Favourite beer-drinking spots in Europe!


Hi, my name is Krysti.
And I love beer.
And travelling.
I love trying new beers while travelling.

I am currently sitting here reminiscing that this time last year I was at Munich Oktoberfest- so I thought combining a post about my two favourite things (travelling and beer!) was inevitable!
Europe was an absolute pleasure to travel around anyway, let alone whilst offering the tantalising delights of their top-knotch, world-class beer.
Beer that comes in one litre barrels and has delicious foam on top. 
Beer that is cheaper than water and where you can enjoy on the streets, in parks- out in public! (It is illegal in New Zealand and Australia)... yes, it is fair to say: 
I was in heaven.
Let me share with you some of my favourite beer-drinking spots I have enjoyed around Europe (so far), along with the particular beers that impressed my socks off. 
I'm getting thirsty already.


Germany 

I'll begin with my all-time favourite place! Visiting Berlin for the first time in 2014 may or may not have been the reason I chose to move to Germany in 2015 for my student exchange! (I'm just kidding)...
I can't just choose one particular city in Germany- as I have travelled all over the country and the beer is obviously fantastic everywhere (as it is undoubtedly for the other cities I've chosen, but in those cases they were the specific cities I happened to visit).
Germany, home of the popular Biergartens (beer gardens) rank third in terms of per-capita beer consumption, behind Czech Republic and Austria.

Why is German beer so good? Perhaps it's the 800 years of brewing history combined with their Reinheitsgebot (purity decree), sometimes called the "German Beer Purity Law" or "Bavarian Purity Law" in English.
This is a regulation for beer-making in Germany which allow only a few certain top quality ingredients to be used, ensuring only high quality beer is produced.
Germans are known for their beer culture and they sure know how to brew good, pure beer.
My absolute favourite which I dub 'liquid gold' is the Hefeweizen or practically any Weizenbier (wheat beer).
It is a meal in itself though so quite hard to drink after a couple!
Their pale and dark beers are also excellent including Helles, Kölsch, Bock, Dunkel, Pilsener and Märzen- the latter being the traditional beer served at Munich Oktoberfest
If you love your beer and haven't been to Germany- book a flight today!
You sure are missing out. It has been a whole year since I have last had a beer on German soil and it breaks my heart every time I think about it (including right now).
It really is that good and I miss it so very much!

Enjoying one of many litres of Märzen at Munich Oktoberfest last year
My favourite "liquid gold" Weizenbier
Enjoying the delights of Früghlingsfest in Munich
Pouring my own Pilsener at a cool pub in Berlin where each table has their own taps!

Prague 

Czech beer is world famous for its Pilsner and the Czechs are the most avid beer drinkers in the world- downing 165 litres per person every year!
Before visiting Prague I had lived in Germany for six months and heard rumours that Czech beer was 'the best in the world.'
I thought this simply can't be true (as I believed German beer was the best) so I just had to see for myself.
I did a beer tasting tour that I really enjoyed and I tried a variety of different types throughout my stay. After four nights of sampling many beers I concluded that- yes it is excellent- but not the best in the world! I could not go past a good Hefeweizen.
The biggest players in the local beer industry are Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus and Bernard. They are smooth and delicious tasting beers and also one of the cheapest in Europe, going for around a glass. Perhaps this is why Czechs drink so much of it!

Beer tasting tour in Prague
A delicious golden foamy Pivo

Dublin

Ireland's capital is most famous for Guinness, a dry delectable stout with a dark rich flavour. Since it first started making beer over 250 years ago, the Guinness brewery has become the largest in the world and Ireland's biggest export product.
Visiting the Guinness storehouse is a must for any beer lover passing through Dublin!
I absolutely love the rich flavour of Guinness, and I'm not kidding- it is actually TEN times better in Dublin than anywhere else!
They say there is something in the water and it is true. Even my non-beer-drinking friends tried it and found it delicious! So if you're not a fan, don't write it off until you've tried it in its homeland.

My friends and I before heading into the brewery
Delicious in a cup

Krakow 

Apparently only 10 years ago almost all of Krakow's pubs served one of four beers, and they were all indistinguishable and not very good at all.
Today, a craft beer revolution is in full swing in Poland and Krakow is the best place to experience its fruits.
Beer has once again become the most popular beverage of choice (overtaking vodka) and the present-day Polish beers mostly resemble German lager.
Some of the best beer includes Zywiec, Okocim and Tyskie. I found them to be very delicious, and quite light and refreshing after spending the day walking around in the sweltering 45 degree sunshine (I was there during a heatwave!).
Perhaps the best thing about it- Krakow is the cheapest place in the world for a beer, going for around  a glass in a pub or bar, or you can pick up single bottles from a local store for around .50 €.

