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Today, I don’t have anything profound to say, anything exciting to share or any new stories.
Nothing exciting happened;that sometimes happens, even when you’re traveling the world.

Why am I blogging about nothing then?
Well, I’m not.
Today inspired me to write a post about ‘those’ days that happen every so often during travel.

In short; travel is exhausting. It’s also amazing, inspiring, educational, eye opening and a million other things, but it does get exhausting.
Going to a new place every day, every week at the most. The travel time to actually get to places. Unpacking. Repacking. Time differences. Organizing tickets. Figuring out maps. Overcoming language barriers.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining in the least. I’m extremely fortunate to be able to travel as much as I have, and I’m well aware and thankful for that.
I’ve seen more of the world, met more people and experienced more than some people triple my age, and that’s something I’ll never take for granted.

That said, regardless of whether you’re in the same city you’ve lived in your whole life, or a city you’ve only been in for a few hours; you’re bound to have bad days occasionally. It happens to all of us.

Today was one of those days. My body was protesting from lack of sleep and just genuine exhaustion. I couldn’t find any motivation to endure my day of mundane tasks I needed to complete before I leave the country again tomorrow. My mood was less than good. I miss home. I miss familiarity. I miss my mum doing my laundry.

Most days, I’m in love with the idea of not knowing. Not knowing who the next person I’ll meet is. Not knowing what I’ll be doing tomorrow, or even what country I might end up in. Not knowing when this crazy travel adventure will end.
But there are days when all I’d like is some form of routine. I’d like to know that I have to get up a certain time, to go to a job where I know exactly what’s expected of me, then to come home and know exactly who will be there.

I know I sound like I’m complaining, and maybe I am a little bit.
I’m traveling the world, I’m well aware of that, I don’t need to be reminded.
But sometimes, I miss home, I miss my family and I miss my friends and I miss even the smallest little routine things from my home life, and that’s okay.

I am a traveler; an adventurer; whatever you’d like to call me. And I wouldn’t change that for anything. But I’m also a daughter and a sister and a best friend, with a home and I’m allowed to wish I could trade just one day to go and be those things, every once in a while.

At the Dublin bus station, I saw someone display the very definition of ‘bad day’.
I watched a girl, holding a hot chocolate, stand up and proceed to spill her hot chocolate over a 2 metre radius.
Which is okay, it happens to the best of us. Except! The very same girl was then sitting across from me on the bus, with a new hot chocolate. And she somehow managed to spill this one, all down her jeans, all over her shoes and foot and the floor underneath her. And was stuck standing in hot chocolate for the next 2 hours. Poor girl.

I arrived back in Belfast with the same mission as the first time I’d arrived; my washing. Although it was no longer optional.
I was invited to do a taxi tour of Belfast, with another Australian girl, while in the middle of my laundry. Being super keen to see Belfast; I braved the freezing cold in my very last pair of clean pants; tights.
Safe to say; I was cold.

Our tour guide took us all around West Belfast, the area of the city that’s famous for it’s wall murals. He also told us the history of the city.
West Belfast is separated by a series of gates that open early in the morning, and close late at night. These gates separate the Catholics and the Protestants of the city. And although things are more peaceful these days, neither side trusts the other enough to leave the gates open overnight.
Belfast has a rich history I was completely unaware of.

After the tour, I headed down to the Christmas Markets. I’d seen them from the taxi and was determined to go before I left; I can never resist pretty lights.
The markets were more like a food festival, compacted full of people. The setting was lovely though.

After enjoying a lovely travel day back to Edinburgh, complete with meeting another Aussie, of course, I booked a last minute train ticket to spend the weekend with my cousin Susan and her family in York.
Edinburgh also has an incredible winter festival. I didn’t get to see much, but if Edinburgh’s beauty in itself isn’t enough to make you want to go; plan to go around December. Amazing.

