Europe, Australia and Oceania, Asia · 140 Days · 127 Moments · March 2017

21 July 2017

Day 139 (cont) We opened up the bottle of rum and had some for predrinks in the games room on floor 34 where we had an amazing view of the fountains in the marina bay. Sarah did my hair in a nice side braid and we took a taxi to a bar where we played beer pong out on the road. Obviously it was me and sarah against jay (Sarah's bf).
Day 139 Got an uber to the airport and made my way to Singapore! Sarah (my friend from work in London) met me at the airport! Was so good to see her. I bought her and her bf a bottle of rum and Bali chocolate as a thanks for letting me stay at their house (although her bf kept saying he'd go into a hotel/hostel to let us have girly time but I told him he was no way paying when it was his room!) Sarah and I had prosecco by the pool and caught up! Last time I saw her was in Aug when she was heading off to travel herself! Now she moved to Singapore with her bf and had been there for 5 weeks. Exciting times! Her flat was amazing! She was sharing with 4 others but they had an ensuite bedroom and a walk in closet. Their room looked out onto the Marina Bay Sands hotel - THE view of Singapore! The flats had a shared pool (or 4 pools) plus a hot tub and a pool with exercise equipment in! Good thing too because it was so hot and sticky! We went to the local food market and had some Indian!

20 July 2017

Day 138 Busy day today. Pancakes for breakfast and then drove to Jungle Fish - bar/restaurant with a beautiful pool but had to pay Β£10 just to be by the pool so just sat at the restaurant above while I had lunch and read my book. Had an amazing strawberry & apple juice and noodles with egg. Drove to The Hanging Gardens which turned out to be a resort - not a public garden like I thought! What a disappointment! Filled up with petrol at a DIY gas pump. He would fill up so it hit a price you wanted to pay and then turn the handle to refill the tank! So clever! Drove to the Tellagang Rice Field - the same one I went to last year (but it was raining). Glad I got to walk through it this time. So beautiful. I sat at the same cafe as last year, had a pineapple ice tea and read my book. Dejavue! On my way back to Ubud, I had my last Bakso and then back to have my massage! Told Koweng I would make her a free website to help build her business grow. She was so thankful!

19 July 2017

Day 137 Didn't feel bad about staying in all day today. I had my banana pancakes with tea and fruit, did lots of work (tried to get it off so I had the full day free tomorrow), read my new book I swapped on the bookshelf at the hostel in Sanur (White Teeth by Zadie Smith), had a quick swim all to myself and sunbathed my back for a bit (avoiding sun on my face as I've come up with sunburn/spotted blisters on my cheeks and now it looks like I have a disease). I FaceTime my mum for a whole hour and Aisha - was nice to have a day just to catch up with everyone and hear some familiar faces. For the evening, I went into town to have dinner and a beer and booked to see a Balinese dance show at the Ubud Palace. For dinner I had chicken curry with red rice - YUM! I love grainy rice. Always reminds me of some we had in a Thai restaurant in Bahrain when I was younger. The show was good but went on a bit and some people around me were commentating on everything - so annoying. Had an early night!

18 July 2017

Day 136 Woke up at 9:30 to make sure I got my free breakfast. 2 women came in and prepared eggs, toast and a fruit plate for me in the kitchen. They then cleaned the house and made the bed while I had my breakfast. Felt like a princess! Did work outside for a while an sunbathed. The house was part of a compound of houses with a shared pool. It's integrated with the local village and is eco-sustainable. I managed to get 4 nights for free because I did a website for the owner and asked to be paid in accommodation rather than cash. Glad I did it. It's not a place I would have dreamt of paying for - and the website was pretty easy to do so I think I got the better deal! Moved on to a cafe with good wifi and had a strawberry mint tea and homemade marshmallow! Interesting. Stayed for a while and got loads of work. Was a nice atmosphere. Then made my way to a bar for sunset but luckily I passed by a nice sign on the way and worked at the sunset bar with an amazing view of the valley! Lush!

17 July 2017

Day 135 Had my final kite surfing lesson but at 10am there was no wind and at 2pm there was too much wind (for a beginner). So sadly I didn't get to go on the board! πŸ˜” Instead I did some work by the pool and met a local photographer working with Starbucks. Booked a Motorbike taxi to take me to Ubud (35 min drive) after the car cancelled on me. Was not the best ride as I had to hold on the back and I kept feeling like I might fall off. But it was 5x cheaper than the bus! Got dropped off at the Google Map pin for The House and called the manager for directions. By the time I got there I had walked 2km! Wasn't too bad - I guess I've got fitter. Was nice seeing the bird-shaped kites flying above. Booked a scooter and drove to find some decent wifi in ubud at night. Ended up in a vegan restaurant with poor internet - had a zucchini, pesto and nut lasagne. Wasn't so bad though! Forgot my wallet at home so had to rush back to grab it! Oops!

16 July 2017

Day 134 Went to the beach for my 2nd kite surfing lesson but there was no driver available so i had to come back at 2. So instead I headed to the ATM to get cash out (saw a cute dog just sitting patiently) and did some work on a round sunbed by the hostel's pool. Ended up napping for a bit because I was so tired from the early morning wake up. I made the most of the opportunity and had a 30 min nap and then back to work. Not a bad way to work! Had my lesson and this time I was in the water! Not quite what I expected; there was no board. I had to manoeuvre the kite and let it drag me along. It was harder in the water but I kept pushing myself to only use one hand and not to look at the kite too much. My instructor was impressed that I had picked it up so fast. I always feel happiness being in the water so it was a no brainier! Had beer and a chicken satay Pizza (!!!) at a beach bar which had a Tropical Beach Party on at 6. Watched local salsa dancers get the kids involved. Very nice!

15 July 2017

Day 133 Woke up early and had my first ever kite-surfing lesson! As it was the 1st of 3 required lessons, i was stuck on the sand learning how to manoeuvre the kite. It was harder than I had expected and because the kite was so small, it would move fast! I had to learn how to control it so it moved exactly where the instructor told me. I soon got the hang of it and was feeling confident even with the bigger kite. Afterwards I went had lunch on the beach and had a delicious chicken satay with rice. I drove to Kuta, a busy tourist surf town 30 mins away. I thought it would be nice to explore without having to be stuck there! Was nice enough but the beach was TOO busy! There were beach bars with bean bags covering the whole beach and the drinks were so overpriced for a tourist spot! This is why I avoid big tourist places! Nice enough for a holiday. Watched sunset there and then back to Sanur where I found a cute restaurant and had a delicious chicken and potato curry!

14 July 2017

Day 132 Worked in the morning and got a taxi to Sanur - only Β£6 for 1 hour journey. Paid 20p to take the toll bridge so I would get there quicker. Did some work all evening at my hostel - the same hostel I stayed at when I visited Sanur last year. They even put me in the same room and maybe even the same bed! I finally headed out to the main strip with restaurants and bars. Hired a scooter for Β£9 for 3 days. Had dinner at a nice little restaurant that was outside with a tree and lanterns running through it. There was a guy playing live music which was really nice to listen to. Has a mixed meat curry which was served in a coconut and came with 2 chicken satays. Was delicious! Need to go back there to have the same meal - or maybe try more curries here! Had a terrible sleep. Kept waking up from itching. Had an anti histamine to let me sleep! Woke up in the morning to find that there were bed bugs! Ugh!

13 July 2017

Day 131 Another day with Dutchies - this time also with Minu. We drove to the beach (check out my beautiful red scooter and Petra's awesome kitty helmet). Chilled out there all day before Tim had to leave. Had some BBQ sweet corn for only Β£1.20! Minu told us how she had split up with her boyfriend of 10 years and this was her first trip alone. I told her it will be the best thing she does! It's the best way to find yourself and learn more about what you like as an individual rather than always thinking of someone else. Read my book about Malala - the 18 year old Nobel Peace Prize winner from Pakistan who was shot by Taliban and survived. What an inspiring young girl! She fought for what she believed in (eduction for girls) when she had everything against her. Luckily she had parents who believed in her and supported her the whole way. Also had some chicken satay and rice on the beach - yum! We then went for dinner with Luis and another Dutch guy, Beno. food was delicious! Duck!

12 July 2017

Day 130 I spent the day with 2 Dutchies - Petra & Tim. We first swam in the pool, went to Uluwatu Temple where we saw loads of monkeys and a beautiful cliff side view of the tiny temple, and then had pot noodles and coconut for lunch. We went to a beach below Single Fin bar where we bumped into Luis. Had a beer there and saw a couple taking cheese posy photos in the shipwreck. We headed up to Single Fin and had a jug of Caipiroska cocktails! Was so nice to sit somewhere beautiful and be able to simultaneously watch people in the bar below, surfers in the sea AND a beautiful sunset. We could even see the swimming pool from the hotel next door where we saw a couple taking wedding photos. Chatted about religion over dinner - deep stuff and then back at hostel we met another Dutch girl, Minu who joined us for the big night out at Single Fin! Went downstairs for the afterparty and me and Tim were doing rude signs to Petra who was kissing an Ozzie. Laughed so hard!!

11 July 2017

Day 129 Did some work in the morning while monkeys were running around on the railings trying to steal food off us! Luckily the dog scared them off most of the time! My friend Petra who I met in Lombok arrived and we headed off to the beach nearby, Padang Padang. There were loads of stalls with shawls and jewellery - I bought a silver toe ring to replace the one I lost a few months ago in Cambodia! Isn't as nice but it's nice to have a ring back on my naked toe! The beach was packed - we sat near the front and sunbathed, swam and drank a lemon Radler beer. Yum! Was good to catch up with her and find out what she had been up to in the last few days. Took some photos of us in the sunset but saw another girl taking a 'sexy' photo with a sandy bum. So many posers! Went out for dinner near the Single Fin bar but ate too much (and it was western food - not great). Went out to a bar that had a live reggae band. Met up with Luis there, a surfer dude from our hostel who told us about it.

10 July 2017

Day 128 Woke up, has an omelette for breakfast and sat at a table overlooking the hostel's pool ALL day! 10 hours of sitting in the same seat. Got loads of work done and luckily the internet was good! I needed a day just to catch up - have been bad lately and was behind on a deadline for a client. Oops! But this is one thing I need to learn how to master - the art of time management. Especially if I'm going to work as a freelancer and travel for a while! The hostel was beautiful - it had a dark blue infinity pool that overlooked a forest uninterrupted by any buildings! How calming. I didn't even feel bad that I wasn't exploring the area - I felt I had everything I needed right there! Had a quiet night!

9 July 2017

Day 127 (cont) Once I got on the ferry, I fell asleep and woke up 10 mins later to people crying and puking. I didn't realise but the waves were huge and the boat was rocking from side to side so much! One woman next to me was praying and I thought we might actually topple over! The old me would have been so scared but I was so calm, I just held on to the seat in front of me with one hand while I played solitaire in peace. I thought "if it rocks over, I'll deal with it then. I can swim, I might lose my material stuff but ill be ok!" Wow I've come a long way! The journey took forever but we made it! I then took a shuttle bus to the town near where I was staying. It took ages as we were stuck in traffic and then the bus driver wanted to charge me 200k (Β£12) to drop me off at my town! No thanks. I got off and ordered a Grab motorbike taxi (like Uber) for the 30 min journey (only Β£2) and my bum was getting so numb! My hostel was beautiful! I didn't go out with everyone else, I did work!
Day 127 Woke up at 8 after I was supposed to be picked up at 7:30! My alarm didn't go off! Tried to call the company to check what was happening and had to run to get my laundry from the shop opposite! The bus was outside waiting so I ran back inside, packed my bag quickly and said goodbye to Lou! We were 40 mins late and the driver was pissed off because we might miss out ferries! Oops! While texting Lou to check everything was ok with our bill, I realised I had the scooter key in my bag! We were 15 mins away and I didn't know what to do. I was going to ask the driver to drop me off on the side of the road and hitch a lift back so I could give the key back and change my ferry ticket for the next day but he said I couldn't. And to make matters worse, the key was he original cut so we couldn't simply pay a fee for a lost key! Luckily the driver knew the hostel owner so he said he would drop the key off the next day. I just had to pay for an extra day's rent (Β£3). Panic over!

8 July 2017

Day 126 It was raining all morning so I did some more work and then Lou and I drove to Selong beach to try and do some surfing practise. On the way we stopped at a road side restaurant with a few locals. There was a local kid walking with his 2 little brothers and he had his baby brother attached by a leash on his hand like he was a dog. Everyone was laughing! By the time we got to the beach it was low tide and too late to hire a surfboard so we just sat on the beach and watched this cute little girl playing in the sand with a pot lid. She came up to us and i put some sand in it and so she ran away giggling to herself. She was adorable. we later found out her name meant Number 1 in Indonesian. Lou and I made some videos by throwing the GoPro to each other. We saw some water buffaloes making their daily walk along the beach and then it started raining so we headed over to a cafe in the hills that overlooked Kuta Beach. Had some snacks and cocktails. Playing GeoGuesser over dinner.