Sitting outside a pub in the Old Jewish Quarter
Quenching my thirst with a Piwo

Italy

This might be a surprising top beer-drinking place- but I really enjoyed the local beers in Italy. Italy is known to be part of the wine-belt of Europe, however their beer- particularly mass produced pale lagers are very common in the country and especially enjoyed as the ideal accompaniment to pizza.
Beer is always best on tap- but they are so crisp and refreshing even in a bottle or can, bought from a local shop or vendor.
Top Italian beer includes Gran Riserva, Birra Moretti and Peroni Nastro Azzurro.
I loved the experience of being able to enjoy a beer in the sun at the sights- sitting on the lawns in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, on a gondola in Venice, on the Spanish steps in Rome and at the top of the Piazzale Michelangelo overlooking the view of Florence.
It made it all that little more special.

A Peroni in Rome
A cheeky birra because, when in Venice
Cheers to the Leaning Tower of Pisa

There we have my top favourite beer-drinking spots in Europe so far!
Of course I know of Bruges and Leuven in Belgium and Amsterdam which are two more of the top European contenders, so they are definitely on my list of places to go next time I 'pop' over to Europe!
Let me know in the comments what your favourite places and types of beer are- I'd love to read them. Time for a well-deserved beer now I'd say!

Thanks for reading,

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The 5 best cities to visit in Australia


Australia is a nature-lovers paradise- being an enormous country made up of bush, wildlife, desert, sandy coastlines and coral reef, but it also offers many excellent modern and vibrant urban cities too.
The main capitals are very different from each other, but what they share is a warm welcome, easy precincts, great food, wine and events as well as plenty of access to nature and wildlife.
As mentioned in my Adapting to the Aussie way of life tips post, Australia is incredibly large- and not one that you can fully explore over a few weeks, not even a few months!
If you are heading here just for a short time, here are the five biggest and best cities to choose from if you need some help deciding!


SYDNEY

Sydney is Australia's largest city- with a population of 4.5 million people. It's the capital of the state New South Wales and it offers many delightful activities and things to do.
It is most well-known for its sparkling harbour-front where you can find the iconic Sydney Opera House with its distinctive sail-like design.
Sydney offers great surf beaches, beautiful public gardens, fine dining, opera, coastal walks and plenty of history. It's also home to the most high-rise buildings in the country.
Check out the Sydney Travel Guide for more information.

Sydney Opera House with the bridge in the background.

Top 10 things to do:
  • Talk to the animals at Taronga Zoo, with 2,900 exotic and native species.
  • Take a tour and go backstage at the Sydney Opera House.
  • Climb the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge at dawn or at dusk.
  • Walk the Bondi to Coogee beach coastal trail.
  • Dine at Sydney's finest restaurants- some of the best in the world.
  • Enjoy shopping in the city with many large malls and boutique stores.
  • Discover a convict past by taking The Rocks walking tour.
  • Sail on the beautiful harbour- one of Sydney's best travel experiences.
  • Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Take a day trip to the famous Blue Mountains.

My partner in crime and I visiting Sydney in 2012.

MELBOURNE

The second largest city in Australia with a population of 4.3 million people, Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern state of Victoria.
Famed for its trendy vibe, cafe culture and graffitied laneways, it’s a popular spot for young professionals and students alike.
Head to hip St Kilda for a taste of the seaside or base yourself in the heart of the city to enjoy plenty of street markets, gigs, shops and museums.
It is a very multicultural city, with 40% of the population born overseas. It has the highest Greek population in the world outside of Athens! The city is overflowing with many delicious choices of cuisine and offers great foodie experiences.
If you stay in Melbourne holiday apartments, you can explore the South Bank and take a tour of the galleries. Melbourne is home to the most skyscrapers in the country.
For incredible city skyline views, head to the Eureka Skydeck 88, especially at dusk.
I made a YouTube video from my time there if you're interested: Melbourne Travel Vlog.

Looking across the Yarra River

Top 10 things to do:
  • Explore Melbourne's arty laneways and beautiful architecture.
  • Experience life at the bohemian St Kilda Esplanade.
  • Get cultured at Melbourne's iconic museums.
  • Shop designer boutiques and cool local labels.
  • Cheer at world-famous sporting events at legendary sports grounds.
  • Sip on a cocktail at a trendy rooftop bar.
  • Dine at Melbourne's best restaurants, again some of the world's best.
  • Take a day-trip to nearby wineries, surf beaches and forests. 
  • Head outdoors to plenty of beautiful parks and gardens.
  • Shop local at Melbourne's amazing markets.