I went to York with the intention of just meeting my cousin and her husband and children. I didn’t really know much about the place and wasn’t expecting too much.
What I found was a beautiful, old city. With cobble streets and tons of cute little stores.
After a morning of visiting York Minster, I was left to my own devices to explore the city. York also has a Christmas market type festival in December.
An hour, some vodka and decadent flavored hot chocolate later, I was sold on York.
Such a pretty city, with a lovely balance of history and shopping.
The city itself is surrounded by an old wall from the vikings. There are 4 or 5 entrance gates into the city and you can walk along part of the wall.

After York, I found myself back in Morecambe, with no plans for the next few days.
After a bit of research, I’d booked a 4 day trip to Bruges in Belgium. Why not?

I headed back to London, endured a long bus ride and found myself in my first European country ever. Belgium was also the first non-english speaking country I’ve visited, luckily most people spoke English or I would have been in for a very interesting weekend.

Bruges can’t be explained. You could use any number of adjectives and it wouldn’t even cover half of just how unbelievably characteristic and beautiful the city is.
The canals, the streets that smell like waffles, the Christmas Markets, the little squares down alleys that are overly expensive cafe’s and the Belfry tower majestically overlooking the entire city.
Bruges was beautiful. But overly expensive and the people are incredibly rude. And there is also no tap water, apparently.

Friday night, my roomie Ronan & I did a night walking tour of the city with crazy Kai. Then went to a beer tasting at one of the hostels. 9.2% beer? Yes, please.
The beer tasting lead to an insane night out in Bruges.

I met some incredible people in Bruges, tasted more beer than ever before, drank more beer than I have in my entire life, ate fries with mayonnaise and crepes and spent a ridiculous amount of money.
Bruges, I love you. And will never forget you.

I leave on Tuesday to start my tour of Europe for the next 20 days. Next stop? Paris!

Níl agam ach beagáinín Gaeilge

Translation: I only speak a little Irish.
Meaning: I, personally, speak 0 Irish at all.

Posting from Dublin today!
After an incredible few days in Scotland, I decided I should check out Ireland while over this side of the world. After a full travel day, involving 2 trains, a bus, a ferry ride and another bus, I arrived late on Monday night in Belfast, Ireland.
For what looked like a nightmare after I booked it online, getting to Belfast was relatively easy. It was straight forward, and even enjoyable.

When I arrived in Belfast, I quickly learned that the taxi drivers are extremely friendly and made my first friend in very soon after arriving. I checked into the cosy Global Village hostel, with the intention of getting my laundry done and having an early night because I had an 8am bus.

2 days later and the number of clean clothes I currently possess is rapidly decreasing.
The early night part didn’t happen either.
I did meet 2 lovely girls, from Australia. BIG SURPRISE THERE.
The hostel also has a cute little dog of some sort running around. Global village had a kitchen, which for someone who can’t really cook, I got extremely excited about.

I have, apparently, been spoiled in my last few hostels, as the bathroom & showers have been inside the rooms.
3 flights of stairs to go to the bathroom? Nah, I’ll wait till morning.

After a super short sleep in an insanely comfortable bed, I got up at 6am to catch my bus. I successfully walked to the bus station, without any major directional issues.  I always plan on being everywhere at least 2 hours before I probably need to be, just in case. Then I spend hours waiting around, and tell myself that next time, I’ll get there a little bit later.
Next time never comes. Because I still continuously do it.

So, after multiple hours of waiting, I boarded a bus heading to Dublin. The Goldline 200 isn’t just any bus. This bus had wifi. Which was like Christmas, until it stopped working.
All good things must come to an end, right?

The trip to Dublin is only 2 hours, but it felt a lot shorter. The Irish country side is like you’d imagine; very green.
I arrived in Dublin yesterday morning, dumped my stuff at the hostel and decided to go exploring, armed only with a map that I hadn’t opened yet.

I walked St Georges street, and strolled through the markets, shopped on Grafton Street then eventually made my way to St Stephens Green, an absolutely beautiful park in the city.

