A Morning in Lamington National Park {German}

My dear readers,

today I will announce a new „project“ of mine, which is expressing feelings and moments through writing.
Two weeks ago, I have been to Lamington National Park in southern Queensland and it was a magical experience. The nature was really beautiful, when we woke up in the morning, there were Wallabies all around us, the campground was a bit remote which enables you to connect with nature and to embrace all the beautiful things this national park has to offer. As you probably know, German is my mother tongue, which is why my english writing is more „basic“ than advanced. This is why I wrote my „creative“ text in German. I hope you still want to have a look at the pictures, I took them during our hikes in Lamington and in the early mornings when we had breakfast with the Wallabies.
For my English readers: Stay tuned, my next post will be in English as usual, for the Germans: I hope you enjoy my little writing!

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5:53, Lamington National Park Queensland. Der Boden des Autos ist so hart, dass ich nicht mehr liegen kann. Trotz der Decke und dem Handtuch was sich unter meinem verspannten Rücken befindet, schmerzt mein ganzer Körper und ich beschließe aufzustehen. Die Fenster des Autos sind beschlagen und etwas klopft am Metall. Ich wische das Kondenswasser an der Scheibe vom Rücksitz weg und erblicke ein kleines Wallaby welches neben unserem Auto sitzt.

Meine Füße sind kalt, ich schlüpfe mit meinen Socken in meine FlipFlops und überlege noch wie komisch es aussehen muss, als plötzlich das Wallaby zwei Meter neben mir an mir vorbei hüpft, anhält, mich anschaut und weiter in den Busch springt. Momente wie dieser sind einfach wertvoll denke ich.

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Ich laufe den nassen Weg entlang zu den Toilettenhäuschen, als der von uns benannte Ufo-Vogel, ein Vogel der sich haargenau anhört als würde ein Ufo landen, laut schreit und ich mich augenblicklich wie in einem Film fühle.

Es ist noch sehr kühl, so kühl dass ich mir meine Ärmel über die Hände ziehe und ich eine Gänsehaut bekomme. Ich lege mir meine Kapuze um den Hals, wobei ich das Stechen meines Sonnenbrands am Hals und Nacken spüre, welchen ich mir an der Gold Coast zugezogen habe. Wer hätte auch gedacht dass man sich trotz T-Shirt dermaßen den Hals verbrennen kann, immerhin halten wir uns jetzt schon eine ganze Weile täglich in der Sonne auf.

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Die Sonne sucht sich langsam den Weg durch die grünen Blätter der Bäume und lässt mich leicht blinzeln, zu gerne würde ich davon jetzt ein Bokeh Foto machen denke ich.
Ich atme tief ein und es duftet wie an einem frischen Frühlingsmorgen, der Tau noch auf den Blättern und die Vögel geben ihr Konzert.

Auf meinem Weg zurück höre ich das merkwürdige Klopfen erneut und meine Beine lassen mich ein wenig schneller zurück zum Auto laufen. Ich blicke langsam um die Ecke und entdecke einen Truthahn der an unserer Mülltüte herumpickt, daneben auf dem Tisch sitzend, ein runder grauer Vogel mit einer gelben Kehle und einem gelben Bauch, welcher den Truthahn interessiert beobachtet. Als sie mich entdecken laufen und fliegen sie beide weg.

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Zum Frühstück kochen wir Haferflocken auf mit Banane und Erdnussbutter. Es tut so gut etwas warmes im Magen zu haben. Wir sitzen beide in unseren Campingstühlen, eingeschlungen in unseren Decken, blicken auf das dampfende Frühstück und ich überlege ob es nicht immer so sein könnte.

Während wir darauf warten dass die Sonne über den Baumen aufgeht, bekommen wir besuch von zwei Papageien. Sie setzen sich auf die offen stehende Kofferraumtür, ihren Kopf seitlich zu uns geneigt und schielen auf unser Essen.
So langsam verstehe ich warum man wilde Tiere nich füttern soll, denn nach zehn Minuten sitzen die zwei immer noch da und warten gespannt dass wir unser Essen für einen winzigen Augenblick aus den Augen lassen.

