Bad things come in threes

I knew that my time abroad couldn’t go without some hick ups. My time so far has been amazing and seriously NOTHING bad has happened. Until last week..

First was the Skype call I had with mom. My grandma was in the hospital, it looked very very very bad, and I should prepare myself for the worst.. I did and thank god she somehow managed to get a little better. She probably had a stroke (the doctors are still not sure) and is in a special home where they can help her get better.

Second was my foot. I managed to drop a full trashcan filled with glass bottles on my big toe. I have been crippled ever since. However, this wasn’t the end I also have a blister the size of Australia on the side of my foot. Due to this I can only wear flip flops and everyone can see my disgusting foot.

So number three.. Is the worst of the worst. My laptop is dead. It was just a stupid accident, someone spilled their drink over it. But now it is dead.. I’m sooooooo sad, like I literally cried. And not even just because of the laptop, because I know that with my insurance I’ll be able to get it fixed or get a new one. But because of the fact that one of my placement reports was on there (and no where else). And I will probably have to rewrite it all.

I hope that nothing else happens, I should be fine because they say bad things come in threes (I hope these are bad enough). It even made me a bit homesick. Just because I’m so helpless here. I can’t even call my insurance because it is so freaking expensive from here, and because the Netherlands is having a national holiday.

I’ll be going to Cairns tomorrow to drop my laptop off, so keep your fingers crossed and hope that nothing is really badly wrong. I’ll let you know when I know anything else.

Cheers.

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Queensland adventures and more..

It has been a while, and I’m terrible sorry about that. The good news is I’m still alive! So, what has been happening in the last month. At the start of April mom and Dolores came to visit me. We did some fun trips (Great Ocean Road, Winery tour, etc) and saw all the sites in Melbourne. It was so good to finally show someone from home where I’ve been living and why I think Melbourne is so amazing!

Almost straight after mom and Dolores left I had to start packing for my next adventure. Because, at the end of April I moved to Port Douglas, this is a tiny little town in the top of Queensland just above Cairns. Here a new United Backpackers is opened and they needed someone to help out there. I have now been here for 2 weeks and I have to say that they made a great decision by opening this hostel. The dry season just started here, the temperature never really goes below 26 during the day and the evenings are also hot.. You however, don’t hear me complaining, I’m finally getting my tan on and Melbourne weather started to remind me of home a little bit too much!

I wasn’t sure about how long I’d be staying here, initially they talked about just two weeks, then it became three weeks and it was left on that for a little while. Today I got the message that I will be staying until after Carnivale, this is the biggest happening in town that takes place every year at the start of the dry season. There are loads of different activities, its an all week party with music, races and way more. Carnivale ends around the end of May, this means that in the end I have been here for about 4 weeks.

When I get back to Melbourne I almost finished my internship! Time went so fast.. I just cant believe that its almost over! This week I also started planning my trip for after my internship finishes. My first stop will be Bali!! I’m leaving on the 29th from Melbourne and will go on a 7 day organised trip with Wanderlust Bali, check out their website it looks so amazing!! On the 6th I’ll be flying back to Cairns, here I’ll stay for just a few days. I’m also planning on going back to Port Douglas for a few days at that time. From there I have till the 19th of August to travel all the way down back to Melbourne. I have to be back on the 19th of August because…. I booked my flight home! I’ll be leaving Melbourne in the morning and will arrive in Amsterdam on the 20th around 8.30AM.

So.. That was it for now, I’ll let you know when I’ve planned my entire trip down the east coast and show you my itinerary for everyone that is interested!

Cheeeers

Daily life + some fun stuff

It has been a while, time literally flies by here. In the one and a half month I’ve been here most of the time I have been working. I work from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 to 5. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for a lot of things. I do loads of stuff on my weekends of course, I try and see something new every week! I for example have been to Melbourne zoo, future festival and loads of other places! During the week after work I usually hang out at the hostel or go out with friends. When I go out its usually to the park or anywhere else thats free, everything here costs a @##$@#-load of money!

So, you might be wondering what I do at work? If you don’t you can just skip this part.. I often do many different things and just whatever anyone asks of me. Every week I work on my Green project, this means measuring energy, water and waste, but also coming up with a plan to make this place more sustainable. I also do the rates and ratings on our hostel and that of the competition. I look at what kind of reviews we have gotten and put this in a big excel sheet,so that we can see how we’ve been doing. Pinterest is also part of my daily work. I set up the account and have been trying to gain more followers (which is honestly incredibly hard!). Every Friday morning I make pancakes for the whole hostel, this is the only free breakfast that we have and is very popular. Saturdays I work at reception and just help out wherever I can. The hostel has had an occupancy between 96 and 100 % since I’ve been here. This means that almost every day there are between 60 and 100 check outs and check ins, hard work! I’m still getting more tasks, this is mainly because we are opening a new hostel in Port Douglas in Queensland, we will open on the 1sth of April.

Talking about the new hostel. I’m gonna go up there!! I’m so excited about it, I will probably go around the 25th March and be back on the 5th of April, this means I get to be there for the opening! Another super fun and really exciting thing is that Kayleigh is coming over, NEXT WEEKEND! I’m sooooo looking forward to it. Just like all my other friends and family I miss her loads and can’t wait to catch up!