Exploring the famous graffitied laneway Hosier Land

BRISBANE

The third largest city in Australia is Brisbane, with a population of 2.2 million.
It is the capital of sunny Queensland and it's a place I always enjoy visiting.
The climate is subtropical and offers a modern and pretty riverside city. Head to the cultural precinct of South Bank where you can find museums, theatres and galleries along with great food spots, markets and a man-made beach.
Looming over the city is Mt. Cootha, the site of the beautiful botanic gardens.
The shopping, nightlife and restaurant scene in Brisbane is excellent and there are countless fun things to do.

The view from Kangaroo Point

Top 10 things to do:
  • Climb Brisbane's iconic story bridge and abseil down.
  • Walk through the popular and entertaining South Bank.
  • Head to the (man-made) beach in the middle of the city.
  • Go on a chocolate or craft-beer walking tour.
  • Dine at Brisbane's best restaurants with stunning riverside views.
  • Soak up the art at GoMA and the Queensland art gallery.
  • Enjoy a "Paddle & Prawns" experience on the Brisbane River.
  • Shop at Brisbane's The Collective Markets.
  • Relax at Nightfall's luxury wilderness camp.
  • Go 4W-Driving and dolphin watching at North Stradbroke Island. 

Image result for brisbane bridge
Brisbane's Story Bridge

PERTH

The fourth biggest city in Australia with a population of 2 million, Perth is the capital of Western Australia, and the only one located on the Indian Ocean.
The city sits where the Swan River meets the southwest coast and sandy beaches line its suburbs. The large riverside Kings Park and Botanic Garden on Mt. Eliza offers sweeping views over the city.
Perth oozes confidence and has an abundance of hip wine bars, sunny beaches, spectacular green parks and glittering skyscrapers, funky neighbourhoods and beautiful colonial architecture.
If you're wanting to head to the Western side of Australia, Perth is a must-see city that has it all. Check out the Lonely Planet Perth guide for more information.



Top 10 things to do:
  • Wander and enjoy the views of Kings Park- one of the world's biggest city parks.
  • Visit the historic seaside port of Fremantle.
  • Hit Perth's small bars and enjoy the craft-beer and wine.
  • Discover Perth's museum, gallery and zoo.
  • Explore the diverse precincts with hip cafes and cutting-edge restaurants.
  • Chill out or surf at Perth's best beaches.
  • Feel an adrenaline rush with the many adventure activities on offer.
  • Catch a ferry to Rottnest Island and meet Quokkas- a cute marsupial only in WA.
  • Sail Perth's beautiful river and coastline.
  • Take a day trip to the Swan Valley winery.



GOLD COAST

I know the 5th largest city is Adelaide, but for my final top city I just had to choose the Gold Coast- because that's where I live! Also it's a very popular holiday destination, for Australians and especially for New Zealanders.
Gold Coast is the 6th largest city with a population of over 600,000. It's a metropolitan region on the east coast, one hour south of Brisbane.
It is famed for its long sandy beaches, surfing spots and elaborate system of inland canals and waterways. It's also home to Australia's best theme parks including Dreamworld, Movie World, Wet n Wild and many more.
Inland are plenty of beautiful rainforest hiking trails and waterfalls found in Lamington National Park's mountain ridges and valleys, home to rare birds and plenty of native wildlife.
Along with the fun parks, warm weather and beaches the Gold Coast has a great restaurant scene, hip bars and excellent shopping, making it the perfect holiday destination.



Top 10 things to do:
  • Spend the day tanning and swimming at the pristine sandy beaches.
  • Take up a surfing lesson and have a go at one of best surfing spots.
  • Go thrill-seeking at one of the world-class theme parks.
  • Explore the Gold Coast's lush World Heritage rainforests.
  • Get up close with a croc or cuddle a koala at the many wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Jet ski, surf and scuba dive in the sparkling Pacific Ocean.
  • Shop at the best boutiques, markets and outlet shopping centres.
  • Graze at the best restaurants and cafes overlooking the crashing waves.
  • Head to the top of the Q1- the tallest building in Australia for incredible views.
  • Spot some humpbacks and dolphins on a whale watching tour (May-Nov).



I hope you've now got some good information on Australia's best cities! Let me know in the comments if you're heading here sometime soon- or if you've already been!
All of Australia's cities are incredible and unique and if you're heading Down Under you won't be disappointed.

Thanks for reading,
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*This post contains affiliate links and some images that are not my own.

