Adventures


A while ago when I did my 101 places to see before you die post, the lovely Nathan from Blog-of-Nathan asked me to write a list of places I have actually been to. It’s been a long time coming *cough10monthscough* but here it is Nathan! I don’t think I’ll get to 100 but I’ll try and come up with 50 interesting places I’ve been to!

The Daintree Rainforest – Australia (I got married there)
Sentosa Island – Singapore
Ubud – Bali
The Great Barrier Reef – Australia (Scuba Diving – Amazing!)

Bintan Island – Indonesia
Sihanoukville Beaches – Cambodia
Fairy Dell Rainforest – Australia (Our favourite camping destination)
The Plain of Jars – Laos


The Mekong River – Laos, Thailand, Cambodia AND Vietnam – lots of kayaking!
The Buddha Cave Lam Pa Fa – Laos
The Killing Fields – Cambodia
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Milford Sound – New Zealand
The Fireball Festival – Thailand
Cancun – Mexico
Malolo Island – Fiji
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The Nullarbor Desert – Australia (our car broke down here)
The Great Ocean Road – Australia
Damnoen Saduak Floating Markets –  Thailand
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The Big Banana (haha) – Australia
Blue Mountains – Australia
Krabi – Thailand (great Kayaking)
Franz Josef Glacier – New Zealand
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Luang Prabang – Laos (Mekong River Tubing Pub Crawl!)
Saigon – Vietnam
Waiheke Island – New Zealand
Hill Tribe Villages in Chaing Mai – Thailand
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Janolan Caves – Australia
Nadi (stranded during a flood/cyclone!) – Fiji
Stinky Rotarua – New Zealand
Angkor Wat – Cambodia
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Fremantle Markets – Australia
Wonderland Theme Park – Australia (doesn’t exist anymore so it’s worth a mention!)
Adventureland Perth – Australia
Whale Watching in Hervey Bay – Australia
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Sunrise in Dunedin – New Zealand
Temora – Australia (not a town worth mentioning except I skydived there)
Umphang Mountains – Thailand (we volunteered at a school there)
Khao Sok National Park – Thailand
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Jutajuk Markets Bangkok – Thailand
Cradle Mountain Tasmania – Australia
Orchard Road – Singapore
Sydney Harbor Bridge – Australia
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An outward bound course on a strange island I can’t remember the name of – Singapore
The freaky ‘Edge’ platform in the Eureka Tower in Melbourne – Australia
S21 Prisoner Camp – Cambodia
Hopetoun Falls – Australia
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Easy Riders Motorcycle tour through Rural Vietnam
Floated down the Murrumbidgee River in a Houseboat – Australia
Linh Phuoc Pagoda – Vietnam
The Great Australia Bight – Australia

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Not nearly as interesting as the 101 places to see before you die since I haven’t been to all that many places but hopefully interesting enough!
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I have lived in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore so it makes sense that there are a lot of places from those countries. My husband and I also backpacked through South East Asia and spent over 6 months exploring Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in 2005/2006 so we’ve covered a lot of ground there too. I hope to see MANY more places in my time though, if I dream of anything it is spending my life living out of a backpack and exploring the world, now if only I could figure out a way to fund it!
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One of the things I love about travelling is being able to cross things off my lists of places to see, and one way that I do that (since EVERYWHERE is on my list) is by adding virtual ‘pins’ to my trip advisor travel map.. here is what my map looks like at the moment.
..

Not nearly as ‘pinned’ as I would like, that’s for sure!
What cities are pinned on your map? What places are on your ‘must see’ list?

I’m on holidays at the moment, in Brisbane. I’m sunburnt and trying to decide what to order from the breakfast menu that you stick on the door handle.. I love hotels, don’t you? Anyway, I saw this on another blog and thought I’d play:

Just copy and paste these 99 things onto your blog and bold the things you HAVE done… here are mine:

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to DisneyWorld

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise (not an overnight one though)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theatre

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a cheque

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

 (depends on how famous they have to be!)

