Why I couldn’t be a Full-Time Nomad – Things I Miss about Home

I have many homes now. I call everywhere I go home. If it’s a hostel bed, friends couch, camper bed or my own room. As long as I feel comfortable and have my stuff with me I feel good.

And even when I leave Australia there is a place that I’ll call home forever. The Sunshine Coast with my AuPair family. This place and these people will stay in my heart forever.

But there are definitely things that I miss about my real home. Germany. My parent’s house. And about having a constant home base.

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The Nomadic life is great and I love it. I enjoy it a lot to have the freedom to go places, see friends, move again if I am not happy and travel where my heart leads me, but through the 6 months that I have been doing that now I discovered that this couldn’t be my life forever.

I love it, BUT I also love having a set home. So in this blog post I want to talk about a few things that I miss about Germany, my home and the „normal“ life and why. Maybe for you to understand that the settled down life has its advantages as well and for you and me to remember and appreciate when we are not travelling.

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  • Having your family and friends around you. No need to constantly make friends with new people, meet new people. To be around people you know, that know you and that you trust.

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  • Knowing your way around. I love exploring new places, but it is always most exciting when you finally can put your map in your bag and stop constantly checking on google maps if you are still on the right way. It’s great to know the best places to shop and know how to get around with public transport easily.

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  • Having a routine. Daily and weekly routines make me more productive, organised, feel safe and comfortable which can be great. But I obviously would never miss the curiosity of new challenges, changes and new adventures.

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  • Staying on track with your goals and plans. It can be hard to continue good habits and work on your goals while travelling. You get distracted, you want to explore and experience and you’re not in your usual environment. So it might be a bit harder to eat healthily, work out and work as you are used to.

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  • Having everything you need. I am definitely not a person that needs a lot of material things. I am fine with the few T-Shirts that I carry around with me and only use one soap bar to wash my hair, body and face. But there are a few things that are wonderful to have. Your own comfy bed, no snorers, fresh air and nobody distracting you while sleeping. Your clean kitchen with all the utensils you need and nobody in your way while cooking. A clean bathroom where you don’t need to wear flip flops or clean the toilet before you use it.

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  • Your own space. Walking around naked, throwing your clothes on the flow when you come home late at night, cooking only in a shirt, singing out loud or listening to loud music, only wearing underwear while getting ready –  all the things you can do when you have your own space.

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And a few small things that I miss:

  • German bread. The sourdough bread here can be really yummy, but sometimes I just miss my super grainy, moist fresh bakery bread from home.
  • My cat. I miss her so much. Miss her cuddles, her talking, snoring. Just her being around.
  • Some real German food. Sauerkraut, red cabbage, German dumplings, Schupfnudeln, Spätzle… sometimes that’s just really nice. Especially when my grandma cooked it.
  • Family gatherings. I am always so sad when I miss family gatherings. Christmas, Easter, birthdays or just for no reason… I love sitting together and talking with my grandparents, aunts & uncles and my cousin and eating yummy food together. And also my aunt & uncle just adopted a foster child and I haven’t got the chance to meet her yet :(

 

  • Sauna. We have a sauna at home and I missed the snuggly Sunday evenings.
  • Food Testing & Photography. I miss my pretty bowls and dishes, decoration, ingredients, supplies and the time to try out new recipes, experiment in the kitchen and take pretty food pictures from it… but I am still cooking: Easy, Cheap, Healthy Dinner Recipes – Perfect for Backpackers

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But there is something that would combine the two – being on the go, travelling, exploring and having a home, a cozy place where you don’t need to move from: camper life!

I’ve done several camper road trips and vacations with my parents already and last week I did my first one with a friend renting the little camper myself. We had a lot of fun, a great little cozy place for us and everything with us all the time.

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And if it’s your own camper you can even pimp it and make it extra cozy and cute with your own things, decoration and nicely renovated.

I definitely want to own a camper myself at some stage in my life to travel Europe in a little home on wheels and also do some other van trips on the West Coast of Australia and through north and south America.

