Mobile Post

This is my first attempt at a post from my mobile phone. If I can manage this it may make regular posting a lot more realistic.

 

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River Murray South Australia. Home sweet home.

Yes! I’m loving this. I’m able to add pictures straight from my phone.

 

Home for two Months

I’ve been back from Fiji for two and half weeks. I am working for my parents company. Straight back into the 8am to 5pm routine complete with packed sandwich lunches. I feel exhausted but am grateful for the work. I’ve got two months to catch up with everyone, finish planning my next adventure and earn some travel money. Argentina is the next destination. I leave on January 10th.

I booked the Argentina accommodation before I left for Fiji. I have a lonely planet but haven’t figured out exactly what I want to do there yet. I won’t be teaching English this trip.

I want to write and post more but feel like a bit of a failure saying it to anyone anymore including myself given how little of it I have actually done over the last year. It seems ridiculous how something so simple has been so difficult.

Anyway I’ll be in Buenos Aires for two months and Foz de Iguazu for one.

Three days before Fiji

I’m going to Fiji on Tuesday for 6 weeks. I’m backpacking. Adelaide is cold at the moment so I am looking forward to some warm sun.

I got home from Spain 2 weeks ago. I loved it there. The weather was great, there were tonnes of galleries to go to, new places to see, towns to explore, things to eat, parks to lay about in and beautiful buildings and scenery to take pictures of.

I was sick for the 1st week that I got home so it feels like it hasn’t been enough time. I also thought I would be able to write regularly but I haven’t. Sorry.

SPANISH HOMESTAY – WEEK 1

Holy moly I’m in Spain! I landed here on May 26th 2016, and flew from Adelaide, Australia via Doha spending several hours at the Qatar International airport. It’s the second time I have been to that airport. The art is amazing and it’s worth seeing the city too by taking the free day trip they offer if you ever get the chance.

I nearly missed my connecting flight to Madrid, and probably would have if I hadn’t asked the attendants to hold the plane and then run to the gate. Missing my flight was not the first impression I wanted to make to my new host family.

There was hardly anyone on the plane so I watched a few movies, and sleep like most of the other passengers.

My first impressions of Madrid were that it has an excellent metro system, loads of interesting cafes and bars, long winding cobblestoned streets, and plenty of greenery. During my explorations I have heard languages from all around the world and Spanish of course which my ear is slowing becoming attuned to. The people have been very friendly and helpful.

Beer is cheaper than water at EUR 1.5 for a small glass (cana), or EUR 1 with some free tapas if you are lucky or find a special. The weather is cooler than I was expecting but it looks like it will be heating up next week.

I love walking the streets of the city and surroundings either by taking random routes, getting lost, and finding my way again, or by trying to follow the lonely planet and other self-guided tours and recommendations. It feels great to be able to do things at my own pace rather than on a booked tour or with a time limit on how long I have to stay in one place. I’ve enjoyed stopping to admire a beautiful building, square or park, rest, check out an interesting café or bar, people watch, take photos, or study Spanish along the way.

Until next week,

Serina xx

Spanish Homestay & Planning Fiji

Two days until I take off to Spain and I am feeling the usual mix of excitement and fear. It’s been fun at home for the last month catching up with family and friends. The weather is getting cool here though in South Australia so I’m feeling like it’s good time for me to move somewhere warmer. Five weeks was more than enough time to see everyone, stock up on my medical supplies, go to the doctors, the dentist etc and do a little forward planning for the year.

When I return to Australia in August and the end of winter it will still be quite cool so I’ve decided on and booked 5 weeks in Fiji. I’m finalising the accommodation and transport details but it’s mostly going to be a mixture of homestay and backpacker style accommodation using public transport where possible. Most of the small Fijan islands budget accommodation options which look very cheap at first glance have a compulsory meal package attached to them which often costs more than the accommodation. I’ve gone ahead with a couple anyway.

I am not sure how I’ll go with the backpacker style living for nearly 5 weeks straight but I’m up for the challenge. I can always treat myself to a hotel if it gets to be too much to handle.

As far as the Spanish homestay trip prep goes with two days to go I’m feeling comfortable. Following a mates mishap in Brazil I decided to get a backup Citibank debit card which arrived today. Rather than fall back on other cards with higher fees my backup will now be just as good as my main one should it get stolen or misplaced.

Got any tips for Fiji?

Travel Planning – homestays and housesits

So I’ve booked the next adventure. A three month homestay in Spain. I fly out on May 25th, and will be based near Madrid.

For now I’m home in the Riverland doing a couple projects for my family in order to earn some extra spending money for the road. I’ve also been preparing for the next adventure and thinking about the rest of the year ahead.

I like warm weather so am looking into homestays in Spanish speaking countries, teaching English, or doing a homestay without an intermediate agent using homestay.com.

I’m thinking about doing an Argentina homestay early next year, then another in china over the winter. I’ll look for a housesit in between or cheap accommodation somewhere in Asia.

 

HOMESTAY BRAZIL – Week 7

I met up with 33 year old Dani in Sao Paulo this week. She is a Brazilian lady who did a 3 month homestay with my family 15 years ago. Other than reconnecting on Facebook, we hadn’t seen each other since.

Who would have known I’d end up living in Brazil for 3 months and be placed so close to where she and her husband live.

Friday night we hit the town for a few Caipirinhas (a Brazilian cocktail traditionally made from Cachaça – sugarcane liquor with freshly crushed lime and sugar) deep fried snacks and reminisced like there was no tomorrow.

The following day with sore heads Dani and her husband showed me the Sao Paulo sites:

Batman Alley (Beco do Batman) – to view the amazing street art of the area and it seems to see people and company’s doing photo shoots.

Galeria Choque Cultural – an street art gallery near Batman Alley where the curator talked to us about local about street art, artists and other projects in the area.

Maria Brigadero – for a delicious coffee and to sample some traditional Brazilian handmade sweets. The 70% caco one I had was delicious. My mates who had the regular type said the same for theirs. The girls at the shop were also very generous with the chocolate samples. I was one happy girl.

Casa da Vila – cute restored house and gift shop “Casa Da Vila”. Not normally open on Saturday, but they did for us following a quick phone call. This shop supports locals from all around Brazil by selling their artisan work in order to provide opportunities for the next generation and preserve the craft.

Sujinho for Lunch – Saturday is traditionally Fejoada day, so like good little Brazilians that’s what we had. There are 2 main shops, 2 buildings, and 4 levels at this restaurant which were packed to the hilt. The food was amazing. I have no idea how they do it in such huge volume. Go to the building / entrance which is not on the corner and ask to sit up on the top level, or grab a street table if you are lucky enough.

Independence Park (Parque da Independência) – Here we watched the skaters, admired the statues, eternal flame and walked up to the museum which we learned will be under restoration until about 2022. A children’s marching band also happened to be practicing in the area.

Parque Ibirapuera – We walked a small section of this massive park which is in the centre of the city complete with a lake, museums, numerous cafes and food/drink vendors. Many locals were here skating, riding push bikes, jogging, waking, and others just chilling out. We stopped at the lakeside café for a bit of people watching and to enjoy a refreshing cold Acai with granola.

That evening we went to a birthday party, ate, drank beer and straight Cashasa (see above for description) and danced salsa with the family, grandparents included, until the early morning hours.