My Worst Travel Experiences of 2015

Worst Travel ExperiencesYes,2015 was incredible. But the good definitely didn’t come without the bad. 

Travelling is still real-life, despite how pretty it makes your Instagram feed. For every picture-postcard beach there’s a looming setback or bout of illness.

So here’s my worst travel experiences of 2015.

Manila, The Philippines

manila national museum

One of the things I hated most about Manila was the fact that I hated it. I really wanted to be the one blogger who ventured to Manila and found its hidden treasures.

But alas, it sucked.

 

The city was so choked with pollution that I had black gunk coming out of my ears and nose for days afterwards. Heart-wrenching poverty clashed with glitzy skyscrapers. The airport was the worst I’ve ever seen. No air-con, no organisation AND a five hour wait for a taxi.

I’m sorry Manila. I tried to love you, I really did.

Read more: #Gaplife: Month One, Ryan’s Weekly Round-Up: Week OneFrom Jeepney Journeys to Trip-Hop Bars: The Two Sides of Manila.

Being sick on my birthday, Puerto Princesca, The Philippines

Eurgh, being sick on my birthday was the worst. I managed to crawl out of bed for a tour of Sabang’s Underground River, a world UNESCO site.

But even natural wonders couldn’t rouse me and I spent my birthday trying to control my nausea. Happy birthday to me!

Read more: Turning 23: Sick Bags and Unesco Sites

Finding jobs in Melbourne, Australia

Gaplife Month Two 2

We came to Australia expecting an easy ride. We thought we would turn up in Melbourne, where the streets were paved with gold, and have opportunity come knocking at our door.

Unfortunately, this is the real world and finding work in Melbourne actually requires some hard work and dedication. After a month of looking and panicking about being unemployable, we were back on the payroll. Just in time for the worst winter Melbourne’s had in years…

Read more: Moving to Melbourne

Shivering through a Melburnian winter, Australia

Winter in Melbourne 2

The myth about Australia’s sun-kissed temperatures was well and truly shattered for me this year. After leaving a dreary English winter, I landed right at the beginning of an Aussie one.

Who knew that Melbourne winters are almost as bad as ours? The days are short, it always rains and it’s bloody freezing!

It’s only now in December that I’m finally managing to hunt down summer. Never again!

Read more: Preparing for Winter in Melbourne

Working on a chicken farm, Margaret River, Australia

farm 8

I hated every minute of working on the chicken farm! The whole day was spent cleaning egg after egg or clogging your lungs with chicken fumes as you tried to collect the eggs of over 10,000 chickens.

For the three weeks we were on the farm, I battled a reoccurring nasty cold and generally felt rubbish. If it wasn’t for the lovely friends we made there, it would have been hell!

Read more: #Gaplife: Month Six

Daily emotional breakdowns at the dairy, Scott River, Australia

Calving 4

Working during calving season at a dairy is the hardest thing I have ever done. These little balls of fluff look angelic but they were impossible at times.

There were daily escapes from paddocks, newborns refusing to feed, terrible weather and sick calves who, no matter how hard you tried, didn’t get better.

Pair all this with the physical challenges of lifting 20l buckets of milk, trudging across muddy fields and running after the blighters and it’s one difficult job!

There were countless times where I broke down and just couldn’t hack it anymore.

Despite this, I soldiered on and four months later, left the farm feeling the proudest I’ve ever felt. But god was it a bloody struggle to get there!

Read more: My New Office Tour & Blog Update

Crashing the car, Scott River, Australia

Road Trip 9

Martin, I’m so sorry!

Our dairy was in the middle of nowhere which meant that the only road connecting us to civilisation was a dirt track.

Unfortunately these dirt tracks are very slippy and our car, Martin, had no little tread on his tyres. These factors collided, literally, one wet day and I came sliding off the road.

Luckily Martin and myself remained intact with just a bruised ego when one of the farmers had to come and tow me out…

Not being able to blog, Middle Of Nowhere, Australia

Calving 8

Living in the bush had a lot of drawbacks, namely the lack of connection with the outside world.

Whereas sometimes it’s good to disconnect for a while, 4 months is a long time to go with no wifi or 3G.

The blog suffered the most as I was unable to produce quality content and post regularly like I had been used to. Luckily, I used the time to work on a new exciting project which is coming very soon!

