An obvious one but we should all really be on this bandwagon by now. We need to be supporting local Aussie business’ to keep them going. Kevin Murphy and De Lorenzo are winners here.
Sulphateand paraben free
It has actually been de-bunked that sulphates and parabens in shampoos, conditioners and masques(with sulphates and parabens in their ingredient list) can seep into the scalp and become harmful- they actually cannot. So I don’t think this is the be all end all… BUT if something is sulphate and paraben free I would much prefer that option over something that isn’t. Less additives the better. I also find sulphate and paraben shampoo can make my eyes sting when washing my hair in the shower.
Value for money
Hair products have never been such an investment. There are so many different brands, ranges and varietys aka: alot of competition on the market. I personally wouldn’t purchase a $5 shampoo from the grocery store as I know it won’t perform like a $40 bottle of shampoo will. I will also never purchase a shampoo bar, eeeeeek. It may seem super expensive when you first purchase salon quality home haircare but lets say you take home a $42 bottle of shampoo as well as conditioner= $82. This should last you atleast three months as long as you arent over washing/over using the products. Less is more. It ends up being less than a dollar a day to be looking after your hair as well as protecting your colour. And you shouldn’t be washing daily anyway! I see value here a thousand times over. But then again its where YOU see value for money.
Performance in the product
Whatever home haircare you have purchased SHOULD be performing as it says it will on the bottle. If it is stating colour lock/longevity, hydration, shine, volume, colour correcting etc- it should really be acting this way towards your hair. Hopefully your stylist has selected the right range for you to be using and the product is doing what it says. Like any product on the market we do need to do some research/put products to test first, so patience may be required here. But talk to your stylist, pick their brains, ask for a sample to take home. We are happy to help!
Early last week I arrived home after completing the Cooloola Great Walk with two really good friends. The great walk is 102 kilometers over 5 days. We walked from Tewantin (just out of Noosa, Queensland) to Rainbow beach. You can walk vice versa but I LOVED finishing in Rainbow as it is probably one of my favourite places in the world. The walk was lengthy, tough, mentally and physically exhausting, blister ridden, beautiful, challenging, scenic and blissful all in one. It was a JOURNEY thats for sure. I am so so glad we did this, it’s really important to get out of our comfort zone sometimes. Below is my Cooloola Great Walk experience as well as a few reccomendations, enjoy!
We started at roughly 9am on our first day and staight away went to the DOC hut to get ourselves a lil map so we wouldn’t get lost(we didn’t!). We took the barge over the Noosa river for $1 and started walking from there. This was just over 2k from the start of the walk(we wanted to get extra steps in, JK). Majority of the first day was all along the beach which was so exciting and gorgeous for the first couple of hours but this ended up being maybe 10k walking of the flat sand and our feet definitely started to feel it. After the first 8k I would totally recommend to get off the coast and head towards the sand dunes to follow the track from there as the post with the orange arrow is quite hard to find here. On this note I also wouldn’t take advice from anyone on the beach. North shore is a really busy and populated area with loads of cars and people. The amount of comments/questions we were getting from 50+ year old males(wankers) were unsolicited and we really didn’t need a debrief from people that hadn’t actually had any experience in what we were doing LOL. We couldn’t wait to head inland and get away from civilization 🙂 this was a 7.5 hour walk day and we walked 22k. We made it to our first camp Brahminy at 4pm and IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL! We were the only ones there which made it even more special. Our view from the camp was the ocean to the right and lake Cootharaba was on the left. It was so so pretty.
Every camp was very basic. They have a few platforms which is more of a common area, to be able to cook food, leave your bags on etc. as well as a water tank, and a toilet. There are absolutely no showers or trash cans.
We slept well the first night. It was probably one of the coldest nights we had and we slept with our food in our tent which we soon realised we wouldn’t do again as there were rats that found interest, LOL. Speaking of sleeping arrangements. My friend and myself shared a tent and I’m glad we did. She carried the tent the whole time, buff bish. And needed the body heat. The coldest it got was probably 9 degrees, cold for us though. I had a sleeping bag as well as a liner(cheers mum) and the liner really helped with warmth and comfort. I also slept on a compression mattress(cheers dad) and its bag turned into a pillow. Very simple but effective set up. Next time I’d probably invest in a better quality/smaller sleeping bag IF I knew I’d be doing more of these kinds of adventures and I’d take a better pillow as we had quite long sleeps. There definitely isn’t a whole lot to do once you’ve eaten dinner and the sun goes down. We were in bed by 6 and up at 5.30 most mornings.
