Sunday, May 30, 2010

Things I've Learnt While Travelling....

The other week, I dug my backpack out from the cupboard. I put him in the corner of my room and have gradually started to add little bits and pieces that I'll be needing for my trip. The pile is getting bigger and bigger and this means my trip is getting closer and closer.

Tonight I added my beautiful, leather travel diary the girls gave me for my birthday. I am so excited to write in it while I'm away. It reminded me of my other travel diary I kept on my last trip. I wrote in it religiously and it's one of my most treasured possessions.

Here is an excerpt from a list I kept at the back of my diary from my trip in 2008, of all the silly and sometimes helpful things you learn as you go. I've published it on my old blog before, but thought why not do a re-run in celebration of the adventure that's just around the corner. Welcome to the secret world of backpacking, I can't wait to do it all over again!

  • It becomes normal to wash your clothes in the shower.
  • Wearing the same outfit 3 - 4 + days in a row (with an undergarment change of course) is OK!
  • Food that doesn't come out of a packet / tin / microwave is a luxury.
  • Earplugs are a magical and ingenious invention and only fools travel without them.
  • Carrying around a backpack that is bigger than you probably means you have packed too much.
  • Always say yes.
  • Take the scenic route.
  • It can take up to two hours to find the supermarket in Russia. And it was right in front of you the whole time. May be best to brush up on your Cyrillic. 
  • You can have the most interesting conversations with fellow travellers in hostels, learn so much about them yet never exchange names.
  • Paprika flavoured chips taste as bad as they sound.
  • If a 14 hour bus ride on horrendous roads is the cheapest option, take it!
  • There should be separate dorms for snorers and non snorers.
  • A beany hides any bad hair day (and 5cm of roots).
  • ALWAYS keep your hands in your pockets around Sacre Cure otherwise you will end up with a 'good jiggy jiggy bracelet' from a pesky Jamaican scammer for 2 euro.
  • Getting matted dreadlocks in your hair that you have to cut out is a good sign it's time to brush it.
  • The Church of Spilled Blood, in St Petersburg, is the most breathtaking thing you'll ever see in your life.
  • Having a chocolate croissant every morning for breakky is totally acceptable if you're in Paris.
  • If you don't have butter to cook with beer is a suitable replacement.
  • You will become a default vego only because you cannot read what meat is at the supermarket and are scarred from the one time you took the risk with a Polish sausage you were suppose to boil but instead fried and spent the whole night hoping not to be sick.
  • An early train /plane/bus to catch justifies Maccas breakfast.
  • Bed bugs favourite dish is the face and neck - they always devour the most visible parts.
  • Shampoo works just as well as soap.
  • Snow can even make a porta loo look pretty.
  • Try to think in Pounds and Euro, converting back to the Aussie dollar will only give you an instant rage attack.
  • Months of un-shaven leg hairs = extra insulation and warmth.
  • Dutch stairs are a broken leg waiting to happen.
  • Inevitably the first people you meet when you walk into a hostel will be Aussie.
  • A pastry based diet with little to no fruit for 5 months results in constant, huge purple bags under your eyes so big you could carry the shopping with them.
  • Never underestimate the kindness of strangers. Meeting generous, friendly locals restores your faith in humanity.
  • Arriving at a new city even after 5 months of being on the go, still gives you a rush of excitement and curiosity.


  1. This is brilliant. I love your writing.


  2. oh also people that pee in the room in their sleep should probably have their own room too


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