Bondi Beach, Australia

So you’ve decided to start your adventure in Australia:  amazing!  Australia has an abundance of opportunities when it comes to travel, adventure, finding friends, finding yourself and earning some money!

Yeah I know what you’re thinking;  Australian people speak English, I speak English, you speak English, what more could there be to learn, really?!

Spend just a few days in Australia and it becomes clear that language barriers do exist….you just have to know how to get round them!

It all starts with a visit to the pub, of course., or  hotels as they’re sometimes called in Australia.  You’re ready to order a pint of whatever it is you’re drinking and suddenly notice something rather alarming;

Wait, those aren’t pint glasses!

Pubs in Sydney
Pubs in Sydney - Courtesy of Creative Commons

No, they’re schooner glasses and it’s basically the norm in Australia for a lager or ale to be served in one.  A schooner is 425ml, about 3/4 of a pint.  A friend told me a few weeks ago that beers are served this way as, if you were to sit in the Australian sun with a pint you’d probably get halfway through and find yourself drinking warm beer (never good) but I also sense it’s something to do with the stricter alcohol rules which Australia also has in place.

There are some pubs where you can buy a pint but you can also ask for something called a pot which holds 285ml  – you’ll often find that you’ll get a free pot of beer with a meal in some pubs as a meal deal.

The above applies to Queensland and Victoria but in New South Wales for some reason a pot is called a middie.

In South Australia and pot is a schooner.

In Western Australia a pot measures 575ml which, being slightly more than a pint, is usually just called a pint by all the English people living there.

Confused yet?

Maybe it’s time for a lie down……but not on the duvet.  Nope, in Australia a duvet is called a doona.

Maybe you wanted to drink at your hostel though instead of at the pub?  For this you’d need to go to the Bottle-O or bottle shop, generally an off license where you can buy 24 bottles or cans in a carton called a slab, a few stubbies (small, 375ml bottle of beer) or a tallie (a long-necked bottle of beer.)

Ooooh and don’t forget the goon; yes, it’s a gross cheap wine in a bag but it’s cheaper this way to get blotto, loose or magotted!

At some point you’re going to have to eat though right?

In Australia a pepper is a capsicum and an aubergine is an eggplant.

A courgette is a zucchini and if you want a toasted sandwich you need to ask for a jaffle.

Thai Dish - chicken with capsicum
Chicken with pepper....I mean capsicum....no, pepper!

A chicken is a chook and a lolly is what we’d probably refer to as sweets or candy.

tasty cheese is cheddar cheese and cheddar cheese is that plastic cheese normally reserved for barbeques and kids lunch boxes.

Want a sausage from the barbeque?  Ask for a snag and if you’re having it in between two pieces of bread it’s a sanger.

Many of the food names though are just shortened versions of the original.  If a word can be shortened you can guarantee that it will be in Australia:

Avocados are avos

Brecky is breakfast

Throw another shrimp (read prawn) on the barbie and get a stubbie from the Esky – an esky is an insulated container for food and drinks, usually taken to the beach to keep your beers cold!

That famous Australian dessert, the pavlova?  Call it a pav.

Need to pop to the corner shop?  Here it’s a milk bar.

And there’s no need to waste your breath asking for a cappuccino, that’s far too much effort, just call it a cap!

And these are just a few of the many ‘Australianisms’ I’ve come across!  Can you think of any more?

The East Coast of Australia, from Melbourne to Sydney (oh and Canberra…..) and finally up to Cape Tribulation in the far North of Queensland, is probably the most popular and most visited part of Australia and with a huge amount of exciting cities and beautiful beaches to explore we can see why.

But how can you travel Australia’s East Coast and see everything it has to offer?

Brisbane at night
Brisbane at night

1. Take a flight

There are two main budget airlines for domestic flights in australia are Jetstar and Virgin Australia (formerly Virgin Blue), both will get you pretty much anywhere on the East Coast, providing you’re not fussy about having to get a bus or taxi from the airport.