Read more: The Blogging Blackout

WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCES OF 2015? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW OR VIA MY SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES!

hammer and tong 7

The Most Experimental Brunch in Melbourne

hammer and tong 7I thought I was pretty well versed in Melbourne brunching. I’d munched more crushed avocado and perfectly poached eggs than I cared to think about. It was time for something a little more experimental… That’s where Hammer and Tong comes in.

Hammer and tong 1Like all the best places in Melbourne, Hammer and Tong looks like crap from the outside. Hidden off bustling Brunswick Street, this popular joint is easy to miss. We managed to walk past it multiple times before realising what lay inside.

Once you find it, be prepared to queue. Hammer and Tong gets super busy, especially for weekend feasting. At least the wait gets your tummy rumbling for some of their fancy grub.hammer and tong 8

As soon as our bums graced our seats, we dived into the menu.

An Asian theme ran through our brunch options giving an unexpected twists on Melbourne favorites. Paired with experimental twists such as coffee crumbs, 62 degree eggs,yuzu hollandaise and smoked trout croissants – I knew this was going to be a brunch with a difference.

Hammer and tong 2After careful consideration we plumped to share the breakfast ramen, soft shell crab burger and kentucky fried halloumi chips, washed down with flat whites – naturally.

When our food arrived, it was a feast for the eyes.

hammer and tong 3The breakfast ramen looked especially spectacular. Breakfast staples of eggs, bacon and mushroom swam in a bacon dashi with slurpy noodles nestled at its heart.

hammer and tong 4It was unlike anything I’d tasted before. I can’t describe the complexity of flavours which skipped through my mouth. Avocado on toast, it was not.

We swiftly devoured the ramen and nibbled on our fried halloumi. It wasn’t the  best halloumi I’ve had but the sauce was scrumptious.

hammer and tong 6 We then started on the soft shell crab burger. The real star of the show.

hammer and tong 5As we cut into the burger we realised that the soft shell crab was whole, with its limbs crawling out of the burger bun. It wasn’t the most appetising of sights but it more than made up for it in taste. Fluffy bun and crunchy, meaty crab. Yummmm.

With full bellies, we waddled back home for an afternoon snooze. Hammer and Tong had promised a lot, and it had definitely been different to our usual Melbourne brunch experience. I was glad we had tried it but I think I’m more of an avo and toast kind of girl!

Have you been to Hammer and Tong? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media links.

 

 

bike cabs 6

Exploring Fitzroy with Melbourne Bike Cabs

bike cabs 6The guys from Melbourne Bike Cabs have a new addition to their Bike Cab empire. As well as offering a unique way to get around Melbourne, Bike Cabs now provide a carefully crafted tour around my favorite Melbourne neighbourhood, Fitzroy.

I was first in line to try them out and brought Melbourne newbie Leah along for the ride.

bike cabs 5The novelty of riding in one of the Bike Cabs is worth the trip alone. Similar to southeast Asia’s rickshaws, the Bike Cabs are fuelled by pedal power generated by some strapping young men. I wasn’t complaining…

bike cabs 4We snuggled in the back of the cab and our weather-hardy guide took to the Fitzroy streets. We squealed with glee as the Bike Cab weaved between traffic and shot past waiting trams.

The Bike Cab trundled past the familiar sights of Collingwood (Fitzroy’s neighbour)  as our guide pointed out the places of interest on our handy maps.bike cabs 3The tour got really interesting as we darted through the back streets of Fitzroy. It’s the side streets of Fitzroy where all the best secrets lurk. Hidden street art murals line the walls and cute shops and cafes pop up from nowhere.

The best surprise was a newly opened restaurant which had a couple of Melbourne’s iconic trams on the roof! As you do…

Bike cabs 2After living in Fitzroy for 4 months I though I’d already explored all of its nooks and crannies. The Bike Tour gave me a new perspective of my neighbourhood and introduced me to brand new areas.

We spent the remainder of the one hour tour excitedly pointing out my favorite Brunswick Street haunts to Leah, taking selfies and enjoying the ride.

bike cabs 1As we arrived at the end of the tour I was sad to leave. I think I could get used to this mode of transport!

Extra Info: The Fitzroy Bike Cab Tour costs $30p/p. Find out more on their website or Facebook page!