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Wenn ich darüber nachdenke dass uns nur noch wenige Wochen Reise bevorstehen, werde ich leicht melancholisch. Kann dieser Traum denn wirklich ein Ende haben? Diese angenehme Freiheit die man als Reisender hat, die interessanten Gespräche die man mit Menschen aus der ganzen Welt führt und diesen Schub von süßen Endorphinen und heißem Adrenalin den man erlebt wenn man gerade auf einem Boot über den Ozean braust, sich die Sterne anguckt, oder morgens im National Park zwischen Papageien und Wallabies frühstückt? Ich will nicht dass es aufhört.

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Have a magical week!
xx, Sophie

Watching the Stars in Byron Bay, Australia

Hello from Sydney, Australia!

I am finally staying in a hostel that has free internet access so I am now able to upload something. The past few weeks have been amazing, though I am really sad that I have to go back home quite soon. However, I travelled the whole East Coast from Cairns to Sydney and experienced some amazing things and saw beautiful places as Byron Bay.

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We rented a station wagon from Brisbane to Sydney and stayed on a campground in Byron, where we met some awesome Australian guys who showed us the town and spend two days with us. One night we drove up to the famous lighthouse and watched the sunset, which was really beautiful.
Next to the lighthouse there is a path that leads to the easternmost point of the mainland of Australia in Cape Byron.

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This post is probably more about the pictures than the text, but to be honest, I think I am better at taking pictures than at writing.
However, I love how these pictures turned out, since some of them have that old camera look I really like. I had to turn up the ISO which created this look, it was just too dark for my lens out there!
I loved running around, watching the ocean and listening to all the animals around us.
It may sound very cliché but watching the ocean really calms me down and I could spend hours doing it. (I think I will miss this a lot when I am back home…)

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Speaking of going home, I am still not quite sure what will happen to this blog after I have published all my travel posts, do not worry – I still have loads of things up my sleeve!
I will go to University in October and I do not get paid to travel so I will probably continue using this blog for photography and personal things, as well as for occasional travel posts. By the way, I have a “project“ going on which has something to do with the United States, but I do not want to go into detail, since nothing is fixed yet.
However, I guess I will just use this blog as my creative space, maybe also for writing and arts or even for university and book stuff. I like the idea of having a creative space where I can express myself. That is what blogs are for, right?

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Even though it breaks my heart that my amazing journey is almost over, I am so excited for the upcoming months, I have so many plans, dreams and wishes and I also like the thought of spending some months with my family before I will move out.
Additionally, my friend and I are already planning our next Australia and New Zealand trip, we want to do the Great Ocean Road, visit Melbourne and do the Kiwi Experience in New Zealand.
I am sure I will write some additional posts about my other travel plans. I am simply obsessed with planning…

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However, I hope you enjoyed these pictures, especially the last one. After we had returned from the lighthouse, I laid down next to our tent and watched the stars until one in the morning, it was so beautiful! To be honest, my camera managed to photograph even more stars than I actually saw which is so magical! I love to watch the stars, it is so thrilling to think about all the things we do not know about the universe…

Greetings from a happy Sophie!
xx

Self-Discovery or Self-REdiscovery – Nusa Lembongan

Many people go traveling in order to find themselves and to achieve happiness.
Through all these different influences, cultural experiences, inspirations and new ways of living, people do change during their travels.

Some people hope that they may find out what kind of job they want to do because after graduation they had no idea,
others hope that they can break bad habits and start something completely new,
some try new things and find new passions.

What if I tell you that in thirteen weeks of traveling, I have experienced „self-rediscovery“ rather than self-discovery?
Actually, I cannot completely explain this but I just feel more like myself.
When I left my town I thought that I would leave many things behind. Former hobbies, my old mind-set, stress and insecurity. And yes, I feel that through traveling I became more stress-resistant and I gained self-confidence. I learned a lot about myself and I know what I am capable of and what I should not do, or either what I do not need.