7 July 2017

Day 125 Was raining today so we stayed in and i got some work done! Taught Lou some tongue twisters in english to try to get him to learn better - started with Peter Piper! Haha! Also explained how he should change his tone and vocal notes so he goes up when he asks a questions. Maybe its a french thing to not change tune much?? Went to a middle eastern restaurant, El Bazr, and had mezze for lunch and then 2 tagines - lamb and chicken! Was soooo good! We chatted for ages about our exes, about our family drama, childhood etc. Its funny how similar someones life can be - especially when you dont expect it! He didnt think i would be a teachers pet/grade a student - but i was! He showed me photos of when he was growing up and i could tell he was a shy kid but it wasnt the same person sitting in front of me! He had obviously grown as a person on this trip alone! I realised i like giving people advice on life though - i feel like ive learnt so much in the last 2 years!!

6 July 2017

Day 124 Had to wake up early for our surf lesson at 9! Got picked up at 9:45 and luckily Lou and I both knew how to drive scooters so we took a bike each and drove other students with us to a beach 30 mins away. Drove through the most incredible roads full of rice fields and greenery! Went surfing! Milan joined us there! Was so good. I thought i might pick it up fast but i had a hard time trying to figure out how to get my leg up without getting on my knee! The instructors were so lovely and one helped me out for a few minutes and showed me what to do! After that, there was no stopping me! I wanted to keep going and try the harder things! I didnt get that tired out as i was enjoying it too much! Everyone did really great, even the people who arent so sporty! On the way back, we stopped for some street food - grabbed some noodle soup in a bag! Had too much fat in! Went out for drinks with petra's new friends but they were all super boring and quiet. Had fun anyways!

5 July 2017

Day 123 Took Lou around Kuta. We visited Tenjung Ann beach, a beautiful white beach with turquoise sand! There were quite a fee local tourists sitting in the middle, so after we had lunch we walked along to the edge so we could stay away! The water was so clear and the sun was strong! I got a tan pretty quick! A local kid selling bracelets sat down next to us and just chatted. Felt sorry for him! We kept hearing the food stall song on repeat which was annoying and stuck in our heads! Avoided all messages from the 2 local friends, i couldnt be bothered to teach english today! We swam in our hostel's pool for a bit and got ready for dinner at a place nearby. Had a cocktail & local food. Tried to see who could tie a knot with their cherry stem - I won! Met up with Petra and Milan for a beer at the karaoke place and then headed to Rasta bar to meet everyone else! It was David's last night but he napped too long and came late! The local boys were super drunk and dancing loads! Was funny!

4 July 2017

Day 122 Had a day on the bike with Petra. Shes too scared to drive so we went beach-hopping on my bike. Found amazing views. Beach was beautiful but strong current. Met a guy who lived in Cardiff, named Milan. Saw buffalos crossing beach. Beautiful. Met 2 local guys, Ahyar and Minom, who both wanted to hang out with us to practise english. We invited them to do so and they were thrilled - especially because im from england and its my first language! They were nice guys. They took us to another beach but the weather wasnt great so we decided to head over to the sunset viewpoint on a hill. Was an amazing view but it was too cloudy. Had a beer and chatted for a while. Headed back to hostel as Lou (my friend I met on ferry to Malaysia) was coming! Was good to see him. We went for dinner at a place that had some amazing chips with curry sauce. Talked about english foods he needs to try! He'll be visiting London next month so I'll show him around and show him all the foods and sites.

3 July 2017

Day 121 Had early morning flight with Laura (french Armenian girl) to Bali early in morning. Chatted to her for ages while waiting for flight. She stayed in Bali while I flew to Lombok. Haggled taxi from airport to my hostel from Β£6 to Β£4! Arrived at hostel at same time as Petra, a girl from Holland. She was in my room. Went to beach with her for sunset, had a beer and chatted. She had been to lots of the same hostel i'd been! Two women selling shawls came to us and said they needed money to get home. Petra bought one off one woman so she stood up super happy and chuffed - rubbing it in the other woman's face that she had a sale! so the other woman tried to bully me into buying one too and pretended to cry. I told her no. I ended up buying 2 bracelets for Β£1.50 so we were both happy. We met up with David, my friend from Penang, for dinner - was good to see him again! Had a buffet dinner and went on to beers at a karaoke bar. Petra and i were both so tired so we didnt stay long!

2 July 2017

Day 120 Met up with Dini's couchsurfing friend Attika who I had put off meeting - i thought it would be awkward - but im glad i did! Invited Winke and Valentina. Went to viewpoint, beautiful but very instagram-targeted with posing platforms. Visited a pine forest packed with local families pitching up hammocks. Lots of people came up to us & ask for a photo - a lot of them dont get to see many tourists as they had come to Yogya from smaller villages. We headed to the beach and on the way we stopped off at a small food stand to try the local Bakso dish - meatball and noodle soup! Was delicious but the meatballs had a lot of fat and bone-like pieces. Before we got to the beach there were sandunes. You could rent a board for Β£4.50 so i did and im so glad i did. I let everyone try it and it was fun! Fell most times but was a good laugh! Attika tried it first time too! Had chicken and rice dinner on floor back near hostel. Lovely eventful day - we were all so happy!

1 July 2017

Day 119 Took Vanessa, a deaf Canadian girl from my hostel, on the back of my scooter to see the city. We visited the main shopping street where they sold lots of Batik patterned clothes and souvenirs. Had some lunch at a street food stall. V had 2 bowls - she was starving! Were taken to an art shop in a small alleyway and ended up buying a piece of Batik artwork for Β£12. Have started a collection! Visited a Batik workshop where we saw the people who created the clothes. It reminded me that I had learnt it in school in Saudi! Back to hostel, met a girl from holland (Winke) who just arrived, so 5 of us girls went to dinner together which was a nice change! Winke told us about her grandad's connection to indonesia, he used to work at s plantation. Really interesting story of how she went back to visit his old house and the new owners are half dutch half Indonesian. Went out for drinks with Winke, 3 Chile girls and Columbian Valentina. Drunk guy sat near us just listening in to us!

30 June 2017

Day 118 Yogyakarta - hired a scooter and drove around city. Visited the Water Temple, drove to Prambanan Temple but they were asking $25 for entry which i didn't have on me so i took a selfie outside and went back to parking lot. Sat and spoke to the local guys working at the parking lot for a bit who wanted to improve their English. Drove to another temple but again they wanted lots of money so i just carried on driving. Passed by a beautiful candy-shaped mosque and also an ancient temple stone that was free to walk up to and was beautiful. I watched the little kids play on the grads enjoying their surroundings. I was proud of myself for managing to drive through the Eid Holiday traffic. I was winding in and our of cars like the locals, always keeping an eye out for other traffic and without ever bumping or crashing. If i can drive through that im sure i can conquer anything. Had chicken and rice for dinner next to hostel and ate with hands. Met some nice people at hostel!

29 June 2017

Day 117 Ruined Dini's toastie maker when i suggested putting butter on the outside of the bread to make it non-sticky. Didnt realise the butter was different in indonesia. We headed off to catch the train to Jakarta for the day. I was catching a flight at night and Dini had some stuff to sort out in the city. We boarded the ladies only carriage and kept falling asleep. Didnt do much in Jakarta. Went around malls, waited a while to sort out Dini's visa and went to the back of some modern skyscrapers to find a small road of street food vendors and local markets. Had some noodle soup (as usual) and realised that these cheap local places are so much better to go to than restaurants and chains. Here the food is home-cooked in front of you, you get real people, music, conversations. I'd love to live somewhere where i could really get into the local culture and eat at places like this every day. Caught flight to Yogyakarta and got motorcycle taxi to hostel for less than Β£1!

28 June 2017

Day 116 (cont) I spent a couple of hours back at the cafe doing work - it was raining loads when we were walking to it that by the time we arrived, we were soaked (even though we had rain macs and umbrellas)! The cafe was set in the style of an old Dutch colonial office with little blue and white tiles with windmills on and old hats to try on. Afterwards we headed to the mall, bumped into some of Dini's friends, bought a new book and visited the supermarket where we bought some noodles and frozen fish pieces for a late dinner. Noodles is a common meal in Indonesia where they add meatballs or chicken or even fish balls. So it made sense why they had a pick-and-mix section in the supermarket just for these fish balls! What a great idea! We went back home and at the noodles but Dini put SO much chili on it. We messed around on snapchat and played with filters and face swaps. Was a funny night.
Day 116 (cont) I spent a couple of hours back at the cafe doing work - it was raining loads when we were walking to it that by the time we arrived, we were soaked (even though we had rain macs and umbrellas)! The cafe was set in the style of an old Dutch colonial office with little blue and white tiles with windmills on and old hats to try on. Afterwards we headed to the mall, bumped into some of Dini's friends, bought a new book and visited the supermarket where we bought some noodles and frozen fish pieces for a late dinner. Noodles is a common meal in Indonesia where they add meatballs or chicken or even fish balls. So it made sense why they had a pick-and-mix section in the supermarket just for these fish balls! What a great idea!
Day 116 Woke up early and had a cheese toastie and fruit for breakfast. We went next door to ask for a massage at Dini's house. The 75 year old grandma came over - she had been giving massages all her life and could read muscles well. She made sounds as if she was in pain every time she touched my muscles that had a specific kind of negative energy. Dini translated that my leg muscles were tired from walking a lot (yep - with a backpack on), that my shoulders are so tense (bad posture), that i have problems with my stomach and to rub salt and water on it incase of any problems. It was crazy how much she could tell from experience of reading people's muscles. She then went on to massage my head with conditioner. It was so relaxing. She then sat with us and chatted about life (with Dini as a translator) and tried to figure out my age and character. I gave her Β£6 at the end of it. Dini and i then made some Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and had a picnic outside in the garden.

27 June 2017

Day 115 (cont.) We went to a Chinese temple and met Dini's friend, a guy who works there and he told us about how they had the PM there to break fast! We went back in the Angkut taxi which was only 40p for both of us! We made some food and had a nap and then when we woke up we decided to do to a new cafe/restaurant called Upnormal as it had wifi and I needed to do some work. Once I got there, I realised had forgotten my adapter! We had a shake and ice cream anyways. The ice cream was ok but they had chunks of ice in it and the mango milkshake was just milk with huge chunks of ice and a little bit of mango syrup right at the bottom. Not great really. We walked back home, grabbed my adapter and headed to another road where we tried some durian ice cream - it was disgusting. Durian is an Asian fruit that smells of feet, tastes disgusting but has a lot of health benefits. Also had a spring roll bowl for dinner and headed to a cafe with good wifi - had a red velvet latte! Yumm
Day 115 We woke up early and had a cheese toastie, fruit and jasmine tea for breakfast. Dini's family were all away for the week so we had the house to ourselves. We went for a stroll around the town with her dog, Mocha, which turned into a 4 hour walk. We walked to the Presidential Palace which was surrounded by a huge park and a thousand deer - felt like we were in Wollaton Park! We tried some street food. There was a green UFO-shaped 'cookie' which was like a thin pancake with coconut in the middle. I stared to eat it and Dini stopped me to say that you had to eat it from the middle! How bizarre! I also tried his rectangular slab of compressed rice that was barbecued and sprinkled with brown sugar. The park was huge! There was a 'Mexico' garden with cacti and a museum of stuffed animals. All the locals were so scared of the dog - Dini got so annoyed. She'd shout "he's on a leash. Why do you have to act like that?" Same thing as Bahrain - don't like dogs as they are 'dirty'.

26 June 2017

Day 114 Was sad saying goodbye to the boys again last night (3rd time now) but planning to see them in Bali or London! Got the shuttle bus to the airport (Β£2) and got there in good time! Flight was short and when I landed in Jakarta, I got some cash out, bought a sim card and grabbed a pot noodle (with meat pieces) while I waited for my bus to Bogor. I was off to visit a friend called Dini who Majid and I met in Yangon, Myanmar last January! I knew she lived in Indonesia so thought it would be nice to see her and see where she lived otherwise I would have been lazy and just gone straight to Bali and missed out on the local experience. Didn't have long to wait at all so had to bring it full onto my bus and stunk it out! Arrived in Bogor and tried to find the motorbike that Dini booked for me but kept getting taxi offers and having to swat them off like j was in India again. Drove through the small roads of her town - was really nice to see where local people live.

