Jan 8, 2012

Backpackers in Oz

When I embarked on my adventure in Oz back in Nov 2010, I came up with this idea. I thought it'd be kool to keep a log of all the wicked awesome people I had the privilege of meeting on my journey. In no particular order, I introduce you all to a buncha backpackers in Oz between Nov 2010 and Oct 2011. Ranging between the ages of 18-31, they're people I either traveled with, lived with or worked with.

The bottom line is that ya'll should be inspired by these koolass people. All of them had the balls to leave home with the intent to work and travel in a country they never grew up in; all of them have a unique story to tell. If you're currently contemplating just pickin' up and leaving, just remember... if all these people did it, you can too! Believe me you, traveling can and will change your life.


Name — Hampus Maxsebastian
Nationality — Swedish
Where to next? — "Maybe Byron Bay..."
Why Oz? — "I'm lookin' for my life..."
Why travel? — "Fuckin' just live your life."
#1 Travel Tip — "Just fuckin', just rock this place!"


Name — Nora Mulvaney
Nationality — Canadian
Where to next? — Vietnam
Why Oz? — "Because you can stay here so long, stay 1-2 years, come here with a one-way ticket..."
Why travel? — "I've always loved to travel and you start fresh every time."
#1 Travel Tip — "Hide the 3rd person."


Name — Diego Valdivia
Nationality — American/Mexican
Where to next? — Thailand
Why Oz? — Kangaroos
Why travel? — "It's the best."
#1 Travel Tip — "Just go for it."


Name — Tara Stephens
Nationality — Irish
Where to next? — Townsville, Australia
Why Oz? — "It was the furthest place away from Ireland."
Why travel? — "You get to meet new people and see a bit of the world."
#1 Travel Tip — "Don't pack too much. Less is more."


Name — Sam Jago Coleman
Nationality — British
Where to next? — Redroof, Cornwall, UK
Why Oz? — "New opportunities... a chance to see the world!"
Why travel? — "I like to meet new people, see new places... the thrill of adventure!"
#1 Travel Tip — "Get to the backpackers' ASAP, you never know who you'll meet!"


Name — Carina Meidert
Nationality — Bavarian
Where to next? — Singapore
Why Oz? — "No special reason... work to travel."
Why travel? — "Cultures and traditions... but especially, it helps me make sense of my future."
#1 Travel Tip — TBA


Name — Jonas Balzer
Nationality — German/Korean
Where to next? — Malaysia
Why Oz? — "So many backpackers, the sun, and the Outback."
Why travel? — "...just wanna do something different and FREEDOM!"
#1 Travel Tip — "Simply do what comes to your mind."


Name — Laure Parachini
Nationality — French
Where to next? — Byron Bay, Australia
Why Oz? — "the Heartbreaker TV series takes place in Oz, and it inspired me to come! When I was 15 I thought Australia was kool... the surfer dream/image influenced me."
Why travel? — "Because I want to see for myself what the news tells us... I want to know everything about everything. I'm a very curious person!"
#1 Travel Tip — "Travel light!"


Name — Lisa Waterink
Nationality — Dutch
Where to next? — Tasmania, Australia
Why Oz? — "I actually wanted to travel to South America, but my parents didn't think it was safe so I chose Oz. I'm enjoying my choice so far, I love it."
Why travel? — "I just finished high school, I felt I deserved time off, and I just wanted to gain more confidence, etc etc."
#1 Travel Tip — TBA


Name — Hayley Meads
Nationality — English
Where to next? — "No idea."
Why Oz? — "I always wanted to come here... it was a childhood dream."
Why travel? — "Meetin' new people, growing up, being your own person. You actually find yourself."
#1 Travel Tip — "SUN CREAM!"


Name — Javier Dominguez
Nationality — Cuban/American
Where to next? — "Asia, but technically Adelaide."
Why Oz? — *shruggs*
Why travel? — "It's always fun being somewhere new... and testing my limitations."
#1 Travel Tip — "Always remember flights are listed in the 24hr time format."


Name — Mary Rowlands
Nationality — British
Where to next? — Sydney, Australia
Why Oz? — "Everyone says that Oz is so amazing, but I doubted it. I wanted to prove myself wrong."
Why travel? — "For shitts and giggs."
#1 Travel Tip — "Trust fate."


Name — Vahur Lumilaid
Nationality — Estonian
Where to next? — Europe (but first, a few weeks in Asia, i.e. Bali)
Why Oz? — "It's an easy place to find a job and to travel."
Why travel? — "Fun, meet new friends, see different places."
#1 Travel Tip — N/A


Name — Niamh Rebecca Hill
Nationality — Canadian
Where to next? — Korea
Why Oz? — "I wanted to go somewhere warm and I have a lot of friends here."
Why travel? — "To avoid responsibility."
#1 Travel Tip — "Don't make plans and bring lots of baby wipes."


Name — Christel Knook
Nationality — Dutch
Where to next? — Asia
Why Oz? — "My boyfriend... initially."
Why travel? — "To explore the world, to get out of this bubble."
#1 Travel Tip — "Open up and it will all come to you."


