Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rockstar Backbacking!!!

Awesome, while flying to Seattle I got upgraded to first class with the beautiful Virgin America, which just may be the greatest domestic airline the world has ever seen! This is a serious experience in customer service and everyone should fly with them once in their lives. You rock Richard Branson and I may have to marry your daughter….

While in the USA, I enjoyed a wonderful week with the Osbeavers (this is a mix of Osbourne and Cleaver clans) in sunny Emeryville. I rode many kilometers on the 2003 Team Saturn Lemond, the bike that has done its rounds on Ebay since it’s pilot got done for growth hormone or something. James cooked some fantastic meals sans meat and we drank many bottles of two buck chuck, Trader Joe’s contribution to 21st century America….

Anywho, things got interesting in Seattle because I decided against getting a hotel while waiting for my flight to LAX and instead went drinking downtown with all the bums and hookers. So I walked into my first bar and sat down and started chatted with a random bum about life and baseball. I was drinking mannys, the local pale ale and life was ok, I had five hours to burn at this bar until my bus to airport left. I was pondering life sitting at the bar, while watching the clock.

After a few beers while chatting with the bartender who thought I was a male prostitute, two girls from Michigan walked in. They preceded to sit down next to me and we got chatting. It came out that these girls were in seattle on holidays and looking to move there. We chatted endlessly about traveling and I learned that they had never left the US, so that was eye-opening. Fortunately after the bar closed they gave me a lift to the airport and I had a sleep for a few hours before my flight left.

Loss of sleep bahhhhh

After a week in the socialist democracy that is Scandinavia, I am a poorer but happier man. Norway is an amazing place that runs on 95% renewable energy and it costs fifteen dollars for a beer. The public transport is amazing and everything runs like clockwork.

I was hanging out with Anders and his buddies at his apartment near the sulli plass in Oslo. This was super fun because it was like being in student house again and everyone there was very cool. They were all engineers and uber intelligent and thus I fit right in, talking about thermal physics and so on. There were many attractive looking women there and I did have a sore neck for the first few days but I quickly got used to it!

Anywho, being the dickhead I am, I missed a flight from Oslo to Stockholm and had to fly business class again. But now I’m getting used to it and maybe ill have to get a proper job like my dad says if I want to continue this rockstarness. When I got to Stockholm I got this message from Dion Amor, the sweetest man in the world.

“God bless you Lincoln, and god bless that beautiful country. Make sure that you thank as many parents as you can for blessing the world with their gorgeous offspring and that they keep their liberal values and loose morals so I can sleep with many more of these fine creatures…. I love you and miss you terribly my friend” I then started crying in the pub I was in and hugged the nearest guy that was watching the Denmark-Sweden qualifier. He felt the love from the Southern Hemisphere.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A great tale!

So what a week it has been upon entering the USA.... While in LA I got a taste of some serious hospitality hollywood style. I went to lots of parties, and I hung out with the Beach boys and John Stamos and generally had a ripping time. While there I got a message on facey that a friend would be in LA at the same day as me and was leaving for san diego on the same monday that I wanted to go, which is the travel way.

So we are driving down the freeway and my friend calls a surfing mate of hers that lives in Newport Beach. So we drive for an hour and arrive at Newport Beach. We get to this guys house and he insists that we stay there for the night and party. This guy works for Fox so he has this Toyota Tundra with rude rims and fox logos all over it. As we drive to lunch in this beast I'm thinking the travel gods are on my side.

Enter Mike Horski, with a story to blow my mind. This dude who shows up for lunch with us works at a bar in Newport and is generally just a chilled out legend. However, three months ago while he was lying in bed after work one night, his psycho girlfriend stabs him in the chest with a 22cm kitchen knife. So he wakes up with a knife embedded in his chest and his crazy girlfriend yelling at him. With adrenalin pumping, Mike takes the knife out of his chest and puts his girlfriend on the ground with his foot on her throat. He goes for the phone and calls 911. 911 put him on hold. So he is standing there, on hold, crazy girlfriend screaming under his foot, with litres of blood pumping out of his stab wound.

