Melbourne To Sydney

My time in Melbourne has been utterly sensational. Friends have become like family and helped to create some of the finest memories one could have wished for. But like they say, all good things come to an end and although I’m sad to leave, I’m over the moon with what life’s itinerary has laid out for me. I doubt it’ll be the last time I step foot in Melbourne, but I know I certainly won’t be back for a while. As much as I absolutely loved my time spent there and the suburb I lived in for it’s vibrant funk and care free souls that bless the streets of the Carlton.
The city has taken it’s toll on me once again and it’s time to escape the cooperate invasion of advertisement, mass media,  wealth and greed I’ve been cooped up in for the past 6 months. It’s time to live again.

With no real plan just a general direction of north we left the city and headed for Yarra Ranges National Park. We ascended through the national park traversing the winding roads surrounded by dense green forestry with shrubbery and ferns at the base of the tall redwood trees creating harmonious base layers that feed the ecosystem.

20170603_101441

One second we were singing along blissfully, the next we turned the corner to see snow on the ground! It’s been years since I last saw some snow, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to bump into any on my way up north, turns out I was wrong!
We weren’t far from our destination so we decided to contain our excitement for a few more minutes, and I’m glad we did. As we parked up to Lake Mountain I checked the altitude on my watch, we were 1400 metres above sea level. We jumped out the stuffy car grabbing our jackets and inhaling a deep breathe of the finest, freshest air the earth has to offer. I’ve never seen snow gum woodlands before, the bare naked look to the trees gave the Victorian alps a very free but lonely feeling. The views were absolutely incredible and it was rather great to throw some snowballs again!

20170603_110444

IMG_20170603_144931_474

After a spot of lunch we headed for a free campsite (The Walnut) located in Alpine National Park. Within minutes of arrival we had the tent pitched, a glass of wine and dinner on the go. All of which was accompanied by a well needed campfire.

The following morning I uncracked the frozen tent door, ran around the campsite and stuck my hands behind the exhaust pipe of the car to defrost myself before making some breakfast. Cold was a bitter understatement!

Time for some hiking! Yey! Blue Mountains were on the cards next and something I’d been really looking forward to. The rain held off for a few days and we managed to get onto some walking tracks. The blue haze within the mountains is formed from the eucalyptus oil in the trees. Initially hearing about the blue haze I was a little skeptical about it, but the amazing thing with me travels is I am fortunate enough to check it out for myself!
Right before me stood ginormous canyons filled with luscious green forest as far as the eye can see. All of which appeares to be highlighted with a blue mist. Each walk takes you scurrying through canyons to different viewpoints, all giving their own personal perspective to the mountains, unlocking hidden gems that may be obstructed from the latter.

20170605_121948

20170605_142141

20170605_114942.jpg

After several days of good hiking conditions the weather started to turn. Fortunately we had had our fair share of nights hugging the bottle, smoking and dancing round the fire and decided to be grateful for what we’d achieved. Sydney was the next destination.

On the way I decided to hit up a few friends I’d met on my travels, which still amazes me to this day that little ol’ me has friends all over the world. The fact that I can rock up to a city on the other side of the world and still know people. Fuck yeah!

I met up with a few homies that I worked with on a banana farm in northern queensland last year, we had a good ching wag reminiscing about the good times we had together, swapping stories of our recent travel trips and discussing our future travel plans.

After a well needed kip in a bed it was time to get productive. We headed to Bondi Beach to start the Bondi to Bronte Beach coastal walk. A walk that reminded me of a traditional British trip to the seaside. Wet and windy! Having said that, coastlines can often be very scenic with a bit of a storm rolling through. It’s nice to show that not all the glitter is gold!

