Australian Adventure Day 5: Sweating

For my last day in Sydney, I decided that I couldn’t leave without seeing the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge! That’s like Sydney’s icon!

Today was probably the warmest it’s been since I have arrived and I will admit now, I didn’t put much sunscreen on so yes I did get quite burnt today! But, it was beyond worth it!

I went to the Central station and got on the train to go to Circular Quay which is the stop for the Opera House. This train ride was a bit longer but once I got there, I got off the train and enjoyed the views! They were breath taking and even though it was a little warm, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and I got to take in all the beauty that was before me!

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Australian Adventure Day 4: Crocodile Rocking

I don’t know if I’m just getting lucky with this amazing weather or this is really how nice it is right before Australia’s winter. Beautiful blue skys and nice and warm!

Today I decided to go to the “Wildlife Sydney” which was the third and final part of the 3some tickets I bought for the main Sydney attractions. Let me just say this: I finally got to see a saltwater crocodile in real life! (not wild unfortunately, but I’m hoping that will change by the time I’m done in Australia!!) It was amazing to see all of the “deadliest” snakes and spiders and even birds that exist in Australia’s wilderness! And of course the adorable wallabies and kangaroos! (Yes I wanted to steal a joey but again I’m waiting to see them in the wild ;))

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Later that night, Kristina and I decided to go to a local bar and have some drinks and have a little fun! We stayed out a little late and passed out the second we got back to the hotel room!

Only one day left in Sydney!! Can’t believe how fast this is going!

Australian Adventure Day 3: Waxing

Today was another gorgeous day in Sydney! Around 85 degrees, sunny with a little wind, it’s perfect! One of the main things that has a been a life saver for traveling around Sydney is the light rail. My hostel is right by Central Station where I hop on the train, and it gets me to Darling Harbor in about 10 minutes. Yes I like walking around the city, but when it’s that hot out and I have things I want to do, I choose the light rail!

Today I went into the Madame Tussauds Wax museum because I had bought the 3 pack of tickets that got me into the aquarium, the wax museum and wildlife sydney! I have been to multiple wax museums including the one in Myrtle Beach and Dublin, but I have to say that Sydney’s was one of the better ones! ( And I’m not just saying that because they have a wax statue of Steve Irwin ;))

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After the wax museum, my roommates and I and a few people from the hostel decided to go to TGI Friday’s for happy hour! We had to take a train from Central station to the University stop where Friday’s was and we enjoyed a few drinks and food!

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Australian Adventure Day 2: Exploring

The flight to Sydney was great. Very few people on the flight and I got around 9 hours of actually really good sleep! The food was okay, with a beef stew and bread for dinner and a cheese omelet for breakfast!

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When I landed, I of course had to go through customs first and that took a while. They did this thing where you put your passport in a kiosk and then you had to look into a camera and match the picture on your passport. Mine didn’t match up. (I’m assuming because I was cheesin so much in my passport picture.) So I had to go through the physical immigration officer. Which I was okay with because he was super nice and stamped my passport adding yet another stamp to my growing passport!

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Once I got my bag, I was a little nervous on how to figure out how to get to my hostel. I went up to the information desk and the lady told me one thing: Do not take a taxi. They are WAY too expensive. It would have cost me around 50 dollars to get to my hostel. She instead suggested the light rail which is where you get a “opal” card and swipe on and swipe off and it reduces your fare that you had pre paid every time you get off of the light rail which takes you all around Sydney!

It was actually a pretty simple process really, and in no time I was getting off at my stop at Central Station and headed towards my hostel! I was staying at the YHA railway hostel but there is another YHA central hostel. Long story short I ended up walking to the wrong hostel at first, but I luckily didn’t have to walk too far to get to my actual hostel. But, it was HOT! Like really really hot. Like 95 degrees!

I found out that I couldnt check in until 1pm and at this point it was only like 9am so I got a locker to put my luggage in until check in and headed on my way to explore! I kinda just walked until I saw a sign for something that I knew I wanted to visit. I ended up at Darling Harbor which was gorgeous! It’s a huge harbor that has 2 sides with shops and bars and restaurants all around and in the middle they had the Aquarium, a wildlife center and a wax museum! So guess where I went 😉

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I went into the Sydney aquarium with the ticket that I bought that included all 3 attractions. Yes, I have been to MANY aquariums before but I loved this one because it obviously featured animals and aquatic life from Australia! Some which I have never seen before in real life!