Would you try a Bike Cab Tour? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

I was lucky enough to be a guest of Melbourne Bike Cabs but opinions, as always, are my own.

gaplife month 5 4

#Gaplife: Month Five

gaplife month 5 4Every month I will be writing a round-up of my #gaplife adventures. From where I’ve been to what I’ve eaten, I’ll be keeping you up-to-date with everything that’s been happening on and away from The Student Travels. Catch up with Month One,Two,Three & Four. Enjoy!

Places Visited: Melbourne, Victoria; Wilsons Promontory, Victoria; The Great Ocean Road, Victoria; Sydney, New South Wales; Yarra Valley, Victoria; Ballarat, Victoria; Road Trip from Melbourne, Victoria to Margaret River, West Australia

What’s Been Happening Away From the Blog:

Sydney 6

  • I’m officially unchained from the office! Woohoo! Ahh, I love the feeling of zero responsibility and going back to what the #gaplife is all about – making every day an adventure!
  • Ryan and I have moved to Margaret River in West Australia. Ever since our friends have raved about this South-Western corner of Oz, we knew we had to give it a try. After a 6 day road trip from Melbourne we are finally here and will be trying our hand at chicken farming… More on that soon.
  • I teamed up with the guys at Melbourne Bike Cabs to try out their new Fitzroy Bike Cab tours. I will have a full post coming soon!

Highs

Wilsons Prom 17

  • This month was my favorite month in Australia so far. One of the major factors for this was my friend Leah coming for a visit from the UK. I love seeing familiar faces on the road and it meant two weeks of non-stop activities and zero work!
  • The Great Ocean Road. Despite some apocalyptic weather, the GOR surpassed all my expectations. Dramatic coastline, misty rainforest and a whole host of Aussie wildlife, what more could you want?! It was so spectacular that I had to dedicate two blog posts to it. Find them here.

GOR 19

  • My surprise birthday weekend was a massive highlight this month. Ryan made amends for my tragic birthday back in March by booking us into a beautiful lodge outside Wilsons Promontory National Park. We spent the weekend exploring the stunning park, patting wombats and cosying up in front of open fires.

Sydney 7

  • Exploring Sydney. I’ve been to Sydney a few times now and have found something new every time. This visit was the best yet with an itinerary planned to perfection. We ticked off the tourist spots, strolled through funky neighbourhoods and fell head over heels for Manly. 72 hours well spent! If you’re heading to Sydney for the weekend then here’s the perfect itinerary for fitting it all in.
  • Being a tourist in Melbourne. Having Leah visit meant that I got to play tourist again! We did the fantastic I’m Free Walking Tour, culture-vultured in Melbourne’s museums and galleries, walked around aimlessly and snapped photos wherever we went. For me, it was a great way to prepare to say goodbye to Melbourne.

Lows

sydney 10

  • Leah’s visit paved the way for glutenous eating, excessive drinking and subsequent chins. I haven’t exactly been a lean-vegan-queen in Melbourne but this level of gluttony was unprecedented. Time for some kale and a jog!

gaplife month 5 1

  • My new-found physical repulsion of heights reared its ugly head again. If you remember this panic-filled endeavour then you will know that I’ve been suffering with some serious vertigo issues recently. This month, it came back to haunt me on a trip up the Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne. It’s a beautiful viewing platform 88 floors up and something which wouldn’t usually faze me. This time however, my legs were fizzing with pins and needles and the ride in the lift nearly made me pass out. Cue head in between legs and deep breaths before my body finally relaxed.
  • Leaving Melbourne. I still don’t think I’m up for talking about it. But, alas, our time in Melbourne has come to an end and a new chapter is about to begin.

Most Popular Blog Post

Melbourne 312 Things I’ll Miss Most About Melbourne came in at number 1 this month. I already miss Melbourne and know it will be a highlight of this trip.

Most Liked Instagram Picture

gaplife month 5 2Who doesn’t love a moody art-inspired Insta? I adore wandering around galleries and Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria is a good’un. Joined by Insta snapper and art buff Leah made it all the better!

Follow me on Instagram here.

Favorite Picture Sydney 11This is one of those snaps I will always be able to look at and remember the scene exactly. The cool breeze from the harbour, the chatter from the bar and that beautiful view of the sinking sun. Bubbles at Opera Bar was the best way to conclude our Sydney trip.

