Five Memorable Journeys With A Backpack

Plane. Bus. Taxi. Train. Coach. Mini Van. Speed boat. Slow boat. Longtail boat. Ferry. Car Ferry. Tuk Tuk. Songthaew. Bemo. Jeepney. Motorbike. Scooter. Tall ship. Cable car. Tram.

I’ve travelled on pretty much every type of transport going over the course of my backpacking trips. From short two hour journeys to overnight missions anywhere between twelve and thirty hours, overlanding is part and parcel of backpacking. And whether you like it or not, you will at some point get on a bus in one town and wake up in another – or perhaps even a different country.

I’m writing this on such a journey – 14 hours in, Koh Lanta – Bangkok. So far I’ve been on a mini van that, after the slow and leisurely ease of being delivered by car ferry over two causeways, spent the remaining two hours bombing down one of Thailand’s most dangerous roads and kissing the arse of the vehicle in front of us; then a songthaew (like a kind of truck/bus thing with no windows) that took us to another mini van crammed full of backpackers without air con; and now I’ve just got back on the ‘VIP’ bus (when there aren’t any seatbelts, can it really be VIP?) that I’ve spent the last 20 minutes watching three separate bus drivers crawling under whilst black smoke chugs out of the exhaust.

But really, this is nothing. This journey could go either way at this point, but this is nothing out of the ordinary when you’re overlanding in Asia. Here are some of my most memorable journeys to date.

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Solo Female Travel: An Interview with Rachael Wharton

11086946_10155349517900545_328572955_n-2This is the first in a series of interviews with some of the brave, interesting women I’ve met on my travels who do it solo. Rachael Wharton, 29, is a paediatrics nurse who I had the good fortune to meet in United Backpackers Hostel in Melbourne. Rach has lovely glossy hair, and some great ankle boots I’m not sure I ever told her how much I covet. She left home in December 2014 and is currently on her first year Australian working holiday visa. Continue reading

“You Travel Solo? But…Really?”

I’ve just left Australia after a short stint working there to earn some money to go back to Asia with. I didn’t want to go. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to tell you I was dreading it. I’d travelled Australia before, and while I think it is a great country with a huge amount on offer, I just didn’t want to go. I’m very happy and comfortable in South East Asia, I’ve spent a lot of time there and I know it well. I just wanted to stay there. But it was that or go home, and I wasn’t about to have left my job for a three month trip.

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Ten Things People Don’t Tell You Before You Travel South East Asia

You will rarely sleep through the night…

Waking up at least once in the night during your first weeks away is to be expected: it’s too hot, the fan’s not doing its job; “sod it, we’ll get air con” – the air con is too low, then too high; the mattress may as well be a plank of wood covered in cotton; there’s a gecko in the room. Continue reading