Western Australia Bucket List

I decided to look at the beauty here in my own country, since I am always daydreaming about traveling to beautiful destinations, I figured I should investigate the things I want to do right here in my own backyard.

Here is my bucket list for Western Australia, in no particular order:

Perth City

  • Kings Park & Botanic Garden
  • Kings Park War Memorial
  • Lotterywest Federation Walkway
  • The Perth Mint
  • Swan Bell Tower
  • Swan River
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral
  • South Perth Foreshore
  • St. George’s Cathedral
  • Elizabeth Quay
  • DNA Tower Climb
  • Pioneer Woman’s Memorial
  • Government House
  • The Old Mill

  • Council House

  • Barracks Arch
  • Parliment House
  • Secret Garden

Beaches and Islands

  • Watch an Indian Ocean sunset
  • Turquoise Bay
  • Cable Beach
  • Lucky Bay
  • Cottesloe
  • Greens Pool
  • Scarborough
  • Monkey Mia
  • Eighty Mile Beach
  • Shell Beach

  • Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
  • Rottnest Island
  • Penguin Island

Day Trips

  • Fremantle:
    – Fremantle Prison
    – The Shipwreck Galleries
    – Maritime Museum
    – Little Creatures
    – Fishing Boat Harbour
    – The Round House
    – Fremantle Markets
    – The Esplanade
    – Fremantle War Memorial
    – Army Museum
  • Pinnacles
  • Margret River
  • Wave Rock
  • Valley of the Giants – Tree Top Walk
  • Serpentine Falls
  • Sand Dunne Boarding

Nature and Wildlife

  • Caversham Wildlife Park
  • John Forrest National Park
  • Kalamunda National Park
  • Korung National Park
  • Greenmount National Park
  • Midgegooroo National Park
  • Lesmurdie Falls
  • Avon Valley National Park
  • Mammoth Cave

  • Lake Cave
  • Jewel Cave

Do keep in mind that I have done some of these. They are just on here because they need to be done again! 🙂

Let me know if there is anything you think I should check out and do!

Solo Vs Group Travel

As someone who loves to travel and who has travelled quite a bit, I have put together a list of the positives and negatives of traveling solo and traveling with a group. These are all my thoughts and opinions and I am sure they will change for every person.

Solo travel Positives

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  • No compromises!
    You do not have to discuss, plan or ask anyone for anything or to go anywhere! It really is quite freeing.
  • Follow your own schedule!
    You can plan your trip around you and you alone. Leave when you want, do what you want, and come back when you want.
  • Easy to meet new people
    When you are alone you are a lot more approachable and a lot less intimidating if you are doing the approaching!

  • Easier to get seats! On anything. Even during busy times!
    If it is really busy on trains, buses, taxis, or in cafes and restaurants; it is a lot easier to find a table/place for one, than a group of four or more.
  • Easier to make friends
    When traveling alone you are forced (sometimes out of your comfort zone) to talk to people you do not know! You do not have your clic, or friends to stay involved in. 

Negatives:

  • Lonely
    For some people, you can get lonely. You do not have that person or people to relate to and share your memories with.
  • Expensive
    It is more expensive, you have no one to split the costs with (unless you are good at making friends – even that will be temporary – it is unlikely they have the exact same trip planned as you).
     
  • Harder to take photos
    Lets be honest, unless you have all the tech stuff (which I don’t), it is harder to have good photos of yourself. Obviously, you can always ask strangers, but that can take some courage for some people.
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  • Some people feel less safe
    Some people may feel unsafe on their own, which is perfectly fine, I have no problem being alone. However, if you feel unsafe alone, solo travel is going to be a big step.
     
  • No one to watch your bags
    When just quickly running into a bathroom, chasing after a ticket that has been blown away, taking a photo, or anything where your friends can watch out for your stuff… well you don’t have friends with you. You are always responsible for all of your things.

Positives of group travel

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  • Friends to share memories and adventures with
    You can relive and retell adventures and stories from your trip with friends. You always have them with you to share those ‘had-to-be-there’ funny moments.
  • Someone to take photos
    It is easier to have photos taken of you on your own camera and it is highly likely you will be captured in some of their photos as well. You can photo share after your trip.
  • Cheaper – sharing cost accommodation, food, taxis, and entry fees.
    Sharing is caring and when traveling in a group you can get cheaper everything. Whether than be from splitting the costs of things or getting discounted tickets for having more people. It can often be a cheaper way to travel.
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  • Someone to talk to
    You have someone to talk to if you are feeling lonely. Maybe, you all saw something confronting or different that day and it made you a little uncomfortable? Maybe you are a little homesick and need the comfort of someone from home. Long bus journeys, train rides or flights are easier with friends to talk to!
     