I rediscovered myself because I found hope that I can actually keep doing certain things and that I can trust myself.
For example, when I left I thought I would also leave my passion for dance behind. I assumed that I have to move on, try something new – I thought I was not good enough at ballet and dance in general and that even if I put a lot of effort into it, I would get nothing in return.
I was wrong. For thirteen years, dance has always played a big role in my life.
How could I expect my body to give up this passion that has always fulfilled me, a passion that guided me through good and bad times?
I cannot just let go of it and I do not have to. I love ballet and I cannot wait to start dancing again when I am back in Germany.

Additionally, I realized that I do not have to search for escape because there is nothing to escape from.
I love my family and I love my friends, which is most important because these people will always give their best to help and protect you.

I learned to love „home“ but I also appreciate being elsewhere, or even far away from home. As I already stated in my birthday blogpost, it will not matter where you are as long as there are your people surrounding you and you are able to do the things you love.
Of course, memories are often linked to certain places and situations, but maybe we must have to take a step forward and create new ones.

Sorry for this labyrinth of thoughts, which might cause some confusion, but I just had to put some thoughts on paper.
However, I hope you enjoy these pictures of Nusa Lembongan (click here to read my last post about this small island)!

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Have a good week!

xx, Sophie

Koh Lanta, spending my 19th Birthday in Paradise

Hello together,

I hope you are alright and had a good weekend. I am already in Christmas mood, even though it is still November. What can I say? I just love Christmas.
Family time, baking cookies all Sunday long, lightening candles, eating ginger bread, listening to Christmas music, watching American Christmas movies and drinking hot tea. Anyway, I am in Darwin at the moment and 34°C and 75% air humidity make it quite difficult to stick to my German Christmas traditions.
I mean, we will probably celebrate Christmas in Brisbane at the beach, which will be very exciting I guess.
I even have to admit that we already bought a small plastic Christmas tree in KMart for 5$, all Aussies buy plastic Christmas trees – we had to adopt this tradition.
We will take this tree with us while we will be travelling the Australia’s East Coast…stupid, I know.

However, I did not plan to talk about my Christmas obsession, actually I wanted to tell you about my time in Koh Lanta.
Koh Lanta is an island on the west coast of Thailand, located in the south of Krabi.
This beautiful island was our last stop before we took a flight back to Bangkok and from Bangkok to Australia. We spent four nights in two nice bungalows and celebrated my birthday on our last day.

I never thought of celebrating my birthday in Thailand, but it turned out to be really cool. We rented a scooter and had breakfast in our favourite french breakfast place „Faim de Loup“. After we had asian food for two month, we were really excited about western food again and enjoyed good bread, croissants and cheese omelettes. It was delicious!
Unfortunately I had a cold because of the air con and took a for three-hour nap before we went on our scooter beach hopping trip.
At this point, I would like to recommend my favourite app „Maps.me“ which really helped us discovering beautiful, hidden places in Thailand and Indonesia.
The app is free and you can download maps and use them offline.
The second beach we explored was really beautiful, there were only two other travelers and the scenery was magical. We took some photos and I daydreamed a lot while watching the sunset.

On this day, I realised that it only matters to a certain extent where you are on a day like your birthday. What matters the most is the people with whom you are spending your day. I am still really happy that I was able to celebrate my birthday with Lina, I missed my family a lot that day but she put a lot of effort into this day and made it really special.
We had a great day together, even though it is not the same as waking up early in the morning and having cake for breakfast with my family.
However, Lina and I enjoyed it to the fullest. After we had spent our afternoon at the beach, we had dinner at our favourite beach bar, the so called „Moonwalk Bar“, where we enjoyed cheesy Pizza. The evening was great and I will always remember it as the most extraordinary birthday I had in my life so far.