How about flying from Sydney or Melbourne to Ballina where, after a 30 minute bus journey you could be exploring Byron Bay or fly from Brisbane to Prosperine where you can sail, dive and snorkel your way around The Whitsunday Islands?

You can easily plan your trip to Gold Coast with Expedia and try your hand (or feet!) at surfing in Surfers Paradise, touch down at Cairns airport to explore the Great Barrier Reef, stick around Sydney to find the perfect balance between beach and city-living and while away your time in Melbourne with coffee and cake in one of its many cafes.

Flying isn’t always the cheapest option but if you’re looking to get somewhere quickly and conveniently then it’s definitely the way to go.

2. Book a bus journey

Greyhound Australia and Oz Experience both have different packages you can use to travel Australia’s entire East Coast in one go or, if you’re planning on working in Australia or just staying longer in places you like, you can opt for a 12 month pass – just use the calculator on their website to work out how many kilometres you’ll need over the year and you’re away!

The great thing about travelling by bus is that it actually stops at the most popular destinations – you can see the entire East Coast by bus easily without the hassle of airport transfers and departure lounges and you’ll easily make friends along the way.  Prepare for a bumpy ride though!

Byron Bay Beach
Byron Bay Beach

3. Hire a Campervan

Ah the traveller’s dream!  Riding around the country in a campervan, getting back to nature, cooking on a camping stove, beers on the beach – perfect.  Thankfully there are a huge amount of companies in Australia who want to make this dream come true, for a price of course.

The most popular choices are Jucy, Wicked Campers and Spaceships but there are smaller companies as well.  This is when your negotiation skills come in handy as your try and play one of against the other in a bid to get the best deal: to be honest, it works!

You can also check to see if there are any relocation deals available too – this means that, usually for something ridiculous like $1/day, you can ‘relocate’ a campervan to a specific depot in a certain amount of time.

Campervanning is the ultimate adventure and ensures that you get to see, stay and do whatever you want in your own time frame.

campervanning in Australia
campervanning in Australia

4. Hitch a Ride Part 1

This one takes a bit of courage but once you’ve stuck your thumb out a few times you’ll get used to it.  Obviously hitchhiking your way up the East Coast isn’t the most conventional way to travel and so you’re going to have to get used to being flexible.  There won’t always be someone driving where you want to go and you’ll have to change plans – it could be the best thing you ever did though; meeting new people and living one day to the next without any plans can be exciting!

Obviously if you’re going to hitchhike it goes without saying that you need to be careful and stay safe especially if you’re travelling alone.  Stay in contact with friends or family via text, keep your wits about you and don’t try and hitch a ride in the dark.

5. Hitch a ride Part 2

Wait, didn’t we already cover this?  Well, no.  Scour the noticeboards in any Australian hostel or even just pop onto Gumtree and you’ll find heaps of people already driving somewhere who want a road trip buddy or are willing to take a passenger, usually just for the cost of petrol money.

Again, this requires a lot more planning and a flexible approach but it’s definitely a fun way to meet people, have an adventure and catch a cheap ride!

How did you travel Australia’s East Coast?

This week’s #frifotos theme is…..flowers! 

Last week we were nominated for Hostelbooker’s 7 Super Shots by our very own rtwbackpacker Chris and we were thrilled!  Not only because it’s the first time rtwbackpackers has been nominated to take part in anything like this but also because it gives us a chance to share some of our favourite photos with you.

So without further ado, here are our 7 Super Shots;

The picture that…..takes my breath away

Twelve Apostles - Great Ocean Road
I drove down the Great Ocean Road in Australia in May 2011 and I knew the highlight was going to be visiting the Twelve Apostles. I even stopped myself from looking at any photos of them, terrified that I'd ruin my experience by seeing other's people's pictures! Needless to say when we arrived at the Twelve Apostles, with the sun low in the sky and the rocks standing like silhouettes against waves, it was as spectacular as I had imagined and the picture still takes my breath away - Beverley

The picture that….makes me laugh or smile

Backpacking Thailand
With my friends from home who visited us in Thailand for two weeks on Koh Phi Phi - Poi

The picture that….makes me dream

Diving in Malapascua, Philippines
Our diving boat on Malapascua Island, Philippines. I dream of swimming in this clear water everyday - Kirsty

The picture that….makes me think

Hamburg Zoo, Dan Collins
What's he dreaming of? Hamburg Zoo - Dan

The picture that….makes my mouth water

Fish Fillet Philippines
Fresh fish fillet in the Philippines - I was tired and starving and this did the trick. Poi.