Things were going well, then disaster struck. And by disaster, I mean I spent the next 2 hours wandering aimlessly in completely the wrong direction, through the suburbs of Dublin.
I must have looked lost, because a few lovely strangers offered to help myself and my map figure out where we were going. I politely declined, determined to figure it out for myself. And I did.
Yesterday was a big day for me, as I also managed to cook dinner that wasn’t microwavable, and live to tell you all about it.

Side note: There’s currently a man sitting next to me, looking utterly confused because he can’t figure out how to open his sandwich box. It’s more amusing than I feel it should be.

This morning, after a much needed and appreciated 9am sleep in, I decided to join a walking tour offered through the hostel. Normally, I’m all for walking the city by myself and figuring it out from street signs. But considering how well yesterday went, I felt like I’d have a better chance of actually seeing something Dublin is famous for, if I let someone else take charge.

And it was a decent tour. I met some interesting people, made some new friends- and by that, I mean I was asked to keep in contact and couldn’t really decline without being rude, and heard some awesome Irish stories that I’d never have known otherwise.
My backpack full of dirty laundry is calling my name as I’m writing this, but I just.. I can’t make myself do it. I think I should be able to find a clean shirt for tomorrow at least.
My mum will be so proud right about now. Haha.

Overall, Dublin is nice. It’s a nice city, Stephens Green is stunning, Temple Bar is super interesting to just walk around. BUT! It doesn’t have that spark. It doesn’t make me WANT to go out and explore until I literally can’t walk anymore, that other places have had. That said, I think I’m indifferent. I’m glad I’ve seen Dublin, I’ve experienced it and I wouldn’t discourage people from visiting, it is a nice city. It’s just not my favourite. And that’s okay.
There are millions of cities in the world, it would be unrealistic to assume I’d fall in love with every single one.

When I first got to London, I was told by multiple sources that I should try to get to Camden while I was in London. I’d never even heard of Camden and it was described as a massive market.

After a day shopping at the Portobello Street markets in Notting Hill, which were amazing, I thought I’d keep the market theme going the following day.

Camden is extremely accessible via the Underground, which is always appreciated. And basically, the whole town is one giant market. While most stores are similar and sell your general tourist items, there are occasional unique stores.
We explored Camden for a few hours. It’s in between your normal market, where you’re free to look and ask for assistance when/if required, and the kind of market where every second person wants to sell their products to you and are relentless.
The middle of Camden Loch is one huge food court, with every variety of cuisine imaginable. You could go every day and try something different and it’ll take you about a month to get through them all.
We also did the Camden Pub crawl. We went on a Thursday, so the atmosphere, and diversity of people wasn’t that great, the venues were decent though and there were free shots. Free shots are always good.

While in London, I also got caught in the middle of the Breaking Dawn Part 2 premiere craziness in Piccadilly Circus. I wasn’t there for the premiere, had I known it was actually on, I may have been. I did see The Lion King though, which I can guarantee was a million times better.
Hands down, THE best musical I have ever, ever seen. The costumes were amazing, the music was amazing, the acting was amazing. Just amazing, amazing, amazing.

I spent a few days in Knebworth, a little village about 20 minutes out of London, at the beginning of this week. I met some lovely, lovely people, absolutely beautiful children and I saw a pretty fountain in Stevenage.

Knebworth was the end of the planned part of my trip so far. I headed back to London on Wednesday, after surviving a 24 hour bug that nearly killed me, and leaving with a nice little cold.
I had an interesting encounter with a drunk Australian guy, it went something along these lines;

I was sleeping on a bottom bunk.
And at like 1am, this drunk, old Aussie guy stumbled into our room, casually talking to himself., trying to find which bunks were free.
UNFORTUNATELY, very unfortunately, the bunk above me was free, so he decided to sleep there. Except! Under the bunks, there are lockable cages, to store your stuff in And there are 2- one for each bunk, and I wasn’t aware it really mattered which you used.
I’d been using the one near my feet, meaning the empty one was near my head. This guy pulls this torch, out of nowhere, and I was facing the wall. And he starts shining it in my eyes, and slurring ‘Are you awake sweetheart?’. Really mate, it’s 1am.
So I kind of half turned over and was accused of using the wrong cage. I wasn’t aware it really mattered.
Apparently, my lovely friend agrees that it’s not really all that big of a deal..


