So at the end of my previous post about returning to Brisbane, I informed you all that I actually wasn’t in Brisbane. Yeah, I know, I should’ve changed the title or something, but I am not one to mess with alliteration. Guess I better explain what’s going on – I know my family is aware of what I’m up to, but I’m sure I must be confusing my handful of readers who check back every now and then to see what I’m up to.

I’m currently in the town of Wollongong (or close enough) in New South Wales, Australia. Why am I here, you ask? Why am I not living it up in Bek’s bedroom in Brisbane? (that should’ve been the title of my last post, damn)

The answer, I guess, is that it’s all Dean’s fault. I’m still debating whether or not I should link you to his website – he’s a professional drummer – but that wouldn’t be as much fun as telling you the story myself, would it? More »

We were getting ready to leave Yosemite (after hanging out with Family Trek for a couple of days) but of course, not before we hung out and used their free wifi! I think everyone should be proud of me, and probably more proud of my sister Kate, for not using wifi the whole time we stayed there. Seriously, we should get medals that say “Resisted Lure of Internet due to Waterfalls and Mountains” – hang on a moment while I Google and see if we really could have medals made…

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Alright alright, put the pitchforks and flaming torches down! This is my post, my blog and my domain name (that my mother pays for) so I will tell you all my opinion. And it’s this – the Grand Canyon ain’t all that. Sorry America, sorry Arizona.

I’m a forest and mountains girl. That’s the way it’s always been and it’s never going to change. Rocks produce absolutely nothing from me. No tugging at the heartstrings, no gasps of beauty, nothing. Because rocks are BORING AND DEAD. Okay?

Now trees. Forests. Grasses and dirt and worms and roots and birds and foxes, and in Yosemite’s case, bears. ALIVE. Totally wins.

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So when I was perusing my dashboard today, as I usually do when I decide to log into my blog and then realize I’m not in the mood to write, I realized I made this tag called “travel lessons” so I figured I’d write about all of the things I’ve learnt from America so far. And believe me, not all of them are good.

The first, completely devastating, life altering event is …… wait for itĀ …… the numbers in the US don’t actually all start with 555!!

Oh man. Google will be the death of me. I was like “teehee, this is a great title to lead into my post, how catchy and interesting!” and then I Googled ‘wood smuggling Vietnam’ and the results that came up have me worried. Our overnight bus driver really might have been a wood smuggler!

I was going to write about our overnight bus trip and how completely hellish it was, but this is actually waaay more interesting. Plus I’m sure my mother will write a post about it soon and I’ll be able to add a link for you guys to read. Long story short, we booked the night bus from Luang Prabang, Laos to Hanoi, Vietnam. It was such an awful journey, but once we were in Vietnam, we were all waiting for the home stretch so it would all be over. Then we pulled over at some random place, and waited for five minutes. Then, the bus driver started ordering us on, then off, then on, and then off again! These directions were hazy because all he did was yell in Lao/VietnameseĀ and wave his hands like a madman.
So we all jumped off and then watched, astounded, as they unloaded wood from the bus.

Now, I’m not just talking a couple of planks of wood in the baggage hold under the bus. I’m talking huge, long slabs of wood, of all shapes and sizes, coming out from every imaginable area on the bus. From the luggage area. From under the seats on the bus. From in the FLOOR in the bus. FROM THE ROOF! More »

Okay, so I’ve been meaning to write the first post for this blog for about a month and a half now, and I’ve been putting it off and off and off, mainly because our plans kept changing and evolving. But now it’s mostly set in place, so I can finally blog about it!

First off, I need to tell you all what’s happening. My mother decided a few months ago that since I was finishing high school and she really really wanted a reason to go back to Las Vegas and knew we wouldn’t let her escape without us, that we should go travelling. It began as plans to go to Las Vegas and have her and my stepdad spend two weeks there, and then my brother and sister and I would fly over for the last week.
And then, my mother decided that it would be a better idea if we went travelling to more of America. For a longer period of time, like say, an entire year. And so the plans began.

It was a year around America, no plans. And then a year around America, in an RV and hotels. We wanted to be in Las Vegas for the World Poker Tour, but couldn’t figure out how that would work, because we wanted to be in New York for Christmas, and in Pennsylvania in February for Punxsutawney Phil – so plans weren’t really working out!

And then one day my mother told me plans had changed again, and due to issues with Visas taking too long and costing a lot of money (!) we couldn’t spend the whole year in the US.
So now plans are Asia for three months, USA for three months, Europe for three months, and then the US for three months again before we came home.
Still a year abroad, but in lots more places with lots more to experience.

My mother has christened the trip our “Life Changing Year” and blogs about it on her site Life Changing Year and uses her Twitter to update about it as well.

I’ll be using this blog before we go and of course while we’re away to share all the interesting news and adventures, and I’ll also be vlogging about it on my YouTube channel and tweeting about it here. I’m addicted to social media!