Favorite Eat

I had been meaning to try out Vegie Bar on Brunswick Street for a while. Loved by vegetarians and meat-lovers alike, Vegie Bar is famed for its mammoth portions, fresh produce and cheap prices. I wasn’t disappointed with my tasty curry and the great company made it even more delicious!

Favorite Place

Winter in Melbourne 2This month I have to dedicate my favorite place to my Melbourne neighbourhood of Fitzroy. I can’t believe that it’s taken me four months to do so.

Fitzroy is my favorite area of Melbourne. It’s packed with bars, cafes, gorgeous shops and oddly dressed characters. It’s been the backbone of my Melbourne experience and a place I’ll know I will come back to again and again. I’ve left a little piece of my heart on Brunswick Street.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

gaplife month 5Exploring! I’ve got a whole other state to sink my teeth into this month. Think beaches, hippies and lots of chickens… Can I skip that last bit?!

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN THIS MONTH? LET ME KNOW VIA MY SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES OR IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE ME TO INCLUDE IN MY MONTHLY ROUND-UPS? LET ME KNOW!

working holiday 1

The Definitive Guide: Moving to Australia for a Year Part 1 of 2

working holiday 1Ever since I moved to Melbourne in March, I’ve been inundated by emails and comments asking how to move to Australia for a year. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but wanted to make sure that I’d experienced enough of Australia to give you the best information first. 

Once I started writing this post I realised that it was going to be a long one. Stay tuned for Part 2 coming your way soon.

if you are thinking of moving to Australia for a year, then here’s part 1 of the definitive guide on how to make it possible.

Before you go:

tips for nervous flyers 5– Visa

Obviously the most important thing! Brits aged 18-30 can apply for a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417).

The visa costs around £220 and is generally granted within 72 hours, although it pays to be organised and apply for the visa at least 28 days prior just in case there is any issues.

One of the prerequisites of the visa is that you enter the country with at least £2500 to your name. From my experience, this isn’t enforced.

Of course it would be nice to start your year in Oz with a healthy bank balance, but if you don’t have that much cash don’t fret. They are unlikely to ever check.

For more information about the Working Holiday Visa, visit the government website here.

Gaplife month 4 1– Insurance

Get yourself some decent travel insurance. Health care isn’t always free in Oz so make sure you are covered as you would be for your normal travels.

– Tax

Make sure you have got all your tax back from your job in the UK. As you are leaving the UK you need to fill in the P85 form. Get this organised and completed as early as possible. This cash injection will be so needed when you get to Oz and I’m still waiting on mine more than 6 months after applying…

Find out more here.

Winter in Melbourne 4– Choose an area

It’s all well and good doing the boring admin stuff but now for the fun bit! You will need to choose where to live.

Do you want the beaches of Perth? The glamour of Sydney? To live in culture-capital Melbourne? Or join a commune in Byron Bay?

Google, Google, Google. See where the job opportunities are, check out the cost of living and make sure the lifestyle suits you.

I’d tell anyone to make the move to Melbourne, but hey I’m biased…

Choose Melbourne 1– Banking

Save the fees on your British bank card and set up an Australian bank account before you leave. You want to choose a bank that is used nationwide, otherwise you will incur charges for withdrawing money from another bank’s ATM.

I’d recommend Commonwealth Bank as you can set up an account and collect your card from a local branch the very first day you arrive.

Sign up here.

Free Things to do in Melbourne 4– Contacts

Do you have any family, friends or friends of friends living in Australia? Get their numbers, add them on Facebook and get chin-wagging.

Any contact is valuable and I’ve noticed that everyone is happy to help when you’re stranded on the other side of the globe. Contacts can be great for general Oz knowledge, work opportunities or to help show you around.

Belgrave Dandenong 16– Accommodation

Always book accommodation before you arrive in Australia. Whether it be an Air BnB, hostel or hotel, you will want somewhere to crash as soon as you step off the plane.

If you are arriving to an Australian summer make sure you book at least a couple of weeks in advance. Good hostels can get booked up fast so make sure you are prepared.

Don’t worry too much about long term accommodation, we will get to that in part 2.

So that’s what you will need to do before you reach Australia. Part 2, What you have to do once you arrive, will be up shortly.

Have you done the working holiday visa? Anything you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages.