20170608_115441

20170608_125643

Last time I came to Sydney I didn’t make it out of Bondi, and yet again I probably wouldn’t of made it unless my beautiful friend Brianna didn’t invite me to a drag night out in town! How could I say no to that?! Vegan hotdogs and a drag show… Count me in! And what a night it was! I witnessed a lovely lady pull a whole sushi roll from her private bits, unwrap the cling film and munch away at it! To be fair to her, she did share it with one lucky lad from the crowd. Who seemed best pleased with himself that he was eating what he was eating!

The following day I caught the public transport back to the hostel where my friends were staying. The deli outside filled my nostrils with delightfulness and lured me inside for a spot of breakfast. Feeling worse for ware I sat and waited for my pals to come and take the piss out of me, fortunately for me, they were in the same boat, so we struggled through our breakfasts together.

With full stomachs we jumped in the motor and continued our journey north. We are expecting a change scenery from 9th – 16th so stay tuned!

2nd June – 9th June locations:
Yarra Ranges National Park – free camping
Lake Mountain
Alpine National Park – free camping (The Walnut)
Blue Mountains National Park – free camping (Blackheath Glen, The old ford)
Sydney / Bondi (YHA backpacker hostel)
M Deli Cafe outside YHA backpacker is highly recommended, they do have some vegan options also!

Thank you for reading 🙂

 

 

Advertisements

WPC: Evanescent sunsets

The feeling of pure presence as you summit the peak of mountain, the temperature change and golden bursts of light ricocheting through the clouds which are now somewhat head height.

To the soft white sand of a tropical beach, beer in hand watching as the crystal clear water rocks a reflection of the bright orange haze up and down.

Light turning to dark is powerful enough to turn a concrete jungle from a construction of human chaos to a brief moment of evanescent beauty, forgetting all that seems to exists as the sun sets behind the skyline.

Although the quality isn’t too great, I love this photo for the memories it brings back to me of an amazing road trip with friends that have become family.

 

Lakes Entrance, VIC, Australia.

A link to the other entries here!

Photo Challenge: Wanderlust To The Sun

Me and a friend had a rather sleepless night in a cow paddock just outside of Paihia, New Zealand. We had been hiking for weeks, done hundreds of kilometers and were fatigued, hungry and injured. When the sun started to rise over the Bay of Islands, all else was forgotten about. Still to this day, one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen on my travels.

Bay of Island, Paihia, New Zealand.

My contribution to this weeks Photo Challenge, found by following this link 

 Thank you 🙂

Wanderlust

Mother Natures Remedy

After a long weekend filled with liver destroying quantities of alcohol one is crawling down the road to recovery, slowly but surely. I would be very disappointed with myself had I gone the whole weekend and achieved nothing but self-inflicted damage. After all, I’m usually the one to turn down a drink in return for a quiet night filled with lots of yummy food, good music and a great conversation. I’m up for lots to be honest, anything that doesn’t involve shouting at one another, the testosterone filled “women” talk, or throwing up in the back of a cab. This is old hat to me now, or so I seem to keep telling myself.

Off I went smiling joyfully en route to the train station after devouring three thickly cut sourdough slices topped with avocado, tomato, cucumber and baked beans. My bag packed with everything a man needs for a day hike; a couple of books, one serious, one not so much. Some warm clothing as the weather is turning that way, headphones for when the sound of nature disappears and reality kicks in. A couple of Bananas and an Apple. Oh, and of course, a big bag of my favourite kind of nature… Mary Jane!

At the start of Dandenong Ranges there is a historical climb which involves climbing 1000 steps to get a glimpse of the terrain that the Australian soldiers endured in the 1940’s. Which I found quite funny actually because upon summiting you shall find a large group of sweaty, tired and out of breathe tourists who, by the looks of things got more than just a glimpse of the terrain. Following this, you can walk around numerous routes or if you fancy an adventure, just walk! Don’t look at the map, don’t even question the direction of which you’re heading, just walk!