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After I finished at the aquarium, I walked back to my hostel as it was about 1:30pm so I could check in! Walking back, I got a little lost, which I actually kinda like, until I start getting hungry, thirsty and anxious to get back to meet my roommates! I finally got back to the hostel, checked in and headed up to my room!

When I walked in, only one of my roomates was there. Kristina had gone out the night before and was still nursing her hangover, but she was super nice and we got to know each other a bit!

I then took a little nap as I was a little jetlagged and woke up and met my other roommate Alex! Both of them have been living here for a while working and traveling. Kristina is from Michigan and Alex is from Canada!

I then found out that tonight in Sydney is Mardi Gras which is a HUGE deal here. Everyone gets really dressed up and goes down to Oxford Street for a parade and parties. Alex had to work so she couldn’t go with us, but Kristina and decided to get a little dressed up and head out on the town.

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Let me tell you it was NUTS. There were SO many people there. It was crowded and insanely hard to move around but the atmosphere was so joyful and happy that you didnt really care! But, we couldn’t see the parade because there were so many people so we decided to take the light rail to Darling Harbor and meet up with a couple of Kristina’s friends for dinner! After dinner, Alex was done with work and Kristina and her friends ended up staying out a little bit longer and I was exhausted so I decided to make my way back to the hostel by myself. Which I’ll admit was actually pretty scary. I ended up getting a little lost finding my way back to the light rail and at one point I was actually starting to freak out. But once I finally made it back to the light rail it was smooth sailing from there and I made it back to my hostel in no time! Let me tell you, when I hit my bed, I was out like a light so fast!

 

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Still hard to believe I’m in a completely different country!

I’m Going Down Under!!

So, I know it’s been a while since I have posted on here (almost a year!!) but I have to update it with this exciting news: I’m going to Australia! Spring break 2016 will be spent in Sydney, Brisbane, Beerwah, and the Sunshine Coast. Ever since I was little I have always dreamed about making  the long trek over and I’m finally able to do it!

I leave in exactly 2 weeks and  will arrive in Sydney in 2 weeks and 2 days. Yes, it’s a 28 hour flight. 🙂

This big adventure will be a little different from all the rest. I am not traveling with anyone. For everyone that is telling me that it is a mistake to do so, I respect your opinion. I believe it is important to be able to be strong enough to do something this big on your own. As long as you are smart and make good decisions everything will be fine. Yes, I am scared. Yes, it will be weird to not have anyone to talk to on the long flights but you know what, maybe that’s the point. What if on the flight from LAX to Sydney I meet someone who is an Australian native and they give me tips on where to go and where not to go?

This is why I travel. To expand my knowledge of the world and appreciate things for more than they are.

I will be keeping everyone updated on here very frequently so keep a look out!

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“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

5 Days in Ireland!

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After leaving the Seychelles and arriving here in Ireland we had 5 days to do as much as we could before our return home, and we stayed busy! Starting the day we arrived we went to a couple popular attractions here in Dublin before preparing for a day trip we took on Monday to Northern Ireland. The trip lasted all day and we got the chance to explore Belfast City, along with visiting the Giants Causeway and Dunluce Castle. It was a busy day but it was nice to travel across Ireland for the day!

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The following two days we explored Dublin and saw pretty much everything we could from the Guiness Factory and Jameson Distillery to the National Museum of Ireland and the Dublin Wax Museum. We kept busy and definitely learned a lot!

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Now we’re getting ready for our last trek back to the States and though the traveling has been fun we look forward to going home and planning our next big journey!

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Our Trek Back to Ireland!

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After officially leaving the Seychelles we finally made it to Ireland! Two long flights, a lot of time waiting in airports and barely making our flight in Abu Dhabi we landed in Dublin, what a difference! Though it’s been sad to leave the place we’ve been living in for two months we are excited to explore even more before our return home!

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Right when we stepped off the plane we knew we were far away from the Seychelles, the 30 degree difference definitely changes things! We took a bus into Dublin city centre and realized we had over 5 hours before we could check into our hotel so we had some time to burn!
We walked around the city a bit before deciding to go to Kilamahain Gaol, an old prison in Dublin. It was a place we tried to go to in our last trip but didn’t have enough time so we were excited to finally see the inside of the jail! The history was amazing and the tour was awesome and informative!

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Afterwards we could finally check into our hotel and we were amazed by the little things like a fully functioning bathroom with hot water and a huge bed! After living so simple for two months having commodities like that is amazing!
Now we are preparing for our few days we have in Ireland and can’t wait to travel around just a little bit more before our return home!

