To say that I love travelling is an understatement. I get my kicks from venturing into the far and wide, the unknown, the culturally different and exploring mother natures’ finest. My first big adventure was in 2006 when my sister, my two cousins (that are pretty much like my sisters also) and I decided to backpack South East Asia. We undertook a tour that started in Singapore, snaked into Malaysia and into the far north of Thailand. From living in a jungle homestay in Malaysia to soaking up the raging Full Moon Party in Koh Phanghan, experiencing the craziness of Bangkok’s notrious Khao San Road and exploring the temples of the north, this trip was only the beginning of my love affair with this reigon.
This trip also enlightened me. My eyes were wide open. No longer was I caught in a ‘Perth bubble’ i.e. ‘The most isolated city in the world,’ there was a world out there that needed exploring. I needed to break free from the bubble.
2007 was time to step it up a notch. Man in tow this time, I went back to the South East Asia region and touched on Singapore and Thailand again and then onto Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos before going back into Thailand and then home again. This was a very special trip for me. I was traveling with my best friend (my partner at the time) and it was his first time out of the country so it was very exciting to see his enjoyment at experiencing different cultures. It was also testing on our relationship (as it would be on any relationship when travelling for an extended period of time together). We experienced some oddities together – having Christmas in Hue (Vietnam) was one of them and having a one firework New Year show in Hanoi for New Year was an other. We also ventured to the Four Thousands Islands in Laos (located in the Mekong on boarder with Cambodia) together. To this day, living in a simplistic wooden bungalow with nothing but a bed, mosquito net and a hammock along the Mekong River and sharing communal squat toilets (maybe not so fun) and being on an island only powered by generated electricity at certain times of the day is by far, one of the most blissful destinations I have ever been to.
Time to go back to one of my favourite cities, Singapore, in 2008 with my childhood best friend Micaela. It was the ultimate girl trip away including a stint on Bintan Island with the infamous cocktail watermelon.
My last university summer break (2009) saw my last long backpacking trip in the South East Asia region. This time around, I went to Malaysia Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, Laos and Thailand with friends.
2009 was a big year in travels. Not only did the first part include an other stint backpacking around South East Asia, it also included a D’Orazio woman (mum, sister and I) bonding adventure to Singapore and Hong Kong, a rowdy trip to Phuket with seven work collegues and a hop,skip and jump to next continent, North America. I travelled around the States with Micaela at the ripe age of 21 before going to Canada – my first real solo adventure!
As soon as Micaela left me in NYC, it was time to catch an overnight bus to Toronto. I swear this was possibly one of the most loneliest days of my life. If someone started talking to me, I just wanted to cry. I even thought about bailing on the trip because I was scared. Fear was getting a stranglehold over me. I wanted to go home. It was with a conversation with a fellow backpacker that I thought and I knew that I could do this! And I did, I travelled from the East to the West of Canada and loved every minute of it. It was an amazing trip and in terms of natural beauty, it is up there with being one of my favourites. Rookie error was not spending a longer time in Canada and also really underestimating the weather in the Fall time. Note to self: Pack winter wear and not short shorts.
2010 – Welcome to the full time 9-5 grind with a sneaky trips to Bali and Singapore with friends slotted in.
I consider 2011 to be my biggest year to date in terms of personal growth and travel. After a sneaky trip back to Kota Kinabalu with friends, it was the start of a new chapter. I embarked on my once-in-a-lifetime round the world adventure, kick starting in Singapore then off to India for a whirlwind tour of the Golden Triangle (New Delhi,Agra and Jaipur) then it was off to London Town. It was now time to go to the motherland. My parents played tour guides for us kids and took the whole family around Italy, seeing our grandparents homeland and meeting distant relatives as well as basically eating and drinking our way through this fine nation.
With my brother, sister and a few mates from Perth, we then went on a crazy adventure criss-crossing our way around Western Europe including catching major cultural events (Oktoberfest, La Tomitina, Pailo) and visiting most capital cities. An European summer isn’t complete with some beach action thrown into the mix and what better was to lap it up with a island hopping Croatia sail trip! To this day, that week is still one of the best weeks of my life – so much fun, good food and amazing people all around!
The end of 2011 brought upon a new adventure – in South America. I completed a two month tour that started from Rio and slowly worked through the continent and ended in Lima. The highlight of this part of my grand tour was completing the Inca Trail, one of the most gruelling exercises of my life but well worth it of course! There was something so magical about being on the trek at times by yourself and selfishly having the nature and surrounds for you alone – solitude is bliss.
Christmas and New Years in 2011/2012 was celebrated in NYC. Shortly after, I went to Central America with an influential character in my life. We blitzed our way through the region, even managing to dedicate sometime to complete a divers course in Belize. After we went back to the States, stumbled upon Mardi Gras in New Orleans and went back our merry way home separately to Australia.
2012. This was as I call it ‘An extension of my travels’ year. I made the big leap from coast to coast and moved to Sydney.
In 2013, I ticked two more countries off the list – New Zealand and Mexico. In Mexico, I spent time not only jungle trekking, exploring ruins, eating every local cuisine I got get my fork into, I also lived an island life in Isla Mujeres for a week which will remain one of my favourite places due to its slow paced life and its marine life. After this trip, I made the hard decision to part ways with my new love (Sydney) and to move back to my hometown, Perth.
2014 was the game changer. I threw it all in. I didn’t feel like I was ready to settle down, there was so much of the world that needed exploring so off I went. This time, with no master plan. No one else but me. The only definite would be me living on Koh Tao for a few weeks to complete my Advanced Divers course and live a quaint scuba life. From here, I had no concrete plans other than plane tickets to Sri Lanka and Europe.
Once I stepped foot in Europe, I went with the flow, riding solo and come what may, I was open to all sorts and all people. I decided to try my way with exploring Scandinavia, working my way through the Baltics and then making my way to London. I wasn’t ready to settle in London just yet.
In early 2015, for 3 months I worked at a hostel in Estonia and had the best time. I loved it there despite loosing all feeling every now and then due to the cold temperatures I have never experienced before. From here, I went to Finnish Lapland and lapped up the Arctic life for a week including gazing my sights on the Northern Lights. I saw the sky dance! It was one of the best trips I have ever had!
After my stint in Estonia, I road tripped through Europe with a friend until I finally found my feet touching UK soil.
The fun didn’t stop there despite making a permanent living arrangement in London Town. I have made several trips aboard from London since setting up shop including Turkey, Scotland, Ireland no to mention my frequent visits to Germany and the Netherlands.
And here I am – 2016 – many more new travel adventures to be had and more countries not only to tick off but to explore, to immerse myself in and keep on loving the world and all of its possibilities even more so.
Oh and if you were wondering what that country list looks like, here you go!
Singapore – Thailand – Malaysia – Indonesia – Laos – Cambodia – Vietnam – Hong Kong – Macau – India – Sri Lanka – Philippines
Uganda – Tanzania
USA – Canada – Mexico
Costa Rica – Nicaragua – Guatemala – Belize – Panama
Brazil – Uruguay – Argentina – Paraguay – Chile – Bolivia – Peru – Columbia
France – Spain – Italy – Germany – Austria – Belgium – The Netherlands – Luxembourg – Switzerland – Malta – Monaco – Poland – Czech Republic – Hungary – Lithuania – Latvia – Estonia – Finland – Sweden – Denmark – Norway – Croatia – England – Scotland – Ireland – Northern Ireland – Turkey – Russia – Ukraine – Iceland
Australia – New Zealand
In transit – Honduras, El Salvador, Slovenia, Slovakia