Catherine Anne Johnston

108 days

Catherine Anne Johnston

Ahhhh, the repetitiveness of the tale;

Finding yourself comfortable in life, to only uproot your existence and step out into the world with a well worn backpack and an abundance of misplaced confidence.

I’m a 27 year old love child from Australia who has spent more of my 20’s abroad than on home soil.

A misguided youth, inquisitive nature and tall tales have been the push and shove to my adventures. Having spent time living in Japan and the UK, travelling South East Asia and main land Europe, travelling is hardly a new venture for me.

There was one point in my life that I felt I would ‘stop’, I secured promising employment within a reputable company, enjoyed a rich social life, set goals, though for all of these rites into adulthood, I could not help but look back at my adventures across the sea. Unfamiliar faces, sounds, tastes. This is what life is about, not suits, schedules and bills.

Ironically enough I landed in the UK and settled into suits, schedules and bills.

I now draw to the end of my visa, which is unceremoniously accompanied with a ‘get out now’ card from the British government. Usually I am ready to move on, explore the next land; however this time I feel rather rejected having to leave. I quite like my life in Europe.

The choice to visit other cultures within a 2 hour flight, the diversity of London and the abundance of never ending possibilities has suited my lifestyle rather well; unfortunately for me, as an uneducated, unskilled Australian (in the eyes of the British immigration), my options are limited.

Therefore I will return to Australia, taking the long way around. I will travel through middle, central eastern and south eastern Europe, before jumping across to central (ish) Africa and snaking my way south via the west coast.

This journey will be broken up into smaller sections; at times I will be backpacking with my next bus trip the only prepared itinerary, I will take advantage of friends – new and old who live across Europe, and join dreaded tour groups.

It will travel over 39,000kms over 108 days over to reach my destination on limited funds stretched beyond thinness.

During this adventure I will be challenged with new cultures, dealing with a limited personal hygiene routine, yearning for loved ones (all tales have to include a love story, this one is no exception), having no appropriate language skills, trying to accommodate those around me whilst all the time having a kick ass time – and forever doing my best NOT to drop another camera in the water.

My name is Catherine, and this is my journey.

Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0

108 days

Africa » Botswana » North-West » Okavango Delta November 13th 2012

We arrived in Botswana and I smugly watched everyone else join the long line at the ATM or bureau to purchase Pula’s, I had already purchased local currency in Brussels a few months prior. I am so clever, so prepared. As I sauntered past I collected a few items from the store and handed over my cash, ‘No’. Ahhhh… excuse me? I was rather taken back by this rude cashier. She waved my money in my face ‘no, dez ez old Botswana Pula, you need’a new Botswana Pula, see?’ she showed me the new note, slightly smaller in size with a different face smiling back at me. Foolishly arguing with the cashier I told her that she must be mistaken, of course the tourist knew the correct money, this local woman must be was wrong….. It ... read more
Tunnel of reeds

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls November 13th 2012

With our increased group we entered Zimbabwe; I was particularly excited to explore the country having heard so many things from Kate, a Zimbabwean who had been living in London for the past 9 years. She and her husband were moving back to Africa via a 4 week safari. We crossed the massive dam separating Malawi and Zimbabwe, which apparently was the biggest in the world. I had disbeliefs as I had seen much bigger. Unfortunately our guide was unable to expand on biggest, whether this meant height, capacity or length. These types of comments followed by a lack of credibility was a common occurrence in Africa, I was learning fast not to believe everything I heard (‘of course the water is safe to drink!’). The border crossing was painfully slow and the staff gave the ... read more
Room with a view
A drowned countryside
Grasshopper x 5

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi » Kandi Beach October 27th 2012

Small hands fought to hold my own as I walked through the small town centre. Each corner bought additional children with trusting open smiles dancing across their beautiful faces. Although the private resort Kandi Beach offered an escape from the external world the temptation to walk beyond the security gate was far too great to resist. The small village beyond the perimeter housed a local community in typical poverty struck African thatched mud huts. Poultry and goats freely roamed the village, their owners confident of their return before nightfall. Plantations of Cassava lined the road, a root vegetable that required no water, nor no care to thrive. Re-planting was as simple as slicing a small branch from the exposed plant and crudely driving back into the earth. This staple of the Malawian people was harvested 3 ... read more
New friends enjoying a soda
School boys
Science class