Barcelona on a Budget | Travel Guide


Barcelona is a beautiful laidback city sitting on the Mediterranean Coast.
Much of the cities architecture is famously designed by Antoni Gaudi and it is incredible to see in real life.
I was lucky enough to spend a week in Barcelona last Summer, I had been on a France and Spain Contiki tour that spent 3 nights there and that's where it ended.
I stayed on for a further 4 nights by myself and I had a brilliant time. I was into my final month of travelling around Europe so I was on a pretty tight budget, as I still had Greece, Italy and Germany yet to come on my big trip. You can read all about my solo travel trip here: Solo travel | My Experience & Thoughts.
This fabulous and fun Spanish city was a joy to explore and very easy to do so even on a budget. Here is my ultimate travel guide with top money-saving tips to help you get the most out of Barcelona.


TRANSPORT

From the airport:

From the airport there is a handy shuttle bus called Aerobus that picks up from both Terminal 1 and 2 and drives directly to the city centre, which takes around 35 minutes.
It runs every day of the year and departs every 5 minutes. It costs 5.90 .
This is the easiest and cheapest way to get both to and from the airport, as taxis would cost at least 30 €. It stops and picks up from three of the most strategic points in Barcelona. Here is their website for more details: www.aerobusbcn.com/en.

Around the city:

Barcelona can easily be explored on foot, but for those attractions a bit further away there is an underground metro which is easy to navigate.
A single ticket costs  so if you plan on venturing about for the whole day it might be better value to purchase a day ticket which gives you unlimited rides for 6.95 .
If you are in Barcelona for a while, the best deal would be to get a 10 ticket book which you can use over any number of days, which costs 9.25 .


FREE THINGS TO SEE & DO

Park Guell

The famous Park Guell is one of the most impressive public parks in the world.
Designed by Gaudi himself, it is full of beautiful gardens and showcases many of his major works in Barcelona. The architecture is amazing and there are nice walks you can take around the area.
However you do have to pay to enter the Monumental Zone. I didn't do this due to the three hour waiting time, and also I was rather impressed with everything I saw without having to pay! I spent a good hour and a half there walking around and enjoying the park which is very large.
If you do want to buy a ticket it costs 7  and I would recommend purchasing it in advance online to avoid the major lines and waiting time!





La Rambla

La Rambla is a famous street in Barcelona and one of the major city centre points.
Popular with tourists and locals alike, it is a great street to stroll along and browse the many stalls, pop-up markets and street performers. The tree-lined street stretches for 1.2 kilometres and on either side it is lined with many shops, bars and cafes.



Admire the architecture

There is an impressive amount of architecture in Barcelona practically everywhere you turn your head! Some notable buildings and places to check out include:

Barcelona Cathedral- located in the Gothic Quarter is the stunning Gothic Revival Roman Catholic church built from the 13th-15th centuries.



Casa Vicens was Gaudis first important building. Built between 1883 and 1888, this was an imaginative residential project made for a wealthy family that owned a ceramic factory.



Le Pedrera (or Casa Mila), is another modernist residential building designed by Gaudi. You can pay 20  to go inside, but if you're on a budget like me- you can just admire the architecture from the outside!



Casa Batllo is the result of an old conventional house built in 1877, restored by Gaudi in 1904. It was highly criticised by the public at first, but soon went on to win being one of the three best buildings of the year.



Torre Agbar is a 38 story bullet-shaped skyscraper and a new attraction in Barcelona. The tower represents a water fountain that constantly changes its appearance.
Depending on the light- the tower changes colours and is lit up brilliantly at night as well.



There are so many more dotted all around the city. I'm not sure of the name of the building below but it was across the road from a big mall quite close to La Rambla.


In the distance

The beach

The coastline stretches for 4.5 kilometres and offers a wide variety of excellent beaches.
Barceloneta is the closest beach to the city and you can walk there from the city centre in 20 minutes, or it is one stop away on the metro.
The beaches are a popular hot-spot in the warmer months and are well maintained and kitted out with sun beds and lifeguards. There are plenty of restaurants nearby and places that offer refreshments.

Walking the boardwalk on the way to the beach



La Monumental

One of Barcelona's newest attractions, this used to be the Old City Bull Ring. As of 2012 bull fighting was banned in Barcelona and the old stadium has since turned into a trendy shopping and lifestyle complex.
On the top floor you can find restaurants and an observation point with excellent 180 degree city views.




Montjuic Magic Fountain

Just up the road from La Monumental is the Montjuic Magic Fountain. This is a free show at night which is a spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics.
Times and days of the shows are dependent on the season. Check the website to find out when it is on: Magic Fountain website.
This is a must-see when you come to Barcelona and highly recommended. Try to get there earlier to get a good viewpoint- but don't stand too close or you'll definitely get wet!