Our room had like a separate bathroom & toilet, but next to each other. Another guy from my dorm had been in the toilet for a while, before the drunk guy even got there, but didn’t lock the door, obviously.

So drunk guy has gone to use the toilet, opened the door and saw the other guy, then just kinda stood there with the door open…
Next I know, he’s swaying next to my bed, for whatever reason, and the other guy eventually comes out of the bathroom, and as he’s walking back to his bed, the drunk guy yells out ‘That was a good shit you were doing mate’. Those.Exact.Words.

Then he didn’t even end up using the bathroom. He started to climb the ladder to the top bunk, and farted every step he took. Then got up there and realised there was no pillow. Same deal on the way down.
It’s about 1:30-2am now. And I actually had his pillow.

So he’s gone back downstairs to get a pillow, mumbling to himself, and while he was gone, I casually shoved the extra pillow I had down next to the wall, so it looked like it’d just fallen off his bunk. I’m a terrible person, I know.

He eventually came back with his damn pillow, settled down. And turned out to be the loudest snorer ever.
By like, 4am, I was so done. I started moving on my bunk really dramatically, because it moves the whole bed. And I guess it woke him up, because he was quiet, then at about 4:30, decided he was going to check out.
So we went through the whole ordeal of getting dressed. And while he was putting his jeans on, all this change kept falling out of his pockets, and he was spouting various profanities constantly for maybe, 10 minutes?

 I’m sure you’re all laughing, and it’s quite amusing now, but I was genuinely concerned he was going to steal my stuff, or wet the bed, or something equally traumatic.

After that experience, I have never been so glad to leave a city. I hopped on a train to Edinburgh and here I am!
Edinburgh is absolutely beautiful. The streets are all cobblestone and there are so many old churches and buildings, it’s incredible.
Edinburgh Castle, much to my disappoint, isn’t lit up at night, but is still so dramatically set up and captivating.
I went shopping on the Royal Mile, found Yoda, heard bagpipes and bought some whiskey.

Last night, I met possibly 2 of my favourite people from this trip so far. A lovely Australian girl called Chelsea, who’s living and working in Scotland for a few months. We had dinner, then drinks, then shots, and it was nice to hear about another Australians trip and the differences and similarities.
Then, Fabiana. An Irish girl whose accent I mistook for American the first time she spoke to me.

For a last minute trip, Scotland has turned out better than I could have ever imagined.

There’s a lot to be said for crazy busy towns where not one person knows your name

Dear people who have boring enough lives to actually want to read my blog,

I’m currently sat in an extremely loud bar in London, and unfortunately all I can hear are Australian accents.

I spent a rather uneventful week in Morecambe. I met more family, and ‘partied’ with ‘mature aged’ people. It was about as exciting as it sounds.
I ventured down to Manchester for a day of looking at apartments. Apparently, it’s completely okay to offer to pick me up from somewhere, then look completely surprised when I have no clue where I am or how to get back to where I need to be.
Thanks for that.

Friday was the dreaded repacking of the suitcase, again. Then on Saturday I headed back down to Manchester.
Manchester is a lovely city, ignore the fact that it’s almost constantly raining. I was told there are lots of good museums, and also an incredible nightlife. I went with the intention of exploring the latter.

And incredible is definitely the perfect word to describe it.
The opportunity to have a good night out was exciting in itself. Not even one night could go down without disaster though- toothpaste in hair, anyone?
In the end, it turned out to be an incredible and memorable night, with some lovely girls.