Name — Adam Alexander Reis
Nationality — British
Where to next? — "Sydney I think..."
Why Oz? — "Because my friends booked it and told me I was going."
Why travel? — "It's just fun every day! Even if you're stuck in a flood or somethin', it'd still be fun!"
#1 Travel Tip — "Try to hang around people from the country you're visiting. PS. Work at the SEXPO!"


Name — Felix
Nationality — Hong Konger
Where to next? — 1. New Zealand 2. UK 3. Germany
Why Oz? — "It's easy to apply for a Visa here."
Why travel? — "You find yourself when you travel. Complete the travel mission before you die!"
#1 Travel Tip — "Never have sex with your friends!"


Name — Matteo Claudio Katzschner
Nationality — German/Italian
Where to next? — "Bali for 3 weeks, Thailand, back to Germany, then I'll plan a new trip and go to Canada or Australia again."
Why Oz? — "It's an amazing country... beautiful land, lots of animals, other cultures..."
Why travel? — "I wasn't so sure about traveling at first, but then when I first road-tripped I fell in love with it... SO MUCH FUN!"
#1 Travel Tip — Lucky Bay and the Kimberleys (Western Australia)


Name — Caroline Amy McKenzie
Nationality — "British, dude."
Where to next? — "I don't really know. It's a hard question. After Oz I'm going to New Zealand."
Why Oz? — "It has very beautiful beaches and it's very far away... and it seems like a lot of fun."
Why travel? — "It's not for everybody, but you have to experience new cultures! Good people + good location + good food = best times!"
#1 Travel Tip — 1. Do not leave home without a travel pillow. 2. If you're a girl, bring one nice dress.


Name — Christophe Richin
Nationality — French
Where to next? — Mauritius
Why Oz? — "Because it's easy to get a long-term Visa here and it's a warm country."
Why travel? — "I want to see something different... I have a restless soul."
#1 Travel Tip — "Don't drive over 80 km/hour (it saves you money)!"


Name — Sigourney Kiddy
Nationality — Scottish
Where to next? — Italy
Why Oz? — "Because everyone loves it and I wanna fall in love with it too."
Why travel? — "Freedom."
#1 Travel Tip — "Pack a beach towel."


Name — Matêj Linhart
Nationality — Czech
Where to next? — New Zealand
Why Oz? — "It's just part of my trip around the world."
Why travel? — "It gives me inspiration… for life."
#1 Travel Tip — "Throw away guides and cameras, listen to your inner voice, and enjoy every moment you have."


Name — Mariska Hulst
Nationality — Dutch
Where to next? — Darwin --> Broome --> Perth
Why Oz? — "...warm...safe...lots of backpackers..."
Why travel? — "I was done studying, I didn't want to study further or work, so I came to Oz!"
#1 Travel Tip — "Go and work somewhere and meet locals."


Name — Jennie Helen Gardner
Nationality — British
Where to next? — "Oh god... Sydney."
Why Oz? — "...'cuz it's as far away from England as you can get."
Why travel? — "Meeting people that you'd never meet before."
#1 Travel Tip — 1. Always carry lip gloss. 2. Keep a diary.


Name — Dennis Eichler
Nationality — German
Where to next? — Shanghai
Why Oz? — It's easy to get around, there's heaps to see, it's easy to get a Visa..."
Why travel? — "Because you really get to know the country you're in."
#1 Travel Tip — "Fast-drying towels and not worrying about a wet towel in your backpack."

I apologize to the 20+ Ozzie backpackers I had the pleasure of being acquainted with that also deserve to be featured in this post. Sometimes it just wasn't convenient to bust out my Moleskine and jot down notes, or sometimes I procrastinated and never got around to it. Sorry, kids. In any case, I'll end this shizzle off by filling out my own little questionnaire below. Rockin' the Beanie like whoa......


Name — Shelley Pascual
Nationality — Canadian/Filipino
Where to next? — "South Korea, Southeast Asia, then the rest of the World."
Why Oz? — "I missed the deadline for teaching English in South Korea, and Oz was my Plan B."
Why travel? — "There's nothing more fulfilling in life than learning about/understanding/living amongst cultures different from your own."
#1 Travel Tip — "Learn to detach yourself from material shit."


  1. YAY! i love you, my shelley belley! i am SO inspired by this!

  2. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  3. @MyDearSistren: Love youuuus too! Glad to have inspired :) @Mr.Lonely: Much love for stopping by!

  4. thx for doing blogs like this. MAtej

  5. @Mat: Thanks for being my chatting partner while traveling the East Coast of Oz, and for being our sherpa on Fraser Island, and for cooking us healthy vegetarian dinners all the time. Good on ya for living the dream!

  6. awesome stories.

    go young people of the world. Make a difference...

    for yourselves and for the world.

  7. Love it Sheldrick...fuckin love it!!!


  8. @Javi: Stanks, Javi (aka my Radelaide roomie)! Hahaha.

  9. wouhou! nice blog Shelley, it makes me remember some good memories! I'll be in Toronto in some few months, hope its gonna be as good as australia was.

    Cheers :D

  10. @Chris: Thank you my Aussie Outback travel mate!!! Glad to have gotten you thinking about the awesome times in Oz. Lifelong memories! WOW you're gonna be in Toronto soon?! Dang, I won't be around! But I promise you, it'll be just as kool as Oz, but in its own unique way.