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

How many have you done out of the 99?

I haven’t been very good at keeping up with this blog over the last few months. I considered scrapping the whole thing all together and focusing on my Vegan Blog instead but decided at the last minute to keep it up and running. I’ve broken up with so many online journals over the years and have always regretted not keeping them going so I’m going to work through the lack of motivation and see where we end up.

We had some visitors from Perth here with us this week and it’s been really lovely. It’s really nice to live somewhere that people actually want to come and visit, we are so lucky to live in this glorious holiday destination, it’s so easy to forget. Anyway, Amy and Conrad arrived on Tuesday afternoon in Queenstown and we had dinner and coffees and caught up after over a year of not seeing one another. It was fabulous to sit in my favourite coffee shop with actual people, instead of just sitting with my head in a book like I usually do. They slept in town and explored the city for a couple of nights before heading out to our little house by the lake.

They stayed here two nights, and didn’t once complain about the smorgasbord of vegan food we had organised for them.. which was a relief, it can be a little intimidating inviting omnivores to stay! After two days here we headed off on a little road trip together to explore some parts of the South Island. Last night we stayed at a great little place in Te Anau. We explored Milford Sound by day and by night we ate Italian food and watched dodgy old bond movies on telly. This morning we ate breakfast in a local bakery and then they drove off into the sunset, continuing on their adventure and leaving me here, waving frantically from my deck as they sailed away.

The house feels strangely quiet now that they are gone, but it makes me even more excited for our next set of guests who are arriving in May! Anyone else want to visit us? While I will feed you vegan food, I promise not to attempt a conversion of your meat eating ways (although Amy and Conrad DID depart as new recruits to the vegetarian lifestyle, I promise, I had nothing to do with it!).

Here are some pics of the mini adventure:







Well our trip to India is still a while away (77 days, not that I’m counting) but I’m just about through with all our planning and booking so I thought I’d do a quick update and tell you all about our plans for the trip:

April 7: Fly from Queenstown – Christchurch and spend the night. We have a meeting with a woman who we are hoping to get a puppy from (did I tell you about our prospective puppy? Oh dear, well I best put that on my to blog list!).

April 8: Fly from Christchurch to Sydney, get some dread maintenance at Furr and then we’re meeting our dear friend Kristie and her daughter Tara for lunch at the Green Gourmet (OMG just typing that there is making my mouth water, I miss that place so much! Go Vegan Yum Cha!!!). Then, in the afternoon we’ll head back to the airport and catch our flight to Mumbai (thank goodness we are both the kind of travellers who can fit everything into a carry on sized backpack otherwise we’d be lugging luggage around with us all day long!).

April 9: We arrive in Mumbai at 02:40 AM!! Ugh! That will be fun! So, arrival in Mumbai, mad dash to the hotel and probably sleeeeeep. (hopefully) I’m sure we’ll wake up at some point and we can ease ourselves into the madness that is Mumbai.

April 10: Explore Mumbai during the day and then jump on our first overnight train and spend the night travelling.

April 11: Arrive in Aurangabad at silly oclock in the morning. We have a car picking us up at the station and taking us out to the Ellora caves.

April 12: Head out to the Ajanta caves.

April 13: Catch a bus to Jalgaon in the morning and spend the day sightseeing before jumping on another overnight train for our very long trip to Varanasi (20hrs).

April 14: Arrive in Varanasi. Relax!

April 15: Take a boat tour down the Ganges and do that whole tourist thing.

April 16: More sightseeing during the day and then another overnight train!

April 17: Arrive in Agra. Relax!

April 18: Visit the Taj Mahal!

April 19: Train to Delhi (day time train this time!)

April 20: Sightseeing in Delhi

April 21: Flight to Goa

April 22 – 25: Relaxing in Goa for 5 days after the mayhem of the first part of the trip!

