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Diary

EUROPE

Europe

Food, Culture, Spectacular landmarks. What’s not to love about Europe? It’s easy to get around with some of the best train and bus systems in the world, people in most countries speak at least a little English and you are never too far from the comforts of home. It can be a little bit on the pricy and crowded type, but for the novice traveller who wants to see amazing sights and not get too far out of their comfort zone, you can’t beat it. Although a little on the easy side, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all the same. The Mediterranean area boasts fantastic beaches, nightlife and a window into the ancient civilisations of Greece and Rome, it’s a dream for a history nut (like yours truly). The Eastern area of Europe is home to an area that has only very recently emerged from behind the iron curtain of communism and provide a fascinating insight into the cold war and former U.S.S.R. The Western area provides amazing museums, and a fascinating culture from the Moulin Rouge in Paris to Oktoberfest in Germany, it also provides some great venues and festivals to enjoy. Scandinavia is also an area not to be forgotten about, with some natural wonders from the Norweigian fjords to Aurora Borealis, making this an enchanting area even in winter. Where ever you end up, it’s impossible not to enjoy Europe.

Africa

The so called "dark continent". Dark my ass. You will never go to a place so full of colour, so full of happiness or so life altering. Be ready to kick back and be the most easy going you have every been, because as the locals say, "TIA" (This is Africa) and don't be too upset when you go to order something off a menu that looks amazing and your kindly waiter says, "Is Finish" because hey, TIA. East Africa is the place to be for safari's and big game spotting, and southern Africa is great for meeting locals and seeing a different landscape every hundred kilometers, don't overlook central Africa, the path less trodden, although it will never be a holiday, you will come away with a completely new perspective on life. When you leave for Africa remember to take a jumper, or coat, a good one because it does get cold, don't be left with one flimsy cardigan like your truly was in the Simeon Mountains in Ethiopia. As wonderfulness aside, it can be a dangerous place, but not in the way you might think. Unlike most places that have the danger element, its not the people in Africa you have to worry about, which makes it less dangerous. Make sure you take a good and I mean good mosquito repelent and make sure you going on your first overland safari with a well known company, I would highly recommend Dragoman Overland who I had the pleasure of travelling with on my Cape Town to Cairo adventure in 2010.

North America

The road is long and this place is made for road trips. Driving across the continent is an experience in changing landscapes, from state to state the scenery changes as suddenly as state lines are crossed. The urban sprawl of California, into the giant deserts of Nevada and Utah then into the mountains and forests of Colorado and into the sweeping plains of Wyoming….and well you get the idea. The cities are amazing, don’t sell LA short, there is much more to do there than you realise and New York, any less than a week is a waste of time. America is the land where everything is larger than life, including the food of which the quality is also amazing so be prepared to put on two dress sizes…trust me it’s worth it. The people are friendly, and mostly incredulous when they meet people doing the great road trip across their great nation.

Latin America

To me, basically the final frontier and up until I went to Mexico in 2015 I hadn't stepped foot on the continent. I find the ancient cultures of the area fascinating and best of all, I know nothing about them, so I find I can just enjoy the guides speils and be ignorant for once. My one tip, is if you are going to stay in a resort, (which was a compromise for me) spend some money and make sure the food is good. Hopefully there will be more coming in this area soon.

Asia

A very diverse continent were every country is totally different. South east Asia is very fast paced with lots of temples and stupors and the rules are somewhat lax. While great for temples and culture, you do also fine "that" tourist there who likes cheap drinks, and likes to party. Do some research before you go and find out about these spots so you can potetially avoid them. North Asia is a little more civilised, especially in places liek Japan, which I think are far more civilised that Australia. Such amazing manners and fabulous food, be prepared to walk, a lot. China was a bit of a surprise, I expected it to be a lot more crowded, even on the subway in Beijing in peak hour it was just about the same as Sydney, that is except during Golden week when the entire population of China descends on Beijing. If I had to recommend one country in Asia though it would be Mongolia, the great big empty land...solitude at its finest.

Middle East

When most people think of the Middle East, they think danger and they think war zone, they also think avoid. And yes while you should most certainly take heed and not go to the actual war zone, a lot of the area is a peace and is quite safe for tourists, not to mention well worth the visit. The Middle East is actually home to two of my top three countries, Egypt & Turkey which are in my top three not just because of the jaw dropping sites, but also because the friendliness of the people in these places is second to none in the world. If you don't like crowds of people it's also wonderful, as most places (especially Egypt at the moment) are empty and you can have them all to yourself. The only issue with many of the Middle Eastern countries is something I like to call the hassle factor, the over enthusiastic locals trying to sell you stuff can get to you at times, however with a thick skin and a strong "La Shukran" (no thank you) most situations can easily managed.

Australia

My home country and I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen much of it. The best of it is definitely in the north, my favourite city is Darwin and there are some spectacular waterfalls to swim in, just make sure you go with a guide who will tell you which waterfalls are safe from crocodiles, believe me this is not a joke, they are everywhere. My home town in Sydney, which most people tell me is smaller than they imagined and very crowded at the best of time. You can't beat the view of the harbour though. Melbourne is a great city, I've been down there on a trip just to eat. Just remeber its a huge country/continent and you need a large amount of time here, you can't go to Cairns for the day from Sydney. Oh and contrary to popular belief not everything is out to kill you.

All Photos & Content by Kristina Wilson ©