25 June 2017

Day 113 Was still in the mood for Arabic food today so I asked my roommate if he wanted to join me in finding an Arabic restaurant. We found one in Chinatown (of all places) and I ordered the tabouleh salad along with some fried chicken and safron rice. It was incredible. I can't wait to go home and eat baba's food! I quickly headed to the boys hotel. They were staying somewhere plush that had a swimming pool and said I could join them for a swim. The hotel was luxurious and filled with Chinese tourists!The pool was amazing - on the rooftop! I treated the boys to beer each (only Β£5 each) as a thanks for having me over! I ordered a rum and Coke which came in a lightbulb glass. We didn't stay out long as it started to rain! But we managed to get some good photos with my GoPro dome! We had dinner with a girl Cedric met last night and went out drinking for our last night together. Had some free Lady's night drinks but Cedric's girl was boring. Was a late one anyways.

24 June 2017

Day 112 (cont.) Back at the hostel, I bumped into a guy who is 3/4 Vietnamese and 1/4 French and has same last name as Lou. We met him in Penang and kept calling him Lou's brother. So him and his French friend joined me and met up with Lou, Cedric and Morgan for dinner. Great, 5 French speakers and me. I managed to understand quite a bit but was still a struggle. Morgan lived in KL for a month as an intern so she told us it was Ladies night and that we would get drinks for free so we went to grabs some drinks while the guys sat at a bar and drank their cheap-ish drinks! At one point, they had tequila shots and I wanted a Jaegerbomb but it was Β£6 so Morgan and I walked down the bar street adamant to find free shots. After several fails, we managed to get one! From there the night consisted of getting drunk (as usual) and following the pub crawl along each bar. We went to a rooftop bar which was fun and happened to be a gay night where we met a funny fat local guy!
Day 112 Went on the Hop On Hop Off bus again (24 hour pass) and did the 2nd half of the tour. Got off at the mall and bought a new dress from H&M as I was getting sick of wearing shorts all the time! Also got off at the National Museum - did some culture! There were ancient artifices and history of the country. There was a plate with Arabic calligraphy on and it was upside down - I guess no one checked with someone who can read Arabic. There was an annoying woman near me who would take photos of objects and the relevant text but didn't take the time to read the text or actually look at the objects. It's crazy how she just cared about documenting her visit 1 something to boast about even though she didn't really immerse herself. There was even a group of school kids (age 10ish) who were running around trying to take the best photos. This is unfortunately the Instagram-Generation. Just want to take photos of things and don't want to learn anything about it or learn. Sad!

23 June 2017

Day 111 Planned to finally do some laundry today but it was self service and there was a queue for 1 machine. I had some Indian curry for lunch and ate with hands! Yum! Was so full so I paid to jump on the Hop On Hop Off bus to see the city. The speakers weren't working well so couldn't hear anything about what I was seeing. I also only had 2 hours til or finished so I didn't get off everywhere. Got off half way as it was closest to my hostel so I walked around. Back at hostel, met my dorm mate and invited him and a Dutch guy I met last night to see the Twin Towers for sunset. Got an uber for Β£1.50! Was pretty but we were on wrong side so we walked through the mall (of course) and found there were colourful dancing fountains! Met up with Lou and Cedric. Lou did a really good time-lapse! Went for dinner and had a plate of ladyfingers! My favourite! Went back to the hostel for a quiet night. Did some work.

22 June 2017

Day 110 Woke up early, half-packed ready to check out later and went on my sunrise tour. It was a bit foggy so the sunrise wasn't so amazing but it was nice to be amongst nature while it was so peaceful. No one speaking, no cars, just a tea plantation and 8 people watching the sky. We went into a mossy Forrest and also visited the tea plantation for some tea and food. Really interesting. Yesterday I made a decision to skip islands and head to KL then Indonesia. I need some yoga and calmness in my life and I was getting sick of rushing around seeing places you "should" see. Got my bus at 13:45 after meeting up with a friend from Pai for lunch. Bus station was so far out of city. Had to get a train and figure my way around. Hadn't been in a city in so long! Hostel was nice and luckily there was a pub crawl on that night so I got to meet some people. Bumped into Toby who I met in Cambodia. Told my new Argentinian friends I was a Saudi Princess πŸ˜‚ Bumped into Lou and Cedric again!

21 June 2017

Day 109 Said goodbye to Lou and Cedric in the morning and was feeling really upset. Was sick of saying goodbye to friends and never knowing if I was going to see them again. It was getting tiring giving my all when I met knew people that I got on with, only to say goodbye and then keep doing it again every few days. Tried to be strong and positive and patient, but after 3 months without any friends or family, it finally got to me. Decided to shower, get out the room and walk around. Nature is the best pick-me-up! Was too late to hire scooters so I booked a sunrise tour for the next morning, had some street food, looked around the shops and treated myself to a Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks while i read my book. Interesting passage about how "People don't complete us. We complete ourselves. If we haven't the power to complete ourselves, the search for love becomes [self-destructive]." Very true. And I realised that I need to enjoy my own company even more than I already do (possible?!)

20 June 2017

Day 108 Woke up early for my 8am bus journey to Cameron Highlands. Didn't get picked up til 8:05 so was panicking that I'd miss it but managed to get to bus station on time! Slept and read my book most of the way. Was beautiful to see landscape out the window. Cameron Highlands was more built up than I expected. I thought maybe a few small buildings - not colonial style hill top apartments. Had a private room so did some work and relaxed. Pampered myself and took my time. Had a nap. Lou and Cedric, the Swiss guys, were also in Cameron highlands so I met up with them for dinner and drinks. Lou had pineapple rice which looked amazing and I had chicken satay with rice - yum! Was hard speaking with Cedric as his French wasn't very good so Lou would translate. Lou said his English improved on his trip. Had shit mojitos at a bar - no sugar at all and so much crushed mint. Moved into rum and coke - thought it wouldn't hurt if I had a drink before meeting at midnight. Meeting went well 😊

19 June 2017

Day 107 Hung out with David at hostel while I worked (had a meeting with new client at midnight so was planning questions). David left in an uber and was sad to be leaving but we both planned to meet up somewhere in Indonesia as we'll prob cross over. We got on like an old married couple (but 100% just friends). Hollie and I were speaking to Sam, a Chinese guy who looked South American! He took us to little India and to an amazing restaurant where we had clay biryani and naan. Talked for ages - Turns out Sam speaks 7 languages and is a chef. Thought Saad would get on with him! Did some last minute work in hostel but was getting busier and I felt antisocial so I put my laptop away and had my 2 free cocktails (only). Played drinking games with a nice group of people and then at 11 when everyone went to another bar, I went to get ready for my meeting. Drunk, vomiting girl in my dorm - great! Was loud in hallway. Luckily Skype didn't work so couldn't have meeting. Moved to next day!

18 June 2017

Day 106 Worked all morning at the hostel. Irish girls and Mark left. David and I got uber to Temple half an hour away for only Β£1! Was beautiful and colourful with amazing view of city. Thought the image of Buddha was doing the Star Trek hand gesture πŸ––πŸ½ so posed for a funny photo. Had to walk through long road of shops just to get out. They sold a load of shit (Chinese tourists will buy anything). Had food at market at the bottom of hill - had mutton curry with potato and rice - YUM! Only Β£3. Had peas on side but I think some were green chillis. Nose was running and mouth was on fire! David had 2 meals - pig. Made a new friend, Hollie, from UK, and we both bought hideous underwear from the cat cafe! She wore them for night out and kept showing everyone! We all went for dinner at Red Garden (again) and had katsu curry - nothing like Wagamama's! Good night at Why Not bar again. Said goodbye to Lou and Cedric as they were leaving in the morning and staying at another hostel.

17 June 2017

Day 105 Hungover. David woke me up from my sleep because I had promised to go on the walking tour at 10:30. Lou and Cedric managed to get out of it! The tour wasn't about street art at all but was about the history of the town and buildings. Interesting enough but we were all tired and expecting something else. Had lunch in a local food court - very cheap! Did some work at hostel then David and I had a wonder round the town on the hunt for some street art. Decided not to use phones - just paper maps to find out way around. Passed by Little India which felt nostalgic (my favourite), had some fruit. Hindi music blasting in the street. Found a nice busy area, Armenia Road, with lots of stalls and paper lanterns. Beer pong again tonight. Chose the hostel owner as my partner and got to finals (could have won Β£25) but was defeated! I was doing amazing too! Went to a shit club - paid Β£10 entry and no one was dancing. Just all locals smoking and standing trying to look pretty. Boring.

16 June 2017

Day 104 Got the ferry in time. David and I got beers from duty free and chatted. His parents are from Portugal but he was brought up in holland. So interesting. Lou and his friend Cedric slept the whole way. We walked to our hostels from the ferry (10mins walk in the heat) because we refused to pay stupid prices for taxi for a 2 min drive. David joined me at my hostel. Was such a nice party hostel! We went and did some laundry and grabbed some lunch. David are a chilli and immediately got hiccups! hah! Serves him right. Met a guy at our hostel from KL who took us to a food market nearby and told us about all the foods we needed to try. Aparentlt Georgetown has the best food! I had Prawn Mee which is a prawn noodle soup. Very nice. There was also a oyster scrambled egg dish - weird! We went back to our hostel for our 2 free cocktails and Lou and Cedric came over to party with us. We played beer pong by my partner Seb was terrible so I lost straight away!

15 June 2017

Day 103 Just me and Julia left. I did some work at the hostel - send a proposal for a new website job that someone approached me for. Julia and I drove to a beach on the other side of the island and read our books. On the way back we picked up loads of little street foods and had a romantic meal at the hostel. Most of it was gross but at least we tried it! Back at our new hostel, I bumped into Lou, the guy from my ferry. He was also going to Penang tomorrow so we decided to share taxis. David was also joining us. Julia and I went to Yellow bar on the beach but had a rose and chilled. We didn't want to talk to anyone. Lou and his friend were also there! Julia wanted to come with us and was sad she was going to be there alone! We called the airline that night to try and see if she could change her flight but it wasn't possible so she couldn't come! We were both pretty bummed out as we got on well! Had an early one as we had to be up and leave by 9am!

14 June 2017

Day 102 The Irish girls and Mark left to Georgetown so Paul, the Norwegian girls, Julia and I went island hopping on a private boat trip for Β£10 each. We went to an island with monkeys who grabbed at Julia's dress JUST as she told me how one attached her recently and how she was so scared of them. It wanted her Starbucks coffee. I was laughing so much! Then karma got me. I had a fresh big bottle of water in a plastic bag which a monkey grabbed off me. I was screaming! I didn't want it to touch me and I couldn't get the bag off my arm fast enough! Paul decided to make a video of the day so he filmed us shouting "It's beautiful" in loads of places. He had fun being creative with different shots! We then went to a little beach alone and tried to relax while we kept an eye on our bags to monkeys didn't steal our stuff! At night we went to the beach for a beer and David joined us. We found a place that had free cocktails for ladies all night. David was better that night! He was good fun!

13 June 2017

Day 101 We hired 3 scooters (the Irish girls went on the back of Mark's and mine) and 2 new people joined us, Paul from Holland and Julia from Germany. We drove to a waterfall and I soon realised how funny Paul was. His humour was just so dry. We then went to the Sky Cab next door which was a 45 degree steep climb to one mountain. I was in the cab with Paul and Mark while the girls went separately (only 6 at a time). Paul as shaking the cab. If we fell, we would have been dead in a second! The view from the top was amazing but a bit cloudy! Afterwards we drove to find a beach nearby but I navigated to the wrong one - oops! Finally got there and the beach was cute and empty but little jellyfish kept pinching us! At night we all went out to find the only Irish pub in the area. 2 Norwegian girls and a German guy joined us. On the way there a guy who knew the Irish girls joined us, David from Holland who was drinking his own rum and fell asleep on the beach later. What a liability!

12 June 2017

Day 100 (cont.) The hostel was small - only 12 people in and I met the 3 girls in my room. 2 Irish girls, ShΓ³na and Aoife, and a British girl, Emily. We all headed out for dinner with Mark and an Irish guy and found a restaurant that sold some nicely presented seafood. I had the sizzling prawns with rice for only Β£4 - Yummy! Afterwards we went to a beach bar that has bean bags on the sand and we had a drink. I treated myself to a cider (3x more expensive here) and we had an early night. I was tired from the day of travelling and was worried I was going to snore because of my cold!

