I’m a Big Fat Travel Fraud

The time has inevitably come. I am facing a dilemma, readers and it goes like this:

Can you have a travel blog without travelling?

As most of you know, I was living the high life in London. I was. I am now back in Australia, left with nothing but an empty bank account and bittersweet memories. Gone are the days of EasyJet, Ryanair (ick) and Monarch. Of last-minute sojourns in countries with crazily exotic landscapes and people. Of ready-made blog topics.

Of course, there’s much more to WhichEverWay than travel boasts and re-caps (public transport ranting anyone?), but I am still left feeling like a Big Fat Travel Fraud.

Italy

No more poncey travel photos…

Perhaps I should add a disclaimer to my About page:

While I endeavour to ensure that the information on this blog is up-to-date and mildly amusing, I am no longer a repeat traveller and will be resorting to living in the past. I will also be writing more rant and observation-based posts that are of no use to anyone and I’M SORRY.

What do you think? Is honesty the best policy? Or should I instead use my imagination to create fictional travel stories and my non-existent photoshop skills to trick people into believing I’m on holiday somewhere? Nah, just writing that sentence alone was exhausting.

Farewell Skyscanner. You were my everything. All the best for the future and I hope that we can be friends in time…

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Photo of the Week – Hells Gate, New Zealand

Hells Gate - January 2010

Hells Gate, Rotorua – January 2010

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50 Shades of Noooo!

A funny thing happened the other day…Now when I say ‘funny’, I mean startling and slightly traumatic. And when I say ‘the other day’, I mean five months ago.

While getting all gussied up for a night out, I opted to style my hair differently and proceeded to sweep my hair back. As I did so, my heart dropped. My eyes strained. My brain did the Macarena in reverse as it tried to process the reality before me.

I had encountered a familiar foe…but this time it had brought back-up. Yes, dear friends, I was the proud owner of two crops of grey hair.

Grey Hair

Image by Roo Reynolds

I had my first brush with grey hair several years ago, but on a miniscule level. I’m talking one grey hair that got plucked out and appeared maybe a year later. It went on hair vacation. It was happy, I was happy. The system worked! Each time it reappeared, I’d say “Hi, nice to see you! Okay, bye!” and send it off once more.

This, however, was different. This time it had brought back friends. Possibly ones that it met on vacation, rehab, fat camp or wherever it had been. They were obviously good friends because they all hung out together. Seven on the right side, eight on the left.

This time I didn’t bother with niceties. I grabbed my tweezers and hacked away ferociously like a character on ‘The Walking Dead’, killing the dead things that kept coming back to life. I wasn’t going to be channelling X-Men’s Storm any time soon, so they had to go. Not only did they seriously clash with my black hair, they represented the inescapable ageing process.

That’s the scary part, really. In time for my 25th year of life on earth, I had fallen victim to the grey hair army. It’s like someone upstairs was setting me up for a quarter-life crisis…reminding me that I was in a constant state of decay and WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!

Sadly, every few weeks the grey hairs returned. A few more, a few less, they came back in the same areas and stared at me defiantly. First world problems, I know… Still, will I be dyeing my hair by 35?

At least I’ll have my Halloween costume down pat…

Storm

Image by V Threepio

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Photo of the Week – Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland

Bern, Switzerland – December 2013

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Banged Up Abroad

Ah travel. Some live for it. Some go broke for it. Many of us dream about it. Others shout “YOLO!” as they pursue it.

I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but let’s face it: amongst all the pool-side cocktails, awe-inspiring scenery and gastronomical delights, there tends to be situations that pay homage to Murphy’s Law. It ain’t all sunshine and lollipops. Below you’ll find just some of the nightmare travel stories I managed to rustle up (thanks to all my contributors):

Bus Outta Hell

“I’d been on Pulau Weh island in Indonesia for a week and we’d had a great time. We then headed to the mainland and wanted to take a bus further south so we could climb a volcano. The bus ride meant to be 8-9 hours and it turned into 17 HOURS with only 3 toilet breaks! The breaks were at the start of the journey and I didn’t take any of them. PLUS, there were stickers on the windshield, so I don’t know how on earth the driver could see the road, when he wasn’t almost falling asleep of course. Cars would beep us as he went over to the wrong side of the road and the bus would then jerk back quickly. PLUS there were cockroaches on the bus so I spent the entire trip huddled into a ball on my seat. To cap things off, when we did get to our destination at 5am, the toilets were so foul that I almost threw up!” MORAL OF THE STORY: Take every toilet break you can.

Travel nightmare

Image by jhull

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot
 
“We were in Milan in August and the temperature was an insanely hot 45 degrees. It may sound like a first world problem, but our low budget hotel’s air conditioning system wasn’t working and because they’d recently cleaned the place, it smelt overwhelmingly of bleach. Not fun.” MORAL OF THE STORY: Carry a fan at all times. Or you get what you pay for.
 

B-Grade Bedside Manner

“I was living in France and went out one night for a street party. The next day I had really bad stomach cramps, was throwing up for hours and I couldn’t lay in a position that wouldn’t feel like my stomach was tearing in two. I ended up going on Google and self-diagnosed appendicitis. I made my housemate call the hospital but we couldn’t get in without a referral. We had to wait to see a doctor the next day who was seriously weird and made me jump off the table I was lying on to assess the pain. She sent me to the hospital that was half an hour away.

Off to the hospital we go and after many, many tests and being wheeled around in a wheelchair while everyone spoke French and I had no idea what was going on, I was finally admitted. I was stripped off, showered, hair washed, nail polish removed, jewellery taken out all by people who didn’t speak a word of English. The staff were all leaning over me having a great time trying to speak English to me, mimicking my accent and laughing away. After my operation, I got woken up in the middle of the night by needles jammed into my thigh “for circulation”. I was there for 4 days recovering.” MORAL OF THE STORY: Have travel insurance.

travelflightcancelled

Image by Samuel P

Last Minute Heart Attacks

“We were on a Scottish tour that was supposed to get us back to Edinburgh at 6pm or so. We thought our flight was at 9:50pm so when the tour was running late, we didn’t get too stressed. It was only when we were sitting on the Airport Link bus at 8:40pm that we double checked our tickets and realised our flight was at 9:20pm and the gate closed at 9pm. We bolted off the bus, grabbed a taxi and sweated buckets on the way there. We even had to stop at an ATM to be able to pay the taxi driver! Arriving a few minutes after 9pm, we raced through the airport security and found our gate, which had closed. Luckily, the staff let us through anyway and the plane door closed a minute after we were seated.” MORAL OF THE STORY: Check your travel details repeatedly and leave enough time between journey legs.
 
Bye Bye Money
 

“I was robbed in France at an ATM machine. I had just entered my PIN number when some Romanians pushed us away, spat on us and took over the cash machine.” MORAL OF THE STORY: Be vigilant at cash machines.

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Photo of the Week – Eiffel Tower, Paris

Eiffel Tower, Paris - September 2010

Eiffel Tower, Paris – September 2010

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Photo of the Week – Meteora

Monasteries of Meteora

Monasteries of Meteora – October 2010

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