20170417_142613

I spent the best part of five hours completely alone, surrounded by nothing but chirping birds, buzzing insects, dense green forest and a Wallaby or two. Considering it was a bank holiday and the 1000 steps were heaving, it goes to show, if you walk off the beaten track peace and tranquility can be found. To me there’s nothing quite like being alone with your thoughts, surrounded by nature, completely focusing on the present, forgetting all that seems to exist. Not a soul around besides the hidden eyes of those watching as I trample through the place they call home. Tall canopies towering over all forms of life creating an eerie lonesome feeling down on the ground, often interrupted by a mysterious jolt of a bush or the soaring flight of a bird cutting through my path letting me know her nest is nearby.

Screenshot_2017-04-18-15-18-24
Me and Mr Wallaby having a stare off

 

The network of forests amaze me, I wish we all took a leaf out of their book, I’m sure we could grow as a society if more people observed nature rather than a television. Watch how the trees connect and work together, how the lay out of the forest either vertically or horizontally is set in a way to help a neighbour. Even the fallen branches and debris create whole ecosystems of thriving life forms, providing areas of dense vegetation and mulch for the new comers to sprout with profound efficiency.

IMG_20170418_152057_660
As I watched Guardians Of the Galaxy on the weekend – I am root.

After hours of aimless strolling I decided to have a pit stop, rest the legs, roll up a Scooby snack and read a chapter or two of my new book. Embracing the surroundings, taking in the peaceful scenes and soaking up that Vitamin Nature. At this point the Bananas and Apples I had packed came in handy as the munchies kicked in. I choose not to eat any animal products so eating out is often very inconvenient. It’s only a little thing but taking a snack bag makes me feel more independent, more connected to the Earth rather than relying on a super store nearby. Time quickly passed and it soon hit me that I had no idea of where I actually was, all I knew is that I’d been walking South-East, and as I hadn’t followed any of the ‘Treks’ laid out, there was no signage sending me back the right way.

I found and followed a road for about forty-five minutes until I hit a sign saying ‘One Tree Hill Road’ and it was at that point I knew I’d safely return home in time for a late dinner. A long day of walking had spat me out at the top of the 1000 steps, which as expected had died off with sweating tourists, allowing me to fly down the steps in no time at all. Just as the sun was setting I jumped on the train and made my way back to civilization, and as reality kicked in the headphones came out.

20170417_133124
A house situated beautifully @ One Tree Hill

A day out with mother nature always makes me feel a lot clearer, happier and connected to the important things in life.

croppedflower
 Testing out the camera on my new phone! Flowers are always so picturesque

Thank you.

 

Musical Fidelity blog V

I LOVE Reggae, the history behind it, the movement, the spiritual connection with the music, the positive vibes and joy it brings. I don’t think any music in the world teaches you a much as Reggae does. My life, the way I act, the way I treat people, and the Earth we live upon is purely and simply down to a spiritual connection I have to Reggae music and the history behind it.

Junior Marvin – Life Without You

Protoje – Sudden Flight ft. Jesse Royal & Sevana

Peter Tosh – Little Green Apples

Bunny Wailer – Fig Tree

Dennis Brown – Money in my pocket

Jacob Miller – Forward Jah Jah Children

Sugar Minott – Good Thing Going

Stephen & Ziggy Marley – The Chapel

Third World – Rhythm of life

UB40 – Kingston Town

Bob Marley – Judge Not

Gregory Isaacs – Sunday Morning

Burning Spear – Slavery Days

Queen Ifrica – Trueversation ft. Damian Marley

 

Sizzla – Be Strong

 

Enjoy ❤

Good Morning!

Whenever I have a light bulb moment or feel like I should save something, whether it be a screenshot of a cool fact, a new song or an idea that pops into my brain, I jot it down on the nearest thing to me. Sometimes peoples faces, sometimes I shave my idea into a friends beard (as I can’t grow one yet). This comes in handy, because at some point in your life you can reflect back on that moment and go ‘ahhh!’ I have anecdotes from my hikes, or just random feelings in my life and these are great to look back on. I think shaving it into a friends beard is the best, because you only have a certain amount of time before it grows back! And your idea is gone forever, so best move sharp!

