Tag Archives: travel

Bag full of baking

I love baking. At home I have books full of recipe’s waiting for me to try them. Unfortunately I am travelling now and those will have to wait. Yet even when I’m travelling the kitchen lures me in. There are free recipe’s in the supermarket magazines and I often see an attractive recipe on a blog. Or you see something of that other culture that you can’t wait to try.

So when I knew I was going to stay in one place for a while I hit the shops. I came home with a baking tin, some tools, measuring cups and mixing bowls. For three months I made something every week. After that I couldn’t part with my things since I was just moving to another place where I would stay for a few weeks and come back once again. So my skibag housed some baking utensils between my boots and warm layers.

Another thing I cannot resist is buying special cookie cutters abroad. I know fully well that I’ll have to carry them around the world with me, even though I have no clue for how long. I just have to have them. I cannot resist it. Instead of tacky souvenirs I am coming home with baking stuff for my collection. I guess I cannot live without it…

This one’s inspired by the daily prompt: Ingredients

Floaty 100, a way to the universe

In a galaxy far away a highly sophisticated people are venturing into space further than anyone in this universe has ever ventured. Us gods always thought it would be the Martians from Mars, the Erians from Eria, or perhaps even the human folk from Earth if they’d put their minds to it. Well, that has yet to happen. But we were very surprised to hear the Oxodites from Ox had finally managed to create a spacecraft worthy of exploring beyond galaxies and stars.

With a slick design the Floaty 100 is capable of reaching speeds far beyond any of the other peoples’. What the Oxodites call ‘fast power’ has brought them across galaxy borders in a search to expand their planetary wisdom of life. Recently the Floaty 100 has landed on planet Earth and the Oxodites seemed fascinated with the daily occupations of its people.

The hunger for knowledge of the Oxodites causes them to look for other planets so the race is on to find Earth 2. So far no changes has been made to any planets and the people of Earth are unaware that they’re being observed and researched. After the destruction of Zerion by way of introduced specimens of flora and fauna the Oxodites have become careful and intend to study by observation in the foreseeable future.

This story was inspired by the daily prompt: Ripped from the headlines, with the headline ‘Race is on to find Earth 2’

Dramas of the road

A popular way of travelling the cheap way is finding some buddies to hit the roads. Everywhere you find websites dedicated to finding rides and in many hostels you’ll find ads for ride shares. From the big cities you often have a choice and thus you can choose, relatively, wisely. But what if you’re in a location where there isn’t much choice?

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I’d been in Broome, Australia, for almost a week and was dying to get out. I had seen enough of the beach but it seemed like my fellow backpacker bums where all going in the opposite direction. Finally an ad appeared on Australia’s Gumtree and I replied within minutes. A positive answer: let’s meet. So the next day I meet another international traveller. The girl had her own campervan and wanted to leave asap.

The next day I happily started my adventure all the way down to Perth. Slowly though I started to find out that not all campers are happy campers. The only agreement made up front was to share petrol and food costs by making a joint wallet. With both of us on a budget I wasn’t surprised when on day one I was asked to make a contribution for the food that was still left in the van. Problem one however was that we couldn’t agree on the price of it. Or rather, my travel companion didn’t say a price. I was to pay the first few groceries and after a few days I was given the ok.

Another week had passed and it became clear that our personalities couldn’t be more different. I am excited to get going, active in setting up and packing our camp. I love to make plans and read about what options we’ve got and what we can do. As in normal life I like to have a plan for the day and know in which area I’ll be sleeping that night. My buddy was of the opposite; relaxing in the morning, taking the time for a smoke, sitting in the sun instead of going for a hike. While driving she was happily checking her facebook and catching up with friends. She also didn’t want to discuss plans and I always felt like an annoyance asking where we were going that they or what she wished to do.

I started feeling like a kid who did everything wrong. Also, evil was building up inside me. I felt like there was a bomb of annoyance in my belly which could burst at any time. I was nowhere near my enthusiastic, fun self. I was constantly on edge. Luckily we drove the same route as another couple whom I got along with really well. Travelling with four gave us both a bit of freedom and relief.

Just over a week into our journey I was ambushed. At the cash register I was told I had to pay for the supermarket bill. I exploded and surely didn’t pay a thing. We took a girl into the van for a few days in a national park but from the start this added frustration to my buddy. When we said goodbye to her, my buddy started asking her for money as well. In my opinion you make these agreements upfront and you don’t confront someone with it when everything is already done.