11 June 2017

Day 99 (continued) After rock climbing, I went swimming at the pool and did some laps and relaxed while I read my book. I then pampered myself in my room and got ready for a dinner date with myself. I dried my hair for the first time in 3 months and wore my new Asian kimono-looking overthrow. There were monkeys climbing all over my balcony and overtaking the garden below. It was great to see from behind glass doors - I didn't have to worry about them stealing anything off me! I headed down to the hotel's outdoor restaurant and ordered the bbq beef skewer and sweet corn and drank my white wine while I read my book. I didn't feel silly being alone at all - just contempt! Soon realised I had too much sweetcorn as the BBQ already came with half a sweetcorn. I tried to eat as much as I could. Although I did have room for a chocolate lava cake and ice cream - it had been ages since I had a dessert! I saw a table with a mum daughter and grandma having a table and watched happily :)
Day 99 My last full day with booked accommodation so I decided to go rock-climbing - after a morning of relaxing by the pool of course. While we were sorting out our equipment, there was a cute baby monkey who jumped around the shop trying to grab onto all the ropes. He was so small and delicate! We went rock climbing on a really amazing mountain and it was the first time I ever watched someone billΓ©(?) the rope. One person climbed up and attached the rope to clips along the mountain side so that if he fell, he'd be safe - it looked thrilling! Once he got to the top, he unattached all the clips so the next person would be free to climb up as they wanted. The courses were tough but I managed to get up 4 of them. I couldn't manage the last and longest one - my fingertips had started to blister and my legs were shaking! The views at the top were beautiful although we mainly saw grounds of a hotel - wish we saw more of the sea. Loved it though - need to continue rockclimbing back at home

10 June 2017

Day 98 Checked out of my hostel and managed to get stung on the shoulder by a huge hornet! I panicked and thought I was going to die. I'd never been stung by a bee or anything before and I didn't have wifi in my room to find out what I should do! I squeezed the sting and put some ice on and sulked for a while. Thank god I was moving out of the jungle and into a nice hotel! My new hotel had air con, an amazing duvet, desk overlooking the garden and an amazing infinity pool overlooking the pier and beach's vertical rocks. It also had a sign warning me about the monkeys! I showered, lounged around in my robe and slippers and spent the afternoon catching up on some work. Headed over to the infinity pool and read my book while tourists sat like miserable zombies staring at their smartphones. What's the point of travelling all the way to this part of the world if you're just going to spend your time doing the same thing you do at home - checking Facebook?!

9 June 2017

Day 97 Had a long day yesterday of traveling to Railay and was feeling ill so relaxed most of the evening. Decided to go for a wander around Railay area today and visited the caves - nothing special (seen so many stalagmites) but got to see some weird looking monkeys with White around their eyes and mouth! Walked through to the beautiful Railay West beach which was at low tide so I could walk along the rocks on the side of the beach. Was very relaxing and it made me feel a lot better to be out in the sunshine and fresh air. Didn't talk to anyone today but was enjoying having a break from being social. I guess I've still got a lot of introvert in me - I just need days to recharge. Had dinner and a shake at a beach bar and then went back to the hostel to do some work on my laptop. Had an early night.

7 June 2017

Day 95 Booked a boat trip - Pirate Ship - which just out of luck, the Indian couple I met last night were also on! The boat as beautiful and so was the weather. Finally a sunny day! Was sat next to the Indians and got chatting to a group of guys next to me who had just met - 1 from Chile, 2 from Germany, 2 from Canada and a couple from NZ. They all seemed lovely. I went kayaking with 2 of the guys and we went in through this amazing lagoon. It felt so surreal! We were also jumping off the boat (got free shots every time) but then I decided to be Barry Big Balls and jump off the roof with the guys and I slipped, fell sideways with my arms and legs flailing and whacked my rib. I was winded but tried to play it cool until one of the guys realised and came to help! Soon enough realised that the group I was wish were the party animals of the boat! We kept asking for free shots and drinking buckets and dancing. Was good fun! We made sure to continue the party back on the mainland!

5 June 2017

Day 93 Partied too hard last night so was hungover and had to checkout of my room by 11am (had to be moved to another room) so was pretty tired esp as I was out til late. Was raining really hard so I decided to go to a chilled restaurant bar at the end of the beach with hammocks. Tried to sleep but couldn't and kept wondering (hoping) scuba would have to be cancelled. It wasn't. Went scuba diving around 2 and somehow managed to wake myself up! Was worried I might fall asleep at the bottom of the ocean, esp as I would be pretty relaxed, floating in the water. Was on the boat with lots of Chinese - the company I went with was the only Chinese friendly diving company! they didn't speak any English but was interesting to be around them. I realised how fast they scoff food down. Geez! Saw a turtle and cuttlefish (apparently rare to see). Also saw some huge hollow cubes which were put there to cultivate marine life. Nice that the area is protected as a National Marine Park.

3 June 2017

Day 91 Got the boat to Phi Phi island - everyone keeps saying it's a small island but its HUGE! Maybe it's small in the fact that you want cut through to another bar in a few mins but the WHOLE island is massive. Beautiful though. Had lunch at a nice and cheap restaurant where the owner is Bangladeshi so was fasting. He thought I was Muslim because of my necklace. I told him it must be hard for him to work at a restaurant while he's fasting but he said he's so used to it. Now THAT's what I call Ramadan. Carrying on with your day while you fast and avoiding temptation with your own will power - not sleeping all day and eating all night and forcing everyone else not to eat or drink in public. The Arabs have got it wrong! Chilled in the afternoon outside my hostel on the beach and kept falling asleep listening to waves. Woke up and watched the locals set up a wooden stage for them to do their fire show. Met a girl in my hostel bar and spent the night with her guy friends partying!

2 June 2017

Day 90 Hired scooters today - the boys were surprised I wanted my own. Most girls they meet want to share or drive super slow - I proved to them that I'm not just any girl. I was the one speeding past them! Only cost Β£4 for the day. Headed over to the Tiger Temple which was a temple complex filled with monkeys and had 2 tiger statues at the entrance. We set off for the 1267 step climb to the top of the hill which was TERRIBLE! At every turn, there were marks to say how many steps you had taken. Some were really steep and some more shallow. By the time I got to 300, I was done! I couldn't imagine having to do another 1000! Luckily one of the guys, Ben, was also struggling so we took our time. Half way up, there was a fat Asian girl sitting on the steps. I thought "if she can make it half way, I've got to go all the way!". I couldn't imagine how tired out she was. I persevered and I'm glad I did, the view was beautiful! I was sweating so much - it was disgusting!

31 May 2017

Day 88 Just on my way back from a tour where we went kayaking through marshlands and around a beautiful vertical island. Met a nice group of people, a few from my hostel so hopefully will drink with them tonight and get to know them more. Feeling a lot more positive now and excited to get back to doing activities again. Forgot that I actually wanted to do stuff like freediving, volunteering and rockclimbing. Had an amazing time in Otres and I won't ever forget it and I really needed the break to spend some quality time with people instead of rushing around but now I'm also ready to make the most of my last 2 months seeing new places. I can always go back to Cambodia if I have any spare time at the end of my trip but everyone I know will have left so it won't be the same. No point trying to chase something. I just need to be happy it happened and move on. There are lots of new memories to be made.
Sat in a Rasta bar waiting for my breakfast. Was in bed til 1:30 today because I was so tired and also partly because I was scared to go out and see the place. But I've booked to join a kayak sunset tour which picks me up in an hour. It's weird, I've gone back to being shy and scared of meeting new people. I know I'll be ok once I go out and do it but I just got so comfortable with the people and places I knew in Otres. I met new people all the time in Otres but I had my core group of friends as my safety blanket. Even last night, I went out to get some food alone and walked past a loud bar so went in to have a beer and got dragged up to dance with some other people from my hostel. It was nice and everything but I just couldn't let myself go - it's like I was mad that they weren't my friends I had in Otres! If they weren't them, I didn't want to know. I think if I travel and work indefinitely, I'd find a different place to stay for 2 months at a time - not rush around each week.

30 May 2017

Day 87 I'm currently sat in the departure lounge of Phnom Penh's airport and I've realised that this is exactly the same journey I took a year ago when Majid was denied entrance into Cambodia and so I flew to meet him in Krabi. I had a pretty bad taste for Cambodia then and was just ready to get to the beach. We then had a really fun 3 days before he had to leave back to Saudi. How things have changed in only a year! Travelling alone has definitely made me confident with my life choices. It's made me realise more who I am, what I want out of life, what kind of people I choose to spend my time with - it's made me realise more that this is definitely what I want to do for the rest of my life. I was talking to Alex the other day about life and it made me realise how calm and confident I've become. I don't have any major worries and take things as they come. I think living with my family for 9 months also played a big part in making me like this too! Who knows where ill be next year...

27 May 2017

Otres Friends I had the most incredible time in Otres Beach. I'm really going to miss my best friends. Photo: Glecy, Alex, Kash, Sai and Dexter. Kash, Alex and Dexter are friends from home, in slough so I'm hoping I'll meet up with them in the summer when I'm back. Sai lives in Sweden but you never know! Kash has been hilarious, bringing lots of laughter to the group but I later found out that it was all at the expense of his own confidence. One day he broke down and told me about his problems in life and I told him he should respect himself more and that people will love him even more. It was good to meet his girlfriend Glecy this last week and I'm going to keep an eye out on him. He's like a little brother to me. Alex is a really sweet and caring guy who comes across differently in first impressions. He's only young but has done really well in his career but now he's got the travel bug, I'm sure he'll be back out again!

22 May 2017

Day 79 Today we drove to the waterfall and national park. I was supposed to work in the morning but I decided that this was a day I couldn't miss out on. Glecy wasn't confident driving a scooter and I didn't have one yet so it worked out perfectly that i drove hers. There was 9 of us in total. The guys were shocked at how fast I was driving - not slow like most girls! The ride took about 30 mins and was super bumpy but it was worth it. It wasn't exactly a waterfall but there was a lagoon with little rapids. Johan hired a rubber ring and I borrowed it to try and float on the rapids with - it was fun but I had to get off quickly at the end to avoid falling down the little waterfall. I convinced Alex to do the same but forgot to mention the end which he ended up going down over - and hit his rib on the rocks in the shallow water. He shouted at Dexter for not warning him but I was as much to blame! We later drove to Ream beach where it rained so we just chilled on hammocks and ate.

18 May 2017

Day 75 Sai, Dexter and I went out tonight to Everythang - a bar on the beach. Dexter's foot was finally on the mend and he wanted to party! Alex was asleep because he went to Kerfuffle the night and Kash stayed in as he wasn't feeling well. There was a DJ who looked like Ed Sheeran! He was ginger, had wonky eyes and we kept shouting out "Ed!" As he walked by and he responded. I later spoke to him and found out his name was Mischa and he was from Russia. Bet he gets it all the time! We went into Otres Corner, another bar/club 2 doors down and partied til 5am. We drove into the village to try and find a shop that sold beers and were in luck - there was only one shop open that early. Luckily they also sold some hot food so I got chicken noodle soup. We went to the pier outside Footprints hostel and sat on the beanbag on the end drinking our beers before a storm suddenly came round and kicked us off back indoors.

17 May 2017

Day 74 Kash booked a room in a nice hotel for 2 nights so he could work on his uni essay but instead he invited us over. Dexter was still on bedrest so kash was able to try and fit 3 of us in - Alex Sai and I. I checked in with Kash as if I was his girlfriend so the staff knew me. Then we had to try and sneak the 2 boys in. It wasn't sly at all - the room door was right next to the reception. The staff didn't seem to mind anyways, they just didn't want anyone to sleepover at night as it was a posh hotel and the room was only for 2 people. Well, we argued between ourselves that there were 2 seats for 2 extra guests! We ordered 1 breakfast buffet and shared between us and relaxed in a nice setting rather than a shared common room. The boys made the most of the robes and looked so good in them! Sai had had a shower and sprained his ankle on the little pebbles so I helped him raise it and put some ice on it. Typical - I'm always mothering my new friends, but hey, they love it!

16 May 2017

Day 73 Didn't have any plans today, was just recovering from island life alone but then I got a text from Sai to say that everyone had some back early. Also Dexter injured his leg and had to be wheelbarrowed off the island! πŸ˜‚ They were all going out to the Drum and Bass night at Otres Corner (which I kept telling them I really wanted to go to) so I went out to meet them. Drank at home but couldn't get a tuktuk so PK kindly picked me up on his scooter but it was raining so it was a painful ride with drops of needles on our skin! Was good to see them all again. We partied the night (and morning) away, Sai got naked on the beach as usual and there was a weird 6 eyed mannequin behind the DJ booth. When Alex, Kash and I left in the morning to go to Footprints, we thought Sai was going to follow us on his scooter but we panicked after waiting for him for 20 mins. We thought he had been beat up by Russians but he rode up, naked on his scooter! It was funny to see at 8am!

13 May 2017

Day 70-72 Decided to go to Koh Rong Samloem (again) for 2 nights because a big group of 15 from the hostel was going. I almost didn't go but i knew it was would be dead at the hostel and I'm so glad I took the chance! It was the most fun 2 days where I got to meet a good group of guys who have the same humour as me, but maybe crazier (in a good way). We spent one day just drinking and playing card games, went out at night to a nearby beach bar, had an afterparty at ours, basically because there were so many of us, we WERE the party! Then the next day we spent they whole day on the beach playing shoulder fighting wars, attempting to create a human pyramid and playing catch with a ball. That night, the boys and I went to a sunset bar and messed about with taking photos and just generally being silly. It was a good break from being on the mainland for 3 weeks straight and a different experience from when I was last on the island!

