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Things I wish I would have known before I started travelling!

We know it all. We all have certain expectations and imaginations, before we head off. But mostly, they end up being completely wrong or not quite, how we expected them to be. This often results in us being unprepared and regretful. We’ve all had these moments and I don’t wanna exclude myself. Here are 6 things, that I wish, I would have known, before I started my travels in Australia and New Zealand:

1. It does get cold in Australia! Not every stereotype is true! It’s surely not warm and sunny all year round. Many days, I wish I had packed more jumpers and warm clothes. In fact, I only packed ONE jumper and leggings in the beginning, as I thought thick clothes take up too much space. They do take up a lot of space, but I wouldn’t cut short on that. Leave your hairdryer at home instead!

2. Umbrellas are weird. If someone would have told me before, that the Aussies and Kiwis are not as whiny as the Germans, I would have left my umbrella at home. I have used it once and decided to do it never again, due to all the attention it caused. A lady even told me once, that she could recognize immediately, that I am foreign, carrying an umbrella. Unless, you spend a lot of time in big cities, you need to learn to toughen up!

3. Australia is huge! Never underestimate the size of this massive country. Some days, I have been driving for HOURS just to get to the next petrol station! It’s about 3000ks alone to get from Darwin to Adelaide in a straight line! Germany is ridiculously small compared to that. It could fit into Australia about 21 times!

4. You need to adapt your diet! Depending on the way your travelling, you often have to give up on certain foods. If you’re living in the car/ van like me, I wouldn’t dare to buy a lot of dairy, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables etc., unless you’ve got a proper fridge/ esky! Especially in Australia’s heat, fresh stuff and dairy just goes off within a day/days. It would be a waste of money to invest in those. What can you eat instead? Well, I wouldn’t recommend it, but the instant – noodle diet is quite cheap 😛

5. Way too many Germans! Welcome to Australia and welcome back to Germany! I would have never expected to meet so mamy Germans over her in Australia and New Zealand! You think, you come over here not speaking a single German word?! Hahaha! Good one! They are everywhere! There is probably a massive gap of 18 – 21 year olds that no one officially knows of yet. It’s absolutely ridiculous! If you wanna avoid the Germans, do it like me and avoid hostels and cities!

6. Travelling is not as terrifying as expected. Last but not least, I figured out soon, that travelling is not as scary as expected. All these concerns, thay you might have in the beginning are completely overrated. It’s safer and easier as you think it is! Don’t waste your time worrying and enjoy the beauty of the countries instead 🙂

Happy travels!

Dani

 

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See ya Straya – my 100th blog post!!!

G’day everyone! What’s up?!

As I’ve already announced before, this is my 100th blog entry!! And along with that there’s gonna be some changes, basically only one massive change: I’m gonna be switching to English from now on.. yeay!

So basically I got to enjoy the pure joys of being a backpacker again: carrying my backpack around, spending more than 3/4 of a day at the airport and getting no sleep!! Ahh! I literally feel like an infant that is not able to sleep through the night anymore! It’s like I’m slowly starting to get nocturnal! 😀 Speaking of infants: Guess what kept me awake all night on the plane while I was trying to sleep instead of vomiting… that’s right! 😦

Ahh well no sleep for me! I also can’t even remember having more than 1 meal per day anymore… I’m either just too tired and too busy or I don’t have money. That’s also why I’m sleeping on benches at airports… I pay heaps of money to live like a homeless person basically! 😀 But let’s not be so negative, new adventures are ahead!

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I even convinced myself to spend my last night in Australia in a hostel!! Although I’m trying really hard to avoid them, still being traumatised by my Mildura – working – hostel – experience! It was the same hostel that I spent my first nights in Australia in! Now I’ve got a nice frame, hehe… But, I’m still not finished with Australia that’s for sure!

So… time to say goodbye.. in a way I’m excited to see what New Zealand has to offer, but on the other hand, I’m devastated…  😦

My last impression of Sydney was not the best either.. Not that I did anything, but at some point I eventually started wandering around in the city and within half an hour I gave my phone number to two Japanese girls who wanted to invite me to a weekly meet up and I was about to subscribe to a 30$/month donation… I have a problem!! It’s like those people know that I don’t have the heart to tell them that I don’t want to buy a washing machine if they offer me one! It has become a serious issue! I don’t know how many people have my contact details already haha 😅

Anyway.. I made it to the airport.. and spent a few hours waiting… We left with a one and a half hour delay …  I have the feeling they run out of excuses in the end since they gave us three different ones… Good start! Didn’t know how to feel… Everything comes back to a beginning… A fresh start and a sad goodbye..

Sooo the day had arrived… They made me leave Australia.. a home for the past two years… (warning: this is gonna get sentimental :P)

Straya has defo tested me… mentally and physically!! Soooo many Down’s!! And by that, I mean serious ones!! I had to go through a lot here… BUT I always managed to pull myself through and get UP again!! Thanks to all those people out here that mentally supported and lifted me up again! People that I met during my travels and are considered more as family than friends! They make it even harder to leave this astonishing country! Breaks my heart that two years went by so quick!! I’ve defo changed! The best example is me back in Germany sitting behind the steering wheel scared to drive and me now having owned my own car, driving on the left, having gained the habit to steer with my thumbs and pressing the gas pedal with my big toe only, driving barefoot 😛 Don’t worry, I’m a responsible driver still 😛

But I also changed physically: got a weird thong tan line on my feet and my hair is a mess completely damaged by the sun 😦 BUT it was sooooo worth it! This changed my life!! I went 50000ks in my car!!! One full lap! And I only got my car after 10 months being here 😅

