Getting lost abroad: four places I’ve lost my way and found it again

A wise man- J. R. R. Tolkien, to be precise- once said, “not all those who wander are lost.” He had a point, however sometimes those who wander are just plain lost.

Getting lost is not always a bad thing. If you fall off the beaten track, you might get to see the real city, find places which you never thought you’d see or stumbled across hidden gems. Yes, it can be a nightmare, I’ve had horror film scenes flashing through my mind and you can lose valuable time if you’re in a city for a limited amount of time but I’ve found that it usually turns out for the best. At the end of the day, you’ll probably at least get a decent story out of it.  Continue reading “Getting lost abroad: four places I’ve lost my way and found it again”

Advertisements

17 highlights from California

After writing yesterday’s mammoth California post, I figured it may be handy to write a shorter post with only my highlights from California- just in case you don’t want to wade through 4,200 words of places I went shopping and where I ate lunch.

In all honesty, the real reason I had a fantastic trip was due to the people I was able to stay with. My travel buddy had family up and down the state and they took us in, treated us and showed us the sites. I know not everyone will be as lucky and be able to get down with the locals so in this post I hope to pass on what my hosts showed me.

Continue reading “17 highlights from California”

A Road-Trippers Guide to California

Get ready for a pretty hefty post (there is a shorter alternative here). I wanted to do a city guide for the places I stayed in California but I realised that I didn’t explore any of them fully enough to write a good guide. Well maybe I did but it was a while ago so I don’t remember all the details. Instead, I thought I’d put together a guide for anyone planning a road trip through California, with a brief outline of where I went, ate and stayed.

In April 2010, I went on my Great Big Gap Year Adventure. California was my first stop, for a 3.5 week road trip from San Jose in the north to San Diego in the south, and back again. I’m now going to pass on the infinite wisdom I gained in this post. On first glance, this may just look like a guide to places but if you bear with me, there’s also tips on transport, routes, music, time and food. I appreciate that this could be deemed an excessively long post but you can always just skip to the sections that you think are the most relevant/interesting/shortest.  Continue reading “A Road-Trippers Guide to California”

Travel Activities: Surfing

Surfing was something I had always wanted to try, but I had just never got around to it. When I was on the East Coast of Australia, however, it finally seemed my time had come to give it a try. After all, you should always get down with the locals- in this case, the Aussie surfer dudes.

Continue reading “Travel Activities: Surfing”

The Modern Toilet Restaurant @ Hong Kong

When my friend told me about the toilet-themed restaurant in Hong Kong, I decided this was something I needed to see for myself- if only just for the photo opportunities. As we sat down, it was pretty easy to tell that we were in the right place:  there were pipes, urinals and decorative toilet seats on the walls, the tables were sinks with a glass top and we sat on toilets. Part of the restaurant was also  designed to look like a shower room. The food was served in miniature loos and basins and, I have to say, it didn’t taste great- but what the food lacked in taste, the restaurant made up for in sheer novelty-value. Although, they seemed to have run out of quite a bit of food. We had unlimited cake and ice cream but sadly the only flavours of ice cream were taro (a kind of purple potato thing), coffee (which I didn’t like at the time but, since my time at university, necessity has made me a coffee-fan) and sesame. We didn’t really order much dessert. Continue reading “The Modern Toilet Restaurant @ Hong Kong”

Hong Kong Part Four: free nights out and the end of a very big tour

Dates I was there: 13-15 July 2010

After a not-so-cultured lunch of Caesar Salad at the Pret-A-Manager in the IFC Mall, we hopped on the MTR and headed over the the cable car we needed to catch to get to the  Tian Tan Buddha. It was a pretty picturesque way to travel, above the water and the green mountains below.  Continue reading “Hong Kong Part Four: free nights out and the end of a very big tour”

Hong Kong Part Three: mussels, geese and boats

Date I was there: 11-12 July 2010

As our big Gap Year trip drew closer towards its end, my travel buddy and I were still not inspired to get out of bed early and as 12.45pm, our host came to chase us out of bed. We all went out to Kowloon with a stop off at a View Point for… wait for it… some views of the suspension bridge, heading towards the New Northern Territories for some impressive scenery around the Gold Coast. We wandered up and down the Piazza, looking at different stalls that were situated near the water edge. We even got a cartoon done of us as a little memento- out of all of us, I think mine was the closest resemblance. Continue reading “Hong Kong Part Three: mussels, geese and boats”