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Let me tell you my story…

Have you ever wondered why I decided to name my blog “Can-Will-Did”? Have you ever wondered what the story behind all this is? Whether your answer is “yes” or “no”, I reckon everyone should get to know my life-changing story. Well, let me start from the beginning…

When I arrived in Australia, I was the most insecure person you could imagine, trying to pretend to be brave and independent while I still decided to keep my travels as safe as possible, only sticking to organized group tours and busses. While it was the most comfortable option, I always had some sort of gut feeling telling me that this is not what I want to be. I wanted to be self-confident, I wanted to be flexible and most importantly, I wanted to be different from the rest! Easier said than done. There was something holding me back. Something, that is not easy to get rid of: it’s the bubble, called “comfort zone”, that way too many people are stuck in. So, what was I supposed to do? I knew I wouldn’t just be able to get out of my comfort zone that easily. I had been stuck in it for way too long.

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Thanks to me being an ambitious person, wanting to achieve whatever got in my mind, I decided to buy my first ever own car. Back in Germany, I was a terribly insecure driver and barely got any practice. Thus, buying a manual, having to drive on the “wrong side” of the road, didn’t seem to be the cleverest idea, but there was a drive in me that turned me into a confident driver, driving all sorts of vehicles on the “wrong side” of the road.

Yet, there was still something inside of me that told me, that I wanted more. I wanted to tackle challenging roads, in order to get to the most remote places, I wanted to learn how to four-wheel-drive, I wanted to experience the Australia that no one else gets to experience. Unfortunately, something held me back. It was society telling me that my car wasn’t good enough for what I had put in my mind. Society told me that I wouldn’t make it across the “Gibb River Road” in a little Subaru. People told me I wouldn’t be able to get to all four of Australia’s extremities in my little Suby. “What if you break down in the middle of nowhere?”, was one of the most-raised questions I always got to hear. And I believed them. I believed what they told me must be right as it was society telling me and society is always right.

That was, at least, what I had always believed; until one special person changed my whole attitude on life. I met Anthony about a year ago in a small place called “Hamelin Pool” in Shark Bay, Western Australia. He offered me work in a caravan park, where I got to know him and his story. Anthony is an Aussie, travelling around Australia himself. But unlike other people, he doesn’t follow the crowds. In his 4wd, he goes wherever he wants, following the most remote and challenging tracks. But it was his attitude on life that made me think and lit a fire in my soul that has never died ever since. “Can, Will, Did, Kunt” is his motto. People tell you you can’t – you go and prove them wrong! You wanna go somewhere – you go there! There is no “what if” – there is only “ah well”.

During a trip to “Steep Point” Australia’s westernmost point, he did not only teach me everything I needed to know about four-wheel-driving, he also taught me confidence. He taught me how to break free and only listen to myself, instead of what society wants you to do. He taught me that I can do anything, even if I don’t have the fanciest equipment. During the trip, we got banned from the National Park as Anthony’s ute didn’t have working brakes, but instead of turning around and giving up, he kept going. He didn’t care what society told him to do. He had one aim in mind and that was to reach “Steep Point”. And we did! Despite, all the trouble! Thanks to Anthony’s advises and encouragement, I did not only tackle the iconic “Gibb River Road”, but also travelled up 800ks of highly corrugated dirt road, all the way to the tip of Australia and back, I attempted several “four-wheel-drive-only” tracks. Sometimes, things didn’t go as planned, but I always gave it a go. There is no “I can’t”, there is only “I can”!

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The best reward I could get is the facial expressions and reactions of people seeing what I’ve achieved. It doesn’t only make me feel extremely proud, it also gives me a satisfying feeling of confidence. I have never been at this stage I am at now. And if I hadn’t met Anthony, I’d probably still be stuck in my bubble, with an utterly feeling of regret.

Now, about a year later, both, Anthony and me, are still continuing doing whatever we want, proving as many people wrong as possible. While Anthony is crossing rivers, instead of taking vehicle-ferries in Australia, I’m finding my way around New Zealand, just having finished my first ever novel, bringing my own little motto and lifestyle (Dare Yourself – Prove them wrong!) to life. The road has never been easy, for neither of us. We both had to go through hell and back. But giving up has never been an option and never will be! Whatever will happen in the future, I’m sure Anthony will inspire many more people and we will meet again in the future to take on the world.

I hope the story inspires you to get up and live life! I won’t say it’s easy, cause it’s not. But if you never do what YOU want, you’ll never be able to say that you’re truly content!

GET UP! CAN-WILL-DID!!

Dani

 

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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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