So he finally gets to talk to some emergency support and gets the cops around to his house. Just as they get there he passes out from blood loss and he gets taken to the hospital. He survives his stabbing, just. He now has a 20 cm long scar on his chest from the stabbing and general surgery.

After lunch and this awesome story, Mike and LJ take me surfing. These guys are professionals. I have never surfed before and they attempt to get me on a wave. I do, but I eat shit about 12 times before I manage this achievement. These two guys would not look out of place at the rip curl pro.

That night, Mike and I go and buy a plethora of various drinks from the liquor store and have a cracking evening. We wound up going to the bar that Mike works at and he gets lucky. Once again I have to hear people going at it right next to me. God bless America.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sheep Shagging!!!!!

Well, my time in New Zealand has come to an end….
So many memories, we laughed, we cried….

The highlight for me was definitely Queenstown, this place froths all over the place. So many travel scams were used here, like the photocopying of the 2-4-1 drink cards for the altitude bar and resetting and winding the clock back on the global gossip computers so we got hours of free internet.

Queenstown has many bars with lots of alcohol, which is always amusing. It also has Fergburger, which is without peer in the making of hamburgers. I had four of these during my stay and every one was as satisfying as the last. In particular the venison creation, the bambi burger makes one feel like a real carnivore. Snaps to Fergburger.

There were also lows to my trip. I got very jealous when I heard the hot Swedish couple in my room having sex for much longer than I usually do it. I had to promptly relieve myself after this event. Also driving by yourself in a little blue car with no company or radio down the west coast for six hours made me go quite insane. I started talking to myself with comments like ‘froth, froth, froth’ or ‘snoozies ramikin’ often leaving my lips.

The wonderful accents made me giggle on a number of occasions. For instance when I was at the petrol station the other day I had to ask the lady to say six for me three times, then I started laughing and she got upset.

I think I may have also done something for my fear of heights by doing the nevis swing and bungy jump. It was fucking insane and I will never be that afraid again. It was also a seriously impressive structure and if you are ever in New Zealand you must go and do the Nevis!

The West Coast is also very pretty and Franz Josef YHA is one of the best hostels I have ever stayed in. It is a crying shame that more Australians don’t come and backpack around New Zealand. It is one of the easiest places to travel because everyone speaks English, everything is close and the place is just pristine. The hostels are frothing and everyone is really friendly. I highly recommend it!!!!!

So it is now onto Los Angeles where I will hopefully make out with Katherine Heigl or even James Franco and not find any driftwood.

God Bless Travelling!!!!

I’m off for the standard travel whopper….


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Boring Observation

The glories of traveling with laptop and iphone….

I’m sitting yet again in a wireless hotspot in a hostel in NZ. I’m bored shitless, mainly because this city has a whole lot of not much going on a Tuesday night except torrential rain and wind. So once again I am drawn into writing in my blog, which I hope is an endless source of amusement to you all.

Any who as I was sitting in my bus today basking in the beauty of this country (it really is amazingly pretty), it dawned on me how different it was to travel pre laptop and phone. When I first traveled in 2002, it was a battle to find an Internet cafĂ© and send an email. However, in this age of facebook it is just so easy to get someone’s details and you can discover many intimate details about them in moments.

I have been on the Internet everyday since I got here because I’m addicted to knowing the football scores and what is going on in the world. I’m also not used to be on my own and it takes a while to adapt.

The moral of my story is that my computer gives me a source of entertainment if necessary and also provides me with information on travel resources that would have been unavailable to the traveler in the last century. I think maybe it’s taken a whole lot of fun out of the adventure, and at the least it’s made the experience a whole lot easier and accessible to the IT savvy.

Possibly the truly hardcore adventurer should embark on a journey with only the post as a means of communication….????