  • Someone to mind your bag/be your place holder
    You have people to stand in line and mind your bags while you run to the bathroom. You have people to hold your place in lines if you need to get something or have forgotten something!
  • Splitting up
    If you have a bigger group with many different plans and wants, you can split up into smaller groups and come back together as a big group at the end of the day. You can also share around the friends. You do not need to be with the same person every day. Hey, we are only human, sometimes we need a break from people.

Cons of group travel:

  • Living with people
    You are with the same people for however long your trip is. If you travel on a budget, like myself, you are often sharing rooms, cabs, buses, trains, clothes, travel essentials, tickets, meal times, and experiences… All. The. Time.
  • No privacy
    Much like the idea above, you do not get much time to yourself. You can also forget about air-drying or walking around your room naked (unless you are really close friends and do that with each other). The amount of times I accidentally say my friends butt, or she saw pieces of me was unbelievable!
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  • Conflicting ideas/ wants
    When traveling you are all different people with different interests, needs and wants. No one is going to want to do everything you do, and that is okay, normal actually. However, it does mean you will need to compromise and miss out on some things for other things.
  • Can be harder to make friends
    You are in your clic, surrounded by your pack and than makes it difficult for people to approach you. You also suddenly become a lot more intimidating when you want to meet someone and have four other people around you.

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So, that is my list of positives and negatives. As I said before, I am sure these will change slightly for each person. Feel free to comment and let me know if you disagree or think I missed any out!

5 Tips To Soothe Your Travel Bite!

If you are anything like me, being in one place for too long starts to make that bite from the travel bug itch! And unfortunately, like me, you either are in the middle of a uni semester, school year or work block. This means, for the time being, you have to stay stuck. However, fear not, as I have come up with 5 tips to help soothe that itch.

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1) Day Trips
Day trips are a great way to help soothe that itch. Not Only are you going away and creating some new memories and experiences, you are getting out of the place you are stuck in. Sometimes, all you need is a day trip to your closest beach, just get out of that house/eat-work-sleep-repeat routine.

2) Weekends Away
These are basically your mini-holidays! Leave Friday night, have two nights somewhere new and come back Sunday night/Monday morning. Don’t even get me started on long weekends and public holidays! Consider these little tasters, warm ups even, for your next adventure.

3) Explore Your City
Whenever someone asks me what there is to do in Perth, my own backyard, my home town… I come up blank. Because I live in Perth, I don’t explore it the way I would if I were in a new city, State, or Country. I take the natural beauty around me for granted.

4) Trying New Things
Try new things: write a book, start a journal, start a blog, watch a movie, try outdoor activities, visit new restaurants, try new food, stay overnight in hotels, watch a show, learn a new language, experience a night market, go to festivals, go to an event, take a few classes (there’s a class for everything, try a new one each week), help other people with their uni courses (you can be anything from a canvas/model to a punching bag). The possibilities are endless!

5) Planning Your New/Next Trip
My favorite way to calm my itch is to plan my next trip! Since I am in uni, I have dates and times I know I am free and able to travel. This means I can plan, and plan away I do! While you are itching, you can start to book parts of your next trip, book accommodation, create an itinerary for yourself and research flights. I have even gone as far as booking trips for the night I finish my semester, giving me only a few hours to get home and go!

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The Grand Canyon (West Rim)

Las Vegas… As soon as I knew I was going to be visiting the place that blinds you with colours, sounds, flashing lights and something new at every corner, I knew I had to go and see the Grand Canyon!

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I booked my trip to the Grand Canyon West on the Hualapai Tribal lands, through a division of the company ‘smart destinations’ – Go Card City. You can check out their website here.

The tour I opted for was the ‘Grand Canyon West Rim Bus Tour’. As an adult the tour cost me US $189.99, which I think worked out to be just over $260.00. Yes, I know. That is a lot of money, however, I believed it was worth it because of what was included in the tour (See below). 

