In this latest series, I will be going through all the countries I’ve travelled to on my mission to visit every single country in the world. In this article, we will be covering country #21: Australia. If you haven’t gotten a chance already, read this story first to find out why I’m trying to visit all 193 UN-recognized countries.
VIDEO – Country #21: Australia
- Complete Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, and Australia Spending Breakdown
- 35+ Pictures of the Amazing Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s Zoo)
- Brisbane Australia – The Smelliest Hostel I Have Ever Stayed At
Landing troubles in Australia
I was sitting on the plane as the pilot announced that we are landing soon. There was just one problem. Because of the weather conditions, the landing process was going to be tricky. You can feel the nervousness in the room as the pilot attempted to land only to fly back up in the air.
Are we going to land safely is the biggest thought that was running in everyone’s mind. The pilot attempted to land again but last minute decided to pull up the plane. I’ve never experienced this before and quite frankly, I thought it was pretty exciting.
After three more attempts, the pilot successfully landed the plane. Everyone in the cabin started clapping their hands and applauded the pilot’s skill and cautiousness. I think if there’s an appropriate moment to clap your hands when the plane is landing, this would be the moment. There’s nothing more annoying when people clap their hands after a landing on a normal flight. But this wasn’t a normal flight and well-deserving of that applause.
Hilarious crude locals
I befriended the guy sitting beside me. We bonded during the flight over the fact that he does marketing for big companies. His job is basically to generate leads which are the hardest part of any business. He was quite fascinated with me being a travel blogger and we talked about the tools I was using in my business.
After we got off the plane, he said his friend is picking him up from the airport. He then offered me a ride which was really nice of him. I took him up on his offer and met his hilarious friend.
They asked me about my trip to Johannesburg in South Africa and I told them about it. In particular, I told them that there are signs on the road that says “high carjacking spot” which indicates the level of danger in Johannesburg. The friend replied, “at least it wasn’t called high jacking off spot, that would have been worst”. I couldn’t help but laugh my ass off at their crude jokes. And this went on for the duration of the car ride. I love the locals.
After the long checking in process in the hostel that I booked for the next seven days, I was finally settled in. My first reaction was dread. I definitely picked the wrong hostel to book. I was a new backpacker then and didn’t know better. But man, this hostel smelled so bad. The room was so dirty and messy. I’ve never been in such a filthy place.
The hostel was also overrun by young german backpackers and I felt like I was in high school all over again.
Sufficient to say, I did not enjoy my stay here. Since returning back from my one year trip, I learned to save more money in the future and shell out more money for better accommodation for a more enjoyable travel experience.
The highlight of my trip to Brisbane is checking out the infamous Steve Irwin zoo. This zoo was crazy! First, you get to see all the endemic wildlife in Australia such as the koalas, kangaroos, wombats, dingos, and Tasmanian devil. You also get to see animals from different regions of the world ranging from Asia, Africa, and South America.
The one thing that really stood out to me was how crazy the Australians are compared to other westernized countries. First, the show in the Crocoseum had tourists be chased down by crocodiles which is insane. Then, a giant crocodile would chase after the zookeepers.
Another insane thing I witnessed in the zoo is how they handled tigers. Basically, the zookeepers would take tigers out for a walk just like how you would take a dog for a walk.
Anyways, I had a blast in the zoo and would definitely recommend it to other travellers.
Exploring the city
Brisbane is not a cheap city so I cooked my own food most of the time. I tried eating kangaroo meat which I recall was just okay.
There’s also a lot of flies in Brisbane which surprised me. I thought those pesky insects are so annoying when I was walking down the street and they keep buzzing in my ear.
I checked out the local library and did my own city walking tour. One of my favourite things to do in a new country is to check out what their gyms look like. I then checked out a local commercial gym and had a good workout which I sorely missed since starting my backpacking adventure.
Meeting up with my friend
One of the reasons I decided to stay in Brisbane is because I have a friend who lived there. We finally met up after my 6th day in the country and he showed me around. He told me that he wanted to offer that I stay in his place. But, he felt ashamed of how dirty his apartment that’s why he didn’t reach out.
I told him how disgusting my hostel is and his apartment would have been a billion times better regardless.
During the hangout, he showed me some of his favourite viewing spots in the city and local cafes. It was fun, I love visiting my friends who live abroad.
Going to Papua New Guinea
On my 7th day, I took a 6-day trip to Papua New Guinea to visit a friend who lives in that country. I flew with Qantas air which is an okay domestic airline.
I used my British Airways Avios to fly between Brisbane and Port Moresby. Later on, when I came back to Brisbane, I also used my Avios to fly to Sydney Australia to spend overnight before flying out of the country.
Fighting with a backpacker in Sydney
When I arrived at my hostel in Sydney, the staff designated me on the wrong bunk bed. Apparently, someone is already using this bed. At 3 am, this asshole backpacker started screaming at me to get out of his bad. I’ve never met such a rude jerk in my life.
I was too tired to fight so I found another bunk bed and fell asleep. The next day, I remembered what happened so I went up to his face and flip him off and told him that he’s a “piece of shit”.
I never saw him again for the rest of that day. After speaking with the staff members working in the hostel, there is blatant racism towards Asians in the hostel and in the country in general.
I definitely sensed that from that backpacker and I’m glad I stood up for myself. At the heat of the moment, I was ready to have a fight with that individual. Thankfully, he’s all bark and no bite and the fight never happened.
Flying out of Australia
On that same day, I flew out of Australia connecting through Thailand and then to Philippines. I flew on Thai Airways and I was sitting beside this extremely grumpy Japanese businessman.
Unfortunately for me, I was sitting in the middle seat in the middle lane of the plane. I’m the kind of traveller that goes to the washroom quite a bit because I drink a lot of water. He was definitely pissed off at me for needing to go to the washroom so many times. It was obvious on his face but it definitely made the flight unpleasant.
During my time in Australia, I enjoyed interacting with the locals. Other travellers; however, is a different story. I’ve experienced racism from that infuriating backpacker. I also felt that a lot of the backpackers are quite cliquey which makes sense since it’s mostly young newly late teens early 20s type of travellers.
Looking in hindsight, if I travel to Australia again, I’d probably do it with people I already know and do a road trip. I think renting a campervan is a good idea to save money on accommodation and is a much better way to explore the country.
I do like the locals and I have many friends who live in that country who I would like to visit one day. Therefore, despite my not so pleasant experience as a backpacker, I’d like to go back again one day and experience the country from a normal tourist point of view instead of a backpacker’s point of view.