The second day was most likely my least favourite as there was unexpected incline and it just felt like a long day getting used to the weight on our backs(mine was about 13kg) and so much walking. It did have stunning views of the coast line which was amazing but again was a 7.5 hour walk day including a lunch break. Campsite number 2 was Litoria and was on the Noosa river but felt kinda swampy so was probably my least favourite campsite of the trip. The only time we shared a campsite was this night with two lovely local ladies. We only saw 3 people over the WHOLE 5 DAYS and they were all female, up the chicks.
Whenever the walking felt hard I found myself snacking. Snacking or talking would take the pain away from us thinking about our feet LOL. Snacks that we took and I would recommend are: snakes, trail mix of nuts, banana chips, mnms, dried fruit, we made heaps of bliss balls which were the best thing ever. They were heavy but did not get sick of them, they gave us such great energy. You also really want to have all of your food in big clip seal bags due to the fact there are no trash cans so what you take in you have to take out. We did a really good job with our rubbish and kept things really minimal.
This was probably one of the most enjoyable days on our hike as it was only a 15k day and we made really great time. We arrived at camp just after lunch and once again had the place to ourselves. The trek this day was soooo breezy and cinematic. The trees swayed the whole morning, it was beautiful. Considering we had the time when we got to camp we decided to walk to a nearby lake that was 5k return. I am glad we did this simply because we HAD the time but don’t know if those extra steps to go and visit Lake Cooloomera which was basically a pond with no access was worth the energy LOL. It makes a good story now. A friend said this was ‘decompressing after our walk’. Walking, walking and more WALKING. I feel like most hikers on this track do head here- hoping for somewhere to swim! We slept more or less downhill at Litoria camp so we didn’t get alot of wind this night- had a really great sleep.
This morning we woke and watched the sunrise with mocha’s as well as had a stretch, best start to the day! Day 4 was another 20k day that I was lowkey dreading but we had a great pace on us and it went fairly quickly. It was another 7 hour walk day but threw in a few podcasts and dnms and the hours flew. We saw heaps of cool mushrooms this day. Day 4 had a bit of a Cairns rainforest vibe to it. Super lush, green and tropical. We arrived at the fourth camp feeling relieved and happy to rest our feet but Kauri walkers camp wasn’t the best on the track and we didn’t overly struggle with mosquitos on the track but they were bad at Kauri. We made a team decision to walk a few extra K to some water that we’d heard about. Best. Decision. Ever. This was our biggest day yet at 26k’s but it was so rewarding getting to go to sleep and wake up where we did. Camping under the stars this night was the best end to this adventure.
We were all STOKED to wake this day. We’d almost completed 100k! We knew we had a short morning which was so motivating. We started quite early and got to the sandblow overlooking Double Island and Rainbow Beach by 11am. It was so strange seeing other humans again. Getting to the sandblow felt like such an achievement! Once you get to the carpark which is where the hike ends you still have to walk into town which isn’t far but feels like a kick in the guts when you are SO READY to take your shoes off. We went straight to a cafe and treated ourselves to coffee. I cant even explain how good it felt to shower that day, drink something other than tank water(a freezing cold beer) and sleep in an actual bed with an actual pillow! I was so proud of myself and my friends and there is no one else I would have preffered to have had this experience with. As cliche as it sounds- it’s amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Some mornings EVERYTHING hurt, but we just kept going. And I think this is where having supportive mates on a hike like this really helps out. Couldn’t and wouldn’t have done it without them. Mindset and the people we surround ourselves with are two of the most imporant things, ever. Also kudos to our bodies for their resilience, day in day out. If you are after an overnight hike and really want to challenge yourself while viewing some of the best coastline our country has to offer- do the Cooloola Great Walk 🙂
I personally loved starting from Tewantin rather than the other way around. Especially starting with a bigger day the first day. Im sure north to south is just as stunning! I had been told to start from the north due to the sun but the sun really wasn’t a problem
Speaking of sun- we were very sun smart. Zinc every morning on our faces and upper bodies as well as sunglasses and we all wore hats
I took three sets of clothes and this felt like plenty. One longer sleeve shirt was great for bigger walking days to protect my arms from the sun
Three pairs of good hiking socks was enough. They dry super quickly and we hung clothes out as camp most nights
Dehydrated meals are tasty. I’m sure we could have eaten mud and thought it tasted amazing post massive walk days but they were really good. We took the brand Outdoor Gourmet with 2 servings per packet and had these for dinner everynight
Oats are a winner for breakfast. Filling and can change them up each day with PB, protein powder, nuts, dried fruit, hey even a bliss ball!