April 26: Nighttime train back to Mumbai

April 27: Last night in India 😦

April 28: Fly Mumbai – Sydney – Auckland – Christchurch

April 30: Fly Christchurch – Queenstown

Phew! I think it’s going to be pretty hectic!

Who wants a postcard?

A few months ago, my friend Nathan, updated her facebook status telling us all that she was bored (or something like that anyway, it was a while ago!), on a whim I suggested to her that she and Jaz and I start a story book, each of us writing a segment of the story and then mailing it onto the next person. I thought it was a wonderful idea at the time, and continued to think so right up until the exact second that the book landed on my desk. And now? Well now I can’t think of a single thing to write so I’ve hid it under my Lonely Planet India guide and my worn copy of The Joy of Vegan Baking because every time I look at it I get heart palpitations.

Sorry story book buddies, I promise I’ll get to it soon!

Yesterday morning I woke up to find an email from my friend Phi (Phi, when are you going to get a blog so I can hyperlink your name???). In the email was a link to a TED talk – this isn’t unusual, Phi is a TED talk addict and is usually trying to convince me to watch all the talks he comes across that inspire him or excite him, anyway his email was subject lined “this could ruin your day, or really inspire you”, it probably wasn’t the best idea to watch it while I was still in my pyjamas and half asleep, but I decided to give it a whirl.

So, it is because of Phi, and THIS video that, before I had even had breakfast yesterday morning I had decided to travel to India to try and change the world.

Okay, okay, I know that I’m not ACTUALLY going to change the world, but every little bit counts right?

So, after I watched the video I did lots of research and then I rushed into the bedroom where Luke was sleeping and shook him awake so that I could tell him all about my exciting plan. I don’t think he was nearly as excited I was, since I was going to be the one off saving the world and having adventures and he was the one who was going to be staying home and working and conveniently depositing money into my bank account every week while I was gone. But he took it all as well as could be expected, considering he was half asleep and he had absolutely no forewarning. “Three months?” he asked groggily, “India?” he muttered, confused, “What about an orphanage?” he asked, squinting at his mobile phone to figure out what the time was. So I rambled through the whole plan one more time. “It’s okay right?” I asked him and Luke, wonderful husband that he is, said “of course!” (though in his head he was probably saying “Of course! Of course you can leave me for three months to travel to a strange country where you probably won’t be safe and I have no way of protecting you! Of course you can leave me here in this strange little town in this strange little country that YOU convinced us to move to in the first place! Of course this is happening to me! This is what I get for marrying this crazy, impulsive, ridiculously nomadic girl in the first place!!!”).

So, now it looks like I will be looking forward to not ONE but TWO trips to India in 2010! How wonderful is that??

I still have a lot more research to do but at this stage I’m looking at flying over in late October (I was thinking December but now I’m not so sure), doing a 6 week volunteer program with a Women Empowerment organisation in Delhi, and a 6 week program with an orphanage in the Himalayas. And maybe while I’m there I’ll tack on a stint in an Ashram too, just for the fun of it!

Here’s to more adventures!

I really enjoyed compiling this list, it took a long time, but it was actually much easier than I was expecting, in fact, before I knew it I had written a list of 131 places to see before I die and I had to go back and cull a bunch of things to get it back down to 101. I only wish that this was a list of 101 places I had already been.. Oh how I would love to have travelled to all of these places! But then again, that wouldn’t give me much to look forward to would it?

I wanted to put a photo of every single thing on the list – just because they are all so beautiful – but I figured that would be picture overload, so instead I’ve just put a pictures for every 5th thing on the list.

Anyway that’s one more thing I can cross off my 101/100 list:

#41. Write a list of 101 places to see before you die.

