Tag Archives: Australia

Weeks 133 & 134: Leaving Australia, Starting SE Asia

Weeks 133 & 134: Leaving Australia, Starting SE Asia

Week 133 wasn’t very eventful, I spent some time working and then made a bit of a mistake. I got my shifts mixed up at work and ended up being about 40 mins late for work. Unfortunately they had already covered my shift by the time I realised and called them. They then cancelled my remaining shifts, in effect firing me. It seems a little harsh, but there are lots of people in Melbourne who want to work, so they feel that they can pick and choose and drop anyone at the first sign of weakness. So I didn’t get to work during my final week in Australia, but on the bright side, it also meant that I didn’t need to quit. While I wasn’t working I spent some time looking into the process to claim my tax back and also my Australian pension that I have been paying into while working there. That should get me a couple of thousand dollars for my trip.

Victoria

I flew out of Melbourne on Sunday morning and arrived in Bali late in the evening. This didn’t go very smoothly either, I was 5Kg over my weight limit and had to pay $200 or leave my bike behind. The woman at the checking counter said “Well I guess you will have to pay, you can’t leave your bike behind” and then she chuckled. I’m not sure if a wealthy customer would have found that to be friendly, light hearted customer service, but it definitely pissed me off. The day didn’t really improve either. I didn’t have any food on my flights as the food was expensive, then during my transit in Kuala Lumpur, I was forced to buy some strange sweet bread hotdogs to tide me over until I arrived in Bali. As soon as I got out of the airport I relaxed. The atmosphere here is just what I have been missing in Australia. Busy streets with lots of people on small scooters, small stalls selling cheap food and drinks, interesting building designs and a new language, in other words a culture that isn’t the same as England. My plan was to build the bike at the airport and ride it to my CouchSurfing hosts place, but I was tired so I decided to take a taxi and build the bike in the morning. I might start posting weekly again, so hopefully I will have lots of new pictures and videos uploaded soon.

Weeks 130-132: Working and Booking my Flight

Weeks 130-132: Working and Booking my Flight

Three weeks ago I decided to have one last try to get some work here in Melbourne, I made a new, simplified CV which concentrated on my work in bars and restaurants and also included a picture. After spending a few hours walking through the main areas for bars and restaurants, the last place I took a CV to was a bar close to where I am staying in St Kilda. The next day they called me in for a trial and I got a job. The following week was great, I worked full time and did over 40 hours in the week. At the end of the week I had made about $750, I walked home happy, hoping that I would have the same amount of hours for my last few weeks in Australia. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. This week I am only working part time shifts, to cover the Australia Day weekend. This meant I had some time to kill during the week, so I have put together my compilation video for the trip through Australia, which you can view below or on my YouTube channel.

CLICK HERE! to play the Australia 2013-14 compilation video!

I have also spent some time getting some of the last bits of equipment that I will take with me, hopefully I’ll be adding a page which details my equipment some time in the next week. I have also booked my flight out of Australia. I have changed my plan a little, instead of flying to East Timor I will fly to Bali and start my journey through Asia from there. This is because of the price of the flights to East Timor and also because Air Asia is much easier to arrange the transportation of sporting equipment (my bicycle) while you fly. So in two weeks (9th February) I will fly from Melbourne to Bali to begin my cycling journey. I cant wait!

Victoria

Weeks 127 – 129: Xmas, New Year and a New Bicycle

Weeks 127 – 129: Xmas, New Year and a New Bicycle

Happy New Year guys, it has been a few weeks since i last posted on here, during that time we have had Xmas and New Years Eve. For Xmas we went down to the beach with some beers and some food for a BBQ, then in the evening we had a party with the Tiger Trolley on the beach. Then on New Years Eve we went to a friends place for dinner, then to a huge free party in a park. Both really good nights that took a while to recover from.

I worked a couple of shifts in a restaurant and earned a little bit of cash, but I still haven’t found a full-time job. I was thinking of flying to Darwin next week to try to work there for my last month before I leave Australia, but after speaking with my friend Luca, I have decided to have one last try here in Melbourne. So this week I am handing out a new CV to every place I can find. Unfortunately the fact that I haven’t been working for the last two months has meant that I have had to make a change to my route plan. I was hoping to travel up the east coast of Australia for a couple of weeks before heading to South East Asia, but now I think I will try to pass through the east coast on my way to New Zealand, after I have travelled through Asia. This is so that I can work up to the last days of my visa, but also because when I look at the costs of travelling up the east coast, that money could last for so much more time in Asia that it doesn’t seem worth it at the moment.