11 May 2017

Day 68 Went to Kerfuffle, a forest party, last night but as it's on til 10am, we didn't leave til around 2. Went with a good group of people - Bobby (Dutch girl who I was glued next to all night), Si (now like my good friend/brother who was on good form and fun tonight), some newbies as well as a lot of the people who work in the hostel. It has been raining all day so we were worried it would be muddy but it was luckily pretty good and didn't rain one drop at all. Me and the girls got our faces glittered-up for free! We went on the Ferris wheel and the roundabout to break up the dancing, and visited the little waterfall lake just behind the party. One of the guys, Alex (a typical looking British lad) came up to us at the end of the night to say that another guy Simon (a young and innocent Dutch guy) was the most loveliest person and that he had a really good talk with him. It was so nice to hear as you wouldn't have thought they'd get on! Oh and I bought a Kerfuffle tank top! Woo!

8 May 2017

Day 65 Spent the morning working on my laptop. I signed up to a few freelance websites and got a few proposals out. I got the tuktuk with Fisher in the afternoon and chilled at the beach bar. It had started raining like crazy by the time we got there! The grass was all flooded and was coming into the bar - getting the bottom of the freezer all wet! It was fun to watch from inside! There was a big group of people tonight! Probably all arriving in time for the Kerfuffle Jungle Party in 2 days. We played some drinking games and of course go onto "never have I ever" where you drink every time you've done something mentioned. Everyone was in a good mood and later at night we all went swimming. There was a girl called Bobby from holland, Rosie from NZ, Ashley from US, Annie from Germany and Toby from Uk (who is 1/2 white, 1/4 Lebanese, 1/4 Caribbean). I told him all about Arabic food and he was so excited to get to know more about his Arabic heritage.

7 May 2017

Day 64 It was raining terribly today so we watched TV indoors and had a lazy one. But then all the electricity went out and we had to make do with actually talking to people. One group of people playing Cluedo while I found a box of tic-tac-toe with shot glasses! We decided to play it with beer shots - easy enough - and started off with Charlie (Aussie) and Jeremy (South African). After a few rounds we realised it was a pretty intense game! Ashley (USA) and Mark (uk) joined us too and we had so much fun! We were pouring the beer into the shot glasses using a teacup (my idea to avoid too much spillage). The guys laughed at the idea but realised later that it was pretty creative and smart. You're welcome! Later, I had dinner in Sam's restaurant with Mark, watching the beautiful pink and blue sunset while I heard 3 Cambodian kids in the background watching a cartoon on their iPad - in Arabic! Absolutely bizarre!

6 May 2017

Day 63 Carole and I made some breakfast in the morning - scrambled eggs and tomatoes (the Arabic way) with potatoes, onion and garlic and 2 prawns each - which were left over from the BBQ last night. Not bad at all. Although I need to do some shopping soon! Headed back to the hostel as I didn't have my adapter so couldn't do any work and saw Si (the Swedish guy). He was telling me about how he wants to built a hostel/bar and that he'd found a piece of land. It was only 4m x 10m in size so I helped him design some bar layouts to save space and make it feel as big as possible. I thought it would be good to have a large raised wooden area with cushions and small tables so you can fit as many people as poss in the area. He loved it! Was feeling pretty chuffed that I could help him out. But I also gave him advice to talk to people who have done something similar so he can learn as much as possible from their mistakes. At night we had dinner and drinks in the next beach along!

5 May 2017

Day 62 I finally moved in! After 2 days of hesitating and being lazy, I finally packed my bags and got the tuktuk back with Fisher. My room was the smallest in the house but I didn't mind it at all, less space to cool down with the fan! I had a cupboard, ensure bathroom, fan, window, space to spread all my bag's contents onto, no mosquito nets or other people in my space. The bathroom was clean, no dripping bumguns, no sand everywhere, no broken doors that are hard to lock, privacy finally and it comes with tissue roll, soap and little hotel shampoo and shower gel. Omg what a luxury! And for only Β£6 a night!

4 May 2017

Day 61 Kerfuffle night tonight and I was staying in. No partying for me! Stayed at the hostel's beach bar drinking beer with the guys. Jesse and Mark found a double waterproof jacket for people to wear while riding a scooter. They were galloping around in it with a force in the from. We then helped Jesse get ready for the party. I had some UV paint left over from the Full Moon Party so Mark got creative and covered his whole face in paint - including his eye lids! Not satisfied, he went onto his torso and later onto his back. Jesse had no idea what was being drawn on him but he was a good sport when he found out what it all was!

3 May 2017

Day 60 Went to visit Wyanne's house today, a house I may be moving into for a few weeks. I only knew Fisher - a big friendly Welsh guy who's also a freelancer. A girl called Sammy was also supposed to visit with me but she kept rushing off to the shops and then fell asleep so I just went alone! Got a tuktuk who I thought knew where to go but he got to the main entrance (of the development) and I asked me where to go! I had no clue and no internet. Had to find a shop so I could get credit and called Wy. The house was really lovely! The lounge was open (great for parties), there was a kitchen (but no oven), the rooms were nice (with fan and ac) and the rooftop balcony was huge (perfect for BBQs). I sat with Wy (South African) and his girlfriend Carole (French) and had a few drinks while we chatted about stuff, the house, etc. I felt pretty comfortable with them so knew I had to move in! Got a lift back with them to the hostel and spent my last night in my dorm!

2 May 2017

Day 59 It was a bit overcast today so Si and I decided to bring some cushions and chairs to the grass instead of going to the beach bar seats as usual. More and more guys joined us, a bottle of Jim Bean whisky was introduced and before you know it, we've started a sessions of daytime drinking. Jesse, a NZ guy (who looks so much like Kitty's son Spencer) was showing us some interesting drinking games. I was taking some sneaky photos of the group and managed to get a panorama with Bennie doubled up. She found it hilarious and we tried again but never got it quite the same! Then I took a photo of Will next to Marks nippled and they demanded it get passed on to the next day (I was certainly not getting involved)! 5 minutes later I was creating a collage of the 8 guys receiving and giving nipple kisses. This is why I love having around with guys because you never know what's going to happen and they're good fun.

1 May 2017

Day 58 Had dinner at a local restaurant which Coke and PK took us to with a tuktuk driver, Chea. We all ordered one thing each and had it in the middle of the table - along with a load of beers. We had some weird stuff like shark and sea snails - both of which I didn't like at all. Weird textures! Poor Benny was a vegetarian so her menu was very limited and she stuck with fried vegetables. So exciting! We learnt that when you cheers a drink, you say Chol Muoy, and then you have to move your beer around your head - something about how we are all connected around the world. We were all so loud, chatting and laughing but it was good fun! So far my best friends are Si, Coke and PK! I get their sense of humour the most! πŸ˜‚

29 April 2017

Day 56 Boat Party Day! There initially wasn't enough people going on the boat trip so PK told Franzi that if she didn't go we all wouldn't be able to go and put her in an awkward position. Anyways the boat party was fun - we had a icebox full of beer, soft drinks and spirits! We went snorkelling and island hopped but to be honest I don't remember much about the scenery. We were all enjoying each other's company and chatting for ages. We had a makeshift ball - a half full water bottle - so we threw that around playing catch, jumped off the boat, drank beer in the shallow beach. The big speakers didn't work which was annoying but Leon has some small ones that did the job. We had some food on the boat - the boys BBQed some chicken. Everyone has forgotten to bring cigarettes and luckily I had bought 3 packets ($1 each only) so I shared with everyone. Si ended up buying me a packet back as thanks. It was a really nice day and was a good mix of people.

28 April 2017

Day 54 After a long day, Stephy and I had a nap on the beach beds in the shade at around 3 and I had an hour massage which I fell asleep though the whole thing. We woke up for 5 and soon enough everyone else joined us in the beach bar - looking well rested. We didn't want to sleep in our dorms because they were so hot (the fans didn't work great) and we knew we would feel even more shit. We played with the next-door neighbour's kids who Si had gotten close to since he had been to stay at the hostel 2 years ago! What started off as a chilled evening, turned into us all sat at the bar drinking beer and dancing. I suddenly hit a wall at 1am and felt so tired out I had to go to bed. We had a good night but there was no point trying to push myself any more. Photo: Si, Franzi, PK, Fischer, Me, Leon and Coke in the front.

26 April 2017

Day 53 (cont...) We watched people play volleyball while we drank our vodka, had some food and attempted to play some drinking games. I left my phone and cameras at home and only brought a bumbag with the essentials (money and cigarettes! Haha We went to the rave at about 1am, paid $5 to get in and it was amazing. There was a DJ booth behind a pile up of old cars and a fake moving rollercoaster above. There was a super fast but knackered out Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round of motorbikes hanging. We went on that immediately - only $1. There was a large walk-way above the back of the dance floor where people could sit and watch people. It rained at about 4am and started getting stupidly hot by 6! The music was a bit boring til 5am so we stayed til it closed at 10am and then got a tuktuk to the afterparty, a beautiful hippie hostel (Neverland) and we relaxed. We were all knackered and ready for bed by 1pm but Stephy and I went straight to the sea to cool down. Was a good night!
Day 53 Yesterday I bought tickets for the boat trip (for this morning) but found out it was going to be with a group of new people and wouldn't be hosted by PK and Si. So I wasn't that keen on going to it anymore even though I paid the $15 price! Also it started at 9:30 - no thanks! Had lunch at a nearby restaurant on the beach so I could have a comfy seat in the shade. Swam in the sea, read my book and relaxed. I went back to the hostel and sat with the guys. I needed to go to town so was lucky to find that Si and PK were also going on their bike. So we went (3 people with no helmets - sorry mum!) and got some vodka, mixer and ice ($2.50 each only) and got some cash out. We were set for our predrinks for Kerfuffle (a rave in a forest). Si wasn't sure if he was going to go but PK and Coke already said they were too tired. Thankfully I persuaded him in the end. The German girls joined us for drinks and some people ordered drugs for the rave as if it was a food delivery service!!

25 April 2017

Day 52 (continued) Spent the evening at the hostel's beach bar. By now I had already met about 6 guys properly - Si (Swedish), Mark (England) Josh (Welsh), Jeremy (South Africa), Coke and PK (Cambodia). The vibe at the bar was pretty lively. The staff were all dancing and Coke (with the big chain of can openers) was super happy when Ed Sheeran's Shape of You came on. It's so funny how western he's become! We also met a group of 4 Backpackers - Francey, Gina and Leon (German) and Stephy (Belgium). They were all really lovely and we decided we'd all go to Kerfuffle together the next day (a big rave in the forest). PK and I were drawing on Francey's tattoos which were really simply and looked like they needed to be filled in. Soon a tough Russian guy came, ordered a big glass of vodka and arm wrestled Jeremy but he tried to bet on who would win. Jeremy (manager of the bar) said that there's no betting! Clean, fun fight! They tried to have a friendly fight outside but just talked loads.
Day 52 (cont..) Had an interesting talk with 2 local guys who work at the hostel, Coke and PK. They were telling us about how they both lived. Pk lived with his family but went to school at a Christian orphanage. He told us about how his town only had electricity on from 6-10pm so once the electricity was out, everyone would sleep as they couldn't do anything. They told us how they had godparents from overseas, by charities where you can sponsor a child. At the end of the month they would get some money from their godparents. Coke got $2 a month, PK got $20. It was really nice to hear that they actually got the money and appreciated it. I've only been on the giving side of charity but have never seen the results. Coke's godparents paid for his education and everything but then he lost their details and could never get in touch with them again. Also, apparently bribing your teacher to pass in school is normal here! Someone can even pay $8K to become a policeman! It's so corrupt here!

23 April 2017

Day 52 Had another chilled relaxing day on the beach, Facetimed Nana Joy and Mummy while I sat on a nice hotel sunbed (for free). Good thing it's low season - the whole beach is my playground. Saw a white man with a very young Asian girlfriend and noticed he had a tribal tattoo on his leg. I wondered if he regretted having it so obvious and if he ever thought of removing it now he was older? I don't know how I'll feel about my tattoos when I'm older but that's why I keep them in hidden places. Talked to a waiter and got onto the topic about his restaurant that had a chef that only cooked Italian food and is now closed (who eats western food when in Asia?) I told him that I was a graphic designer and that maybe I could do something to help him out. Must remember to give him my business card. But I also need to figure out what I would offer a website for for local people in need. I can't charge them any money but also can't do it completely for free. Need to think about that.