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Our 8th and Final Week in the Seychelles

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Our final week has come and gone and it’s crazy to think 8 weeks ago we were just starting our journey and now we’re getting ready to leave! This trip has been full of learning experiences that we will never forget. From helping the conservation on the island move forward through surveys and censuses to meeting people from all over the world and even just learning to live not only in a different country but the lifestyle changes of living in an old leper colony with an off the grid solar power system and toilets that don’t flush. The memories and learning experiences make this trip worthwhile in every way possible. Though it hasn’t all been fun and games, the hard work and tough experiences we’ve all been through, it all pays off and makes the journey an adventure, not a vacation.
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This week, for our last week, we finally had our Charity Challenge in which we organized and raised almost $500 for the SSPCA here in the Seychelles! Not to mention the awesome fun games we got to participate in! We all painted ourselves in our team colors and ran around the island facing off in different challenges. We then had a volleyball tournament followed by a trivia night and when all said and done the yellow team came out victorious, but we all still got champagne and candy.
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We also did a final hike of Mt Curieuse and got to see more amazing views of the island one last time! Though the hike can be a rough one the views make it well worth it.
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Now we are finishing up our packing and getting ready for the next leg in our trip that will take us to Ireland before finally returning home!
Though the goodbyes will be bittersweet and we feel like we could stay even longer the return home will be welcomed.
Overall our experience here in the Seychelles will be one not forgotten and we hope we were able to share a part of our journey with you.
Tomorrow we leave for Ireland and after a couple long flights we will be far far away from the place we called home for the last 2 months but ready to begin the next step in our trip!
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Seychelles Week 7!

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Seven weeks already? It’s hard to believe that there is only a week left for us in the Seychelles when it seems like we just arrived. As the last month comes to an end we still find ourselves busy while we continue to organize the fundraising event for next week along with finishing up all of the surveys for the month.
This week we spent a lot of time on turtle walks, whether it be excavating nests that have already hatched or marking a new nest from the tracks left in the sand we kept busy! We visited Anse Badamier, one of the “best” beaches in the Seychelles, on Wednesday to excavate a few turtle nests, along with capturing some really good views!
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We also found ourselves some spare time to construct a raft similar to the one Tom Hanks makes in the movie Cast Away! Surprisingly it floated alright and it’s safe to say we were all proud of our creation.
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We also had the opportunity to see not only turtle hatchlings while on a long turtle walk, but some other Curieuse wildlife like hermit crabs, tortoises, and a praying mantis!
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Lastly yesterday we had the opportunity to head over to Praslin to assist a local organization called TRASS, in helping them build a greenhouse and clear space for a plant nursery to grow more native plants to plant across Praslin. They are a small group of locals who are trying to revegetate areas of the island that are bare due to forest fires. It was really cool to be able to help some of the local people along with getting filmed and making Seychelles National TV!
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With only one week left we look forward to the busy days to come along with our final experiences here in the Seychelles. It’ll be a bittersweet goodbye but all of the priceless memories and pictures we’ve gained will stay with us forever!
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6 Weeks of Living in the Seychelles

Though saying we’ve been living here for 6 weeks already sounds crazy, it has all gone by so fast. From our first step on our Island, Curieuse, to now, it seems as if that was only a short while ago. So with 6 weeks done and only 2 weeks to come we look forward to all the time we have left and the journeys ahead.
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This week on Curieuse we kept busy with Lemon sharks, Coco De Mers, turtle nests, and bird surveys. Finally after a dry spell, the group caught a few shark pups to measure and tag!
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One of the hardest, but really fun surveys, measuring Coco De Mer’s, was also a highlight this week. There’s nothing like hiking through the jungle on a mountain early in the morning climbing trees!
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We also got the chance to snorkel off off Anse Lazio, one of the best snorkeling sites in the Seychelles, and saw sea turtles, sharks, and a countless number of fish!
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After a long week we all pitched in on Friday night in cooking a delicious BBQ dinner with freshly caught fish, garlic flatbread, potato salad and an awesome cake dessert. Our resources may be limited but that doesn’t stop everyone from making a delicious meal! image

So after a busy sixth week we greatly appreciate some much needed rest but can’t wait to be back at it again next week! With only a couple of weeks left we can’t wait to see what else there is to be done, we only hope it doesn’t all go by too fast! Thanks for checking out our blog and our journey and we will do our best to keep everyone updated in the weeks to come!
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