We had reached our limit. We couldn’t be more agitated and frustrated with each other. We talked and both admitted not to be happy. We were just too different. Added to that I didn’t agree with the girls methods. I told here to drop me off at a hostel the next day. I couldn’t enjoy this anymore and the decision came as an instant relief. I could breath again. After all this shit about money the hypocrite had no intentions of paying me for the things I left her with; food, half a tank of petrol. I didn’t ask. I didn’t care. I just wanted to get to my hostel and continue my trip pleasantly.

Lessons learned:

– Listen to your gut feeling
– Spend time looking for a good match, especially if you travel together for weeks on end
– Make some money agreements that are clear for both parties
– Make sure your travel buddy is into the same things; national parks, hiking, swimming, relaxing on the beach etc.
– See that you have the same expectations. If one person is on a budget and the other would like to go out for dinner and party hard, it isn’t a match made in heaven.

The most important lesson, in which I got a lot of practise, was enjoying your surroundings. I didn’t get along with my travel companion, but I was in some gorgeous places. Sometimes you just have to stop, breath and take in the beauty. Eventually, that is what we both came for, in pleasant company or not.

Travel freak out

So many plans. So many wishes. So many questions. So many places. Being a traveller isn’t easy. There is just too much to do! I am planning my next trip, which starts in two days actually. The first part is done. I am flying to Darwin, where I will stay for three nights until my organised tour starts. 6AM sharp I will be waiting for the group to embark on an adventure. Nine days of getting up at stupid o’clock, sleeping under the stars, hiking and bumping and shaking over the 4WD tracks of the rugged Kimberley. But then I arrive in Broome and the real question starts: how far can my money get me?

The budget is, just that: a tiny budget. As I don’t have a car I rely on finding others to travel with. Hopefully with a van or some camping equipment. Scrap those budgets found on the internet. Even in Australia you can live on a budget. Yes, a meal in a restaurant sets you back 20 dollars, but what about cooking? So I set my daily food budget on a generous 18 dollars a day. But really; I hope I don’t spend it.

From Broome I want to make my way to Perth to explore the city, and then eventually make my way back to Adelaide, where my boyfriend will be waiting for me. I plan on doing this in five weeks, but will I find people to travel with? Will they have the same plans and interests as I have? The ‘wills’ and ‘what ifs’ have taken over my mind. It’s a mystery and it freaks me out just a little. For a person who has always got things planned and prepared this is a true adventure.

So yes, I have a list. A true wish list this time. It includes all the things I’d like to do and see along these 5000 kilometers. It includes just as many question marks, for I do not know if my trip will take me there. So bring it on! A true Ozzie road trip. Off to adventure I go. Checking one  thing at a time. Best case scenario: thousands of photographs, dozens of new friends and a checklist with crossed-out words. Worst case scenario: thousands of photographs, dozens of new friends and an empty bank account. Well, such is life.

A hint of luxury

O the life of the backpacker. Living out of a backpack is about the least glamorous and luxurious thing you can do. Think about it. What would you pack? Tough choice. You  might want to take that nice dress, but is it practical? You really want some choice, but then realise you have to carry everything around with you. It’s all about sacrifices. You either sacrifice on a few luxuries, or on your travel comfort.

Most people pack way too much for their holidays. You always think you need every single item in your closet, but in reality you wear your top three favourite items during your entire trip. Packing becomes something totally different though when you are packing for a year, or maybe even several. Winter and summer. Leisure and business. Fancy and casual. Your Luggage is your life and it becomes a mix and match.

So when packing for a long term thing, think carefully about what you are intending to do and where you think you’ll go. A spaghetti top can work as beach dress, an extra layer in winter or your pyjamas. If you like some variation, take something old, so that you can replace it after a few weeks or months.

Every traveller should have a little luxury though. Something that just makes you happy. This backpacker for example, carries a little bottle of perfume for those moments when I want to feel special. The beautiful scent makes me feel fresh and attractive, even if I am wearing my old jeans. It might be silly and unnecessary, but even a traveller needs that little bit of luxury that makes the dorm room disappear and turns the local snack bar into fine dining.

This post is inspired by the daily prompt: luxurious