun.

But travelling by campervan can also be hard, especially if you’re determined to freedom camp. I’m coming to the end of my first week back on the road, and although it’s been awesome, it’s not always been easy.

Continue reading

One More Week to Go

For the past 6 months I’ve been working on a dairy farm in a little rural place called Blighty in NSW. Since leaving Northern Ireland in January 2012 this is the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place, and to be honest it’s not the most exciting of locations.

But for once it hasn’t been about travelling, but instead, about working. It’s been a chance to really build up the funds, and for the first time in my life, I actually have some proper money saved! Which is probably a good idea considering I’ll be travelling around Australia for the next few months with no plans of getting a job for a very long time!

So now the count down is seriously on. Less than 1 week to go, only 4 more shifts left at work. To say I’m excited is an understatement! I can’t wait to say goodbye to the mundane, day-to-day routine that many jobs bring. No more alarms going off at 3am, no more living for the weekend, those days are soon to be over.

Instead, Chris and I will be living out of our campervan, just taking each day as it comes, unsure of what will be around the next corner. I can’t actually wait! The feeling I have right now, it takes me back to when I was in Northern Ireland, waiting to go to New Zealand for the first time. The anticipation of not knowing what’s coming next, not knowing what I’ll see, the experiences I’ll have, or the people I’ll meet along the way. Continue reading

Asia Can Wait

Before I went travelling I had a plan, and that plan started with New Zealand. There was just something about the country that attracted me to it, the natural beauty of the place, the mountains, the unique landscape, the people, I couldn’t wait to get over there and see it for myself. I also thought New Zealand would be a good starting point for someone like myself who had never travelled before. The culture wouldn’t be much different and there wouldn’t be a language problem.

From here the plan was to step it up a bit and go to Asia, do some ‘real’ travelling as I thought of it. I thought that after 2 years travelling around New Zealand I would be craving something a bit more adventurous, I would want that extreme culture shock, to be put out of my comfort zone and experience crazy things. And this is exactly how I feel! But I didn’t follow the original plan and instead, I went to Australia. Continue reading

NZ Tax Back, Do It Yourself!

pile-of-new-zealand-money-keyimagery_29684_350x350If you’ve been in New Zealand for a working holiday, and only worked for parts of the year, you can be pretty sure you’ll be due some tax back. And when it comes to claiming that tax back, it’s really not that hard. You don’t need to have a degree in accounting, there’s no secret password, really anyone can do it! That’s why it frustrates me so much to see all these tax back companies targeting backpackers, and charging a fee for their services. Continue reading

Free to Camp Where You Want

1Freedom camping. What a great way of saving money while you explore a country. All you need is a campervan style vehicle, some food, money for petrol, and you’re good to go!

When I was in New Zealand I freedom camped my way around the whole country, determined not to spend a penny on accommodation. There was the odd occasion where I chose to stay at a low cost campsite, but overall, I must have saved hundreds of dollars. Continue reading

Culture Shock, It’s Not Just A Third World Country Thing

If someone says the word ‘culture shock’ what do you think of? You would probably imagine landing in a country where you don’t understand a single word of the language, where there’s weird religions, different fashion, and strange food, where everything is totally foreign to you. At least that’s what I thought.

But you don’t have to go to a country with extreme cultural differences to experience culture shock. It can happen when you go anywhere, and in a way, can be even more confusing when you experience it because you never expected to.

When I first arrived in Australia I was excited and everything was amazing. The weather was hot, the bars were cool, the people were so friendly, and I liked the wildlife. But then as time went on, slowly without me realising it, everything changed. I stopped looking at things through rose tinted glasses and couldn’t help but become negative. Continue reading

Playing With Marsupials

If there’s one thing I love about Australia it’s the wildlife. The animals are just so weird, random, and interesting, like nothing I’ve ever seen before! There’s colourful parrots, mobs of kangaroos, koalas in the trees and emus everywhere. And when I saw these animals in the wild for the first time the feeling of excitement I got made me feel like a big kid.

Continue reading

5 Backpacker Tips for Buying a Campervan in Aus

One of the best ways to see and travel a country is no doubt, by campervan. It’s hard to beat the amount of freedom you have this way. You can go where you want, when you want, and you don’t have to stick to anyone else’s schedule. Sometimes you end up going on detours you never considered taking, and get to see places that the people taking the east coast tour bus can only dream of. Sometimes you can be in bliss isolation, alone, sleeping in a hidden forest campsite. Or you may feel like part of a travelling campervan community, rocking up to a campsite to find about 20 people in campers of all shapes and sizes, taking the same journey. If you have the time to spare, and the money to get yourself going, then for me there’s no other way to travel a country like Australia.

IMG_2482

I spent 2 years freedom camping my way around New Zealand and now I plan to do the same in Australia. But when you first arrive in a country, and one as expensive as Australia, buying a campervan as a backpacker can be a bit of a daunting experience. A couple of months ago I bought a 1999 Ford Econovan. Here’s a few tips I learnt from the experience: Continue reading