22 April 2017

Day 51 (continued) I walked back to the hostel slowly and sat on the beach while I watched the sunset. A group of tourists walked by on horses (pretty) but then there was an annoying Asian couple - the boy was a skinny weedy photographer and the girl dressed up posing in the water. They just kept taking photos of each other and I was reminded how narcissistic people have become! Just enjoy the sunset or enjoy being together, why do you need to have 100s of photos of you posing? Back at the hostel, a group of people were going to the night's main event, Otres Market - where they have a stage for live bands, food and clothes stalls and a large bar. I wasn't feeling very social and hadn't met anyone yet so I was glad when I met a girl named Eli from London who was travelling solo. I had a Korean bun with chicken inside, but there were stalls selling falafels, shawarmas, Indian food, BBQ - it reminded me of the Brixton Pop that I brought Joe to 2 years ago. Had a early night!
Day 51 Walked 30 mins to Otres 1, the next beach along where it was completely empty except for a cluster of beach bars and restaurants. Sat at a restaurant and read my book and a lady came over with a basket of nail varnish trying to sell me a manicure. I told her no but she wanted me to try having an area of my leg threaded (like what you do to your eyebrows - but on a much larger surface). She said your hair doesn't grow back for a few weeks - sold! Shaving my legs every 2 days was getting tedious. She did my whole legs, armpits, upper lip, and eyebrow (middle) for $40 which sounds quite a lot now but her way of getting business was by telling me "omg you have so much hair on your thigh. How can you walk around like this? It is so much better without!" So I though, well I'm only going to do this once so I might as well try it! I have to admit, my legs feel as smooth as a baby's bottom! Although I took off my metal ankle bracelet I bought in India last year and forgot it there! ☹️

21 April 2017

Day 50 Got the minivan at 13:30 to Sihanoukville with 3 other tourists and a local guy. Luckily one of them knew where he was going and was going to the same hostel as me in Otres Beach so we got out early and walked the rest of the way. He only had a small backpack - wish I had packed less! The hostel was really chilled, it had a lounge area with 6 huge sofas and a tv - for the Backpackers who smoke weed and want to crash to a movie. Was a bit shocked at how open it was to smoke in front of everyone! The receptionist was trying to encourage everyone to buy tickets for the boat party tomorrow but I didn't get one as I was just looking forward to some quiet time to relax and read my book. I walked along the beach and found a nice beach restaurant with comfy wicker chairs on the sand and had a white wine and deep fried prawns with rice. Watch Shutter Island, extended my stay for a night and slept early.

20 April 2017

Day 49 Said goodbye to Will and the girls today and I was quite sad until I had to say goodbye to Will last. Before I hugged him and said goodbye, I saw he posted a beautiful photo and comment on Instagram about how much he will miss me and I already got teary. Then when I finally had to hug him, he popped out a friendship bracelet for me only, and said "Friendship bracelets are called that because you need a friend to put it on" and I was crying so much. It was such a beautiful gesture and one I'll never forget. I really got close to him and had loads of fun with him. I just found myself laughing all the time around him. I'll have a special place in my heart for him! Must go visit him in Barcelona in August. Again, I hate saying goodbye. It was a good 2 weeks with that lot and now I'm feeling pretty lonely (nice to have some peace and quiet) and sad not to be sharing more time with them. But it's making me stronger and I'll pick up and carry on, as I always do.

19 April 2017

Day 48 (continued) By the time we finished it was only 12:30 so we went back to the hostel changed into our bikinis, had some lunch and Shoshana (a girl from Seattle from the rock climbing trip) joined us to go to Arcadia Hostel. I had mentioned this hostel since I first met the group because it has a slide and waterpark! Was so amazing. We tried everything and when I went on the blob, I went flying into the air and fell sideways on the water. My right ear went almost deaf for a second which got me scared and I tried to blow the water out but it just hissed. Everything sounded weird afterwards but I knew it would be ok in a day! I also tried the waterslide (twice) which was absolutely terrifying once I was at the top but once I slid down, it was so fun. I flew in the air with loads of airtime, kicked my feet and landed upright (yes!). It was such a good day. I then bought Will his tower of beer for $7.50 (3.5 litres) which he was so chuffed about! 🍺
Day 48 What a morning! Woke up and breakfast took ages so had to scoff it down! As we left, the motorbike rental guy had to fill my tire with air and then swap bikes AND swap petrol. Then on the way to the rock climbing place (we were late), we drove through muddy puddles and Will slipped and grazed his elbow. Luckily a couple was also late (Dutch guy and Finnish girl) so we were ok! Rock climbing was amazing. We did Rock climbed up, then did Via Feretta around the mountain, abseiled into a cave, walked through it and afterwards we tried rock climbing courses. I managed levels 1 and 3 out of 4. Will managed to get to the top of 4 which was really hard - mainly because I told him I'd buy him a tower of beer if he got there! Alcoholic, I swear! He did it barefoot too. Not bad for a first timer. Realised how much I love outdoor sports like that - it's a great way to see a place!

18 April 2017

Day 47 We decided to bike to the seaside town of Kep today, about an hour away, but took us less because we were all racing each other on the motorway a bit, even though I was leading the way (naturally). The beach was not what we expected at all. It was windy so the water was brown and murky. It was packed with people (locals celebrating the New Year) with their picnics of hot food and kids getting ice cream - which were lovely to see. I would've loved to sit with a family and have some local picnic! We found a small seafood restaurant (all empty) and had an amazing prawn and noodle dish. So unexpectedly good! The crab market nearby was full of jarred shrimps, grilled squid and clothes market stalls. Not what I expected at all. We had a quiet night in as we had to wake up early to go Rock Climbing and be there by 8:45!

17 April 2017

Day 46 Hired scooters and drove up to Bokor National Park today to see a deserted Hill Station. It was once a tourist resort in the 20s but later abandoned and taken over by the Khmer Rouge (group who killed 1/3 of Cambodians in the 80s). The drive up was scary, and having Tonje on the back of me, I was worried at every turn that we might skid or fall over! Because of our helmets, Tonje and I looked like 70s Girly Retro Pop and Madelene and Will looked like Daft Punk. We came up with the name DerpPunk and DaftPink for the 4 of us. We had lunch at an unusual hotel resort at the top of the national park. I wondered if it would also one day be abandoned and be a tourist spot. At night we went to Nelly's bar where we met up with the other Tonje who we had also met in Siem Reap! Was good to all be together again! We got splashed with talcum powder (a New Year's tradition) and Will hit a wall. He went so quiet. It was unusual for us to see. I guess he was so exhausted!

16 April 2017

Say 45 (continued) I rushed everyone to pack their food away and stressed everyone out but we managed to make it before the bus got there. Then at the ticket office, we all had a cigarette to calm ourselves down but just our luck, the bus arrived half way through and we had to rush once more. It took us to another ticket office where we waited for ages for more people to join us. I got snacks and Will got wine! By the time we left it was 7:30 and the bus was so small it as hard to fit everyone in (plus their bags) but we managed it. The driver didn't care that we were smoking in the back seat or that we had music on full blast once more people joined us (4 people for 3 seats). By the time we got to Kampot it was 9:30 and we managed to get the last 3 person room in the hostel Monkey Republic. The kitchen had closed so Tonje Will and I tried the local cider. Madelene was knackered so she had to single bed and we put the other 2 beds together to share between the 3 of us. Snuggles!
Day 45 Well, today didn't go as planned but it somehow worked out! First of all Will realised he left his iPod on charge in the hostel, but we couldn't go back for it. Then we were supposed to get the 12 boat to the mainland but we didn't realise we were on the wrong pier and had to wait 3:30 hours for the next one. Luckily there was another boat from the hostel coming at 3:15 so Will got his iPod back and the boat was a bit delayed so he didn't need to rush (even though he did). Then I sat on the back of the boat to let Will have some of my seat - I was fearing for my life for the 30 min journey (why do I do this?! I should have just let him stand!). Then there were no more seats on the buses to Kampot so we were going to get a cab for $45. The girls and Will sat at a cafe while I went to get my passport and pay my loan (from the hostel), and I found out there was a bus with space and only for $5 each going in 10 mins! So I booked it, ran back & found everyone had ordered food. Oops

15 April 2017

Day 44 Today we went on a fishing and snorkelling boat trip organised by our hostel where I caught my first ever fish (by the eye). Who knew the Cambodian style of fishing worked well for me! Snorkelling was ok but we were surrounded by sea urchins so I was pretty petrified of getting cut! We floated in the sea with life jackets around our hips and drank warm beer. What a life! We drank loads at night but I held back a bit to let Will have his night. He was upset that there were no gay men anywhere on his trip and he kept getting upset when he was left alone while the girls went off to flirt with guys. But tonight 3 gay Thai men arrived so I had my Wingwoman hat on! I got them to play Twister but Will was too bothered about sorting out the music. I even tried to get him to get involved with the waterfight to flirt with Jonathon (a new guy) who we later found out was with Alex ( a Swedish guy who we had no clue was gay). Poor Will. At least he had a good night. My love 😍

14 April 2017

Day 43 2nd day of Khmer New Year and I was not feeling great. The 2 nights of partying has caught up. Luckily I wasn't the only one. All my friends were also feeling so tired out. It was probably also because of the weather. It had rained hard early in the morning and it was overcast (the pressure in the air definitely affects your mood). Napped and read my book (Fear of Flying) on the hammock but the restaurant nearby was playing 5 annoying Khmer cheesy dance songs - on repeat. I couldn't handle listening to them for too long so went to my bed and read my book and napped. Twice. Didn't even feel like eating lunch but I had to have something. For dinner I had veg spring rolls and drank water and ice tea. We were all in a funk and wanted to save ourselves for the next night (the final day of New Year). Went to bed early, read my book and slept a good 10 hours! I clearly needed it!!

13 April 2017

Day 42 Felt hungover and a bit burnt so I stayed on a hammock in the shade and napped. Finally finished my book and swapped it with The Girl on the Train. Was the first day of the Khmer (Cambodian) New Year so the staff had balloons up everywhere and the little local kids (who's parents worked at the hostel) were running around with water guns spraying each other. It was BBQ night so had a meat dish for $7 and managed to swap my stick of squid for another stick of prawns. Yum! We ran out into the sea once it was dark to try and catch the phytoplankton before the almost full moon would come up and make it hard for us to see them. Had a good night again - met a guy called Joe who I guessed straight away was from Croydon. Had another Shipwreck shot so Saudi had 2 points and was belly dancing with the Moroccan and Half Egyptian/Dutch guys. Haha. I'm sure I embarrassed myself but everyone was so shocked I was one of the oldest there yet I was the funnest - full of energy!

12 April 2017

Day 41 I skipped breakfast and had an early lunch to avoid spending too much money. I only had $100 on me and there are no ATMs or wifi on the island. They do a loan system for anyone who runs out of money - with 10% interest. Ridiculous but I didn't even know there were no ATMs so will probably need to borrow! And it's a tab system! Got the first hammock in the water and read my book for 3 hours. Forgot to put sun lotion on so got a few shades darker quickly. Was so nice just lying in the middle of the water, rocking to the waves. So peaceful and nice for a change that there's nothing else to do! Good thinking time. Ray from Pai checked in so he joined our group. 5 Norwegians now! Partied at night and met lots of nice people. Played twister and got the party started. Had a Shipwreck shot and got Saudi on the country board. Met a guy from Mansfield who was with an older rich woman (his sugarmama) so I told him to buy me a shot (with her money). Oops!

