All posts tagged: backpacking

Driving to Scandinavia

by Ruby Bisson The vast, desolate  Scandinavian landscape, barren and cold, blurred into a sea of blues and greens beside us. We were driving 200km/h and belting out Beyonce’s ‘XO’ as loud as we could. Two Australians, two Swiss and a Catalonian. The five of us took the week off, driving across three countries in a hired BMW to escape from the unforeseen workload that comes with studying and to revel in each other’s cultures and interests. On our laps were piles of cheap groceries that later left us paralysed with cramps and pains. In the boot were bedding and clothes and anything we could find from our pantries. We drove to a little wooden cabin in the Danish forests, where pebbles lined the beaches and jellyfish were embedded in the sand, leaves were the colour of sunkissed cheeks and the backyard shed was lined with firewood. We baked three loaves of bread, brownies, gingerbreads and cooked countless flavoursome dinners. We painted our nails Jungle Red and watched rom coms in the comfort of our little house. …

Why I talk to Strangers

by Ruby Bisson Hebrews 13:2- ‘Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.’ Talking to strangers has always been something I’ve been comfortable with. I thrive in a room where no one knows my name or anything about that time I was caught with the guy down the road (or with one too many drinks in my system). I enjoy the power it gives me, the power to recreate myself every time. I love knowing that there are hundreds of stories to devour right there, right in front of me. I get excited, nervous almost, to grab a hold of as many as I can, treating them as these special little nuggets of humanity. When I recently went on a backpacking adventure alone, I knew it was up to me to ensure that I had company along the way and to maintain to courage to do so. This meant finding strangers to make friends with, developing a level of comfort that extended beyond the ‘we should catch up …

Pittwater YHA, the ultimate weekend getaway

by Elisa Parry Sarah is rarely serious. She is one of the most effervescent people I know, you can almost hear her laughter bubbling beneath each word before it spills out at the end of a sentence. But right now she lowers her voice and lays a hand on my arm as we walk. “You should always take a torch into the bush with you.” My iPhone illuminates our feet chasing the small arc of light into the night. “The other night, it was a full moon so I thought I wouldn’t bother. Then right there in front of me on the path was a Death Adder!” I keep my eyes on the ground, regretting my choice of thongs. I shine the light a little further up ahead. Death Adders are suddenly transformed into branches, shadows, piles of leaves. There are only six of us marching down from the Hostel, but in the quiet of the night we sound like an army. “It’s time to turn off the torch now.” I reluctantly flick the switch. …

20 life lessons I learned on the Trans-Mongolian railway

by Matilda Grogan In August, my boyfriend and I spent three weeks travelling the 8000km from Beijing to St Petersburg overland on the Trans-Mongolian railway. It’s kind of the train trip of a lifetime, an incredible journey, and definitely an experience that teaches you a few things (disclaimer: life lessons may be extremely specific to the Trans-Mongolian railway).