Montjuic viewpoint

Close to the fountain is the hill Montjuic, which offers fantastic views over the city.
The hill features a large number of other attractions too including The Spanish Village, MNAC- one of the cities most important museums, the National Palace, gardens, a fortress and much more.
It's a bit of a hike to get to the top but the lookout points over Barcelona is worth it! Otherwise, you can pay to take a cable car to the top.



Free Walking Tour

A few companies offer free walking tours around Barcelona, but one that I myself went on- Sandemans is one I can fully recommend! The tour was fantastic- you get taken to many of the main attractions and highlights, and the guides are full of interesting facts, information and stories.
It's a fantastic way to start off in a new city as you get your bearings and learn where all the main landmarks are by walking. They offer help at the end of the tour if you have any questions at all, and do just ask to give a small donation for what you think the tour was worth- as it is their main job.
They also offer many other well-priced tours such as bike tours, Gaudi architecture tours, a tapas experience and so on. Here is the link to their website for more information.


ATTRACTIONS WORTH THE MONEY

La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona's most famous attraction! This is my number one most recommended thing to do here- it is an absolute spectacle and worth every penny to admire from the inside as well as out.
I have been to many cathedrals in my time- but this is without a doubt the most amazing one I have ever been to.
Although incomplete, the building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you can learn all about the history, construction and Gaudi's visions inside.
A basic entry ticket costs 15  and it is highly recommended to book a time-slot online in advance.





Camp Nou

If you're a football fan then you would probably love to do a tour of Camp Nou- home to the world-famous FC Barcelona. 
The stadium is the largest in Europe and is one of the cities most popular tours.
Each year thousands of football fans from all around the world come to visit the grounds and football museum. Tours start from 24 €.



Hop on Hop off tour

Like many major cities Barcelona offers this bus tour which is a great way to see a lot more of the city than just by foot or underground metro.
It stops at all the major attractions and you can get on and off as you please. It also includes free wifi and an audio guide so you can learn all about the city while you ride.
You can purchase a 24 or 48 hour ticket and you can get discounts if you're a student.


 ACCOMMODATION

For budget friendly accommodation, hostels are a great option. For my first three nights in Barcelona I stayed at the Generator Hostel.
I highly recommend it- I'm pretty sure this is the best hostel I've ever stayed at.
The decor was modern and cool, it was in a great location, was clean and had great facilities.
Prices for a mixed dorm start at around 20  a night.
For my other 4 nights I booked a private room for myself at Residencia Universitaria.
I found the place on Trip Advisor and basically it's university residences that are available to book out over the Summer and other holidays. I chose here because it was well-priced and I got my own self-catered room. It was also just one street over from La Rambla, so it was very central and in perfect walking distance to everywhere.
The room was 32 € a night but worth it in my opinion to have my own room for a little bit since I had been sharing for the last two weeks and was about to again for another three!
AirBnB is always a great budget-friendly option as well to filter through places to stay in your price range and location wise.

Hostel fun at the Generator bar

FOOD & DRINK

Make use of the discount supermarket chains to save on eating out for every meal.
Carrefour Market Ramblas is a large supermarket I made frequent use of on La Rambla with everything you could need: groceries, products, fresh food, fruit, baked goods and there's even a stall making fresh paella at the entrance (which was delicious!).
I was all over the fruit and salads here as I had been eating out a lot prior.
A popular market I enjoyed going to on La Rambla was La Boqueria. If you've ever been to London's Borough Market- it's very similar to that! It offers different sections such as fresh seafood, meat, fruit, pastries, sweets, you name it.
It's also a hot-spot to come for lunch as there is plenty of delicious food made on site as well.

La Boqueria Market
Some must-try local food to have in Barcelona includes the famous paella- a delicious Spanish rice dish usually made with fresh seafood.


Tapas bars are all throughout Barcelona and a popular place to fill up on many tiny bites with a glass of wine.
Being on the coast, seafood in restaurants is abundant and good quality.
Churros can be found at street stalls and many restaurants and is a delicious dessert.
Of course trying sangria is mandatory and you can find this refreshing drink everywhere!
The local beer and wine here is also very good.


FINAL TIPS

Siesta Hours

Barcelona, like most places in Spain has very different business hours compared to the rest of the world. Many stores open from 10 am and close at 2 pm for a 'siesta' break.
Stores then re-open at 4:30 pm until 8:30 pm, with larger chain stores in the city often staying open until 10 pm.

