Around The World Travel- One Year in Review
In the past year of traveling around the world much has happened…
PART 1: On Friday October 5th 2012 Feedadrifter began its Round the World (RTW) trip. On a one-way flight off the island of Hawai’i headed for the city that never sleeps, also known as New York City, we started the adventure of long-term travel.
After four days full of NYC debauchery we made our way back to where it all started, Miami, Florida. Allowing ourselves a month with friends and family in Miami, Tallahassee and Nicaragua was what we needed prior to taking off indefinitely on a flight to Berlin, Germany. In short, we managed to travel to six countries and 18 cities/towns throughout Europe for nearly three amazing months. We made it our mission to spend at least seven days or more in each city (listed below). And for simplicity purposes, I’ve broken down the past year in four major parts. If this happens to be the first time you read an article on our website, then this write up will link you not only to past articles but useful travel websites that can help you plan your own round the world trip. Enjoy!
Where we went-
New York City, New York
San Juan del Sur
Principality of Monaco:
THINGS WE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT IN PART 1:
1. Packing for long-term travel
2. Our personal safety: we made copies of all our legal documents including our passport, identification cards, banking cards and visas. We were cautious and read country profiles/alerts prior to arriving as well as spotting our corresponding embassy, the local police station and the hospital once we were there.
3. We researched each country’s foreign currency and created a master budget for each place. As budget travelers we highly recommend learning and understanding foreign exchange rates prior to traveling in order to get the most bang for your buck.
But enough of the boring and serious stuff, lets go straight into the highlights of part one of our trip!
HIGHLIGHTS OF PART 1:
1. Finally going home after living in Honolulu, Hawai’i for four years.
2. Officially getting back into the travel groove. Going into survival mode while traveling helped us build very much needed traveler skin. We found being ballsy and bold was important because we found ourselves in places we could not even pronounce.
3. We always treated our first day in a new city like a scavenger hunt. We searched for: a local general store, an ATM, a city map, a hospital, a laundry mat and the nearest food joint. Once we knew our bearings then we were ready to explore.
4. Getting on a train again! During our time in Europe we were very lucky because we had nothing but positive experiences on both trains and buses.
5. Discovering the European legal version of hitch hiking. Blah Blah Cars made traveling throughout Europe very easy, affordable and adventurous.
6. Having the pleasure of staying with life-long friends in both Spain and France. In France we stayed with family and the experience was absolutely amazing! We seriously ate like French kings and queens. We are forever grateful to Emma, Benoit & Christine. During the holidays, we spent nearly a month with one of our favorite couples in the world, Attila and Kira in beautiful Marbella, Spain. We spent most of our time drinking wine, relaxing and enjoying the amazing Spaniard way of life.
7. Allowing things to change. We randomly ended up in other cities and countries we had not planned for. Going to Prague, Czech Republic for 11 days was an absolute wild card. We were pleasantly surprised when we did our math and realized we’d actually saved money by being there. Which always comes as good news when you are a frugal traveler.
And last but not least, in one word “Europe,” for us there was nothing not to like about starting our trip in such a culturally diverse place.
PART 2: Our travel rollercoaster ride hit its peak. On Monday January 14, 2013 we finally boarded our flight to Istanbul, Turkey. We spent eight glorious days in Istanbul followed by a month and a half in Southeast Asia.
Where we went-
Republic of Singapore:
HIGHLIGHTS OF PART 2:
1. Having stepped on two continents in the same day and within the same hour. We had the pleasure of wandering the streets of both the European and the Asian side of Istanbul by taking a Bosphorus boat tour.
2. During part 2 of our trip I highly enjoyed having to respect the territory I was in. I wanted to play by the rules, so a major highlight of going from a place like Madrid to Istanbul was adopting the appropriate female behavior. I absolutely loved Istanbul’s feel and I embraced the culture probably more than any other country I’d ever been to.
3. Being culture shocked at least three times a day in Istanbul. I LOVED IT THERE! The whole place was old, rustic and historically delicious. Tease yourself and make this your next get-away now!
4. Bargaining in Bali and Istanbul was in one word “acquired.” Knowing what to say and what to do was half the challenge, but not buying everything in sight was the other. Trust me when I say you have not bought cheap until you buy in either of these two places. The products and services are obscenely cheap and their marketing techniques will have you laughing till your stomach hurts.
5. Finding ridiculously cheap food! In Singapore you could indulge in anything Asian for a fraction of what you would pay anywhere else. Eating in Singapore’s version of outdoor food courts a.k.a “hawkers” was amazing. On the same note, in Bali eating like a king in any local “warung” meant eating for under $2 including a superb beachfront view.
6. In totality being in Bali for nearly a month quite literally changed my life. The culture and the people are beyond any words I can say. The nature is unreal and just when we thought we had seen it all, we had the chance to swim with huge manta rays in a secret beach during our time on Nusa Lembongan island. It was fucking incredible!
7. Visiting one of the best places I’ve ever been to till this day was in Bali. Ubud, probably better known for being one of South East Asia’s premier Yoga haven was mind-blowing. Everything about the town absolutely captivated me. It was here we experienced our first Balinese dance. Making Ubud one of the hardest places to leave, I still find myself dreaming of the day I return to this insanely awesome place.