I have been meeting loads of people here and I feel so blessed to have met them. One ofIMG_0070 the girls here is kind of a look a like of me, people mix us up loads and when we are out together they ask if we are sisters. So here a picture of me and Louise (and Mel haha) and you be the judge, do we really look that much a like?

Last weekend I went to Future festival here in Melbourne and it was AMAAAAZEBALLS. I haven’t had that much fun in a while. I also got to see some of the best DJ’s in the world, of course they were all Dutch.. I also got to see Drake and Timmy Trumpet, gosh it was so good! Me and my friends were all dressed up in onesies. Soooo, also some pictures from me and my buddies in our onesies. Such a good day though, can’t express how much fun I had!

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Living in a hostel

Today I have been in Australia for exactly one month. This means that I also have been living in a hostel for a month. I love love love United Backpackers and all the colleagues and many friends I have made here, but living in a hostel is not always as much fun as it seems.

When I first heard about my room it was said that I had “the best” room in the hostel, it is a 4 dorm ensuite for women (this means that I have a bathroom in my room). So sharing a room with 3 other girls doesn’t seem like such a bad thing right!? I have to say that most of the time it isn’t, but some days I can literally kill the people that I have to sleep with.

A few weeks ago I had these two german girls in my room that were only there for 2 days, we had a little talk but didn’t really click so I just went on with my day. I knew that they were supposed to leave on that specific morning and was surprised that when I went to bed the night before their stuff was still spread out all over the room. Around 4 AM I was woken up by an alarm, but fell asleep straight after that, unfortunately it wasn’t for long. 5 minutes after the alarm sounded the two girls starting packing their backpacks, it took them about 40 minutes of looking through plastic bags (they make such an annoying sound!!!) and zipping their bags open a trillion times before they where ready, at least I thought they were ready. I heard the door open and close and finally got to go back to bed peacefully. Just when I finally started to sleep, I got woken up again!! More zipping and plastic bags and annoying noises. Apparently the girls thought that it was smart to go to breakfast in between their packing and finish their job afterwards. At 5.30 AM they finally left the room with all their shit and I could sleep. Only to be woken up by my own alarm around 7.45..

Another point of annoyance is the mess people make. The room is fairly small and even though I usually put my clothes everywhere. I try to keep it all in my suitcase. Right now I have two girls that are just incredible. They literally put there shit over the whole room. I can’t even walk to my bed without tripping over some bra’s and shorts.

Sorry for all that whining about people. There are also some really cool and amazing things that have happened because I live in a hostel. You have a party in the bar EVERY night. The bar is in the basement an isolated really well, so you don’t hear a thing of it in the rooms. There are two nights where we can get a free meal (taco’s and hot dogs) and there is a free breakfast (which I have to make for everyone, but this also means that I can eat an unlimited amount of pancakes every Friday morning!!) Something else are the people here. Yes, there are always those few that you can’t stand. But I have to say that I met the most amazing and interesting people whilst I’m just sitting in the kitchen eating my breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I do miss my privacy sometimes, but since I work here I also know the best spots to go to where I can be alone. For example: right now I am sitting in the bar. No one ever comes here during the day so Its just really nice and quiet. Some other good news is that in approximately two weeks I will be able to move to the staff room. This means that I have to say goodbye to my own bathroom and window to the outside. But I will gain so much more room for all my stuff and no more guests checking in and out every single day!

To end this story, just a random picture of me with trousers on my head.

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White Night @ Melbourne

Two nights ago it was White night here in Melbourne. It is sort of a culture festival that takes over the whole CBD (Central Business District) so the centrum of Melbourne. It takes place on the 21st of February and goes from 7pm till 7am. This year there where over 1 million people in the area to look at the art! There was so much to see and to do. I’ll just show the my pictures and videos and you can create your own opinion about the evening. All I can say is that it was pretty spectacular, maybe not worth 1 million visitors spectacular, but very impressive at least! Don’t forget to watch the video at the end!

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Great Ocean Road & Grampians National Park

Last week I went on a 3 day trip that took me over the Great Ocean Road (GOR) and through Grampians National Park. The whole trip was in one word AMAZING! With a group of only 15 people from all over the world we left Melbourne to start on our adventure that would first take us to the GOR. Our guide told us some amazing stories along the way starting of with one about this road. It was first build to give work to the soldiers that just returned from WWI and as a memorial to all those that had fallen. This makes the road that is 243 km the largest war memorial in the world.

After several hours with many stops to look at the beautiful coast line we stopped at a small campsite where various birds (a king arrow was one of them I believe) and koala’s could be spotted from up close. A guy that was on a different trip was even handing out birdseeds, the birds loved it an came to sit on your arms, shoulders and head just to get some of it! The koala’s were asleep and less entertaining than the birds, they are however, very cute.

The next stop on the trip was the Great Otway National Park rainforest, here some of the biggest trees in the world can be found. There where also these really big spongy ferns that where almost 2 to 3 meters high.