Meal Times

You don't have to abide by the Spanish meal times, but if you would like to- it usually goes like this:
08:00+ Breakfast
11:00+ Morning snack
13:30+ Aperitivo
14:00+ Lunch
17:30+ Afternoon snack
20:30+ Drinks & Tapas
21:00+ Dinner
23:00+ Copas

Be Aware of pickpockets

Apparently Barcelona is the worst city in Europe for pick-pocketing so do be aware!
I never felt worried or unsafe but I did make sure to keep my bag secure at all times.
Try to choose a bag with hidden zippers or if you have a backpack, a small padlock might be a good idea. I had a bag that I strapped across my chest and I always kept one hand on the top when I could to stop any 'flap-lifting.'

Enjoy!

Barcelona is perfect for a coastal getaway and a good dose of Spanish! The locals are extremely friendly and English is widely spoken.
The shopping is fantastic, the nightlife is renowned- if that's your thing. The streets are beautiful and clean, the bathrooms are free, the food is delicious, the attractions and amazing architecture makes Barcelona so unique- all of this makes the city a wonderful place to visit and I'll definitely be back and look forward to it.



I hope this guide has been helpful! I have plenty more budget travel guides in-stall so stay tuned for those! As always feel free to comment your thoughts or if you have any questions or tips of your own you may have.

Thanks for reading ,

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30 Countries before I’m 30


I only recently heard this was a thing- and I am more than excited to put my hand up for this challenge!
It might not seem like such a big goal to some- but I only started travelling when I was well into my twenties and lets just say, time's-a-ticking!
I currently have been to 22 countries already, and by the end of the year it will be 24.
From 2017 I will have less than two years to complete this new challenge that I am now partaking in-- 30 countries before I'm 30!

It will be quite a task (albeit a fun one), because finances are rather limited at the moment and there's not a whole lot of time to save for six new countries in such a short amount of time.
Do you think I can do it?
This time a year ago I wouldn't have thought so, but starting my travel blog this year has been so amazing and I am really hoping it will lead to some (travel-related) opportunities!
A girl can dream right?

Below are the places I can already cross off my list. They're in order with the year above from the first time I visited (I have been back to several of these countries since).


1. New Zealand (Born in!) I have pretty much travelled the whole country except for the very bottom including Invercargill and Stewart island.

(2010)
2. Australia- NZ's neighbour, this was my first overseas experience. (Currently living in).

(2013)
3. Singapore- A brief stopover on the way to Thailand.
4. Thailand- 3 wonderful weeks were spent travelling around the country.

(2014)
5. England- I fell in love with London in an instant.
6. France- And then I fell in love with Paris!
7. Germany- Berlin was on a whole new level of cool. I've since lived in Germany.
8. Scotland- Cold and rainy but Edinburgh was a magical city to visit.

(2015)
9. UAE- A short stopover on my way back to Europe!
10. Switzerland- A beautiful country next door to where I lived for 6 months.
11. Italy- I got engaged in Rome! I loved every single place I went to.
12. Vatican City- Really enjoyed my day here. The Sistine Chapel was magnificent!
13. Austria- My time in Vienna was awesome! The start of my solo travels.
14. Hungary- My first taste of Eastern Europe, Budapest was unexpected.
15. Slovakia- I drove from the bottom of the country right to the top!
16. Poland- Krakow is one of my new favourite cities in the whole world.
17. Czech Republic- Prague was so beautiful and I loved learning the history.
18. Ireland- Dublin! I had the best time here with my friends drinking Guinness!
19. Spain- I visited a few lovely Spanish towns but Barcelona was my favourite.
20. Greece- I had an epic couple of weeks here including cruising the Greek Islands.
21. Turkey- My time here wasn't the best but I enjoyed the food and drink.
22. Indonesia- I loved visiting Bali and even went back again this year!

Coming soon/booked for later this year:

(2016)
23. Cook Islands- I'm getting married here in tropical paradise!
24. Vietnam- This is our honeymoon destination, it will be a great adventure.

My goal of six new countries I wish to tick off and travel to before I'm 30!

(2017/18)
25. Samoa- An island close to New Zealand, Samoa would be a great tropical getaway.
26. USA- New York, Las Vegas, Harry Potter World... the list of places is long!
27. Canada- Snow mountains, moose and maple syrup!
28. Mexico- Tacos, tequila and white sandy beaches? Yes please.
29. Peru- One of my biggest dreams is to trek the Andes and see Machu Picchu.
30. Japan- I have always wanted to go here- it would be such a different experience!



I am so grateful for every single one of my travel experiences and I am so excited for the future to see as much of the world as I possibly can.
There are 195 countries in the world and I know I am only just beginning to scratch the surface! But rather than this daunting me I find it incredibly exhilarating.