 

Melbourne 3

12 Things I’ll Miss Most About Melbourne

Melbourne 3Our time in Melbourne is nearly up and goddamn I’m gonna miss this place! Although adventure awaits, I will be leaving a little bit of my heart in this amazing city. Here’s what I will be missing most about Melbourne.

1 – Dumplings at my favorite Chinatown restaurant Juicy Bao.

Gaplife Month 4 32 – Sunday strolls around Fitzroy.

3 – Enjoying a healthy meal at Lentils as Anything. The best restaurant idea ever!

4 – Buying our fruit and veg fresh from our local grocer or Queen Vic Market.

Queen Victoria Market 35 – Never having to buy a coffee from a chain store.

6 – Being able to explore a new suburb every week.

7 – Recognising new pieces of street art and the artists behind them.

Melbourne Street Art 28 – Learning! There’s always free talks, exhibitions and workshops going on around town. My favorite were hosted by The Workshop in Fitzroy.

9 – The hipsters. Watching grown men in suits riding a scooter or skateboard to work will never get old.

10 – The people. Everyone is lovely here. At the beginning I was weirded out by the random strangers smiling at me on the street. But once you realise that their not crazy murderers then it’s kinda nice!

Melbourne 811 – How politically switched on Melbourne is. It seems like every weekend there’s some protest or another. Whether it’s against the banks, fascists or the government’s new ridiculous piece of legislation – Melburnians will hit the streets and have their say. Good on ’em!

12 – Living in the best location in town. Brunswick Street is one of my fave streets in the world. Cafes, restaurants, bars, shops… you name it Brunswick Street’s got it. I can’t think I’ll be having such a cool postcode anytime soon.

Winter in Melbourne 2This list could go on and on but I’ll wrap it up there! Melbourne, you’ve been the best and you can count on the fact I’ll be back.

If you want to see what I’ve been up to in Melbourne, check out the full archive here.

Have you been to Melbourne? What do you love about it? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

Best Day and Weekend Trips from Melbourne

6 of the Best Day and Weekend Trips from Melbourne

Best Day and Weekend Trips from MelbourneMelbourne is a fantastic city. I’d go as far to say that it is one of the best. But sometimes it’s great to get away. Thankfully, Melbourne has plenty of trips on its doorstep. Here’s some of the best.

Yarra Valley

Gaplife month 3 2The Yarra Valley is just over an hour away from Melbourne. Spend a day sampling the local wines, spotting kangaroos and having coffee in the picture-perfect towns.

Mornington Peninsula

11407207_10155657305880696_3723438815547190818_n (1)There’s enough to do in the Mornington Peninsula to keep you entertained for days. Take the hour-long drive from Melbourne and spend the day, or the weekend, cruising around wineries, hiking and exploring the beautiful coastline.

Great Ocean Road

Potentially one of the most iconic drives in Australia. Follow the road from Melbourne down to Adelaide passing stunning beaches, lush rainforest and those views we’ve all seen plastered on postcards. Pitch-up your tent and make a weekend of it!

Phillip Island

Wilsons Prom 21Most visitors to Melbourne would have heard of Phillip Island. Advertisement for day trips are splattered all over tourist sites. Bus loads of tourists are shuttled there to watch hundreds of penguins shuffle back onto the beach every evening.

If you can stand the crowds then Philip Island makes a great day trip with its ragged coastline home to lots of Australia’s best flora and fauna.

Coastal Art Trail

Gaplife month 4 6If you only have a short time in Melbourne but want to experience some of its coastline then the Coastal Art Trail is for you. Take the train from the CBD to Mentone and brave the walk along the coast down to Brighton to catch the sun set with stunning views of the city.

Wilsons Promotory

Wilsons Prom 9One of my personal favorites, Wilsons Prom is best experienced over a weekend. Spot native wildlife in the bush, hike stunning coastal paths and get lost in nature. If you need to rejuvenate after a hard week in the city, then Wilsons Prom is for you.

Have you been to any of the places I’ve mentioned? Can you think of anywhere else that should be on the list? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media links!

Wilsons Prom 24

A Weekend at Wilsons Prom : Part 2

Wilsons Prom 24We woke up to brilliant blue skies and dazzling sun, a direct contrast to yesterday’s brooding clouds.

Eager to get out to Wilsons Prom, we guzzled down breakfast and hopped back on the road.

First up we stopped for coffee in the cutesy town of Fish Creek.