  1. The Leshan Giant Buddha – China
  2. Sunset at Uluru – Australia
  3. Machu Picchu – Peru
  4. The Great Wall of China
  5. The Plitvice Lakes – Croatia
  6. The Great Pyramid of Giza – Egypt
  7. The Nile – Egypt
  8. Ponte dei Sospiri – Venice Italy
  9. Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe
  10. Taj Mahal – India
  11. Chichen Itza – Mexico
  12. Antarctica
  13. Colluseum – Italy
  14. The Ganges – India
  15. Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
  16. A cherry blossom viewing in Japan
  17. The Ring Road – Iceland
  18. French Quarter, New Orleans – USA
  19. Emam Mosque – Iran
  20. Hohenzollern Castle & The Black Forest – Germany
  21. Stonehenge – England
  22. The Himalayas – Nepal
  23. Isle of Skye – Scotland
  24. Cueva del Fantasma (Cave of the Ghost) – Venezuela
  25. Hagia Sophia – Turkey
  26. Pompeii – Italy
  27. Niagara Falls – USA
  28. The Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon) – Bolivia
  29. Marquesas Islands – French Polynesia
  30. Doubtful Sound – New Zealand
  31. Dingle Peninsula – Ireland
  32. The Louvre/Notre Dame/Eiffel Tower – Paris
  33. Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon road trip – USA
  34. Crac Des Chevaliers – Syria
  35. The Amalfi Coast – Italy
  36. The Monasteries of the Metéora – Greece
  37. Clingstone house – USA
  38. The Ponte Vecchio – Italy
  39. Dalmation Coast – Croatia
  40. St Michel D’Aiguilhe Chapel – France
  41. La Mezquita – Spain
  42. Forks (just seeing if you’re paying attention haha)
  43. Volterra – Italy (lol)
  44. Petra – Jordan
  45. Santorini – Greece
  46. The Amazon Rainforest – Brazil
  47. The Wuhua Hai (Five-Flower Lake) – China
  48. Petrodvorets – Russia
  49. Loch Ness – Scotland
  50. Festival of Colors – India
  51. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation – Scotland
  52. Bimini road – The Bahamas
  53. The Berlin Wall (what’s left of it anyway!) – Germany
  54. Pyramids of the Sun and Moon – Mexico
  55. Potala Palace, Lhasa – Tibet
  56. Mesa Verde – USA
  57. Knife Castle – Ukraine
  58. Crater Lake – USA
  59. The plains of the Serengeti – Tanzania
  60. Easter Island – Chile
  61. The Sogne Fjord – Norway
  62. Iguazu Falls – Argentina
  63. Zen Gardens of Kyoto – Japan
  64. Khaju Bridge – Iran
  65. Pagan – Myanmar
  66. Uffizi Gallery – Italy
  67. Carnival Festival – Brazil
  68. Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
  69. The Hallgrímskirkja – Iceland
  70. Eleuthera – Bahamas
  71. Lake Titicaca – Peru
  72. Majlis al Jinn Cave – Oman
  73. The Parthenon – Greece
  74. The Waitomo Glowworm Cave – New Zealand
  75. Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves – Austria
  76. Ephesus – Turkey
  77. Galápagos Islands – Ecuador
  78. Lake Baikal – Russia
  79. Rome – Italy
  80. Sunrise at Mount Nemrut – Turkey
  81. The Maldives
  82. Cape Town – South Africa
  83. Sunset at Ipanema Beach – Brazil
  84. The Guggenheim – Spain
  85. Las Lajas Cathedral – Colombia
  86. St. Basil’s Cathedral – Russia
  87. Prague – Czech Republic
  88. Golden Gate Bridge San Fransisco – USA
  89. Helsingborg – Sweden
  90. The Sahara Desert – Africa
  91. Granada – Spain
  92. London – England
  93. The Boiling Lake – Dominica
  94. The Royal Chitwan National Park – Nepal
  95. Yosemite Valley – USA
  96. Cave of Crystals – Mexico
  97. Drive from Cairo to Kharga – Egypt
  98. The Dead Sea – Israel
  99. Orkhon Khurkhree – Mongolia
  100. St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City
  101. Pamukkale – Turkey

Isn’t the world a beautiful place???

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