Teens vs Twenties: Part I

The last time I donned a backpack and took off to explore the big wide world, I was 18 years old. Fresh from the cotton wool cocoon my parents had raised me in, I explored the Indochina loop (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia), the east coast of Australia, New Zealand's north and south islands and Fiji, not to miss pit stops in Singapore and LA along the way. Heralding the era of the “Gap Yah”, I left with simple aims of getting a tan, mastering the art of chopsticks and not dying along the way. As you probably guessed, the trip exceeded my (simple) expectations and I’ve collated my most memorable moments 9 years on...

1. Experiencing the pain of a Thai foot massages near Bangkok’s Koh San Road (note a possible method of torture for your enemies). 

2. Mastering the art of squatting in South East Asia (the less said here the better).

3. Eating a tarantula’s legs in Cambodia - a delicacy, don't you know.   

4. Learning how to cross a road in Vietnam without being flattened by motorcycles. Harder than you can imagine. 

5. Developing a phobia of geckos aka. World’s Deadliest Creatures at 2 inches long. One incident relates back to Point 2...
6. Watching the sunrise over the Mekong River and Angkor Wat…   

7. …where a monkey attacked me. (Thank goodness for the rabies jab!)
8. Knowing why Goon costs $5 AUS for a 4l box of wine after the first sip but forgetting after the third (I should really say "wine" as it can be a concoction of the dregs with any number of ingredients added including dairy and fish products!!). A solid foundation for the 3 years of drinking at Uni that was to follow.
9. The hole in the o-zone layer does mean 5 minutes atop a catamaran in the Whitsunday Islands will result in the most excruciating sunburn!   

10. Snorkelling doesn’t always have to equal panic attack = hello Great Barrier Reef!   

11. Skydiving from a plane at 15,000 ft and genuinely not being able to breath…
12. …plummeting 12,000 ft in a 60 second free-fall causes projectile vomiting.   
📸 CNN news
13.   Fergburger in Queenstown is the best (and biggest) burger I will ever eat. Genuinely worth a flight back. I hear now there is an ice-cream parlour next door too. When shall we go back?
14. Attending my first ever rugby match with black and white face paint for the All Blacks vs. South Africa. 

15. Three weeks to lay on a beach in Fiji is a bit too long without the right chicklits (thank goodness for Kindle this time round!) but that was one way to make me read a Dan Brown novel. 

16. ‘Fork’ is a universal term. Chopsticks are still not my thang. 

From meeting some amazing people along the way to doing some crazy out of the norm experiences and learning the value of independence to keeping myself safe (the rape alarm was a comforting bum-bag item), communicating back with the folks at home was my first-hand experience of enjoying writing. Up until that point, essays had been my nemesis thanks to an unfriendly Economics teacher, but here I am super excited to waffle on to you guys for the next few months as I journey from A to B.  

Talking of which leg #1 is complete: 
(A) London Stansted > (B) Las Vegas. 

© Rose Tinted Spectacles

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