Downsize your bag as much as possibly. The three of us packed so well considering we hadn’t done anything like this before. None of us took anything we didn’t use. Don’t double up on anything! It’s a waste of space.
In terms of hygiene- baby wipes were an absolute delight to have with us. Hand sanitiser. Deoderant and a toothrush were the extent of my cleanliness. Don’t do this hike if you’re afraid of getting dirty and smelling. I repeat: there are no showers.
We had a ripper first aid kit(shoutout Ranger Rose). You can’t take too many bandaids/blister pads. You’ll need them. If anyone had any blister avoidance tips I would love to hear them
Invest in good socks, they are worth the money. I got half merino and half bamboo! So comfortable and breathable
Take something to add to your water. BCAA’s, or something simular to give you energy and change up the standard tank water taste
You’ll need water purification tablets. This is an easy process and rather be safe than sorry
Have SOMETHING downloaded on your phone. A show, music playlist, podcast. This really helped me.
A 2L bladder of water was personally enough for myself for a day
Water and food are the heaviest additions to your pack and these two things are totally necessary so reduce weight if you can with gear/clothing
A poncho is really handy to take(shoutout TC) if it rains or to wrap your pack in overnight. Every night was super dewy
May was such a great month to do this hike. I don’t think I would enjoy it as much in summer. The mornings were so snug and comfortable. We really didn’t sweat a whole lot
What you take in you must take out. DO NOT LEAVE ANY LITTER BEHIND. This is one of the most pristine areas I have ever come across. It needs to stay this way. Be smart before you leave and pack in as little rubbish to your pack as possible before hitting the track
Take a head torch, these are helpful
Something like tea or hot chocolate is really lovely to pack also for cool mornings
We took a jetboil to boil our water for our meals and it was wicked. If you can afford one would recommend. So compact
Take a pair of shoes to wear at the camp. You don’t want your feet in boots anymore than they have to be. I took lightweight thongs and i’m so glad I did because I even used these on the track when my feet needed a break
Next time I’d take an essential oil spray or something simular to freshen up clothes, bedding etc
I would invest in a good quality and compact caming pillow for 4 nights on this track
A friend took a flask of rum and this wasn’t necessary but put a bit of pep in our step when we were feeling flat
Take bathers to swim in Lake Poona, it has white sand all around and is so beautiful!
Obviously let a few people know that you are doing this hike prior to leaving
Don’t listen to dickheads on the beach that haven’t participated in this walk
Take a rain jacket- just incase
I took a 40L backpack and this was a great size for me
Hiking boots with ankle support are a good idea as tghere is some incline/decline
A piece of string to use as a clothesline is super helpful
Only a 40 minute drive from Brisbane to Cleveland(where you catch the ferry/barge to Dunwich) then onto a 45 minute ferry, its all too easy! Such an accessible little get away from Brisbane and surrounding areas. All you could need on an island- gorgeous walks and sunsets, bars and cafes, bottle shops(ofc) and so much wildlife. Do yourself a favour. Enjoy!
NORTH GORGE WALK
This coastal walk only takes roughly 30minutes to complete but oh so worth it. A decent walk with a few stairs involved but breath taking and many whales and dolphins to be spotted!
2. SPEND THE DAY AT CYLINDER BEACH
This beach is gorgeous. The tides were quite high when we visited which created a lagoon in front of the shore which was perfect for wallowing in and keeping cool whilst having a beer in hand. Sunshine, salty air, beach snacks and beverages. The perfect way to spend any day in my opinion!
