Almost eleven months ago, I boarded a one way flight from England to Malaga. Without a doubt, those five months turned into the best experience I’ve ever had.
I started off with the best country: Spain. I ate some food that stands out as some of the best that I have ever eaten, I loved most places that I visited and I learnt a fair bit of the language that I’ve probably forgotten by now. Las Fallas Festival was well worth seeing, though I could quite happily not deal with the chaos for a while! I can see myself, once I’m finished with long-term trips, staying in Spain for a bit and trying to learn the language.
Italy was also a good one for the most part; whilst Rome wasn’t to my liking and Pompeii was alright, Venice and Florence I liked, and I definitely can’t forget Milan. I pressed the wrong button and ended up with a flight there instead of Venice, though I can’t moan after eating the best pizza I think I’m ever going to eat.
A few other places are worth a mention – Budapest, my favourite city in the world (so far). Liked it so much I went twice, loved the thermal baths, food, hostel and general feel of the city. I stayed in a great hostel in Prague, enjoyed re-visiting Berlin and exploring Porto. I’m pretty sure I’m still burning off the calories of the Franceschina that I ate. Oh, and I also saw Beyoncé.
I could go on for days about my trip to Europe. Next came Singapore, which gave me my first feel for Asia, and has left me wanting to see more. I did perhaps the most dangerous tour of a city that I could ever do, ate so much good food that it warranted two lunches and/or two dinners some days as well as seeing a culture that wasn’t too familiar to me.
What I was looking forward to the most about this year was Australia, and it’s been alright; besides the friends that I made, nothing has really stood out compared to my other trips. The East Coast is almost over, then after a week long trip, I’ll be back in Australia working on a farm for my second year visa. I have a good feeling that after this week, the trip will pick up a bit and I’ll be very, very busy.
What will I be up to in 2017? Firstly, I’ll be at the Australian Open in Melbourne, before going to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year… I’ve only mentioned it a few times! I’ll then be doing my farm work, and when it’s over I will put my feet up for a couple of weeks. Then, I’ll be back at work for up to six months, saving up my money again for some more trips. Japan is definitely on the cards, and I may go somewhere else. I honestly don’t see myself finishing the two years in Australia, though my visa will expire in July 2018, so I’m expecting to spend the whole of 2017 down under.
I have a couple of goals for the next year: firstly, I’d like to find my own place to live rather than a hostel, although there is more chance of me becoming the next pope than trying to balance work, life and living in and hostel ever again. I’d also like to learn something that isn’t work-related, take another cookery class abroad (Japan, I’m looking at you), and eat something that most English people wouldn’t consider eating.
If you click the read more button, you’ll see some of my favourite pictures. I tried to narrow it down to 10, but that quite obviously wasn’t going to work out.
I get asked a fair but what the weirdest thing I’ve seen whilst abroard. Here it is, a dead, stuffed bird in a miniature bathtub.
This town was like something out of Lord of the Rings.
A small place, but Porto was one of my favourite places. I really wouldn’t mind exploring more of Portugal some day, and I may have to come back.
San Sebastian, Spain
It took over 20 hours to get from Porto to San Sebastian. Worth it for this Foie Gras, cost less than €5.
One of my favourite cities in Europe, and just so happened to be there when FC Barcelona had a home game; they won 6-0.
Las Fallas Festival, Valencia, Spain
A pretty crazy week; you start to wonder what’s acceptable after watching a young child set off a firework with a cigarette in the middle of the street. I’d reccommend it to anyone, but you need a good few days of peace and quiet afterwards.
A day and a half here was plenty of time, and it’s an ideal place to just get lost.
Prague, Czech Republic
I went out with the hostel to graffiti the John Lennon Wall. Beer is cheaper than water here so it was a crazy few days.
I have no idea what this says, nor am I religious. I just like this picture.
I’ve never seen a shrine to Gollum.
I had just wanted to kill a few days – I hadn’t planned to return to Austria after visiting Vienna, but I really liked it.
I didn’t intend to come here whilst planning, and surprisingly, I liked Paris. I only went to the Louvre to see the crowd around the Mona Lisa, and I wasn’t disappointed.
It took ages to find the ex-WWII spy base, but was a pretty cool to see nonetheless.
My favourite place in Europe, I stayed here twice. My hostel Budapest Bubble definitely had something to do with that.
A nice little city. I accidentally ended up at a concert at a theme park whilst I was here. I booked up to see Beyoncé whilst in Copenhagen on the way to Australia.
It may not look amazing, but this was one if the best things that I’ve ever eaten. I just pointed at a picture in a food court where I was the only white person. This is the dishwhere I learnt how to use chopsticks.
After five months through Europe, I had seen enough of churches and cathedrals. Seeing Mosques and Temples made a nice change.
The Great Ocean Road, Australia
Having lived in Melbourne for three months, it took me a while to organise seeing the Great Ocean Road. The weather wasn’t great, but it’s one of the things you should do whilst in Victoria.
Wineglass Bay, Tasmania
I think this was my favourite day in Tassie, and I certainly picked the wrong day to wear all black. I had to climb over a safety barrier to get this picture. Sorry Mum.