So now I guess I’d better tell you all why I was having such an awful time in Thailand recently. I’m trying to write this and stay as level headed as possible about it all, without really getting too personal.

Basically, my friend asked me to come overseas with him when his dad bailed on him. After asking my boss for time off on super short notice, I got approved and we booked tickets. This should’ve been my first indicator of stuff never going to go to plan. He agreed to pay for my flights, and I still ended up paying $50 towards the flights over and then had to cover the return flights myself. Something that I’m not incapable of doing, but in hindsight I should’ve saved that money for Malaysia.

As soon as I met up with him I could tell I wasn’t going to enjoy myself. His awkward silences, bad jokes and an wide array of thinly veiled sexual suggestions towards me just made it such an uncomfortable experience while it lasted. At first I laughed it off and tried to remember what his sense of humour was like back when we were in high school, but couldn’t recall it ever being like this. Nor could I remember him ever cracking onto me so severely and it surprised me more now due to the fact he’s well aware that Tim was at home waiting for me.

So I had one high school friend who was acting like a stranger, and his friend, who was older and acted as though everything that came out of my mouth was useless drivel, whether it be a food recommendation, directions to our hotel or a story. Classic “me man talk, you woman quiet” demeanour to the level of not looking at me ehen he spoke or i spoke, which really pissed me off. For anyone who knows me, treating me like a second-class citizen is not the way to make me happy.

In addition to this, I’d been feeling pretty horrific and the heat seemed to really compound that. As did the numerous cocktail buckets I consumed on the island. I had a couple of near sobs on Skype to Tim and eventually had a lovely embarrassing cry in an Internet cafe on Phi Phi island. Ahh, good times. I finally made the decision to confront my friend about what was going on (after he stormed in at one am the previous night and demanded that I let him sleep with me) and when I did, he cried and told he had trouble controlling himself when I wore a bikini, while he stood there in underwear, completely unobjectified by myself. If he was bigger and stronger I would’ve hightailed it out of there the second I heard that. After hearing that though, I made the decision to go back to the mainland alone and choose my path from there.

Here’s where the pathetic part comes in.

I actually wanted to go home and go to work. The reality of how much money I’d spent (I’d had to give some to my friend because he spent $1000 in four days – without even paying for accommodation and transport) had started to sink in. Being back in Thailand made me realise how desperately I want to move overseas, but spending and savings habits at home hadn’t reflected that so far. I wanted to go home and see my boyfriend, friends, family and workmates. I missed an environment where I was surrounded by entertaining and interesting people who could hold a conversation with me and didn’t want to lie down all day.

So I piked. I packed it in and with some encouragement from a close friend, made the decision to just come home early and book earlier flights. As I write this I’m sitting on my first new flight out to Singapore. Still following the same route, and system, and only paying $30 more than the flights I books weeks ago. But I’m so much happier than I was a few days ago, which is always a sign for me that I made the right decision.

What I’ve learnt from this little adventure is that making a last minute decision to go overseas with someone you barely know is probably not a good idea. I’ve felt safer meeting up with travellers whilst overseas and going along with them than I did with this guy. And now I know not to let the idea of friendship get in the way of my safety and mental wellbeing. Lesson learned, sucky as it may have been to learn.

Price: $6.30 AUD per night for a twelve bed, air conditioned dorm.
Location: 5 minutes from Lumphini MRT and Lumphini Boxing Stadium.
Staff: Helpful, happy and sweet.
Sleeping: Really good. Good temperature, and the couch upstairs is comfy too.
Facilities: Always clean and readily available. Hot showers possible.
Laundry: Available next door, 40 baht per kilo and ready within 24 hours.
Internet: Free wifi that works on all levels, and 3 computers with all-hours access and net connection.

I’ve actually been excited to write this review, because aside from May De Ville Backpackers in Hanoi, and the Sea and Sand Hotel in Hoi An, both in Vietnam and both places I would recommend, ETZzz Hostel was my favourite place I’ve stayed in SE Asia.

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Price: $6.90 AUD per night for a ten bed, air conditioned dorm.
Location: 8 minutes from Khao San Road.
Staff: Distant and uninterested.
Sleeping: So-so. If you’re a light sleeper, the sound from the busy main road may make it hard to get to sleep.
Facilities: Mostly clean and readily available. Warm showers possible.
Laundry: 40 baht per kilo and ready within 24 hours. May or may not be damp.
Internet: Free wifi offered, but mostly unreliable. Internet cafe down the street for 20 Baht per half hour.

Feel @ Home Backpackers was the first place I’ve stayed at by myself in Bangkok, but sadly, I can’t say I felt “at home” or anywhere close to it. And I know it’s just a name, but what I’m really trying to say is that I enjoyed my stay here the least of all the places I’ve stayed, every time I’ve been in Bangkok. At my last hostel I actually told a girl NOT to stay here.

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It’s no real secret that there are a million “teaching English jobs” in Bangkok for people who are travelling and looking for work, and it shouldn’t be a huge secret that most of these “jobs” are total scams. Usually it’s pretty obvious that it’s all crap because there’s no real office, the people barely speak English themselves, etc. Which is where the company that calls itself FTC Educational Services comes in and changes the game.