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Kendwa October 19th 2012

Zanzibar is an Arabic word meaning ‘black island’. Although part of Tanzania, the small island boasts its own government and remains mostly self-sufficient with the exporting of spice and coffee, thus the nickname; spice island. The island itself was beautiful, surrounded by clear waters and white sand; it is easy to see why the island is a tourist favourite. Massage huts lined the beach with music cascading over the beach chairs and their lazy occupants. The beer is cold and the food, when visiting local haunts, is dirt cheap. The people were an interesting mix of charming, seemingly lazy locals offering their services; pushy and insistent beach boys and downright rude foreign business owners. We arrived via ferry to Stonetown, the streets were narrow and confusing, almost maze like. Each door way boasted stunningly crafted doors ... read more
Kendwa Beach

Africa » Tanzania » North » Serengeti National Park October 14th 2012

It is never a nice feeling to be left out, however when you join a group that has already bonded for a week it is only natural that there is a certain degree of territorial friendship. To overcompensate for not caring – which in fact I did very much – I aggressively behaved with an air of superiority, confidence and wit. Some may think that getting to know the individuals to be accepted by the group would have been a more successful method; this however never crossed my mind. It is safe to say that in this process I stepped on a few toes, anyone I found weak I looked down on, confident I raised eyebrows at and everyone else I simply out spoke. Fortunately I was not the sole addition and I was able to ... read more
Our team.

Africa » Kenya » Nairobi Province » Nairobi October 10th 2012

Ash-wee!!!! My longest running and highly cherished friend and I greeted at the Nairobi airport, just 6 months apart in age we had grown up together, it had now been 3 years since we last seen one another. Through many giggles and just as many cuddles we managed to locate a taxi. Africa. Travelling together had been a lifelong discussion and Africa the destination we had been impatiently waiting for over the past 7 months, but we were finally here. I was waiting at the airport, call me raciest, over cautious or perhaps aware, but I honestly thought every ‘local’ was going to pickpocket, mug and/ or rape me. After not being mugged and/or raped we arrived to our camp site where we would spend our first 2 nights before joining another 16 adults to safari ... read more
Cuddles from Mikano
Our safari bus

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Kadıköy October 6th 2012

The air was thick with heat as I stumbled through the steam; I craved fresh crisp and cool air, instead I struggled to inhale the sticky moisture. My knees easily bought my body to the ground as I desperately reached for the basin. I greedily used bucket after bucket of icy water, however nothing could stop my skin burning. The door was just ahead, no more than a few paces. I pulled myself to my feet feeling every inch of my weight, forcing one foot in front of another my mind swirled and my head swayed. I was so close yet the battle was lost, as feel into the blackness, I reached out to catch myself though I felt nothing. *I floated into the void as my blood spilled around me, suspended around my ... read more

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District » Tbilisi September 30th 2012

The cheering car sped by, car after car, flags waving high and young men hanging from the windows shouting with pride. The lead car held a megaphone out the window to ensure his voice could be heard by each resident in the apartment block. Each apartment block showed crumbling walls, women leaning over the seemingly fragile balconies looking onto the streets below before returning inside to resume cooking over gossip with their sisters, mothers and cousins. Men sat in the shade smoking cigarettes playing cards, drafts or dice; the children nearby screamed with laughter as they climbed over the decrepitating play set. The air is lined with dust and each outing I feel my skin gently suffocate in the heat. In the city centre you are transformed into another world. Cobbled walkways, high street stores with ... read more
Georgian cheese
Bread baking

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam » Amsterdam Zuidoost September 10th 2012

My head twitch to the left simultaneously as my right arm flung in front of my face. I had little control of my body. A faint moan escaped my lips. I heard laughter; it was so loud and had been going on for quite some time. My stomach was cramping and my face was tight. Whilst looking for the culprit the laughter ceased, I looked back toward my sister and her amused face… was that me? Was I laughing? Yes. Her face was so pretty, so smooth. I had to touch her skin. I grasped at her arm feeding off her warmth and touched my cheek to hers. You’re so pretty Rubbing my face against her I felt pure ecstasy, warmth and love. I closed my eyes to ... read more

Europe » Poland » Greater Poland » Oswiecim August 27th 2012

Day 1 - 8 Farwell London! Thank you for your time! I must now leave! Andy joined me for the first week of my adventure; we flew into Sopot, Poland, and together we travelled north to part ways in Krakow. During my time in London I had been privy to negative feedback from Lithuanians, Latvians and Hungarians regarding the Polish, though now I realise that most of these Eastern Europeans don’t particularly get along with each other, an age old dispute following past wars and border disagreements. So although I may have been slightly dubious when I first entered the country, these concerns were completely unfounded. Poland is a spectacular country, the people, the food, the culture. The Polish, by far have been one of the most interesting and welcoming people I have ever had the ... read more
Milk Bar

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