Victoria

In my last post I mentioned that I had received confirmation of sponsorship from a company called Vivente who make touring bicycles. Well I now have my new bicycle and most of the equipment that I will need for my trip through Asia. I will be writing a page about all my equipment soon. I took it out for its first ride a couple of days ago, heading along the coast on a 60Km ride with Luca. I’m really looking forward to actually setting out on the bike and I’m sure that I will look at the bike very differently after a few weeks on the road. I also added the first of my information pages, which describes the illnesses and injuries that I have experienced in my trip. I will keep adding more information to this as time goes on and I get new experiences. If you would like to read a little about the less glamorous side of traveling, you can find it by (clicking this link), or looking under the info tab on the menu at the top of the page.

Weeks 125 & 126: Turning 30

Weeks 125 & 126: Turning 30

I have spent the last two weeks staying with Alessio and Federico in St Kilda, looking for work and making preparations for my trip through Asia. While I may have a job on the way, I haven’t as yet got anything confirmed. The problem is that I only have a limited time before my work visa finishes, although I could potentially stay in a job until the end of my working visa and then get a tourist visa to allow me to travel up the east coast of Australia. I did manage to finish my Southern and East Africa compilation video which many of you may have already seen from my Facebook page last week.

CLICK HERE! to play the Southern & East Africa 2012-13 compilation video!

Last week we took out Alessio and Federico’s ‘Tiger Trolley’. A trolley that has now been customised to house a large speaker, mixing desk and laptop as well as car batteries to power it all. We pushed it down to a park near the beach and had a party until around 4am. Last Friday (6th December) was my 30th Birthday, and the 3rd Birthday I have had since I started this trip. We celebrated by going into St Kilda for a few drinks on Thursday night, then had a group of people round to celebrate on Friday night. But the best thing to happen on Friday was getting a response to my sponsorship request to Vivente cycles. They have agreed to sponsor me, giving me $1,000 off of the cost of one of their bikes. So I should hopefully be riding around on a Vivente World Randonneur pretty soon. I have also ordered some of my other equipment for the Asia trip, details of which, will be added to my website in the coming weeks.

Victoria

Weeks 123 & 124: Melbourne

Weeks 123 & 124: Melbourne

For the last two weeks I have been staying in Melbourne, with Alessio and Federico, looking for work and researching equipment for my trip through Asia. It is now the start of summer, so there should be a lot of work opportunities opening up around the city. The only problem is the amount of other people who are also looking for work. On the day that I went to print out my CVs there were another 3 people in the same place, also printing their CVs. As you walk around in the city you can see backpackers going down the street asking for work. I’m still looking, but maybe it could take a little while. During week 123, the three of us drove out to Gippsland Lake National Park to camp for a couple of days, while Alessio and Federico had time off work, luckily they have offered to let me stay with them for the rest of the time that I am in Melbourne.

Victoria

I still have a lot of ideas for changes and updates that I want to do on my website. But the task that has been waiting for the longest time is editing my video clips and getting them up on YouTube. I finally got around to doing that this week. I have finished the Europe compilation and Part one of my Africa compilation videos. You can see these on my YouTube channel, Facebook, the Trip pages on my website or by clicking the links below:

CLICK HERE! to play the Europe 2011 compilation video!

CLICK HERE! to play the West Africa 2011-12 compilation video!

As for my Asia plans, I need to replace some of my camping gear (mattress, sleeping bag, cook set, solar charger) for around $500, plus $350 for a new passport, this time I’m getting a ‘frequent traveller’ passport with extra pages, hopefully that will last a few years. Also, after looking at the bikes that are available, I was initially planning to buy a Surly Long Haul Trucker and build it up with additional equipment (seat, racks, peddles, panniers). This would have cost about $2000 for the bike and an additional $625 for the additional equipment, for a total cost of $3125.

However, I have recently found out about an Australian company which makes touring bikes, for the same price as the Surly Long Haul Trucker I can get a Vivente World Randonneur, but the Vivente comes with some of my planned upgrades already done. So after spending $2000 on the Vivente I would only need to spend $475, saving around $150. I am actually thinking of approaching Vivente to see if there is any possibility of getting some kind of sponsorship from them. Fingers crossed.