I saw a flyer for FTC when I was wandering around Banglamphu in Bangkok, which is right near the tourist area of Khao San, if you’re not schooled in Thai geography (and who is?). It was just stuck to a phone box, and I saw a lot more stuck to walls, next to ATMs, outside 7/11’s – basically most of the places that tourists would be frequenting. It has an email and a number for a man who goes by the name of Arthur, Arthur Wood. So, being keen for some extra cash and adorable Thai kids, I shot Arthur an email and told him I would be willing to teach English until I left Bangkok in three weeks time. He emailed me back really quickly and had great English (first reason I thought it would be okay) and told me it would be around 300 Baht an hour and I could come in for an interview tomorrow, and get free accommodation there if I got the job.

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I’ve been doing a whole bunch of stuff lately, mostly just meeting amazing people from all over Europe (United Kingdom mostly though) and hanging out with them.

I know that I need to blog about everything that’s been going on, from my creepy couchsurfer guy, to English teaching scams, to cocktail buckets on Khao San and so on. But when I think about blogging I really just cannot be stuffed, and I know it’s because I’m one of those writers who needs to be “in the mood” to actually get anything good out. Which will probably be a really annoying trait for me to have seeing as I just got accepted into a Bachelor of Communications (journalism) and my main task will be writing.

Anyway, I’m going to try and get up to date with everything that’s been going on, so stay tuned for things that will probably make my parents a little freaked out. Mum, it was only two cocktail buckets AND I shared them!

When I ditched the travel adventure and came home early, every person I talked to about it assumed it was because I hated travelling and it wasn’t my thing. I’ve lost count of the conversations where I’ve had to tell people “Don’t get me wrong, I looooove travelling!” And then they thought I was insane because if I love travelling so much, then why in the world was I home!?kahovka-service

Just the way we were going about it didn’t appeal to me hugely – I personally felt like we were moving far too fast and at times it seemed like I was missing more than I was seeing. Which definitely got me a little down in the dumps, and I didn’t want to see New York if I could only spend three days there. It just seemed like.. a waste. I know, lately I’ve been giving my opinion on subjects and it’s probably making people think I’m really insane. Doesn’t want to travel fast, doesn’t want even two days in NYC, doesn’t want a real job… Who is this hippie freak!? I just have a lot of unpopular opinions, alright?

So yeah, I bailed on the travel. And while I have shed no tears about America, even with my family going to New York soon and knowing I won’t be there, south-east Asia is a hugely different story.

I MISS ASIA! I miss everything about it, the food, the people, the transport and the adventures and everything being so so cheap… I spend an inordinate amount of time each day just thinking about all of the things I miss and where I would go as soon as I get the chance to go back again. Just a couple of days ago I wrote about how good it felt to turn down a job that wasn’t right and then today I got an email from an airline company telling me about a sale, which meant I spent a fair amount of time wondering if I took the job, and saved my pay, if I could be in Asia right now. I just miss it so hugely and would love the chance to be back. If I could go back tomorrow, just pack my bags and run, I would in a heartbeat.

It’s not that I regret leaving my family to come home. It’s not that I regret coming back to Australia. I just wish I could’ve found a cheap flight to Bangkok and spent some time there before I came home to try and settle into a normal, working, teenage life. I just want to be among the hustle and bustle, do a little more adventuring before I attempt to settle down and try not to go to a new city every other week. It’s kind of weird knowing that I’ve moved somewhere new and now I have to stay here. I guess it’s still pretty hard for me to shake the constant urge to just move to a new place when I want a new adventure. I need to get my license so I can just go for a drive on the weekend to somewhere new and shake off the travel urge that way.

The good thing about my desire to go to Asia is that I have an even bigger desire to save money and make travelling in the near future a realistic possibility. Maybe this time I’ll take Kelsey with me and we can go exploring together!

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 »

Alright, nobody give me any flack about being such a crap blogger. Because in another blogosphere (my well-loved Tumblr) I am a blogging master and run eight blogs. One of them does have about 800 followers, not that I’ll ever link that on here. The blog I run and am really loving at the moment is this one, which you can check out if you like pretty outdoor things.

But in case you don’t read this blog or don’t know me on Facebook or are one of those people I’ve just failed to notify, I’m actually living back in Brisbane, Australia. Currently I’m living with my best friend Bek, and whilst right now we’re in more of a one week sleepover than a living together situation, it seems like it should all turn out fine.

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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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Today (even though I have sooo many things to write about and catch-up on) I’ve decided to write a little bit about the cute kids we’ve seen so far – and about something really special and different I’ve noticed about the kids here in South-East Asia.

It’s probably worth saying that I’m not a kid person. I think random babies are cute, but as soon as they make any type of noise, I am out of the immediate area like a shot. I don’t do toddlers (or they don’t do me, whatever) and any kid older than that takes one look at me and quickly finds somewhere else to be. Only one baby has ever captured my heart, and that would be my baby cousin, Nicholas. Or as I call him, Baby St. Nick.

If you don't think he's the cutest baby ever, then we probably shouldn't talk anymore...

So apart from him, there’s no real attraction to kids for me. Until we reached Malaysia. There is just something about the kids here. Something that kids back in Australia don’t have or don’t exude like the littlies here do. And it’s actually really great.

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