This mornings Anecdotes are as follows:

“It’s just ticked over 10.00 AM and I am extremely happy with my healthy positive start to the day, which I have no doubt will result in a happy Monday.

I started with a bowl of Muesli with added nuts for extra protein, topped with rice milk. Then I went on to have a large glass of Apple, orange and peach juice, freshly squeezed last night after my wonderful trip to the market. My beautiful Chilean house mates teach yoga, so without any hesitation when asked If I wanted to join in with their 5 minutes of Mediation and 10 minutes of yoga routine this morning, I jumped at the chance.

Immediately after I cycled the short but blood pumping 6km ride to work. I’ve just had a shower and raided the fruit bowl for the following; Banana, Plum, Pear and an Apple. I feel more alive, I feel more open, I, myself, feel good. I am thinking on a very wide spectrum right now. Today marks day one of the Yoga / Meditation practice, everything else is as norm, so far so good!”

Your morning routine really sets your day, and If I can continue this feeling of pure excitement towards life, towards the rest of the day, and towards people. I shall try my up most hardest, and this is a promise to myself, to try and maintain this healthy, exciting, mind opening, feel good routine. I haven’t changed my diet at all, just the exercise in the mornings. I am no yogi, and If you see me doing the exercises this morning you would most definitely agree I am far from complete. However, I am working towards something, I am creating positive thoughts in my brain from the minute I wake up. I provide my body with healthy food, and focus on my breathing, and being. Focus on being alive, and being grateful.

As we all know, exercise is very important and it can make you a lot happier.

“If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy.”- Full link here:  https://www.fastcompany.com/3025957/what-happens-to-our-brains-when-we-exercise-and-how-it-makes-us-happier

The way you start your day can have a huge impact on the rest of your day. If you feel sluggish, take a look at what you’re doing in the mornings. Are you dragging yourself out of bed unhappy? Eating a shitty 7/11 sausage roll and a $1 coffee only to jump on the train with thousands of other like minded souls. If so, be proactive – do something about it. It’s your life, you control the way you want to feel. I would like to make it clear that yes, this was my first morning of this new routine, and that of course there are other ways of finding happiness in the mornings, it’s what suits you. I used to make sure I had a healthy breakfast, listen to a lot of Reggae (or a genre which makes you happy) and take a leisurely stroll to work. Thus resulting in a happy start to the day. This alteration to my morning routine ticks more boxes for me and therefore will continue this way 🙂

Thank you, Happy Monday! ❤

 

No Yin without Yang

Travel blogs can often be very deceiving, I’ve had a rough few days emotionally which I’m over now so I can reflect back and write with a clear mind. Of course it’s lovely to write about all of the amazing things, and more often than not I find myself waffling on about this awesome trip, or that isolated village I stumbled across. However, it’s not all pink roses and fairy dust, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes, such as life.

At times travelling can be real tough. Tough on the mind, the body and the bank balance. Tough on relationships with friends, family or work colleagues. As with everything, life is about balance, and there is no Yin without Yang.

Missing out on family events or best friends having kids, getting married etc, or the celebration of friends and loved ones graduating. Quite a few of my close friends have kids and I’m missing out on the early years, the growth of a baby to a little monster, causing havoc around the house! These are some positive things that are missed, and they are hard to deal with at times. Then you have the negative shit to deal with, disagreements between loved ones playing on your mind, or having to deal with the death of a close friend or a loved one.

It’s rather overwhelming with all of the possibilities of what can be done. It’s important to take a step back, breathe, remember that I have my whole life ahead of me, and that I don’t have to fly around every country and complete everything I want to complete in the next few years.