11 April 2017

Day 40 Woken up by dogs barking at a monkey in a tree next to our dorm. Annoying but hey, not every day that that happens! We had breakfast and checked out of Driftwood. We hiked 1 hour through the jungle and sea (we had to walk through water for a bit of it) to get to MaPai Bay, a busier beach with more hostels and bars. We bumped into Tonje and Madeleine from Funky so had lunch with them and loud Will was back telling stories of our previous day's adventures! The hike through the jungle was so humid and we were all sweating so much! Was worth it though. It was good fun! We got a taxi ($20 each!!!!) to Mad Monkey hostel and were blown away with how beautiful it was! On a beach all by itself in amongst a jungle. The best hostel I've ever seen! It had hammocks an swings in the water for daytime lazing around and a huge bar/restaurant area for the night. Our 12 bed dorm was nice too - open plan with mosquito nets. Every walkway is an adventure - bridges, jungles, white sand paths. 😍

10 April 2017

Day 39: Beach life Woke up on the bus feeling so tired and groggy! Not the best sleep! Arrived at sihnoukville and waited on the pier to catch the boat to Koh Rong Samoalin (the small one). I felt like I could be sick because of the heat and waves! Luckily I was ok. We got a small speed boat rather than a ferry (to the bigger and busier Koh Rong) and noticed the heavy clouds ahead. There was a half rainbow, like a gay gate welcoming us in - there was hope for Will after all! We arrived at a beautiful quiet beach and got a taxi boat to another smaller more deserted beach to check into our hostel, Driftwood. Before we got there, it started to chuck it down so we were soaking and so were our bags. We got to the beach and saw a little shack with 6 hammocks and assumed that was the hostel! So small. Luckily it was was just a resting area. Our hostel was an amazing rustic treehouse in the forest overlooking the beach. It was set up by a group of volunteers looking to live in a remote beach

9 April 2017

Day 38 Had another day by the pool. Our last day before most of us were leaving. Will and I were getting the night bus to the south of Cambodia. Will bought a beer tower for us to share ($8 for 3 litres) so we continued drinking slowly through the day. Volleyball wasn't as good as yesterday because we had random people involved - it was so much better with just the group from yesterday. Will kept teasing Souf about wanting to get with him but he was a bit uncomfortable.It was sad to say goodbye to everyone! Will and I were picked up at 7 and got a rickety metal cart to the bus station that went over weak little wooden bridges! We drove through the market and saw how beautiful but poor it was. Shame we didn't walk around the town more. Will and I shared a double bunk (surprised they didn't put me alone - but a guy was supposed to sit there next to me. No way. Will and I talked til 4am about how amazing backpacking solo is and were amazed at the view outside of the bus! ✌🏼

8 April 2017

Day 37 Spent the day by the pool playing volleyball with a group of fun guys (Jake and Paul from Manchester, Soufian from France/Algeria, Josh from France and Catrina from Spain). We played volleyball for hours and it was a good game! They said I played well - I didn't even realise how much I liked playing it (that's the great thing about travelling - trying loads of different activities). We went to the night market for dinner and chatted for 2 hours about funny stories (3 of the guys had insane stories about accidentally getting with ladyboys!!) We were laughing so loud and Will was making loud sex noises so i think we scared a lot of customers away but we all had such a fun time we didn't even care who was around us. We went back to the hostel for drinks and ended up going out to Pub Street for a wild night out. We were playing limbo in the street, dancing on the stage and went to the cocktail van again for more cocktails. I bought an orange juice for a local beggar girl πŸ’”

7 April 2017

Day 36 Woke up feeling a bit hungover and told myself I was going to have a chilled night in. Spent the whole day on the Skybar working and finding a new song for my GoPro video. Had a shower and changed so I could go to the bar and meet some people casually. Problem was, the hostel has a different event on every night and tonight was 20 Dares. I thought I'd maybe do a couple just to meet people. Marcio and Stefanie weren't very social so I ended up talking to a 19 year old Norwegian girl, Tonje, and a gay Canadian guy named Will. They were good fun and soon enough we had 2 big shots each. We played the 20 dares game (i.e., take a photo with Ewan McGregor, act like an animal for 1 minute). The winner was taking me around trying to help me finish as he wasn't allowed to tell anyone he had finished. I came 4th place! Had a good night out afterwards and danced outside a cool cocktail van in the street. Went back to the hostel and we all stayed up til sunrise chatting.

6 April 2017

Day 35 Did some work and GoPro video editing in bed then headed over to the Skybar to have some brunch. Had Lak Lok, a local Khmer dish of beef and rice with a pepper and lemon dressing. So yummy but the beef was a bit tougher than I would have liked. Swam for a bit and got ready for a possible night out. I recognised one of the Brazilian guys (Marcio) and sat with him and Stefanie, a Dutch girl, and we chatted. When 2 drunk Aussie guys tried to come over and talk to us, Stefanie was being so cold. I found them annoying but I dealt with it a bit differently, but just smiling and not really replying back with much. We eventually got up and changed tables and then the rest of the Brazilian guys joined us and we played a Dutch drinking game (Buses) with beer. Thank god we me didn't have any vodka shots during the game like we had planned (the boys couldn't find a brand new bottle of Grey Goose they had in their room! Had a good night out - very interesting lot!

5 April 2017

Day 34: Funky Flashpackers Decided to walk to another hostel on my list, Funky Flashpackers, to see how it looked. It was insane. 4 floors with a pool and beanbags at the front, a bar at the bottom, Sky bar at the top and even a sun lounge rooftop opposite. And lots of loud music being played. I decided to check out the sky bar as the pool was so crowded and saw Dick, the Swedish guy I had met in Pai! So funny to bump into him. I went back to the hostel, grabbed my bags and decided to check in and meet people. I stayed in a 32 bedroom dorm which I thought might be pretty packed but they designed the rooms so well that it didn't feel like so many people were in the room. I met Dick at the sky bar and met 2 British guys (Brad and Billy) who were starting working at the hostel in the next day. I'd love to do that! Also met some Brazilian guys who I tried to speak Portuguese to. They were impressed. Did a jΓ€ger train for $1 each! Love this hostel!

4 April 2017

Day 33: Angkor Wat Woke up early to meet the tuktuk driver and head to Angkor Wat. $37 for one day - ridiculous! Sunset was lovely but Angkor Wat was boring (I've seen so many old temples so I was a bit blasΓ© about it it all). The other 5 smaller temples were lovely - especially the Tomb Raider one with had trees growing in between all of the bricks! Had lunch outside a temple and paid $5 for my driver to eat which was the least I could do considering he woke up so early! Saw where they were putting up a stage for the Khmer New Year on the 15th outside one of the temples. Decided that I shouldn't rush to Bangkok just for the Thai New Year. There will be less touristy, and still good ones everywhere in the area and would prefer to enjoy my time here rather than rush around! Got home at 11 and was KNACKERED. Checked into a dorm, has a nap and had a drink at the restaurant/bar downstairs later. A group of people played beer pong but the hostel was quite antisocial. Everyone with friends

3 April 2017

Day 32: Leaving Thailand Steph, Louise and Greg joined me at the pool in the morning so we could have lunch together and say goodbye! Felt sad leaving the girls as we all got on well. My flight left at 4:30 to Bangkok and then on to Cambodia. Met a guy from Norwich who was on the same journey so that was funny. Had pot noodles for dinner in airport and got to my hostel at 10, had a local rice and chicken dish with a yummy peppery sauce, and booked a sunrise tuktuk tour with the reception as I was only expecting to stay 1 or 2 nights. Had a private room so I could get some sleep but didn't think it through. Had to do some last minute work emails and only have 4 hours sleep!

2 April 2017

Day 31: 😒 Leaving Pai on a minivan to Chiang Mai and I feel like my eyes are tearing up. I had such a good time and met so many amazing people. Pai is so quaint and small that you all end up doing the same things together and getting so close. The usual routine goes; wake up and have breakfast in the common area while you chat to everyone so you can find out who's doing the same things, then shower and do an activity (or go to the pool if you're feeling hungover), come back to the hostel and find out how everyone's days have been, scooter into town to get street food on the walking street (it's always BBQ chicken and okra skewers), go back to the hostel, drink and chat, go out, wake up and repeat! Been hungover more than I'd like to have been but had such amazing nights (even though there are only a handful of bars). You really end up feeling like a family and then it's so sad when people leave. Saying goodbye is definitely the hardest, and not knowing if you'll see them again. 😒

1 April 2017

Day 30: Last day in Pai Went for brunch with Steph and Louise as Steph was heading to Chiang Mai. I had poached eggs and mushrooms but was jealous of Steph's Shakshuka. We said our goodbyes and Louise and I drove to see the White Buddha which we had to walk up loads of steps to get to but we were knackered and it wasn't so great to see! We went back to the hostel where I had a nap, did some work, and I met a Londoner called Fran and an Aussie named Zac. Nice, friendly people! We all went out to the walking street a big group (with Londoners Megan and Freya) and had some street food. We wanted to have a quiet night and find a chilled bar, which we did, and had a drink but then we found another chilled bar with a bit louder music and I ordered vodka red bull which encouraged others to do the same! Obviously it ended up becoming yet another wild night. Megan was so crazy and someone we ended up on 2 guys shoulders to get a photo! We danced in the rain in the street!!

31 March 2017

Day 29: Hot Springs Had another lazy hungover morning - getting sick of being hungover all the time. This is not what I expected from Pai but the nights are so fun and the people are awesome so Its worth it! Went to pick Steph up from her new hostel then Louise Steph and I drove 30 mins north to the hot springs. Some of the roads were so steep I was worried if we would be able to make it up. It was hard with the weight of both of us! The hot springs were nice and quiet and warm. Some parts seemed to be handmade but it was still beautiful. We found some mud under a tree and applied it on our faces which resulted in baby-bottom-smooth faces! Some little local kids were tried to splash us so I ended up playing with them and picking them up and throwing them. They loved it! I guess everyone just ignores them and wants to relax. Reminded me of days when I used to throw joe around in the pool in Bahrain! Had a massage, pedicure and food and chilled at the hostel.

30 March 2017

Day 28: Pai Was having a lazy and tired hungover day today. Had some Massaman curry at a local restaurant nearby with 9 boys! Sometimes I feel like I get on better with boys because I have 2 brothers. I get their sense of humour! The curry was delicious! Afterwards we headed to the swimming pool again and I saw Louise and Steph so sat with them and got them to join in with the guys to play frisbee. Almost knocked a few people out! πŸ˜‚ was so nice to just be in the water and out of the heat! Had a beer to get rid of my hangover and then back to the hostel to get ready for a night out! It was a lot of the guys last nights so we were prepared to have a messy one! Went to Yellow Sun bar and had some rums and beers and bumped into Steph who was staying at another hostel so Louise and I were so happy to see her! Ended up going to Why Not bar again too late and eating more chicken nuggets - long and late night again but was really fun!

29 March 2017

Day 27: Pai Went scootering with 4 girls (had Steph on the back of mine), and went to visit the Chinatown which I had suggested. Was so embarrassed when we got there as it wasn't what I expected at all. It looked built for tourists and deserted. Luckily there was this insane hand-powered Ferris wheel with swings for seats so we tried it out. It was hilarious, scary and only 50p!! We drove to a waterfall which was pretty but quite dried out and we chilled there with the water trickling in our feet. Louise kept slipping in! πŸ˜‚ We had dinner at the night market and had drinks at the hostel and decided to go out this time. I hung out with the guys (Bram, Micheal, Ray, Dick, Toby, Ben, Sol) and told Bram to save me when Ray was trying to dance with me! I told him "I don't like dancing. I don't want to dance" but he didn't get it so Bram kept talking to me. We all got loads of chicken nuggets and cheese donuts from a nearby stall and I stayed up til late chatting to Bram.

28 March 2017

Day 26: Pai I had brunch with Ryan, a guy from Leicester who works at the hostel and then rode my scooter around town to get my bearings. It was tiny but in a nice way! I had a watermelon juice at a restaurant by the river and back at the hostel I met a girl, Louise from London, who was staying in my dorm. We went to the Canyon to check out the sunset and loved how interesting it was! There were narrow chalk paths on the top of the hills which you had to climb up and down. We went to the market to have some food and managed to find a restaurant where the owner was so angry all the time and the kitchen's timing was terrible. I finished my food before Louise even got hers! At the hostel we chilled at the common room and drank some beers but decided not to go out. Met some nice guys; Micheal (Scotland),Bram (Holland), Ben (Manchester), and Steph (Canada) and 2 fun Portuguese guys. It was so nice just chilling and chatting for ages! Although I smoked loads of cigs. Need to stop! 🀐

27 March 2017

Day 25: Getting to Pai I got a minivan for Β£5 to Pai, the small hippie town north of Chiang Mai. The bus took 3 hours and would have been manageable (seeing as I've been on some terrible car journeys) but I didn't have my headphones and felt really queasy the whole journey! I stayed at the hostel Spicy Pai which Lucie recommended me and arrived at 5pm and went up to the common room straight away to meet other people. There were so many Brits and everyone was really friendly. They were playing drinking games and has ordered burgers but I didn't eat dinner (arrived too late to order) so when we went out, I had to come back pretty quickly. I was so drunk and didn't feel good at all. πŸ‘πŸ½ chilling by the campfire and meeting loads of people! πŸ‘ŽπŸ½ feeling sick on the car journey and thinking I lost my headphones!

26 March 2017

Day 24: Last day of Chiang Mai Mandy, Laura and I booked the hostels taxi driver to take us to the Mae Sa Waterfall where we walked up to the top layers of pools and relaxed. We then went to the Doi Suthep temple on top of a hill that overlooks Chiang Mai. At night Mandy and I went to the Sunday Market, bought a few bits (a skirt with a band of traditional pattern at the bottom and a small purse with traditional pattern). We then had drinks at a bar until it closed at exactly midnight so we bought some beers and went back to the hostel to chill with the rest of the hostel. One girl from England was so drunk she was making such a fool of herself and then was sick! πŸ˜‚ Oh, and I lost my brand new denim shorts at the laundrette! They must have packed them in with someone else's load :(

25 March 2017

Day 23: Elephants We woke up early and waiting around while bread was toasted over an open fire (and grill rack). We trekked for an hour which didn't feel long at all because there were so many new people to talk to! Didn't slip this time but ALMOST slipped about 5 times. Not the best trainers. Had lunch at our destination and were dropped off by car at a river where we went on a huge bamboo raft, paddled by 2 local men. It was so relaxing being in amongst nature. Afterwards we were taken to an elephant Sanctuary where we fed 3 elephants bananas, bamboo and corn. We later bathed them but didn't like how the owners were shouting at them more than we would have liked. πŸ‘πŸ½ River rafting and elephants splashing water onto us in the river.