Now, I proudly introduce you to Nui Bay, my birthday beach:

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Have a good week!

Love, Sophie

Learn To Surf with Kima – My experience

Four weeks in Indonesia are already over and I am now ready to talk about my experience with Kima Surf. They are providing „Surfaris“ since 1995 and I can say that I really enjoyed my time in the camp. We stayed in the Surf Camp in Seminyak, which is in the Kuta area. However, they also have Camps in Canggu and on the Bukit Peninsula.

As you know from my Surf Preparation blogpost, I’ve been dreaming of learning to surf since I was a child. This dream came true in Bali.
They picked us up from the airport (airport pick-up will be included if you stay longer than five nights) and drove us to the camp. The traffic in Bali is hell, almost all Balinese/Indonesian people drive a scooter and there are lots of them on the streets.
After having arrived, a surf guide gave us an introduction and showed us the camp. The camp has two pools, one pool bar, a restaurant, a surf shop and a jacuzzi.

 

You can decide whether you want to sleep in dorms or in a private room. Just check their website, they have multiple room categories available!
Breakfast is included in your room package, but you can also upgrade your meals and have „Deluxe Breakfast“ and dinner. We just went for the normal breakfast which was really sufficient. You will be able to choose kind of a fruit appetizer (fruit platter, fruit salad, pancake with fruit or even yoghurt), a fresh juice, a main dish (things like Nasi Goreng, eggs or even Coconut Risotto), toast and jam or butter. It was simply delicious! My favourite was the Coconut Risotto, which is similar to Mango Sticky Rice.

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On the regular menu, there is also a variety of western and asian dishes provided! We often had dinner and lunch outside, since the restaurant is not very cheap, however the dishes were freaking good! Additionally, all the dishes are really healthy, prepared with fresh vegetables, not fatty at all and many whole wheat products are used. My favourites were Pad Thai (see the picture below) and Whole Wheat Burritos.
Nevertheless I do not want to much about the food, since I am planing a separate post about food in Indonesia/Bali.

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The Surf Guiding is included, which means that you can sign up for two surf sessions per day (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) or you can sign up for a day trip (also two sessions, but you are not returning to the camp between the sessions).
If you do not have a board you can rent one, they have all sizes and shapes of boards which is really cool. Make sure to book Board Insurance as well, it is easier than expected to break a board, or lose a fin. The boards they provide are quite good I think, for me they were perfect!

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Additionally, the surf guides and the staff in the camp are very friendly. I already miss fooling around with the surf guides, they are really cool and also great teachers!
They know how to read the water and the waves, additionally they will always give their best to pass their knowledge down to you and teach you how to protect yourself.
Knowledge is power and when you paddled behind the waves, waiting for the perfect green wave, it is crucial to know how to read the waves and also to have respect. The water can be really dangerous but if you follow the rules and stay aware of your surroundings, it will be unlikely that something really bad happens.

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Nonetheless, injuries can happen and it is likely that you will hurt yourself if you are surfing a lot. Sometimes the waves are unpredictable and even experienced surfers can be overwhelmed by the water. On my last day, a two to three meter wave broke right in front of me, pushed me under the water and threw me around and my fin cut my leg. The cut was a little deep, but I survived :)!
Accidents happen, so be careful and listen to your guides!

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As a beginner and even as a pro surfer it is normal to „get laundry“ sometimes. This means that you are stuck in the wave which „rolls“ to the beach with you in it, sounds worse than it is. Just remember: Don’t be afraid, just have respect.

You can’t control the waves, but you can learn to surf!

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All in all, surfing was a great experience! There is nothing better than paddling so hard to get behind the waves and then finally taking the perfect wave and surfing in the green water. Your arms and shoulders will be exhausted, your ribs will hurt but you will feel so great in the end!

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I became obsessed with surfing and I cannot wait to go on my next Surfari!
I hope you liked this little „Surf Camp Review“ and let me know if you have ever surfed and what you think about it!

Have a nice weekend,
Sophie