Wilsons Prom 12

Wilsons Prom 13Melbourne’s coffee-crazed influence seeps far and wide. Tiny Fish Creek has five cafes serving up a caffeine injection to everyone who passes through on the way to the Prom.

After getting our hit we went to see the park in all of its sun-dappled glory.

Wilsons Prom 20It was great being able to see the park under two contrasting guises. The heavy clouds of yesterday had made the park seem eerie and imposing, now the warm glow made the valley sparkle.

Wilsons Prom 18We began with the Millers Landing Nature Walk which followed a dirt track down to the most unique beach I have ever seen.

Wilsons Prom 14The beach looked prehistoric with creeping mangroves, skeletal trees and pretty shrubs clinging to large boulders.

Wilsons Prom 16

Wilsons Prom 15We had the beach to ourselves and it was simply spectacular.

When we finally managed to tear ourselves away, we headed back to the car. But not before we were greeted by this little fella!

Wilsons Prom 17There is something very creepy about wallabies. This one caught us by surprise and then stood like this, watching us for at least 5 minutes. Weird.

We shook off the heebbie-jeebies and headed for one of the most well-known destinations at Wilsons Prom.

The adorably named Squeaky Beach.

Wilsons Prom 17

Wilsons Prom 19The beach was beautiful and it must make the most amazing sunbathing spot in summer.

The weather was so well-behaved that it almost felt like summer already!

Reluctantly, Squeaky Beach was our final stop at Wilsons Promotory. Instead of slogging the journey back to Melbourne on the freeway, we decided to take our time and meander down the coast, stopping at popular Philip Island on the way.

Wilsons Prom 21Phillip Island is best known for the Penguin Parade. Every sunset, hundreds of penguins waddle out of the sea and back to their homes.

The penguins are almost outnumbered by the bus-loads of tourists who come to watch them.

You also have to pay for the privilege, so instead we headed for the tip of the island to watch the mighty waves crash against the impressive cliff-face.

Wilsons Prom 22

Wilsons Prom 33We stayed until the sky was streaked with pink and orange before heading back to the city.

It had been such a brilliant weekend. Wilsons Prom has definitely earned its place among my favorite destinations in Australia.

Have you visited Wilsons Prom or Phillip Island before? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages.

Wilsons Prom 23

A Weekend at Wilsons Prom: Day 1

Wilsons Prom 23Wilsons Promontory has been on our radar for a while now. Nestled 2 hours from Melbourne, this stunning National Park is a nature lover’s dream. Packed full of native wildlife, Rolling mountains and beautiful beaches there’s so much to see, do – and blog about!

We hopped in Martin and zoomed off in search of adventure.

It was a shame that the weather wasn’t as optimistic as we were. The dark clouds followed us from Melbourne, settling at the top of the mountains.

Wilsons Prom 3 The park looked amazing nonetheless and we followed the winding roads with our mouths hanging open.

We even met some of the locals!

Wilsons Prom 2

Wilsons Prom 1Who knew that emus existed outside of zoos?!

In a single clearing we spotted friendly wombats, emus and kangaroos.

After discussing the pros and cons of smuggling a wombat into the boot (they’re so cute!) we hopped back into the car and went in search of a hike.

Wilsons Prom 4It was getting late in the day so we savored every last drop of daylight we had left and headed towards the coastal cliffs.

Wilsons Prom 5

Wilsons Prom 6 We followed a dusty track up the cliff-side, pausing to catch our breath and marvel at the amazing views which unfurled below us.

Wilsons Prom 7

Wilsons Prom 8With our heads almost in the clouds, we emerged at the top and were stopped in our tracks by the view that greeted us.

Wilsons Prom 9

Wilsons Prom 10We sat and stared at the view for as long as we dared, the threat of nightfall the only incentive to leave.

This was the Australia we had been waiting to find.

After watching the sun sink into the sea, we bundled back into the car and headed to our accommodation for the night.

We whizzed passed the campsites and laybys we would ordinarily have called home and instead pulled into Waratah Lodge.

Ever since my disaster of a birthday, Ryan has been searching for the perfect birthday gift – and Waratah Lodge was just that!

Its elevated position offers brilliant views over the Prom and Waratah Bay, the hospitality is second-to-none and you can end the day like this.

Wilsons Prom 11What’s not to love?

What did you get up to this weekend? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media links!