Having said that, it’s hard. I have to move on from Australia this year and deciding what to do is very hard. It sounds silly, but the world is literally my oyster, and like many others, this predicament is a love hate relationship. It’s so beautiful to be able to have all of these bucket list options but at the same time it’s a #%&*! Behind all of the pretty pictures are relentless hours of research and grafting to save the funds for the trip in the first place. Then how you’re going to get around that non-native speaking country and after all of that you have to work out where you’re going next! And considering I don’t know where I’m going in the first place it’s rather hard!

Going with the flow works well in some places, but not all. Providing you have enough money you can rock up to some places and just go for it. Work it out there, speak to locals or travelers and just go. Some continents, like Africa or South America for example need intense planning whether you are on a budget or not. It’s not just about touring that country, having enough money to feed yourself and see the sites you want to see. It’s also about getting yourself out of that situation – the after plan. Covering the costs of flying to a country where you can work, accommodate, and feed yourself isn’t cheap and generally speaking, a country where you go to save money has high living costs in exchange for high wages.

In this case I’d  work out a budget for a month as I believe I  can get a job within a month (often less, I once left a job and within 5 days I had another job and I traveled from North to South Australia in this time too). I know my bills to live in Melbourne are around $1200 per month so if returning to Melbourne I know that’s what I need to survive. This is all before flights have even been purchased. So as you can see, the headache isn’t necessarily in the traveling, but the aftermath. Going for broke is no exit strategy, unless you want to end your travels very abruptly.

For now though, these things are minor bumps on the journey and are forcing me to look elsewhere, like permaculture farms, volunteering, wwoofing, workaway, HelpX or working on cruise liners to get me from A to B.

A beautiful thing about life is if you don’t like something, you can change it. If you don’t like the job you are in, or the city you live in, the people you live with or the “friends” you socialize with, change it. For me, personally, right now it’s the city. I have a love hate relationship with the city. Like most, I find it convenient, it’s a barrel of laughs on the odd weekend getting drunk with friends and going to events which you don’t find in little villages / towns.

Cognitive dissonance is how I feel at the minute. I feel oppressed by the city, trying to manipulate my mind through its genius ways. Making out as if I’m the mad one for caring about shit other than trump, a mortgage and a fresh pair of kicks. The city is like monogamy, keeping you restricted to one mate at a time, impaling your thoughts to stop them from extending past the concrete walls. Keeps you ticking along in a little bubble of thought, like Nemo wanting to know what’s out in the deep depths of the ocean, one must ride up and take the step.

So, what’s the plan Stan?  – I’ll be damned if I know. For now, I need to save money and stay focused. My contract ends sometime in May so I shall be back on the move then. Myself and a few friends are going to road trip up the East Coast and I shall be dropped off somewhere in North Queensland to jump back into the tropics of rain forests, mountains and the beautiful star lit sky. Until then, I’ll keep researching places to visit, keep saving and keep walking through the shit storm.

I spoke previously about the cost of travels, and obviously I can only relate to how I’ve traveled. I know there are cheaper ways to travel, but this works for me, for now. To save for the expenses of flights, and travels etc you have to go without a lot. You have to completely minimalize your life down, and ask yourself DO I REALLY NEED THIS?

I have an iPhone 4, it’s old, it’s shit, but it works. I have eaten the same curry pasta I made for the past four days in a row, it’s old, it’s shit, but it works. I replace my clothes with ones from charity shops, or unwanted clothes from friends. We share just about everything, especially accommodation to split rent costs, we drink in rather than out, eat in rather than out. Cycle rather than use public transport, hitch hike rather than catch a bus or post online to find a care share. There are so many ways you can actively work towards reducing your expenditures to make way for fun and exciting trips.

But guess what? You have a choice where you want to spend the ups and downs, and I’m quite happy carrying mine on my back, country to country. It’s very rare that I have feelings like this any more, but they do come around from time to time, and I think they hit slightly harder because I’m so used to being in a little bubble of happiness.

I’ve really enjoyed writing this piece, it helps me outline to myself that the grass is often greener on the other side, but with some perseverance you can grow your grass just as green.

Thank you for reading 🙂