As we have jumped head first into a brand new year, I thought I would take you back and review my best and worst travel moments of 2014!
WORST: I got a serious electric shock!
I started off the year in Blackall, a small outback town in Queensland where I worked tending a bar to save money for the next leg of my trip. Whilst I was idly standing behind the counter in front of the glass washer chit chatting with a customer, I mindlessly felt a plastic hole on the front of the glass washer. AND FOR SOME REASON stuck my finger in it. I later discovered this hole used to contain a light bulb which had been smashed and removed, but the wiring behind not disconnected. I have never been shocked this badly and I was damn lucky not to have had my other hand on the metal surface! A pulse just bolted straight up my arm, through the right side of my face and up through the top of my head. So that was fun.
BEST: Bareback horse riding in the outback!
Even though I was racking up between 40 and 60 hours of work behind the bar in Blackall I did get a little bit of time off! A local girl I met in the town took me out onto her property so we could take her horses for a swim in the dam! So of course, no saddles! We took it slow, even though she is a champion horse rider, she kept by my side the whole time as we took this gorgeous creatures out into the bush and for a refreshing swim!
WORST: Dropping my phone in the toilet and my laptop DIED!
The last thing any budget backpacker wants is to break or lose an expensive item, which is why I always recommend taking as little as possible. However, for me, my blog relies on rather expensive technology! So not only did I have to fork out $400 for a new smart phone, but I also had to spend $1,300 on a new laptop. Super.
BEST: I GOT TO FLY A PLANE!
In march I headed out a little further into outback Queensland to a sheep station so I could complete my 88 days rural work so I could extend my work visa. I had MILLIONS of great experiences but the one I’ll never forget is when I got took up in the plane and half way through the flight he said “want to take control” SO I DID! Flying a plane could never have been on my bucket list because it seemed so impossible! But I had to put it on, just so I could cross it off! To be honest, the real skill is take off and landing, which Peter took care off, thankfully!
BEST: I GOT TO SHEAR A SHEEP!
The reason we had a plane on the property is mainly for mustering when it comes to shearing time! We had two rounds of shearing whilst I was there and I just had to have a job myself! So Peter spoke to the team leader and he was overjoyed to have someone so enthusiastic! He did the tricky parts (legs and neck) and gave over control for me to finish it off. I was so scared of cutting the poor little thing but not a single scratch! Boom!
BEST: RAISING A RESCUED LAMB!
Even though flying a plane and shearing sheep all made the list without question, this moment was personal. A week old lamb was found bogged in the damn on our property, and it was brought home to see if I could raise it! AND I DID! I spent 5 weeks raising this little beauty and I fell in love. I was responsible for feeding her 5 times a day, playing chase with her in the garden and just being a mommy! I named her Layna immediately and she holds that name still today.
WORST: I BROKE MY TOE!
Just hours before we were due to head over to Fraser Island I smashed my toes against a concrete ledge, breaking one of them. With a large amount of walking due on the Island and the amount of money we spent to get there, I was not a happy bunny. Luckily, we took plenty of wine, so that dulled the pain a bit!
WORST: TWO near miss car crashes on Fraser Island!
During my road trip between Brisbane and Cape Tribulation, my partner and I hired a 4WD to take over to Fraser Island for a self guided 3 day tour. Driving on the worlds largest sand island has it’s issues and we were fully briefed before hiring the vehicle. However, I didn’t see an upcoming washout as I was too excited by a dingo I just spotted. So instead of slowly RIGHT DOWN and crossing nearest to the sea, we went head first into the wash out at around 25km/ph. Water rushed up and I banged my head. I was left shaking. Luckily I just slammed the gas down to get us out the other side, but we could have very easily just wrote off the very expensive car! The following day we packed up camp and we went driving off, however, we couldn’t remember the track we took to get behind the sand bank, so I saw a path going up and over and followed it full force. What I didn’t realise is that for all we knew, there could have been a vertical drop waiting for us on the other side. Fraser Island still stands as one of the greatest trips during my time in Australia!
BEST: Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef
This had been on my bucket list for years and with fears of the reef dying at a rapid rate, I had to experience it before it was too late! However, from what I heard, The diving and snorkelling is much better up north near Port Douglas!
WORST: Getting caught in a bush fire!
My next destination after my road trip was Darwin, where I got offered a job in Arnhem land which is an aboriginal reserve in Australia’s Northern Territory. I was hired as a camp assistant on a buffalo shooting safari camp! My second week there I got offered an amazing opportunity to go out bush hunting. Which meant living in the real bush. Living off the land. IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHER. Whenever my boss entered this area of land he would always burn it back, meaning set fires (with the permission on the chief elder) when the land was becoming dead and overgrown.
Now, Australia has one of the hardest woods in the world. Iron wood. Car tyres don’t like it. So of course, we encountered our fair share of flats on the 6 day trip. One flat happened to occur just moments after putting a flame to a 2ft high patch of dry grass. You can see all the details of this incident by clicking here. It was the most terrifying experience of my life.
BEST: Swimming with sea turtles!
Shortly after leaving Darwin, my partner and I spent three weeks island hopping through Indonesia. One of the best things you can do whilst you are exploring the islands is snorkelling. We met a little (well, he was rather large) sea turtle whom we called Timmy on two separate occasions and I was almost skin-to-shell with it! Check out my video on Swimming With Sea Turtles for some insane footage!
WORST: Cutting my hand open on my birthday!
Whilst I was in Indonesia, I spent my birthday on the beautiful tropical island of Gili Air. After walking around the entire island in a tropical storm, the whole island was soaked. So we went back to our bungalow and decided to head to the bar for a few bottles of Bintang. I may have completely forgot that the marble floor was soaking wet and whilst holding the glass bottle in my hand slipped and ended up on my tush! Obviously, I put my hands down to break the fall and it wasn’t until everyone was staring in horror at my hand that I lifted it up to find it dripping profusely with blood. Happy birthday to me!
So there you have it! Just a few of my best and worst moments! Tell me some of yours in the comments below!
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