Are you following along on Snapchat? To see snaps from road trips like this one add me “studenttravels”.

Gaplife month 4 8

#Gaplife: Month Four

Gaplife month 4 8Every month I will be writing a round-up of my #gaplife adventures. From where I’ve been to what I’ve eaten, I’ll be keeping you up-to-date with everything that’s been happening on and away from The Student Travels. Catch up with Month One & Two & THREE. Enjoy!

Places Visited: Melbourne, Victoria; Mornington Peninsula, Victoria; Sydney to Melbourne road-trip, Coastal Art Walk, Victoria.

What’s Been Happening Away From the Blog

New Car 7

  • I joined Snapchat! For as-they-happen insights into my trip follow me at “studenttravels”.
  • Werk, werk, werk, werk. I’ve had a four-week work placement which has been taking up the majority of my time. I leave in the dark, get home in the dark and spend my evenings curled up in front of the TV. Not very productive…
  • We bought a car! Read all about our new addition here.

Highs

Gap life month 4 4

  • Being invited to enjoy the Good Food and Wine Festival at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre. The fact that I was able to share the treats this blog gives me with Ryan and two of our friends was great! The unlimited free cheese and wine helped as well…Gap Life Month 4
  • Finally seeing more of Melbourne’s coastline! This month I explored Melbourne’s Coastal Art Walk which was so much better than I’d imagined. I then ventured further afield to Mornington Peninsula for the best beaches I’ve seen yet!
  • Seeing the best sunset of my life at Brighton Beach. Unfortunately no picture could ever do it justice!
  • Our first overnight road-trip! Getting a taste for the open road was all that we needed to spur us on through our last remaining weeks of work.

LowsGaplife month 4 6

  • We have had to do a lot of number crunching this month and the results haven’t been as pretty as we had anticipated. Despite our best efforts at budgeting, Melbourne does a great job of draining your cash. Damn your coffee shops and amazing bars!
  • Missing out on big events at home. One of my oldest friends from school is getting married and I’m not there for the celebrations which has been a lot harder to get over than I’d anticipated. I’m just hoping that I get to catch a glimpse of the ceremony via Skype.
  • Our friends from uni have left us! It was great having some familiar faces around for just over a month but now they’ve moved on to the next stage of their adventure. You will be missed guys!

Most Popular Blog Post

Festival in Europe 3

This month you guys were feeling those summer vibes and checked out my post Why you should go to a festival in Mainland Europe this summerJust think of me when you’re sunning it up in Croatia or Germany, I’ll be the girl shivering through Australia’s winter!

Most Liked Instagram Picture

Gaplife Month 4 3

This picture makes me want to lick the screen, and apparently you guys thought it equally drool-worthy as it racked up the most likes on Instagram this month! There’s more about this picture in the Favorite Eat section below!

Follow me on Instagram here.

Favorite Picture

Gaplife month 4 1Us travel bloggers can’t resist the good ol’ view-with-your-back-to-the-camera shot! This one might be my fave ever. The Mornington Peninsula backdrop is stunning!

Favorite Eat

See the Instagram pic above… Juicy Bao in China Town is probably my favorite Chinese restaurant EVER. Chinese has never been my cuisine of choice but their amazing array of freshly made dumplings are enough to make anyone dribble.

What makes it even better? It is SO cheap, BYOB and you can watch the ladies make the dumplings in the front window!

Favorite Place

Gaplife month 4 7

 

This month, it has to be Cape Schanck at sunset. This spot on the Mornington Peninsula is stunning at any time of day but it was particularly peaceful at sunset. Watching the sun sink behind the gorgeous little lighthouse was one of those moments I know I won’t forget.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

Gaplife month 4 2

Leah will finally be here in real-life and not just in cardboard form!

My friend from home, Leah, is coming to visit! I have left my calendar completely free so that I can have a whole 2 weeks free to show Leah around Melbourne and beyond. We have a couple of road-trips and a city break planned so stay tuned for that.

Ryan and I are leaving Melbourne! I can’t believe that our time here is nearly up. But the road is calling and I can’t wait to set off in search of our next adventure. It’s exciting to think where this post will be coming from next month! See you on the other side…

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN THIS MONTH? LET ME KNOW VIA MY SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES OR IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE ME TO INCLUDE IN MY MONTHLY ROUND-UPS? LET ME KNOW!