The picture that….tells a story

These children followed me along the beach by Lake Malawi for hours. While her friends were all jumping around and trying to use my camera, she waited patiently until I told her she could have a go - Gemma

The picture that….I’m most proud of

Sunset on Stradbrooke Island
Drying off after a day of scuba diving on Stradbroke Island - Dan

We hope you enjoyed looking at our pictures and now it’s your turn…….

Our nominees

We nominate…….no-one!

If you want to show off your 7 Super Shots with Hostelbookers on your own blog, go ahead and say we nominated you then hit us up on Facebook or Twitter so we can see your pictures!

 

Don't forget the fake Ray Ban's and the cut off shorts that get shorter (and shorter) with every wash.

 

It’s Fashion Week which means that models from across the world will be strutting their stuff on the catwalk, showcasing the latest designer trends and inspiring high street designers to turning them into every day items we can all wear.

Will we be wearing any of these new trends though?  Probably not.  As backpackers we don’t have the room in our luggage or room in our budget to keep up with the latest in fashion.

So what do we do?

Well, we come up with our own. The RTW Backpackers team don’t claim to know a lot about fashion but if you’re confused about what you should wear if you want to rock the Backpacker Look this season then just follow these simple steps*:

Excessively Colourful Boardshorts - it's the future!

1. Girls you absolutely must wear a bikini top every day even if you’re not going to the beach.  Even if it’s raining.  Even if it would probably be more appropriate to wear a bra.

In fact, don’t even bother packing a bra.  You’re living life untethered now and if that goes for your body as well as your travels then you sure as hell don’t need the restrictive feeling of two curved pieces of wire digging into your ribs every time you move.

2. Boys the same goes for wearing anything but board shorts on your bottom half even if you’re not going anywhere near a beach.  Even if it’s cold.  Even if it would more appropriate to wear jeans or, shock horror, actual shorts.  Nothing screams Backpacker Fashion like a brightly coloured pair of board shorts on a rainy day

Even in miserable weather the flip flops remain...
Even in miserable weather the flip flops remain...

3. Don’t even think about wearing anything on your feet except flip flops.  Any brand except Havianas is unacceptable.  Yes we know they’re more expensive than your average family car but there are times when you have to make sacrifices in the name of fashion.  And this is one of them. Failing that you could follow in Chris’s (lack of) shoes and ditch footwear altogether – just watch out for the glass!

New hair
Dan decided not to cut his hair for a while...

4. Don’t cut your hair.  Ever.

5. Don’t style your hair.  Ever.  If you don’t look like you’ve just been for a dip in the sea, rolled around in the sand and dragged through a hedge backwards, you’re not doing it right.

6. Make sure that 90% of the time you’re wearing a singlet or vest top with a beer logo on it.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to Bali or Thailand, buy one off eBay and do everything you can to make it look like you’ve had it forever

7. Girls if you do feel like you have to do something to your hair you can’t go better than flipping your head upside down, twisting your hair around and securing with a bobby pin.  Proceed with caution though; pull it too tight and you run the risk of looking like you’ve tried to give yourself some kind of DIY facelift.

8. Buy an anklet, making sure it’s one that actually ties on so you have no choice but to wear it at all times.  Don’t cut it off when it starts rotting from getting wet in the sea or the shower.  Buy a new one and hope no-one notices.

Backpacker Fashion; short shorts!
Who wears short shorts? We wear short shorts!

9. Girls you definitely need to arm yourself with the shortest pair of short denim shorts possible.  Remember to wash them on a hot wash so that by the time you’ve worn them for the millionth time they’re so small that it’s practical illegal.