I spent Sunday exploring the streets of Manchester, in the rain, of course.
Then Monday, made my way back to London. Which was, amazingly, an incident free train ride. I could get used to those.

After feeling a bit uninspired and unmotivated on the traveling front this morning, I received a very harsh, but fair and inspiring speech from my lovely best friend.
She pointed out that I’m not in Australia. ‘YOU’RE IN LONDON’.

And she’s right.
While sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming, the thought of navigating a whole new city, alone. But once you get past that and just go out and do it, it’s almost always worth it.

So that’s what I did. I got lost, I hated myself for listening to her, I got over it, I toughen up and I ended up having another absolutely incredible day in London.
I hit up Harrods, which consumed nearly the entirety of my travel money. Then I made my way back to Piccadilly Circus, which is just as amazing the second time.

I strolled through Leicester Square and Covent Garden and had the most beautiful day imaginable.
As I said, there’s a lot to be said for wandering around a huge, busy city, where not one person knows you.

Procrastination Gets You Nowhere.

I’ve been putting off writing for quite a while, simply because SO much has happened, I was dreading trying to write it all out.
It very recently occurred to me that the longer I leave it, the more I will have to write, so here we are.

Between October 20th & 23th I drove back to LA. Stopping in Denver and Hays, Colorado and St George, Utah.
The Colorado mountains are absolutely stunning. The first snow of the season was starting to fall, sprinkling the mountain tops. There were also crystal blue lakes  & long windy roads, adding to making it an unbelievably pretty place.

On October 24th, I boarded another very big plane, heading to London Heathrow!! The 10 hour flight was probably more enjoyable then any super long flight should be. Good effort Air New Zealand.

After successfully navigating the people-filled, stair-lacking public transport system of London, I arrived in Watford.
I was met by the lovely Lesley- My first cousin- once removed, we eventually worked out.

I have been absolutely spoilt for the last week, with home cooked meals every night, incredible conversations, an insanely comfortable bed and somewhere to call home for a little while.
I also now know my family tree, in great detail.
Friday was spent exploring the local mall; The Harlequin. I also learned a very painful, very important life lesson; NEVER, EVER, EVER be deceived into thinking you can wear brand new shoes to go walking, simply because they were comfortable for the first 5 minutes.
I was introduced to English pubs on Friday night. They’re all so pretty & cosy, it’s lovely.

Saturday morning was grocery shopping day. For anyone that travels, you’ll know that going to a grocery store or something similar in a completely new place, is an exciting event. I was excited to go to Tesco, much to everyone’s surprise.
As it turns out, I had reason to be excited. I managed to find Vegemite!!
Vegemite toast in England? Ohhh yes.
Lesley & I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon in St. Albans. A cute little town, full of boutiques, markets and an amazing church.

On Sunday, escorted by my own personal tour guides, Paul & Lesley, we ventured into London.
W.O.W. Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, St Pauls Cathedral, Covent Garden, Tower Bridge, The houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square.
I don’t even think I could write anything that would do London justice, so I’m not going to try.
Let me just say; if it’s not on your must-visit list currently; Add it. Right now.

Monday night was my first Sunday Roast, complete with hand-made individual stuffing and Yorkshire pudding. Although it was on a Monday, I’m 100% sure the day made no difference to how incredibly delicious it was!

Tuesday night, Lesley took me to meet her mother, my Great Aunt Jean. After about a million photo’s and more discussion of our family tree, I was told that Jean makes the BEST Chicken Pie known to mankind.
I was invited to go over and experience it for myself the following night, and let me tell you, they weren’t far from being wrong. It was unbelievable!
Most definitely worthy of the hype and exceeded my expectations.

Sadly, my amazing week with the Fidells came to an end yesterday.
Sadly is far from the right word, as I once again braved the UK train system, not without incident, of course. I caught 4 trains and eventually arrived in Lancaster, UK.