8. Having the pleasure of staying in Jasri Villas in Eastern Bali was magical. Till this day we continue to humbly thank the owners of Jasri Villas for truly providing us with what can only be referred to as paradise. Thank you Tai and Kelli!
And last but not least making Bali our final destination prior to moving to Melbourne, Australia (part 3) I decided to indulge in the craziest mushrooms anybody could ever take…I’ll just leave it at that.
PART 3: The big Aussie move! We were granted an Australian Holiday Work Visa Subclass #462 that gave us the right to work and travel in Australia for one full year. With only a bag on our backs and a smile on our faces we entered Melbourne, Australia Saturday February 16, 2013 with zero clue what to expect next.
THINGS WE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT:
1. Finding a place to live. Per the local recommendation, we used Gumtree AU. Australia’s version of “Craigslist.”
2. Setting up a new life in a new country. Opening a bank account, getting an Australian phone, applying for a TFN (Tax File Number) in order to find employment and then the hardest part, finding a job. We mainly searched for jobs on Gumtree AU and found being assertive, persistent as well as flexible was the key to getting employed in Australia’s version of San Francisco.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PART 3:
1. Having access to really good public transportation. In Melbourne we used MYKI cards. With this card we had access to buses, trains and my favorite, the city trams. In addition, Melbourne was extremely bike friendly making it a major reason to buy my first bicycle abroad.
2. Finding different types of communities all in one city. Because my job in Melbourne was working for Public Outreach as a charity street fundraiser, it opened my eyes to a new breed of people around the world who really care to make a difference by helping others. Working in the Not-for-Profit sector was a beautiful and humbling experience I will forever take with me.
3. Finding community through Nia in Melbourne. My relationship with my Nia practice flourished in Melbourne because it helped me create instant friendships in a place I’d never been to. Many of the Nia members became my backbone and a huge support system for me while I got use to a new home in a new country. To name a few, in Melbourne I did a Nia belt audit, I partook and led Nia jams, I had the pleasure of doing Nia demos at local festivals and last but not least I officially taught my first Nia class abroad through a donations based class.
4. A major highlight of living in Melbourne was learning about Lentil As Anything. Down right the best place to catch a meal for the exchange of donations. “Lentils” is an incredible place with an amazing purpose. The idea of giving food in exchange of a generous donation is basically unheard of. The food was the best fucking vegetarian food on Earth, and as if food wasn’t enough it even came with complementary drinks, live music and an environment you simply could not replicate anywhere else. Eating at Lentils when we lived out of our car during the cold winter nights in Melbourne literally saved our lives!
5. Lastly, living in Melbourne also voted the most livable city in the world was an experience I will never ever forget. Living in this city meant access to amazing free concerts, arts & crafts festivals, fitness events and a plethora of amazing pubs locally known as “hotels.” But I’ll let you be the judge, check out our Melbourne, Australia photo walk.
PART 4: The phase we are currently in. In short, a couple months ago we bought a station wagon called “Ron Burgundy.” Since his purchase, we’ve been living and road tripping up the East Coast of Australia. At the moment we are living in Gold Coast, Australia. Below you will find a general list of the places we’ve stumbled upon during our road trip so far in order of states…
Where we’ve been-
Lakes Entrance, Gippsland
New South Whales (NSW):
Mangrove Mountain- Mangrove Yoga Ashram
HIGHLIGHTS OF PART 4:
1. Participating in a seven day HELPX program in Mangrove Yoga Ashram was hands down a major highlight of life on the road. Basically we’ve registered as helpxers on Help Exchange, which allows us to do volunteer work in exchange of accommodation and meals. Sponging everything I could in seven days in order to learn more about the yogic lifestyle was incredible. HELPX has become a major part of our trip and the likelihood of continuing our travels. This program allows us to experience places at a deeper level and simultaneously alleviates financial burdens because with food and shelter anything is possible.
2. Buying a car in Australia mate! Living out of a station wagon for nearly four months has become one of the biggest learning experiences on our trip. They say, “If there’s a will, there’s a way” and boy is that true. We’ve learned to adjust and to fit everything to our names in a 15 ft mobile home. Living this lifestyle allows us not to worry about paying rent which in term gives us ultimate freedom others can only dream of. As foreigners, driving up the coast has been like reading a children’s adventure book. Everything catches our eye; we are easily amused and stunned when we realize how different Australia can get from one state to another and even more different as you drive in and out of little towns. We’ve been camping our way up the coast staying in National Parks, random towns and National forests. In short, we’ve managed to go to sleep next to wombats while waking up in a secluded beach next to kangaroos. Life on the road is truly amazing in good ol’ Australia!
And now, we find ourselves ironically enough in an area called Miami, small world after all. Seeing we are hopeless beach romantics we’ve decided to throw our anchor here. Word around town is summer is on its way and this little sleepy hippie town is about to roar. Plan is no plan, but if the constellations align themselves right, then will call Gold Coast home for the next couple months and then shooting it to Woodford Folk Festival as volunteers during this coming holiday season.
As Feedadrifter.com enters year two, we have A LOT to look forward to. In summary: it’s looking like Thailand, Hong Kong, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Nepal and one of the most beautiful places in the world, New Zealand. As we’ve said in the past and we continue to say…”will sketch out plans but will simply hope for the best.” Every day on the road is a gift and we are thankful.
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Drifter Tip- Life is long…live a lot.