Later on in the day we finally saw the amazing wonder of the GOR, the twelve apostels. It is not until you see them in real life that you know why everyone who has seen them says its just an amazing sight. They truly are something  you could look at forever.

In the evening we slept in a backpackers hostel and after an early start we got the chance to say our final goodbyes to the ocean before we headed to Grampian National Park. The Grampians where ruled by three aboriginal tribes before the white people came and took over the land. We visited a trillion year old vulcano (I don’t know how old it exactly was but the guide was talking about ice ages and all that..) and saw some emu’s in the wild, due to a bushfire last year not a lot of other wildlife could be found in the area. We drove through a large farming area where you could still see the damage that the bushfires had caused over the years. The guide however, told us that bushfires are needed to regenerate the nature and without them much flora and fauna would be gone.

The second night we slept in Halls Gap, this is the town in the national park and this is the place where I tasted my first piece of Kangaroo meat. We had a nice BBQ where everyone got the try some of the Kangaroo meat, I always thought that I wouldn’t like it, but I did. It is one of the nicest meats I have ever had to be honest.. And no, it doesn’t taste anything like chicken.

On the third day we had to get up at 6 in the morning because of an three hour hike we would be doing that morning. Temperatures would get up to almost 36 degrees during the day, so to be able to finish the hike without a heatstroke we needed to leave as early as possible. First we walked through an area called the Grand Canyon to get to one of the highest points called the Pinnacle where we had a beautiful view of the national park.

If you want to see more pictures, just go to my Facebook page 🙂 : https://www.facebook.com/annepel1990/media_set?set=a.10205850466123878.1073741842.1324653284&type=3

The video at the bottom is one of all three days!

First week

Heeeya.

I can’t believe I’ve been here for over a week already. Time really seems to fly! I said my jetlag goodbye about two days ago and have been enjoying the Melbourne weather on my days off. They say Melbourne has all four seasons in one day, and that is definitely true! I guess I’ve been very fortunate with the weather and only saw rain 2 times. In the first days I mainly explored Melbourne and didn’t really do anything worth mentioning. Oh yes maybe. They have these two streets that are filled with graffiti and look sooooo amazing! I’ll put some pictures in at the end of this post!

Last week I started working at the hostel. I have every Sunday and Monday off so my weekday starts on Tuesday. I had a little meeting with Jess on Tuesday morning, she is my supervisor here at United Backpackers, and we talked about the company what my expectations are and what my tasks will be later on. After that I started working at reception. It apparently is very important to know how everything works at reception since it is the heart of the company. It took me about two days to be more confident with checking people in and out and be able to work with the system they use. I really enjoy working at reception, I love talking to all the people and hearing what they have been up to and what their plans are for the rest of their trip. Most of the stories are fairly similar but there are those few special ones that are just amazing and I’m so jealous that they can go and travel already!

From next week on I’ll be doing more marketing, promotion and backoffice work and only help out at reception at the peak hours when everyone is checking in an out. I will still have a full day of reception work every Saturday so that is fun! I’ll also start working on my ‘Green’ project, which I’m really looking forward to. Australia in general has been working a lot on becoming more aware of what is going on with the environment and trying to help to hostel become more environmentally aware is an interesting challenge.

Tomorrow I will be leaving for a three day trip to the Great Ocean Road and Grampians. I’m so excited since I will be seeing my first koala’s, kangaroos and wallabies! I’ll let you know how it was somewhere next week!

Jetlag

I thought that I had a little bit of a Jetlag when I went to Asia. Now I know I was wrong. I am sooooo tired right now, but I’m determined to stay awake till at least 11, so that I hopefully will be over this thing soon!

Maybe I should first tell you how my trip went. My biggest worry was that I would sit next to a fat, smelly person or someone with a little kid. Luckily this was not the case! My first flight was kind of OK, I don’t really know how good a flight of 12 hours can be, but I guess it was manageable. I tried sleeping, this was however not really working for me, so in the end I watched about 5 different movies and entertained myself with some games. I know hold the high score in Tetris on my plane.

The 3 hour wait in Kuala Lumpur was not too bad, I had a really nice hamburger for breakfast and watched some of my series. The second flight I really wanted to sleep and managed to get a few hours in. This flight was luckily only 7 hours!

The landing in Melbourne went smooth and even though I had nightmares about customs (TIP: don’t watch border security before you leave for Australia) everything went very smooth and I could walk straight through. Upon arrival I took a bus and a tram and arrived at the hostel around 11 at night. After sending a quick message home that everything was ok I fell in a deep sleep for exactly 4 hours. I woke up at 5 and couldn’t fall asleep after that.

On my first day I just walked around, set up a bank account and got an Australian phone number. From now on please send WhatsApp messages to my Australian nr (you can find it at the end of this post) I won’t be checking my Dutch nr a lot since it only works when I have wifi.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with Jess, she is my supervisor here at United Backpackers. I will hear more about the planning and my tasks at that moment, so whenever I have something interesting I will let you know!

My Australian nr: +61 452 532 331

To be continued..

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