3. EAT AND DRINK(AND TOGA) AT STRADDIE BEACH CLUB RESORT
Try the Mai Tai’s and Brisket pizza. Soooo tasty and drinks are reasonably priced. Try to get here before sunset, also ripper view to be taken in.
4. WATCH THE SUNSET AT AMITY POINT
Super lovely way to end the day. Busy little area right near a camp ground. We saw a few dolphins here too. Straddie is riddled with wildlife.
5. HAVE A MORNING YOGA BEACH SESH
Ahhhhh is there anything like a relaxing stretch on the softest sand in the world? Unlikely. The best way to start a great day.
6. SPEND A FEW NIGHTS
If you can! It’s worth it. A day trip will suffice for sure but Straddie has lots to offer. I think a week would be too long personally- but depends what your after!
So lucky to live in QLD and have these slices of paradise a hop, skip and jump away. Get to Straddie this summer and help out the local business’ that need your support!
As long as they’re not croc’s, you’ll be fine. Kidding but not really. Comfortable shoes to travel in make or break your trip.
Ya didn’t hear it here first but i’m going to mention these absolute godsends once again. They are on the more of a pricey purchase but they last forever, are so good for our feet and postures and are sustainable(don’t have to purchase rubber thongs every 6 months… or worry about blow outs for that matter). They’re pleasant on our lowest limbs that do ever so much for us aka carry us across the world and can wear with any outfit. WIN WIN WIN.
Don’t take shoes you won’t actually use
Be realistic with your shoe packing. Shoes are generally bulky and awkward sized items to pack not to mention TAKE US ALOT OF ROOM! I once took hiking boots tied onto my backpack while travelling for 1 month and only used them ONCE- what a pain in the arse they were to carry around. Note to self: never do that again. If anything like winter boots, hiking boots, water shoes are needed on your travels you could always hire!
Comfortable socks and bandaids
Splash a bit more cash on socks/double sock if you are doing intense walking on your travels. Bandaid’s can most likely be bought anywhere in the world but good to have on hand if you ever feel blisters approaching!
A decent pair of workout shoes
Money well spent, always. These will keep you active on your trip at the same time as keeping your feet happy. Brands I like are Sketchers, Asics and Nike. (Also Converse if they count). If you’re in Australia- buy these brands anywhere else lol, they’ll be cheaper.
A pair of something cheap to shower in
If you’re hostelling, you’ll most likely want to keep something on your feet while you shower… just in case. Cough, hygiene. This is something you could purchase while you’re away or take with you.
This post was created by Tully with the help of Rose, you’re welcome. Xoxo
This is something I did realise prior to the challenge but it has absolutely been engrained in me more so now. How’s the guilt walking into the supermarket and seeing more than half of the fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic(unnessecary) as well as hummus, biscuits, breads, frozen berries, PB, dried fruit, grains, pasta etc etc etc could literally go on forever.
2. Farmers markets are the way to go
This makes such big difference in a number of ways:
-Supporting local business’ which I am so for post Australian bushfires and mid pandemic. They deserve our dollar. Not these overseas multi million dollar companies
-Its better quality and I really do think better budget wise
-A whole lot less plastic, I still see a ridiculous amount of items such as mushrooms in a plastic bag with a plastic tie right next to a paper bag full of mushrooms? But generally I think there is less plastic. I’ve even asked stall holders if they’ll recycle the container/plastic bands if I buy the produce and they’ve been fine with it. Unsure if this is okay during covid but hoorah for less landfill.
3. So many people are unaware
I am 25 this year and i’d like to assume most people I associate myself with (20-35) have a pretty good understanding around single use plastics… definitely not the case. It’s really hard biting your lip/not overreacting because NONE OF US ARE PERFECT. But to see people still getting plastic straws with their drinks whilst out or using glad bags/cling wrap on a daily basis….. WOT 🙁 these people unfortunately don’t know any better/ the repercussions this has and that’s OKAY. We all could do with more education on this topic but the more we work together and share the knowledge the better off we will be. “Its not about all of us being perfect, but all of us being imperfect” I love that quote. And that is where we will see change.
