I’ve been wowed and wooed by this Southern continent, and in some cases, truly wonderstruck. I’m going to miss my time here, but now it’s time to click my red glittery shoes (à la Dorothy), and return back home to rain and reality.
On my last couple of days, the weather took a turn for the worse, and I decided to chillax, do a spot of baking, send off my postcards, and round up some souvenirs to take back home.
I have limited kitchen resources at my disposal here, so I decided to stick with two simple but delicious recipes – flapjacks, and a yoghurt cake. The flapjacks were modified by replacing golden syrup with strawberry jam, and they turned out perfectly! The yoghurt cake was a little more tricky as I had to use a very large baking pan, but in the end – minus a few burnt bits, it was pretty delectable too. Given the difficulties of navigating around a strange oven, I’m simply pleased that they turned out edible at all!
With souvenirs, I decided to stick with the sweet and simple. I confess I didn’t want to lump my nearest and dearest with jars of Vegemite, and Ugg boots in the fashion world are now a bit passé.
So I’ve stuck with the sweet and simple. A jar of local blue gum honey, some cute kangaroo keyrings. Australian-made sheepskins. And from New Zealand, some beautifully eye-catching opalescent paua shells.
I’ve also been left with a couple of unexpected souvenirs. My legs are decorated with a mosaic of scars following aggressive insect bites, which should hopefully fade away before too long!
My travels have left me with a burning desire and wanderlust to explore so many other places, and I intend to do so (once time and money become available). I also intend to bring with me some salient learning points to maximise those fun times whilst travelling abroad.
- Shop around for good hostels. For example, don’t always stick to YHA hostels – although they do tend to have good baseline levels of cleanliness and separate gender dorms – they can also end up being the most expensive option. Check reviews online. Smaller hostels tend to have the best atmosphere and are a great way to meet like-minded people.
- Likewise, organise some trips through the hostel. Choose small groups as that is also a good way of getting to know your fellow travellers and have some stress-free fun!
- Go for dorms that sleep 4-6. Get friendly with your dorm mates as you might end up hanging out with them!
- Use the hostel kitchens as this is a really good way of striking up a conversation.
- Don’t be shy. Start up conversations with your fellow travellers, say yes to invitations, leap into the water without being coaxed, and wear your bikini without fear!