Today, I’m in Morecambe, a little seaside town. From my tour today with uncle Paul, it’s lovely, although FREEZING.

So there you go, my last week or so condensed into some sort of words.



Kansas = disappointment

I’ve spent the last 2 nights in Kansas, and I’m yet to see something remotely exciting or interesting to post about.
I can’t even about the scenery. I could post about the lack of, but we’d both be bored.

However, I would like to express my deep dislike for something I’ve encountered a lot lately.
Radio hosts who don’t know their shit.
I thought it would most definitely be a prerequisite to be not only up to date with new & current music and the trends, as well as knowing the correct song title, along with the artist.

The first time I encountered this surprising lack of knowledge was in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. I had the radio on, as always, and was listening to a very early song by The Fray.
Once the song was finished, the radio host announced, publicly, that that song was just released.
While this was false information, I moved on from it. I put it down to a once off occurrence. Maybe she new and nervous, who knows.

But lately, I’ve been noticing this more and more frequently. I’ve heard incorrect song titles, or incorrect artists.

These people are getting paid to host a radio station, to put music out there for people to hear and they’re distributing false information.
While knowing the exact year a song was released, or fine details like that may not be imperative, if you can’t credit a song by it’s correct title or artist, you shouldn’t be on air.

I’m sorry but, that’s your profession. It’s your job to know you’re stuff.
I know from an artists perspective, I wouldn’t be too happy about my song; something that I’d worked hard on, being credited to someone else.

I’m not saying everybody has to be an expert on music, it’s not everyone’s thing, I appreciate that.
But if choose to be a radio host/presenter as your career. KNOW YOUR STUFF. That’s your job; your responsibility.

Camels.in.a.graveyard

Hellooo,

You’ll all be pleased to hear that my absence from posting has not been a result of getting caught up in the legal system. I have managed to avoid my law enforcement friends for the last few days.
An update on the past couple of days;

I spent a night in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was rainy and generally not very memorable. I did happen to fit in some shopping, and there is some incredible real estate in the area! It was beautiful just driving around some of the suburbs, seeing the gorgeous estates.
In the end, my driving led me to Fayetteville, Arkansas (Pronounced ARkensall or ARkensaw if you want to sound really American). I saw an Armadillo on the way! I later found out from Nicki that they carry leprosy; fun fact for you.
Fayetteville is a lovely little town, home to the University of Arkansas, and not much else.
I met my CouchSurfing host, Nicki, in the afternoon at her apartment, then we went exploring. She took me on the bus, which is FREE for everyone, down the road to the University- where she and her boyfriend David both study.
The Greek organisation within the university had just donated an incredible, huge brass gate entrance to the university. Apparently a gift is given to the school every 10 years or so, the last one was a Greek theatre on campus, this year- a gate.

We walked around the grounds of the University of Arkansas and it was one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been. The grass is all green, the leaves are just changing for fall so the sidewalks were lined with big tree’s full of orange-pink leaves and there was squirrels running around everywhere. It was amazing.
From Campus, we went to Dickson street, the main street in Fayetteville. Which is right near campus and lined with cute boutiques, restaurants and pubs with live music.  Nicki also showed me Block Avenue (possibly street?) which a little side street, filled with unique stores. A bit of a hidden gem of the city and it was lovely.
We then met David- Nicki’s boyfriend who is here from Panama on a scholarship, and had pizza at a new brewery that just opened on Dickson street.
While waiting at the bus station on campus to go home, I was almost awestruck when a group of University of Arkansas cheerleaders walked in. They’re real! They really all wear the uniforms, and they’re just like the movies. This was a very exciting realization for me, even more so when a group of male cheerleaders walked in straight after.