 Tour Inclusions:
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off (Depending on the hotel)
  • Coach transportation to and from the Canyon (Apparently other tours don’t take you right to the gate)
  • Driver and guide (Ours was super funny with some really awesome information)
  • Hoover Dam photo stop (Loved it, since I wanted to see it, however, personally wouldn’t have spent a whole tour there)
  • Morning snack, lunch, and bottled water (all very basic, but we had pit stops at mini-shops and gas stations)
  • Reservation entrance fee

 

 

The whole tour takes around 11½ hours. We were up at 5am and collected at 6am. This meant that we would be back at our hotels at 5.30pm (If the tours at the canyon were not late… which, thanks to the helicopter tours, they were), so I didn’t get back to the hotel until around 6.20pm.

The West Rim of the Grand Canyon includes these three viewing points: Eagle Point, Guano Point, and the Hualapai Ranch. All with their own unique personalities and charms, although, I have to admit my favorite was Guano Point.

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Choosing which Rim to explore was an easy task for me. Simply put, the reason I chose the West Rim was for the Skywalk. The Skywalk is a horseshoe shaped bridge with a steel frame supporting the glass floor and sides. The Skywalk is sitting 4,000 feet (around 1.2km) above the Canyon floor and it sticks out around 21 m over the Canyon edge.

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Now, as this is a popular tourist spot, there are a few things to keep in mind when looking into the Skywalk:

1) There are NO cameras, NO phones and No bags allowed on the bridge. Trust me, you want to follow these rules because the queue is so long, you don’t want to get turned around at the gate.

2) There are two queues once you finally make it to the Skywalk, one for people who would like to walk it without ‘professional’ photos, and the second for the people who would like to document their time on the bridge. I went for documentation, since it was my first time at the Canyon and I had my tourist glasses on (haha).

3) It is a very expensive add-on (Keep in mind all the other costs of the day – or in my case, tour). Apparently, you cannot just purchase a single ticket for the Skywalk, so the price is jacked up to match ‘special packages’. My ticket cost me around US $80.00 and I am not too sure what other inclusions that price got me as I only used it at the Skywalk.

4) Finally, if you did choose to get your photos taken they are NOT – with a capital T, free. They are over priced and really, for people like me who travel on a budget, a waste of money. However, they are a nice thing to have and there are packages and special deals available when selecting the photos you want.

 

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If you ever get the chance, I would recommend that you take the trip out to see the Grand Canyon. I only saw the West Rim, but it was stunning, with so many diverse colours and shapes. It truly is breathtaking.

 

 

 

Where Have I Been?

So it is a short list and one where the places I haven’t been outweigh the places I have been, however, so far, since 2011 I have visited the following countries:

Africa

  • Tanzania

North America

  • United States of America (USA)

South America

Asia

  • China
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand

Oceania

  • Australia

Europe

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom (UK)

Antarctica

My First Solo Travel

*Please be warned – Graphic Content*

The first time I ever travelled solo was back in 2011. I was 17 years old and I decided to just ‘do it’. Why? Because I decided to take a chance and I was so glad I did because it was the best thing I have ever done.

My school had a partner school in Nanjing, China. Six lucky students would be given the opportunity to travel to China for three weeks and I wanted in! I wanted it so badly.

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It felt like a dream. I couldn’t really believe I was going; even after I had been selected, the fundraising began and I had paid off the flight. I still couldn’t squish the idea of travel into my head. I had never travelled on my own before, and it was a dream. One that turned very quickly into a bit of a nightmare.

Annoyingly, just a few short months before my trip was scheduled to happen, I broke my leg in a horse riding accident and ended up in hospital, missing my final exams (but that’s another story), going in and out of surgery and having to learn to walk again. The problem was, I really wanted to go to China. I needed to go. However, if my leg didn’t heal to the point of not needing a full cast, the doctors wouldn’t give me the ‘okay’ to fly.

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So, all I needed to do to achieve my travel dreams was grow my right tibia and fibula bones back together. Not hard, hey?

I worked my butt off. I got out of hospital, followed the doctors orders right down to the letter. I would go as far as to say I was the best patient in the world. I stretched to get the blood flowing and somehow, surprising myself and the doctors, I was able to change my cast to a boot (with NO weight).

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So I was on my way (Sporting a wheelchair I was terrible at steering). Before I knew it I was in the airport saying goodbye to my family and on a plane with two teachers and five other students who I didn’t really know.

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The challenges I had to face were so worth it. Seeing China for the first time, on my own, in a wheelchair… It was the most amazing feeling in the world. If not breaking my leg meant that I couldn’t go to China I would have broken it in a heartbeat… I feel like that comes across a bit creepy, but you get the point!

China was my first solo trip. It was amazing. It was beautiful, humbling and I learned a lot about myself.

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Yes, China was my first taste of the travel bug, and it bit me back harder than I could have imagined.