Of course, I’ve made a little montage too… because if you went to Australia and you didn’t make a montage, did you really go to Australia?! Just kidding, the montage kinda sucks. I used about 5 or 6 different devices to film… I had to go through 8sd cards, having about 5000 videos. It’s a long video and the quality varies a lot (sorry!). It sure doesn’t give any justice to what I’ve experienced over here though. You gotta come over yourself, sorry mate! 😛

I spent a lot of time on this video, although it doesn’t look like it! It is more a video for myself than for anyone else anyway 🙂

Fun fact: I broke 5 phones, 2 cameras, 2 laptops, and multiple charging chords while being here and I wasted 2700$ on mechanical emergency repairs and should have paid another grant!! Yes, I’m eventually a clumsy person!! Or maybe I’m just a person who makes her dreams come true!! “Can, will, did” – a quote that a good friend of mine inspired me with! The same person was also the inspiration for my new blog title!
Soo, new adventures are ahead: I’m going over to New Zealand!! And to everyone asking: Yes, I wanna study at some point, but life is too short, go out and live it first, I’m only 20!!

Here is the video:

Well, I realized soon that sleeping at the airport was not the best idea since the domestic terminal with all the sleeping options was closed until 5 am.. and the international arrival section was super noisy and uncomfortable.. so I decided to sort out things like my sim card. I’ve got a new New Zealand Vodafone number now.. and of course, they made me buy a new phone too because my old one is locked to my Australian Sim!! That’s phone number 6 within 2 years! I’m hopeless… Got some NZ Dollars and spent a sleepless night at the airport.. so let the preparations begin: New Bank Account, new debit card, new tax file number, car etc… love it! -,-  I was soo tired during the day that I started talking weird stuff: I actually apologized when my hostel roommate walked in seeing me sleeping!! Like, what the hell?! Hahah!

But Welcome to New Zealand!! ❤ And welcome to a 10 hour time difference!!

New Zealand is soooo very different to Australia! first thing: the weather! People here actually own winter clothes and umbrellas! The weather is crazy: changes between hail storm and sunshine within 5 minutes!! At least here in Auckland! Furthermore, it’s a lot more hilly! I have the feeling I’m actually joining a hardcore workout when walking up and down the main street!! The currency is really beautiful: I mean, look at those coins!!!

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The salespeople over here are still the same though… -,- 3 people in one day… Come on!! I wish I could just start exploring, but things need to be sorted, cars need to be bought and bank accounts need to be opened.. and I didn’t have much luck doing that stuff yet..

You know what I also realized: I’m getting too old for this stuff!! Here are sooooo many 18-year-old Germans!! It’s not even funny! I actually belong to the less annoying traveller age group now, yes!! 😛

I gave up on sleep the following night. There is someone here in my room that snores… obnoxiously loud!! Not even earplugs help!! So I literally walked around like the walking dead! See, everyone thinks travelling is a holiday, but you gotta consider how many of the basic needs we sacrifice, like sleep or a bed or food or toilets!! It’s exhausting! Buuut I still wouldn’t wanna swap with anyone else stuck in one place!

Zombie-like, I made my way to the Auckland museum, where you learn a lot about the Maõri culture, the indigenous people. What was even more interesting was an exhibition about volcanoes and the extreme danger that Kiwi’s live in! There are so many active volcanoes around, which are ticking time – bombs! It is said that it’s unlikely that a volcano near Auckland will erupt in near future, BUT it will happen, you won’t be able to escape and there is not much of a big warning… Great! How soothing!

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There was even a simulator for an earthquake resulting from a volcanic eruption. That was scary! They showed you a TV interview about volcanic activities and suddenly they get footage in about steam coming out of the water, a volcano – professor said “the eruption has begun” and suddenly the screen goes black and you feel the earth shaking and see a massive cloud of smoke coming towards you! Definitely made me think…

Especially because I went to the volcanic crater “Mt Eden” straight after, one of 50 volcanoes Auckland is living on!! And they are not all extinct!! It offers you a 360-degree view over Auckland and the crater, of course. It was nice but made me realize that I really don’t like cities, which I mentioned before.

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The good news is that I found a car!! It’s more like a van this time and an automatic, diesel. I don’t like automatic, but hey. But that means no more crazy 4wd trips in this car… 😦 It’s not really worth it here in New Zealand anyway. Still makes me sad though.. I’m gonna buy the van of two French – Balinese girls which I met at “One tree hill” another volcanic hill, that offers you 360-degree views over Auckland! Plus, I’ve seen sheep for the first time here in New Zeland!! I walked up there… 16km return!! I’m glad I had some company with my American roommate!! 16 km!! That’s an insane distance for a day walk… Or maybe I’m just unfit 😛 Anyway, I bought the car and hope it will last for a while since it has done quite a few ks already… but diesel lasts usually longer than petrol.. right?! I just hope for more luck this time! The van has a small kitchen, a table and a bed inside! Definitely a lot more space than my old Subaru! Let’s all hope for the best!

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Are you wondering how the wether was today? It rained! Are you wondering what it’s gonna be like tomorrow? Rain again , good guess!! Ahhh!!

Well, every new work & travel destination also has its downside, speaking of organisation!! But I finally got most of it organised now: I got my bank account set up, got my IRD number (tax file number) and I have found a car. We’re almost there. Just a few more things and the roadtrip can begin!

I got the car the next day, after walking half an hour through the pouring rain, and realized soon enough I walked to the wrong post office/ registration opportunity and it was really late. I neither got a chance to figure out anything about the car, nor could I register it in my name. It was dark fairly soon and I’m glad I found a sleeping place at least. Still, I didn’t have a chance to figure out how to put the sheets on the bed, where the fuel lever is, how to open the door from the inside etc.. a nightmare.. but tomorrow is a new day..

Have a good one!

Dani

http://www.bookme.co.nz/bookings/auckland/home#bb2b2

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