Friday night there was a soccer game- Panama vs. Honduras. Apparently half of the Panamanian population is in Fayetteville, and came over to watch the game with us. A cultural experience is what Nicki told me to prepare myself for, and a cultural experience it was. The game, as well as the conversation in the apartment, was in Spanish. For someone who’s most advanced Spanish sentence is ‘I don’t speak much Spanish’, it was a pretty quiet couple of hours in terms of conversation on my part. It was fun though.
I spent Friday night on a very comfortable couch, and that concludes my first night of my first CouchSurfing experience.

Saturday morning was spent helping Nicki’s friend Carrie move into her new apartment. I learned 2 things from this;
1. How ridiculously cheap rentals are in Fayetteville. You can expect to pay about $300US A MONTH, for a 2-3 bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen apartment.
And 2. When the friend that’s moving says she ‘doesn’t have very much left to move’, never believe them.

As a thank you, Carrie took us all out for lunch. It was decided I had to experience ‘proper southern food’ before I left.
My proper southern food experience consisted of Chicken fried steak, corn nuggets, potato salad & corn bread. Despite how it may or may not sound, it was pretty good at the time. After walking around for an hour or so afterwards though, my body started protesting against all the carbs.
You’ll be pleased to know I survived the ordeal, and have now officially experienced proper southern food.

After lunch we made our way back to campus as there was a college football game that night, and I needed to experience ‘tailgating’.
The easiest way for me to explain tailgating to someone would be this;
Imagine half of the population of Fayetteville descending on the University of Arkansas campus on the morning of game day, setting up marques and televisions, then spending the day there drinking beer, barbeque’ing and watching football, covered head to toe in U of A team merchandise, of course.
The football team are called the Hogs, or Razorbacks. I believe it’s Razorbacks and their mascot is a hog..
Regardless, the mascot is a hog. Most times, a mascot means that someone dresses up as the mascot at the game, correct?

Wrong. The University of Arkansas actually has a hog. A real one. His name is Tusk #5. On game days, Tusk gets to ride in his own personalised trailer all around Campus, with a bunch of cheerleaders and a full marching band on top of his trailer.
I’m told that Louisiana State Universities mascot is a Tiger. Surely they can’t have a real Tiger, right? Wrong. Although I’m not sure he/she is made quite so accessible to the public on game days.
Tailgating was a very American experience and I absolutely loved it.
Saturday night was another first. David, Nicki & I made Jambalaya!
Then watched a so-bad-it-was-good, movie called Tucker and Dale vs Evil. Anyone that needs a laugh, watch that movie!

My first ever CouchSurfing experience was amazing and I absolutely fell in love with Fayetteville! Thank you SO much Nicki & David.

My next stop was Memphis. Which meant that most of my Sunday was taken up with driving. Fortunately I had all of Monday to explore. And explore I did.
Beale Street is like a different world. It’s a combination of Broadway in Nashville, with country charm and a very chill atmosphere, and Times Square in New York.
Basically, it’s a street of alternating bars and souvenir shops, with creepy, very flirtatious men every second step.

'If you need a dance partner later tonight, I'll be around'- is cute.
'You know, I do private, exclusive tours free of charge, for special people'- is most definitely not.

After Beale Street,  I headed to St Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital. After hearing so much about this place, and donating to the cause, I thought I should check it out. And while there’s not much to see, it’s an amazing place and the things the people there are doing, are absolutely incredible.
St Jude’s specializes in Children’s Cancer research and it’s just an incredible cause.

I decided while in Memphis, I should see Graceland. The tour was incredible- I’d recommend it to anyone. While the upstairs of the estate is off limits, you pretty much get to access every other part, including the grave sites. They also have a tour of Elvis’ aircraft, Lisa-Marie, and a car museum which holds a multitude of cars once owned by Elvis.
The site as a whole is amazing and should be on every Elvis fans’ to-do list.