4. Cornstarch tooth brushes are the BOMB
Again like many other humans that are lucky enough to have the money to buy oral hygiene products I have been buying plastic toothbrushes for years. They say we go through 300 toothbrushes in our lifetime. That’s a whole lot of plastic sticks chilling on beautiful coastlines around the world. I’ve also read that plastic tooth brushes take 400 YEARS TO BREAKDOWN compared to cornstarch toothbrushes taking just 12 months! Bamboo are a good idea too but cornstarch seem to last longer, feel more sturdy and keep cleaner! Personal preference.
5. Let glass jars be your bestfriend
Glass jars are amazing! I’ve been using them for homemade coffee scrubs, pot plants, toothbrush holders, trail mix containers, iced coffee cups, bobby pin accumulators lol and to store all of my dry goods in the pantry! If you can ever purchase something eg: peanut butter in a glass jar over a plastic container- do it! So useful in the long run.
6. Every small difference counts
Pick up that chip packet that is making your left eye twitch or that mcdonalds cup(are they not everywhere?!) on your morning walk. If we all had the mentality ‘someone else can do it’ what would get done?! You’ll feel better for it, our streets will be looking more pristine and mama earth will thank you for it!
Life is a wild ride. How many of us have looked up to our parents/people of age when we were younger and thought that ‘they have it all together’. Yeah right, none of us do. This seems to become so much clearer as we get older. Isn’t it funny we just assume with age we’ll ‘sort our lives out’. True to an extent, but I truly do believe we are constantly learning, growing, evolving and changing- and if we aren’t, surely we can’t be living correctly.
On the topic of age and growth, how’s the pressure as we mature? On both sexes. To buy property, have a mortgage, have a stable vehicle, be in a relationship and everything that comes with that(marriage, starting a family etc), oh and career- because every human on this earth will have the same job in the same field for 50 years… yeah right. I personally haven’t felt a crazy amount of pressure as my fam are the bee’s knees and so supportive. But I honestly dread the pressure and questions that are to come as the years pass. The pressure on women especially- to start a family before 30. In my mind 30 is SO YOUNG. 30 years of living(fingers crossed) isn’t even half of our lives!
When I think of purpose, being a mum really isn’t something that springs to mind. Mum’s are EASILY some of the most caring, unselfish, protective and nurturing people on earth; and they do such an unreal job. But I don’t think that is the only reason most females are earthbound. I do see the appeal, but I agree with most women that it ‘comes with age’. It takes so bloody long to figure ourselves out let alone understand our moral compass and values to want to pass on to tiny humans. But then again, when are we ever ready? When is the right time? At what ripe age will we ‘figure ourselves out’? Will we ever? Probably not, and that’s okay. We’re human. And figuring our shit out is all part of this journey.
I’ve found myself reconsidering the questions I ask people when I first meet them. ‘What do you do for work?’ is something that simply doesn’t matter all that much. This is generally something I’ll ask later on in the conversation if it comes up. I feel as though it can make us uncomfortable. Why is that? Why can we feel so un-proud when answering this? As if we were to think the person receiving the answer is about to stereotype or judge. When most of us love/have passion and experience/are really good at what we do! It’s mind boggling! I very rarely see people answer this question with confidence, myself included. I think we all need to change our perspective(+ how we answer this!) just slightly. We should be PROUD of our achievements! And work is one of them lol.
15 or 55, none of us have it entirely together + we can all learn something from one another. Lets reword the questions we ask.
DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP but food for thought. Could I have put any more question marks throughout this blog? Hehe. Have a lovely Thursday!
I used to think of holidays/trips/vacations as a time to ‘binge’ and ‘eat whatever I wanted’. But when you happen to be away for longer periods of time this gets very old, very quickly. I’m sure we can all agree that food and trying different cuisines is the best part of travel(and the reason a lot of us do!). But when we are making better food choices and not over consuming we do end up enjoying our time away to the fullest extent! Peace out to feeling lethargic when there is so much we want to see and do. Here are a few things I’ve learnt with more recent trips 🙂
Eat something green everyday
Definitely not super hard to achieve, and pretty easy to add to one meal of your day- but this will help with the upkeep of essential vitamins and minerals. Have a juice or smoothie with some kind of melon/spinach in the morning or add a side of buk choy to your dinner. So beneficial for our digestive systems and hydration!