Do you have a list like this? What places are you wanting to cross off? Let me know in the comments and thanks so much for reading!

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Adapting to the Aussie way of life tips!


As you can tell from my blog, I love to travel about! Originally from New Zealand, I've been fortunate enough to travel all over, most recently exploring Europe and South East Asia.
But I currently call the Gold Coast in Australia my home base and next year I have one more year in Canberra, Australia.
Having spent nearly a full year here already I thought I could share some lifestyle and culture tips for those wanting to move to Australia themselves, or even for those travelling here for the first time.


Sometimes experiencing  a new country so different from your own can be a bit of a culture shock. The people, customs and language are unfamiliar and not always easy to understand. 
Fortunately Australia is a very welcoming and relaxed country, and I'm sure once you get used to the 'Aussie lifestyle' you will love it. 


Australians, much like Kiwis are mostly very laid-back and friendly, they like their BBQs, sports, having fun, a cold beer, tattoos, a good banter and swearing! 
I really enjoy living here. Because it has such a large economy there seems to be a lot more opportunities, which is probably why it is such a popular country to relocate to!
Here are some tips to help you adapt more easily to the Aussie way of life. 


Learn some Aussie lingo!

Depending on how far away you are coming from, some words used in everyday Australian life may throw you a little. 
As a Kiwi, many of these words are normal to me.
Lesson one- Australia is commonly referred to as 'Straya'.
People tend to greet others with the everyday "Hello," but "Gidday" or "Gidday mate" is the very Australian way to say it.
One of the most commonly used words in their vocabulary is: mate. Australians will call everyone mate, whether they know them or not.
Do not however, assume that being called "mate" means that they like you! There is key nuance in how long the letter 'a' is stretched out for. If it's a "maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate" stretching on for a while, they love you. If it's a short, sharp "mate"- they might just be about to punch you!
The Aussie accent tends to exaggerate their vowels a lot which is why many people come of sounding rather 'nasal-y' or 'whine-y' to foreign ears.
Another common word is: "crickey" or "crickey dick," which is a way to express surprise.
They use the word "bloody" a lot, usually in front of other words to emphasise them, for example:
Crocodile Dundee!
"Bloody right!" "bloody struth!" "bloody oath!" "bloody hell!" and so on.
There is quite a lot of vocabulary differences so here is a handy link of more phrases that may help you online.
I would recommend watching Crocodile Dundee if you want to get a feel for the stereotypical Australian way- and also it's a really good movie!

Here are some more examples in the image below:


Head Outdoors!

Australia is predominantly a clean and safe country and the Aussie lifestyle is largely centred around family life outside. The country has around 50,000 kilometres of spectacular coastline, which includes over 11,000 beaches! You can see why more than 85% of Australians live within 50 kms of the coast.

Beach and BBQ’s are heavily featured in weekly activities as well as having an active lifestyle. 
Australians love their sports- rugby, cricket and surfing are hugely popular, alongside hiking, running and general outdoors activities. 


Australia has over 500 national parks which cover 28 million hectares- that's a huge amount of unique and protected nature and wildlife! Some well-known animals include kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, platypus, wombats and loads more. 
As well as finding them in the wild there are many great wildlife parks and sanctuaries to get acquainted with these creatures for yourself. You can even hold a lot of them like the koala, baby crocodiles and even snakes (friendly ones).

Me holding a koala at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

I recently went whale watching in the Gold Coast which was such an incredible experience!
I had always dreamed of seeing a whale in the wild and we saw many Humpback whales and even dolphins.
Just try avoid the snakes and spiders! Australia is well known as the country with the most deadly wildlife and things trying to kill you! But no need to worry- they are pretty rare in the city centres. Below is a fun depiction of Australia, all in good humour:


Chat with strangers

Time to overcome your fear of talking to random people! In some countries, especially in Europe chatting to a stranger may seem like a very weird thing to do. I even got frowned at just by sitting next to someone on a busy train in Switzerland... But Australians love to talk. 

It’s actually one of the best things about the Aussie lifestyle. Everyone is so friendly and is happy to help if you need it. 
It's considered very normal and even polite to smile, nod and say hello when passing in the streets and to have a friendly conversation at a store with say a supermarket clerk or a shopkeeper.
I've had conversations with people from all over the world who rave about how Aussies and Kiwis are incredibly friendly, and they had many stories to share while they were backpacking of being invited in to homes for a place to sleep and offered food. 

It really warms my heart and makes me happy to hear things like that. I've travelled solo quite a bit and have found that so many countries do go about their own business and avoid eye contact at all costs.
So it may take some getting used to at first, but just embrace it and enjoy it! 