Today, on my rather uneventful drive from Memphis to St. Louis, Missouri, I just happened to look to my right while driving down the interstate. At first glance, I just saw a graveyard/cemetery, nothing too unusual. It took me a couple of moments to see but, there were camels wandering the cemetery. Camels! In Missouri. I’m still not sure if that’s common, but it is probably one of the most random things I’ve ever seen. I still can’t quite comprehend, camels.. walking around the cemetery..
Anyway! I’m in St Louis, Missouri tonight.

Hope everyone is smiling!!

Love. xx

Don’t mess with Texas, apparently

It’s only been a day or so since I posted, but I’m having trouble remembering everything that’s happened.
When leaving Albuquerque, I drove past the entrance to Sandia Peak, a place I had on my list to stop at.
The Sandia Peak mountains are in New Mexico. It’s a pretty big tourist attraction, they’ve set up a tram line that goes up the mountains- it used to be the longest in the world, I believe it is now the second or third.

So I decided to turn around and check it out. And I’m glad I did. The tram is like a trolley car, but suspended. It goes through all the different stages of vegetation and inhabitants of each section of the mountain. The top of the mountain itself is 10,378 ft about sea level, and the view is amazing.
On the way up, the operator was telling us all about how they spot Black Bears and deer from the tram, and occasionally wolves. And there are mountain lions in the mountains, they’re not seen as often but they’re there.
The top of the mountains is also signposted like crazy with things such as ‘Black bears frequent this area. Please take your trash with you.’
Guess how many bears I saw? ZERO.
How many wolves or mountain lions did I see? ZERO.
Thanks for getting my hopes up, Sandia Peak.
The whole experience was incredible though, and I did see a chipmunk.

Albuquerque to Santa Fe is a relatively short drive, which was a nice change.
After a slight car complication, I made it to the downtown area of Santa Fe.
Santa Fe is an amazingly beautiful city! The outlay is extremely tourist friendly and walkable.
The only downside to the city is the parking situation, which prevented me from seeing much of the city. Santa Fe is a very artistic city and that’s reflected in the incredible architecture and numerous art galleries. For anyone really into art, I’d recommend checking out Santa Fe.

I also turned 20 yesterday! Ahh! I hate the thought of not being a teenager anymore.
I spent my birthday in a hostel that I will admit, I judged on first impressions.
I envisaged spending the night in a trailer park, or even prison, to be better than this place.
Santa Fe International Hostel- I apologise. The accommodations aren’t anything fancy, but I met some of the most awesome people. The 10-15 walk just to use the bathroom and/or shower wasn’t the most convenient thing though.
I was even sung Happy Birthday, led by lovely Roxanne & Tanner, complete with candles made from cigarette lighters.

Today, after another brush with the law, I arrived in Amarillo, Texas.
This time I was issued with an official Texan warning. Which, as stated by the police officer basically ‘means nothing to them, and means an awesome souvenir for me’.
There’s also a law in America stating that if there is an emergency vehicle pulled over with it’s lights flashing, you’re required to move to the next lane if you’re in the right lane, or slow down to 20 miles below the speed limit.
Anyone heading to the states and driving in the future, please learn these lovely little laws through my mistakes.

My beautiful mummy booked me a room at a lovely hotel tonight, which has been incredible! I’ve taken the opportunity to spend the night catching up on my laundry and taken full advantage of the beautiful heated pool & jacuzzi. So, no other exciting stories for tonight sadly.
On Friday night, or hopefully before, I’ll be having my first CouchSurfing experience with a lovely girl named Nicki!
For anyone that isn’t familiar with the concept of CouchSurfing, CouchSurfing is a community of people online. Similar to Facebook, but completely different. You are required to make a profile and fill out certain things about yourself.
Then the basic idea of it is, while you’re in your hometown and not traveling, other travelers can request to stay with you, or ‘surf’ your couch, with the idea that somehow in the future, your paths will cross again and they’ll be able to return the favour.
It is an amazing way to meet like-minded people from all around the world. I’ve hosted a few people at home, and learned new things from each other them.
That’s the basic idea!

Xxx

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