Page 2 of Forget 9 to 5 Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Nelson Region » Nelson January 23rd 2012

Two nights safely spent in Christchurch, three nights, four...still I haven't felt a single quake or aftershock. I'm not sure if I'm more relieved or disappointed by this. Obviously I don't want to be in a devastating earthquake anymore than I wish such terrifying aftershocks and damage on the already frayed nerves of Cantabrians. But a small part of me would like to feel the ground move beneath my feet - just enough to get the adrenalin pumping like on a big rollercoaster ride, not enough for the hostel I'm in to fall down on my head. Once again I found myself with a few hours in Christchurch and ended up walking around the no-go zone that is the city centre. This time the sunshine was out and so were the tourists. Out of such devastation ... read more
City Centre through the wires
Lego shops!

I apologise now for the gross overuse of superlatives and exclamation marks in this blog but there are a few places and activities in the world that mere adjectives alone cannot begin to accurately describe and trekking in the wilderness of Fiordland is one of them! I have just returned and recovered from walking the Milford Track, described back in the day as 'the finest walk in the world' and no doubt on all the official 1000 Things To Do Before You Die lists. I'm certainly not going to argue with such praise, it was an adventure I will never forget, a huge personal achievement, awesome fun and an education, as you will find out below if you care to read on! Things I learnt while walking the Milford Track: 1. New Zealand is even more ... read more
Mackay Falls
Beech Forest in the Clinton Valley
Getting soaked at Sutherland Falls

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Nelson Region » Nelson October 31st 2011

From the moment I emerged from Christchurch Airport into the swirling drizzle and Antarctic winds of a late Spring afternoon I knew I was going to have to find myself somewhere with a better climate if I was going to stay in New Zealand long term. All evidence pointed towards Nelson, claiming to be the sunniest place in the country I wasted only a couple of days getting there. First though, some morbid part of me wanted to try and understand just what Christchurch had been through in the past year. I visited Christchurch six years ago. Jet lagged and freshly escaped from months of sitting behind a desk in the UK I was desperate for adrenelin-fuelled adventure, breathtaking scenery and the fresh air of the great outdoors - all the buzz words New Zealand promotes ... read more
Churches seem especisally badly hit
Pompom tree

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud September 5th 2011

It was the cheapest way to fly from Australia to Malaysia, but my six day soujourn on Bali turned out to be far better than any stopover I have had yet - even if it did still involve a couple of nights sleeping on the floors of airports! With only a few days on Bali and a month on the beach in Malaysia awaiting me, I decided to head up into the centre of the island to Ubud. I'd always wanted to go to Bali ever since I had seen photos of glistening emerald rice terraces years ago, but the horror stories always put me off. Not the ones about the bombings, but the reputation of the Aussies in Kuta, almost as bad as the Brits in Benidorm. Thankfully most of them don't make it past ... read more
Lotus flower
Ubud market
Three wise monkeys

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Carnarvon August 18th 2011

It's amazing the contacts you make working in a pub, so it's not really any surprise that after a few weeks working at The Port I was invited to help out at a plantation owned by a couple who drink in the pub. It has to be said the 6am starts did not appeal, but I was bored of watching daytime tv all morning before starting at the pub at 1pm so I figured it would be a productive way to pass my time in sleepy Carnarvon and a good way to get some fresh air and exercise. When the air became as fresh as 7 degrees I had second thoughts about getting out of bed but the frosty air was combatted with every item of clothing I owned, a cup of tea and a camp ... read more
Sunrise through the Sorghum stalks
Plump, shiny chillis
Rows of squash

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Carnarvon August 17th 2011

I'm no stranger to pubs. I've worked behind the bar in a couple and downed drinks on the other side of more establishments than I can well remember. However, the world of a rural pub in Western Australia is another thing entirely. Seven months working in Australia was no preparation for what I faced on my first day as a barmaid in a local pub; I felt like I'd been dropped in a new country, possibly a foreign planet even. My first couple of days I had to learn a whole new language. For a start I work in a 'hotel' but it is just a pub. Out here only tourists are stupid enough to ask for pints, locals drink 'middies' – half pints that ensure your beer doesn't get a chance to warm up before ... read more
The wide selection of tap beers on offer
The well stocked drinks fridge...ahem
Stubby Holders

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Coral Coast May 15th 2011

A couple of days recovering from my epic journey across Australia and I was ready to get out and see a bit more of this immense country. Unfortunately Perth did not woo me. After the bright lights, excitement and happy memories of Sydney, the most isolated capital in the world felt eerily quiet and uninspiring. I did get the train out to Freemantle one day, which I thought had a nicer vibe - and better looking cafes. But after visiting the markets and walking along the Swan River and up to King's Park I was happy to escape the cities. My stay in Perth had a been productive one and I left with a job offer at a pub in Carnarvon. Rather than shooting up there in one 12 hour stint on the Greyhound bus I ... read more
Weird rocks in the Pinnacles Desert
Pinnacles Desert
a very leaning tree

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Perth May 7th 2011

So I have finally found the momentum to leave Sydney. Even though I have been having an awesome time there, I felt it would be a disservice to both myself and Australia if I did not explore at least a few hundred kilometres beyond the suburbs of the first city. But then where to go next? After weeks of putting off the decision I eventually concluded that I needed to go somewhere the complete opposite of Sydney. To move to another large city in Australia would probably never live up to my past seven months. Calm down all you Melbourne and Adelaide fans, winter is descending upon your southern skylines and I have frozen enough in Sydney this Autumn to know I need to head nearer the Tropic of Capricorn. Also I have left behind so ... read more
Saying goodbye to good friends
Waiting to board
Seat S-19

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Sydney Harbour April 30th 2011

Anyone who has ever seen photos of Sydney, let alone visited this beautiful place, will know that it is a city with a close relationship to water. The never ending inlets and bays of Sydney Harbour are the playground of Sydneysiders, this is where they relax at a waterfront bar, exercise at beach bootcamps, catch supper, and even commute to work. And if the calm waters of the harbour are too sedate then Sydney residents and visitors transpose all these activities to the pounding waves of the Pacific Ocean. With this in mind - and as an honorary resident of Sydney for seven months - I took up the challenge to see as much of the harbour and Sydney coast as possible. With limited days off and abysmal fitness levels I admit I could have done ... read more
Looking back to Manly
tame wild lizard
Bondi Beach

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney April 11th 2011

It is just over a year since I gave up my 'proper' job and the world of 9 to 5 in an office to travel. Obviously since then I have spent an inordinate amount of time sat on my arse doing absolutely nothing (no different to when I was working I hear some of you cry!), although thankfully in much warmer and more beautiful surroundings. However on arriving in Australia my pockets were empty and gainful employment once again beckoned. I had vowed not to get trapped in an office during my time away so I drew on my teenage work experience and opted for a hospitality job instead. So twelve months and about twelve thousand miles down the line I am now working twice as hard for twice as many hours for what would be ... read more
yummy hot chocolate and cappacino
Chocolate vats
Hug Mugs

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