Easy to achieve but also easy to forget. I will admit its harder in countries with foreign water systems(the plastic hurts our hearts, I know) but hydration, skin health and not passing out due to heat exhaustion is important too. Where you can- refill the plastic bottles. And where you cant- purchase and do your best to recycle. I’d even aim for 4 litres of water a day whilst backpacking, so much walking and if you happen to be like me… the occasional cuppla lunchtime beers. Clear spirits with soda and beers are probably your best options if you are going to… over indulge.
Rethink over indulgence
I’m all about making the most of free breakfasts at hostels and love a good buffet splurge every now and then. But possibly limiting REALLY over indulging in these free meals to once/twice a week will help curb that calorie intake and getting into a bad routine at the start of the day. Because when we eat shit in the morning= we generally eat shit for the rest of the day. Opt for all of the beautiful fresh fruit on offer, yoghurt and vegetable stir fries/soups if you happen to be in Asia, yummm.
Take a pack
Suitcases are all too easy, and kind of inconvenient if your hopping on and off multiple types of transport. Taking a pack travelling means you’re constantly carrying a bit of weight and its keeping you strong. Plus you can put any important documents/extra money in the pocket against your back- ain’t no pick pocketer getting in there.
We generally have extra time on our hands while we are away(depending on the trip). Walk to and from, you’ll see more of the region you are visiting and more walking= more calories burned= extra room for a second lunch. Cheering.
Hike when you can, swim when you can, go to yoga when you can. Make it a priority to move everyday while being away! You’ll see more of the gorgeous area that you are visiting, it doesn’t cost a cent and your body will thank you for it!
It feels kind of ironic writing a blog about something ‘finance’ related due to the ‘rona and being semi unemployed myself… lets ignore that though 😉 here are 5 tips that have helped me save money QUICK in the past, enjoy!
1. MOVE BACK IN WITH YOUR PARENTS
If you’re wanting to save for a longer trip I would highly recommend this. The money us millennials spend on rent is CRAZY! So if there is a way to cut your rent in half(or maybe you’ll be lucky enough not to have to pay anything at all) definitely make the move. Even if its only a few months. Probably not the most ideal situation for most of us but hey- its only temporary. Parents are generally super on board when it comes to helping us achieve goals like this anyway, I know mine are!
2. START SAYING NO
Unfortunately, especially with funds; we cant have our cake and eat it too. We really need to prioritise what’s important, and in this case its having enough coin to feel secure going away with! Going out every weekend isn’t going to impact our bank accounts in a positive way. Just say no. Your true friends will understand. Obviously don’t become too anti-social, but being home means you aren’t spending money(also say no to online shopping). Suggest different ideas to your friends, do a workout in a park together rather than paying for a hefty spin sesh, go on a picnic, invite friends to yours for a few beverages, visit a free museum etc. Do anything but go out for food and drink.
3. PACK YOUR LUNCH
This does go hand-in-hand with tip 2. But I’d say in Australia its not often you could buy lunch for under $15. A standard 5 day work week you’d be spending $75 on food… that’s a zip lining tour in NZ! If you didn’t buy lunch during the week for 6 months you’d save $1,800… return flights to South America! You get my gist. It adds up. Lunches are so easy to make and generally a lot healthier than what you’d purchase out anyway. Less take out bought also means less landfill. Beneficial for your wallet and the environment. Sold.
4. WALK MORE
Whenever you can during this ‘saving period’ do whatever you can to walk from A to B. This may not always be possible depending on where you are living, climate etc. But walking costs nothing and is so valuable for our health. If you have the time try to avoid driving/paying for public transport/Uber. And I would say you’ll be doing a mass amount of walking when you head away so this will prepare you for what is to come. More walking= more time to listen to travel related podcasts like my millennial money. Exercising + learning = winning.
5. HAVE A BUDGET AND STICK TO IT
Probably the hardest task for us all… but probably the most rewarding. Sticking to budget you’ve promised yourself you’d stick to does wonders over time. Determine a realistic figure you can put away weekly, whether its $100 or $500. Just make sure you do this consistently. No if’s or but’s about it. Don’t cave for anything. It’ll be so worth it when you’re on the tarmac about to take off to your dream destination. You’ve got this!