Another thing about traveling is some of the funny stuff these crazy kids eat in the common room. On the table in front of me is a communal bowl of maggi noodles, with a three-litre bottle of AJ to wash it down. This young kid next to me is eating two boiled potatoes with butter and salt. The girls next to me are drinking coke with red wine, accompanied by plastic cheese and crackers. God bless them all. ohhhhhh, some guy just got a large dominos, he has a hell of a lot of acne!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

CRAP Bus Rides

Yesterday as I was sitting on one of the more average buses floating around new Zealand, I had a few hours to reflect on crap bus rides around the world. There are many factors that can make or break a bus ride. These include distance, bus condition, temperature, amount of crap people on bus and whether you had anyone to talk to. Another massive factor is your level on hungoverness and how much sleep you had the night before.
This particular bus ride was only four hours, but went through some towns that could only be described as struggling with some fairly heavy social problems. Also the bus was full and the average weight of people on the bus was about 150kg. The guy sitting beside me looked like a house, he also smelt like his body hadn’t been wet for at least a week. So as I sat there in my fairly tight space, I wondered why I had come back to the backpackers life? Especially since the bus driver, who looked like he had been on a meth bender for four days, decided to put ‘War of the worlds: The musical’ on the DVD player. He had filmed it himself live in Auckland last year. It was torture.
However upon dragging my sorry arse to my hostel in Rotorua, I had an excellent chat with the young maori girl at reception. This girl was a travel goddess, she gave me my own room, she pointed me in the direction of the hot springs and all my problems seemed to melt away.
So I guess the moral of the story is that these average experiences make you feel extra happy with what you have at home!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

First port: Auckland

So here I am, sitting in sunny Auckland relishing in its awesomeness. It's been a funny trip, since I wasn't really ready to be on a plane overseas, it all hasn't sunk in yet.
Anywho, I have a funny story of the first three hours of my trip.
To set the scene, I'm sitting on Flight NZ124 from Melb-Auckland enjoying the wonderous Air New Zealand hospitality. Thoroughly enjoying my in-flight movie, Defiance, starring Daniel Craig, I was handed my NZ immigration card.
Not really concentrating on filling out the details of this card, I had to get a second one given to me because I used ticks instead of crosses to mark my answers. On my second card, I reached the occupation box. I thought to myself "what do I do?", I couldn't say "all around awesome coffee guy", because that didn't fit in the gaps. I couldn't say "dead-beat promo loser", because I didn't work promo anymore. Also I couldn't simply say "Student" because everyone knows I finished my Commerce-management double degree nearly two years ago.
So as I watched Daniel Craig kill another German with his bare hands out of the corner of my eye, I simply wrote "Magician" and put the card in my passport and got back to my meal and movie.
After disembarking, I rolled up to the customs guy and the conversation went something like this:
Lincoln: 'Hey champ, how's life'
Customs Official(looking at passport and immigration card): 'Pretty Choice mate, good flight?'
Lincoln: 'Above expectations my friend, food and entertainment on board were first rate!'
Customs Official(now with strange look on face): 'Magician eh? When did you get into magic?'
Lincoln(blood drawing from face, thinking of something to say and struggling): 'Well that's not entirely true, I'm not fully qualified yet, I still have six months left to go in my TAFE course'
Customs Official(looking satisfied stamping passport): 'You're the first person I've met who studies magic. Have a great time and good luck with it!'

As I walked away from this, I wondered a few things:
#1 Why did I write magician and why did I forget this vital piece of information as I walked into customs
#2 Never be a smart arse when writing in your immigration card, and if you do, have a story ready to back it up
#3 If I tried to pull this off entering the US, would I be bailed up, Vince Colosimo style like Airport Security and cavity searched?

Lesson Learned

Monday, April 20, 2009

Travel Insurance....

So I've been hunting around looking for the best travel insurance deals. This will surely be my last trip using travel insurance, because for my next trip I shall make sure I have a Platinum credit card which gives you automatic travel insurance on purchasing your flight.
It's a tough decision, because the reviews of pretty all the travel insurance sites have been pretty poor. I think this may be due to people only complaining about a shit service and not giving good reviews for sound insurance. Anyways I've gone with because they cover my computer and my phone. I'll let you know how they are! It's quite an expensive purchase though and I have a slight case of buyers remorse.

interesting stat - apparently 20% of travel insurance claims are fraudulent

Also check out this article on travel by the marketing director of SBS, she has some great points!