24 March 2017

Day 22: Into the Wild (camping) We finally got to the waterfall and met the rest of the group, jumped into the freezing water and relaxed. It was so worth the sweaty hike! Our tour guides attempted to fish - and failed at making a catch - and we walked 5 mins to our camping site. It was a cute wooden hut with 6 triple beds separated with mosquito nets. I had one all to myself! We had a freezing shower (there was NO electricity or heating) and lit the candles while food was being prepared and got to meet the others from the group. We enjoyed our candle lit, homemade Thai curry with a delicious Chilli paste and afterwards we made a bonfire and sat around talking about languages (the topic of the trip, it seems to be).
Day 22: In the Wild (Trekking) Today I started a 2-day trip to see Elephants and go hiking to sleepover at a hill tribe village. Got picked up and met 2 German girls who would be joining me and we were driven for 1.30 hours to the Elephant Sanctuary to have Pad Thai for lunch only to find out that we would actually be hiking today! We walked for about 4/5 hours in the sweltering midday heat up steep hills, through cabbage fields and made our way to a bar cave (which had no bats!) Me and one of the girls were struggling and had to keep stopping for water - luckily we had a full 1.5 litre bottle! I slipped on the dry and dusty ground TWICE and thought I had injured my fingers as I noticed they were swollen. Luckily they were just swollen from the heat. My arms had broken out into white spots because I applied sun lotion AND bug spray so my skin could hardly breath let alone sweat! I wish I didn't get out of bed but I persisted as I knew the end result would be worth it!

23 March 2017

Day 21: Ziplining Went ziplining today with an American couple who met in Bahrain while in the military (small world!) and felt like part of their family but also like their nanny as their daughter would hold my hand as we went down the sandy slopes. Was really lovely to spend the way with them and they invited me to visit if I was ever in America! Once I got back, I had a Thai Massage at a place where the masseurs were ex-inmates! Interesting and so cheap and lovely. In the evening, I drank with a few girls from the hostel and one of the hostel's owner's friends took us to visit a "Midnight Chicken" place where locals go after the bars and clubs! We ordered loads of pork ribs, sausages, fried chicken and rice via a pre-printed menu which our new friend has to just tick! Was good to see a place where tourists don't often go!

22 March 2017

Day 20: Chiang Mai Had to pick my Visa card up from the bank today! Thank god nothing was wrong (I told them it was my old card)! I hired a scooter and drove around Chiang Mai and kept going round in circles (getting lost). Had a mango and yogurt shake, visited some temples and had lunch at a really cheap place that was empty (the kind of place tourists don't go) but I gave it a chance and sat at the front while I drew. By the time I left, there were 5 more tourists. I'm pretty sure they felt more confident in entering when they saw another tourist eating. I went to the tour agency and booked 2 trips - one was ziplining in the forest, and the other was a 2 day trek. Back at the hostel, I met 3 German girls from my room so 2 of them (Mandy and Lea) joined me for drinks and dinner in the Yellow Garden (bar area). Had a curry, beer and rum & coke. Didn't stay long but we went back to the hostel and chatted with the rest of the group and met 2 California/Filipino girls.

21 March 2017

Day 19: Chilling I slept on the overnight bus for quite a while but arrived at Chiang Mai at 06:30, before my hostel reception had even opened. Luckily a French girl was there to let me in so I could have a look at the tourist leaflets. I checked in and slept until 10 and when I woke up and made my way to the common area, Hemm (Helen's housemate in London) was at the desk sorting out some bits. Such a small world. I went into town to have some lunch and get some cash out but my card was sucked into the machine and luckily there was a number I could call to get it back! But not until the next day and it wasn't for certain I'd get it back since it was foreign! Ugh! So I spent the rest of the day just chilling at the hostel with Hemm, chatting about family and life and everything in between! We got the meet a load of people from the hostel (most of whom were German!) and chatted all night long. I love nights like this!

20 March 2017

Day 18: Death Railway A lot of Prisoners of War died during the construction of the Thailand-Burma Railway (known as the Death Railway). I rode the railway from Kanchanaburi to Nam Tok where I met a group of loud Belgium tourists who were friendly to me and sat next to a Irish Geography Teacher who works in Falmouth. At Namtok, I got a tuktuk to the highway (with a creepy old man), caught the local bus (full of staring school children) and arrived at the Hellfire Pass Memorial (the worst part of the railway cut through a huge rock). It was so hot just walking outside, around the old railway track bar I couldn't imagine having to actually cut away at the rock! The hellfire pass was 60m in length and 25m in depth. Insane! There were memorials of family members all around. I managed to catch the last train back, met 2 Filipinos and picked my bags up from the hostel before going to the bus station where I was in another rush to make the last bus. Need to be better at timing!

19 March 2017

Day 17: New Friends Solo travelling now and I was worried I would find it hard to meet new people but I'm a big believer in fate and timing. After going around Kanchanburi by myself on a scooter, visiting the museum of the Death Railway, I thought this stopover would be pretty lonely. But luckily I went back to me hostel to check in and met a girl from Belfast called Hannagh who was in my room! We spent ages talking about everything and I went for dinner with her and her friend who has a baby with a Thai guy. We went around the night market, bought some clothes, chatted for ages and realised we were so similar and spent he evening getting drunk together until 3. Was a good night! We spilt Pringle all over the street and i pretend i didn't speak English in a bar to try and get her to sing - it didn't work! Hopefully I'll meet her again in Bali in June!!

12 March 2017

Day 10: Full Moon Party Woke up extremely early and headed to Chaweng Beach since our area was pretty empty. Parked out stuff at some sun beds, bought donut rubber rings, ankle bracelets, cocktails and had lunch on the beach. Aisha had a massage and we booked our boat to the Full Moon Party. Headed back and after getting ready, we waited 45 mins for the bus to take us 100m. Waste of time! Full moon party was insane - a mix of people, tour groups, old ladies, kids, backpackers. Had loads of vodka red bull buckets and headed home for 2. πŸ‘πŸ½ Spending the day on a proper beach - living the dream with a cocktail in one hand! πŸ‘ŽπŸ½ Being loaded onto return journey boats like cattle. Luckily we cut in!

11 March 2017

Day 9: Flying to Thailand We had an early morning 10-hour flight to Bangkok and struggled to watched any movies as we all kept falling asleep - tired out and a bit hungover! Bangkok airport was a bit of a culture shock for the girls as it was full of advertisements for skin lightening cream and Thai signs. We checked in for our internal flight and managed to get an earlier flight as we were plenty of time to spare. We had free access to the Bangkok airways lounge with free food and coffee. Sweet! Our airplane to Koh Samui was a small jet with external propellers. So cute. Got to Koh Samui and walked along the beach outside our small hotel which had beautiful restaurants along it. πŸ‘πŸ½ Stepping outside the airport to the heat! Finally summer is here! β˜€οΈ πŸ‘ŽπŸ½ Landing in the small plane and the pilot braking suddenly! Not great for aisha who gets scared with turbulence!

10 March 2017

Day 8: FINALLY SOME SUNSHINE! Keen to make the most of our last day, we packed our bags and headed to the beach where we spent most of the morning sunbathing in our hoodies (it was windy). We bought some postcards and had some lunch on the Coogee Pavilion rooftop while we wrote to our family. The clouds finally parted and we had the afternoon to sunbathe on the beach before heading off to a nearby beer garden where we met Aisha, her friends and my old friend Anisa. We didn't stay long as we had to get up early for our flight to Thailand. πŸ‘πŸ½ Relaxing in egg-shaped swings while we waiting for Aisha, feeling pretty content with our day of sunshine. πŸ‘ŽπŸ½ Sunbathing in our hoodies with half-an-hourly announcements from the lifeguard to remind us that the beach was closed to swimmers!

9 March 2017

Day 7: Sydney Tower It was rainy and windy again today so we didn't get our day on Bondi beach as planned and instead caught up on some much needed rest. We were knackered from our action packed week so went to Aisha's house, packed ready for our flight the next day and went into the city to meet aisha where we had some sushi, went up the Sydney tower (tallest point), had kangaroo & emu and crocodile pizzas for dinner and had a cloudy cider in a local pub. πŸ‘πŸ½ Loved seeing an almost complete circle rainbow from the top of the tower! The view was just amazing and luckily we didn't get stuck in the rain for long! πŸ‘ŽπŸ½ Didn't like eating kangaroo or crocodile - crocodile was too chewy and kangaroo was too tough and flavourful!

8 March 2017

Day 6: Blue Mountains We hired a car and drove to Blue Mountains, a 2 hour drive out of Sydney that's supposed to be a spectacular view of the Three Sisters range. however the weather was so cloudy (especially so high up) that we barely saw anything. We didn't get to see kangaroos but we got to see a waterfall and later stopped by McDs, dropped the car off in the city and checked into our Hostel in Bondi where we had a private room, met other tourists and had a good night out! πŸ‘πŸ½ Meeting new people at the hostel and feeling like we were on holiday. Also, smashing it at pool in the bar. πŸ‘ŽπŸ½ Arriving at the viewpoint only to see a sheet of thick white clouds. We didn't even get out there car - we turned around and drove back to Sydney.

7 March 2017

Day 5: Bondi to Coogee Walk Today we decided to attempt a beach day at Bondi and then walk from Bondi beach to Coogee- roughly a 2 hour coastal walk. The weather wasn't great- it was windy, cloudy and raining on and off. Instead of sunbathing we had a drink at the Iceberg Bar overlooking the beach and started our walk. Luckily we just missed the downpour by the time we got to Coogee so watched it from inside the Coogee Pavilion, a restaurant overlooking the beach. My friend Anisa, from Bahrain, joined us for a drink and we later went for dinner nearby to catch up! We hadn't seen each other in 2 years! πŸ‘πŸ½ Sitting inside the Pavilion drinking wine wth Franny and Anisa, happy we weren't out in the pissing rain! If we didn't know better, we would've thought we were in Brighton!! πŸ‘ŽπŸ½ Walking up the steep steps near the end of the coastal walk. By half way I was fed up of the weather and the walk. It would have been beautiful on any other day though!

6 March 2017

Day 4: Walking Tour (2/2) We met up with Aisha to have lunch at the Glenmoore Rooftop Restaurant which had a pretty amazing view of the Sydney Opera House! We all had the same meal (again) - chicken katsu burger - and a bottle of local wine! Then Franny and I walked halfway on the Harbour bridge to enjoy the views of the city and as we walked towards the quay to the Opera House, we passed by the Rocks, an area of Sydney which looks like a set from Coronation street. We even found a little shop selling all war-time tinned items like soap, beans and vegemite. Was a nice little reminder of home. We had a cocktail at the Opera House Bar and bathed in the glorious sunshine! Now we felt like we were on holiday!! The only thing that was missing was a cigarette with out drinks, but thankfully, Australian law is pretty strict and bans smoking in most places. Probably for the best! We met up with Aisha after work and caught the ferry to Manly where we had some seafood (oysters were shit)!
Day 4: Walking Tour (1/2) Due to the unforeseen shitty weather in Sydney, Franny and I moved our plans around to make sure we would have Friday free for the one sunny day we were expected to get. Since Monday was windy, we moved forward our plans to go on a free walking tour around the city - great way to get our bearings. We got a bus to the city centre and joined the Free Walking Tour, and were pleasantly surprised to find the sun was shining! The group was full of the usual tourist types, the old women with their walking poles, the youngsters in their 'active wear' (looking as if they were ready for a marathon) and the backpackers in their super functional kaki trousers. We were lucky enough to be taken around by the founder of the walking tour company herself. She must have been 30-ish but showed us around the city with such enthusiasm and she clearly knew the history of her city. I left feeling smug with plenty of interesting facts to dish out for the rest of the week.

4 March 2017

Day 1: Flying to the Upside Down World We started our 27 hour journey to Sydney (via Dubai) with a plan to stay awake on the first leg, and so we had finished a bottle of Prosecco before we even got on the plane. It didn't quite work out, we were knackered from a day of excitement and the new Disney film, Moana, wasn't that exciting. We spent most of the journey to Sydney eating, drinking and sleeping - in that order. And the sleep wasn't quite a sleep but an uncomfortable snooze with heads twitching frequently. The flight felt like forever as we counted down the hours until we could get off the plane. We were going a bit mad and my feet were swelling up like a balloon. Disgusting. The steward must have thought we were weird as we kept ordering the exact same meal with almost the exact same drinks. It became a bit of an inside joke with him that he knew what we were going to order. Oh and they fed us so much!! Our poor stomachs must have been so confused!