A Break in Newcastle

*Written on Friday November 30th, 2012* 

Long train journeys always make me want to write. They give me the opportunity to gather my thoughts and order my overly-active brain.

As I’m writing this on my BlackBerry for lack of paper, listening to mumford and sons (my all time favourite band!) and the smell of beer from the guys in front of me making me even more excited for this trip, I’m on my way to Newcastle, England! To visit my friend Chloe, whom I met in Ghana where I caught the famous travel bug. It was with her that I backpacked through Australia and we haven’t seen each other for over 3 years!

So while I’m on this side of the North Sea, a visit had to be done. Not only am I excited to see her, I’m on the move again! The lenght of the trip doesn’t matter. I will be in a new city, exploring my surroundings and most important, out of Aberdeen! No bad word about Aberdeen, I love the place, I just need a change of environment now and then.

This weekend will be all about catching up, bringing back memories of Australia, having fun and forgetting about all the school work waiting for me when I get back. Apparently Newcastle is famous for it’s party scene so I have to do some of that as well of course.

As we’re nearing newcastle, the lads on the train are starting to feel the effect of the alcohol they have been consuming sinds Aberdeen. Beers are falling over, the “for fuck sakes” are being yelled and no matter how much I hate overly drunk lads, I can’t help myself but to smile at their accents. After the Irish accent, the Scottish accent is my all time favourite.

As my overly-active brain is ordered again, the train is pulling into Newcastle. With snow falling down outside, I know I’m up for an exciting weekend. Time to find Chloe.

First sea after 3 months on the farm

Chloe and my feet in the sea after working 3 months on a farm in the outback of Australia

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Music soul mates

A few new Australian blokes recently moved into the hotel I’m staying at in Bali. We (the upstairs balconly girls as we like to call ourselves) decided from the very first time we heard them talk we were not going to like them. They were loud, Australian and all male, but mostly they were new. We liked the hotel just as it was. Nice and quiet, peaceful and away from all the Australian tourists. So when they arrived, we literally braced ourselves, waiting for the disaster to happen.

That disaster never happend. In fact, they invited us to their house warming “barbie” with free beer in the esky and food cooking away. As a Dutch person, I jump at the word free so I figured hell, why not! As it turned out, one of the blokes works in the music industry and shared my odd taste of music.

I don’t come across a lot of people that appreciate my rather mixed music collection. From Avril Lavigne to Tracy Chapman, Three Days Grace, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, Ben Howard, Don Diablo, Bob Dylan and Mumford & Sons. It’s all in my Itunes and so much more. I have a passion for the music I love and no particular favourite genre. So to meet someone that actually understood my taste (the deeper meaning, the feeling some songs give you, it was a pretty intense conversation!) was not what I thought I would find here in Bali.

We ended up introducing each other to other bands, musicians and what not. I made him listen to Damien rice and he introduced me to Jeff Buckly. He’s going on a mission today to find some more music for me to listen to and I can’t wait. I don’t have a lot of music knowledge and living in Bali hasn’t expand this either. Until now!

This is just another learning lesson for me, to not judge people by their cover. I had a blast last night and can’t wait to see what he’s come up with.

Flashback – Road trip

I left the office early today to prepare for my round trip here in Bali. 5 Days of travelling through the country I have been living in for almost 7 weeks now. In between packing there was some time for relaxing in the hammock. During those moments of rest, my mind started to wonder and suddenly I was in the outback of Australia again. Long time no see!

After working in a little town for 2 months, me and my friend met up in Cairns again to decide where to go next. The first few days consisted mostly of partying and lying at the pool. One afternoon, while we were walking towards the pool, we walked pass one of those backpacker travel agencies. Out of the blue, we started talking about renting a camper van and just go on a little road trip. It never occured to us before that we actually could  rent one and just drive somewhere. That somewhere being Uluru and Darwin. Within 30 minutes, we planned our trip, booked the van and were back at the pool again. That’s what backpacking is about, no plan, and seeing a country. It turned out to be one of the best spontaneous actions I had ever made.

A few days later, it was only me, my friend, the camper van and the outback of Australia. With its long streched roads, disappearing in the horizon, the heat of the sun, beaming through the camper van’s windows and not another car in sight. We could drive for a few hours without seeing another car and suddenly there would be a huge road train passing us by (if we went faster than 80 km/h, the engine would overheat!).

The picture says it all.