10. Wear as many hippy-looking bracelets as possible

11. Buy some Aladdin pants in the colour of your choice.  It doesn’t matter if they make your bum look huge or that they’re really unflattering, they’re comfortable and that’s all that matters for you now that you’re travelling, right?!

*None of the following advice should be taken seriously or, indeed, literally.

Welcome to RTW Backpackers!

We’re 7 travel bloggers/backpackers from the UK, in fact you might know some of us already!

We’re all based in different countries right now but we’re coming together online to bring you our funniest, most scandelous, sexy, sometimes alcohol-fuelled, no-holds-barred stories from our travels so far as well as some fantastic guest posts from some other travellers who took up our offer of beer and internet-loving as bribery for writing for us!

Ok not really.

But at the same time we’ll also be sharing some helpful stuff too (because obviously we’re not just about beer and shagging) so that you can get all your backpacking questions answered by real travellers and get out there and see the world for yourself!

So if you like what you see, share this post on Facebook or Twitter and help us take over the world!!! Ahem…..we mean, keep writing this super amazing blog…..

“So who the hell are you then?!” I hear you cry.

Calm yourself.

We may have been a bit secretive lately but we’re now ready to come out of hiding (read: the pub) and reveal who we actually are!

So in no particular order…..

Monica from The Travel Hack

Chris from Backpacker Banter

Dan from Adventures With Dan

Beverley from Pack Your Passport

Kirsty and Poi from No Place To Be

Gemma from Gap Daemon

We’d love you all to become part of the RTW Backpackers community so if you’re not already, feel free to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks!

 

 

If you’ve just graduated from uni chances are right now you’re at a cross-roads in your life where you’re not really sure where to go next.  I guess it’s kind of like one of those ridiculous quizzes found in women’s magazines; “You’ve just graduated from University, do you a) apply for a post-graduate course?  b) start applying for jobs?  or c) travel?

The trouble with those quizzes though is that sometimes they don’t even give you another option like d) All of the above.  I think I’m probably a bit biased, but before you start scouring the Seek website for the post-grad job you’ve always wanted, think again.

You’ve probably got people telling you that if you don’t do something with your degree now then it all will have been a massive waste; all that money blown, look at the debt it’s got you in, 3 years down the drain blah blah blah. 

At this point my advice to you would be to turn around to all of those people bringing you down and shout, extremely loudly; “My degree isn’t going to expire!!!” because the way some people talk it’s almost like if you don’t use your degree right NOW then somehow it’s going to lose it’s value.  I mean, have these people SEEN antiques roadshow?!  Things get better with age?!

You’ll always have your education.  You’ll always have that degree under your belt and even though that amazing post-grad job on Seek probably won’t be there for ever, there will be other jobs in the future.

And despite what other people would have you believe, travel can actually broaden your mind, educate you and prepare you for your chosen career in more ways than you could ever imagine.  Don’t worry that travel will look bad on your C.V because it wont:

When you travel you’re constantly planning your life, constantly dealing with changes in situation.  You’re constantly learning new things and experiencing different cultures.  You’re socialising with people you wouldn’t normally talk to and improving your communication skills.

You might not have been sitting at a desk for the best part of your twenties but that doesn’t make you unemployable.  In fact, I think it makes you even more of a catch.

Do you really want to be sat at your desk in twenty years time, only to suddenly be hit with the realisation that maybe you made the wrong decision?  I mean yes you have a gorgeous house, a great job, a nice car and maybe if you’ve been exceptionally silly you’ve gone and grown yourself a couple of babies.  These are all good things.  Great things!

But that’s what they are; things.

Things will be around forever, but your life experiences are something that you have to find for yourself.  That’s not to say you have to start backpack hunting, like NOW; I worked for 2 years after graduating not even realising that at aged 24 I would be jetting off to Australia and I’m really glad that I gained some experience in a working environment, but give yourself the option at least.

At least consider experiencing something out of your comfort zone.  At 26, I am still learning so much about the world and about myself, and I honestly don’t think that that would have been the case had I stayed at home.