What encourages you to save? What tips would you add to this list? Even ways to save money whilst travelling? Would love to hear 🙂
A few years ago i flew to Guatemala city for a month with a mate I was living with in Canada. We basically had return flights booked and not much else. Was such a great way to do it as it was low season when we visited in October. Guatemala was a country I didn’t even know existed until we found cheap flights one day.
Guat’s had really good coffee, super friendly little(emphasis on both friendly and little lol) locals, it was so lush and green(reminded me of being back at home in the tropics!) and a VERY cheap country to travel. Wasn’t for the faint hearted though. It got hot. It is an extremely poor country. There wasn’t really a garbage system and go to transport options are basically busses(we had a 13 hr trip one day, never again). Wouldn’t change a thing though, such a memorable experience.
My friend and I had previously done a bit of travel before this trip, but we weren’t oblivious to the fact that we were in what would most likely be considered a third world country. We were going to see some sh*t…
After being in town one day, we decided we’d attempt to walk back to our accommodation(a lot further than we had anticipated) and it started to get a little dark. A Toyota prado(boujee) pulled up beside us and offered us a lift, of course we said yes- it was a free ride with a stranger in a foreign country! Be crazy not to(wouldn’t recommend ppl). We get in and this local 50+ man is smiling but also shaking his head at the same time. We couldn’t really converse as not many locals knew English and we had minimal Spanish. Our driver started saying “arma, arma” which we knew was gun in Espanol… he literally ends up pulling this weapon from under his seat and waves it around. Our hearts sank… He could have killed us then and there. Turned out he was just warning us that it wasn’t a super safe area and lots of people were armed. Makes sense, it was Central America after all. He dropped us to our destination and we couldn’t stop thanking him and attempting to put Quetzal’s(local currency) in his console. He wasn’t having a bar of it and didn’t want a cent of our money. What a legend.
After 478739 bus rides, we were sooooo over it. Probably myself more than my mate lol! We stopped at a hostel on the water for a cold brew. We ended up meeting an older bloke named Guy. Considering he 1) spoke English 2) was Canadian 3) had a bloody infectious personality- we ended up really getting along. He informed us he was headed to Belize in a few days via the water. Offered us two seats on a boat not a bus, we were in. Syd(mi amigo) and I didn’t actually end up telling our families what we’d decided just errrr… incase things went south. I texted my siblings and my parents a short and sweet ‘love you’ before we left the mainland as we didn’t have any service on the boat for four days. Not going to lie I was definitely nervous during the first night we had on the boat, and when I say boat it was basically a catamaran- it was bloody nice. We all had our own rooms and I made sure I locked mine. Turns out Guy was all too much fun. He’d had previous paying passengers(charged us maybe $200US, cheap) so he was super hospitable and quite the chef! We spent everyday playing music, tanning on the front nets, drinking beer and smoking joints. It was a damn wonderful time. A couple from Melbourne ended up joining us on the boat as well as a crazy Norwegian staff member/sidekick of Guy’s(shoutout Jules, Layla + Ruben) We all had a blast!
After arriving in Belizean waters, we stopped at a very unofficial office in Ambergris Caye and handing our passports over. We got them back and headed to Caye Caulker, probably the coolest little island on earth. But that is a whole different story…
Looking back things could have gone either way, but spontaneity and taking soon to be friends up on offers like these definitely make(or break) your travels. It’s pretty crazy how much trust we can put into people we’ve briefly met, just go with your gut feeling I guess. Ended up that Guy our wild captain was in a boat accident later that year and unfortunately passed away. To think if we’d declined his proposal we wouldn’t have ended up spending a week with one of the most ridiculously insane people i’ll most likely ever come across. He was SO full of life, lived it right that’s for sure.
I would travel back to Guatemala 100% and cant wait to. I loved how unexpected and unpredictable the whole trip was. Made friends I’ve been lucky enough to see since, ate some really good + also really basic food, made me appreciate all of the small things we take for granted in our commonwealth countries, drank really cheap booze, picked up alot of Spanish along the way, got a good tan and most of all… HAD A BLOODY GOOD TIME!