Don't stick to one state

Not many people realise just how huge Australia is- it's the world's sixth largest country! The sheer size of its natural attractions and landmarks are truly impressive.

There are sprawling national parks and deserts that are larger than whole countries combined. Just the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is bigger than the UK, Holland and Switzerland combined.
So don't just stick to one state and think that you've experienced all of Australia! (There are six of them). 
Take the opportunity to explore far and wide as much as possible. Most Australians fly between states and many cities because of the huge distance between each of them. Catching a plane is like catching a bus anywhere else. It’s easy to do and helps getting around much easier. 
The classic error many first-time visitors make is trying to 'do' Australia in two or three weeks. It's far better to pick two or three areas to tackle well, rather than attempt to tick off all the highlights in one visit. Otherwise, I'm sad to say most of your visit will be spent in transit. 

Sydney Opera House, New South Wales
Uluru or Ayers Rock in Northern Australia

Healthcare systems

If you are planning on making a permanent move to Australia one of the first things to consider is the healthcare system. You need to pay insurance in order to get treated by the doctor and in hospitals, so it’s important to make sure you're covered. 

If possible it's advised to get insurance in place before you turn 31, otherwise you might have to pay a health care loading fee. However, of course if you move here after that age this can’t be helped. Thankfully you are credited some of the premiums back so it’s a worthy investment to make.
Medicare provides access to a range of medical services, lower cost prescriptions and free care as a public patient in a public hospital. All eligible Australian residents and certain categories of visitors to Australia can enrol in Medicare and access these services, so do research it and try to apply as soon as you can.


Image result for typical aussie people


Aussie Things

To finish up and round off- here is a list of very Australian things that everyone loves, and are definite things you should try yourself whilst here!


Pies (meat pies, that is, especially with a side of T (tomato) sauce!)
Wine (Australia produces excellent wines, both red and white)
Beach (tan, swim, surf, the beach is one of the most popular places to be on a nice day)
Lamington (a sponge cake usually filled with cream and rolled in coconut- mmm)
BBQ (snags aka sausages, prawns, lamb- everything goes well on a barbie!)
Vegemite (A spread you have on toast with butter- you must try it at least once!)
Beer (A mandatory beverage to conquest thirst in the avo sun, especially with said bbqs) Thongs (aka jandals or flipflops- are the most popular footwear to walk around in)
TimTams (the best chocolate covered biscuit ever- trust me!)



I hope this has helped you get a feel for the Aussie lifestyle!
Thanks so much for reading and as always leave a comment on your thoughts and if you have any questions or anything to add to this as well!



*This post was a collaboration and contains images that are not my own.

A Wanderluster’s Travel Blog


It's the 1st of September and I'm so excited to launch my new 'travel blog' theme!
For those that may not know- I started off as a lifestyle blog earlier this year, then merged into 'travel and lifestyle,' and now as of September I am diving head-first into travel.

I did enjoy writing about a range of topics, but after 6 months I have decided that travel is a better niche for me to focus on as it is absolutely my biggest joy in life.
I have discovered such a passion for blogging and I am working hard towards trying to build a career for myself in travel writing/blogging. It would definitely be my ultimate dream job!


I have removed the majority of my non-travel related posts, however I have kept a few of my most favourite (that I couldn't bare to delete!), as well as a few sponsored posts and collaborations which I am entitled to keep. So the majority of my posts will be travel, with just a splash of lifestyle thrown in there as well.

Going forward I have so much to write about and I have many ideas, stories and adventures I can share. I'm enjoying writing travel guides and have plenty up my sleeve to keep me busy for quite a while! I also have two new countries I'm visiting before the end of the year which is very exciting.

Dreaming of my next adventure :)

I have six new categories I will be separating my posts into:

Asia, Europe, Oceania (the continents I have been to)
Destination Guide (specific guides/tips on certain places)
Travel Diary (my own travel stories and experiences)
Travel Tips (all travel tips and advice)

You can easily find and view all of my blog posts under their new categories (some of course do cross over) at the top of the page header titled 'Blog Posts' or the direct link is: here.

Stay tuned for plenty of posts coming very soon, I am working hard to fill each category and write good quality content for this blog.

Lastly, a couple of weeks ago I finally created a Facebook page for my blog, so if you haven't already I'd really appreciate a 'like.' Keep up to date with all of my upcoming posts as well as any interesting happenings going on in my life!



I'd like to thank everyone for their continued support. Every read and share is so appreciated and really helps me as I keep working towards my dream of turning this hobby of mine hopefully into a future career!

Thanks for reading and happy first of Spring! (or Autumn),

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