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What do you love and dislike about Travelling? What do you miss when longterm Travelling?

 

Q&A – Solo Travel

Here we go with number three of my Q&A series. This time, I am answering all the frequently asked questions about travelling alone (for the first time).

I always get so many questions from friends, strangers, other travellers or follower on Instagram, so I wanted to answer them all and help new travellers to feel more confident, safe, get inspired to travel themselves and help them plan their own journey.

  1. Q&A – Backpacking Australia
  2. Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
  3. Q&A – Solo Travelling
  4. Planning your own Work & Travel Year
  5. About being an AuPair

If you have further questions or topics you want me to talk about, please feel free to message me on Instagram or comment down below!

I really want to create more content that is helping, informing and inspiring my readers/followers, so if you have any ideas or interests that you are interested in – tell me!

IMG_9421But for now: let’s get started…

How is it like to travel alone?

I love it! It is so much fun to feel free to do exactly what I want without making compromises. It is so easy to meet people in hostels or on tours and here and there you are lucky to make some real friends for a lifetime. You never have to be alone if you don’t want to but you still always have the chance to spend time by yourself and do what you desire.

In Perth I had some days where I felt lonely and just not myself…  but that’s alright.

Do you feel lonely sometimes?

Since I started I only had one week where I felt a little bit down, lonely and homesick and that was in Perth after my cousin left me and my parents were about to come and I didn’t find many nice people that I really connected to in my hostel. I also wrote a blog post about my feelings at that time called the downside of travelling alone.

And usually after I have to say goodbye to travel mates and friends that I had an awesome time with, I get a slight feeling of loneliness and it is a little bit weird to be alone again, but that usually disappears after a while.

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When you ask strangers to take a picture of you and it actually turns out great! :D

Is it easy to meet people (even when you are shy)?

I would say yes! For me, it depends on the situation and the people if I am shy or not, but I would say it is super easy to meet people when you live in hostels.

In your hostel room, in the kitchen, TV room, sitting area there are fellow travellers everywhere that also want to meet other people and even if you are shy but just smile and look friendly there will be people talking to you and starting the conversation. Or you can start it yourself by just saying “Hi, how are you?” or asking a question. You will get more and more used to it and it gets easier every time.

I also found it super nice and very easy to meet people when you do a bus tour with a small group for a few days. Because you have to stay together for several days it is a lot easier to make friends because you actually have time to get to know them and you also are kinda forced to talk to each other as you are travelling together. With my three tours I did so far, I was always very lucky with my travel mates and met some nice people.

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Are you scared of travelling alone sometimes?

I am not a person that gets scared easily and until now I’ve been not in a situation that really scared me. Obviously, there were some moments that I didn’t felt completely safe walking home alone or being in a surrounding that doesn’t feel completely safe, but you also have those moments at home. Overall I would say Australia is a very safe country and you don’t need to worry a lot. It is definitely a great place for females travelling alone or travelling alone for the first time. Usually, you are in bigger cities/towns anyways and the hostels are in animated and busy areas.

I also experience so many great situations where people asked me to help me, told me what to do and how to stay safe and in general Australians are so nice and helpful.

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Easy questions for first conversations:

  • Where are you from?
  • What are you doing in Australia?
  • How long have you been here?
  • What are your plans?
  • What have you seen so far? Where have you been so far?
  • Are you travelling on your own?
  • What are your plans for today/tonight?
  • How was your day?
  • What do you do at home/what have you done at home before you left?

Those are the easy questions you basically ask and get asked as a traveller EVERY TIME you meet people :D Can get annoying, but it’s fun at the same time, especially when you get over these basic questions with someone and have real conversations. Another funny thing is that you usually ask very late what his/her name is because it doesn’t matter that much and you meet so many people and can’t remember all their names anyways :P

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Two weeks into Solo travelling and already met two wonderful people that I’ll stay friends with forever <3

How do you get to meet/talk to people?

  • In your hostel room. Just say hello to everyone in your need room, smile and if you get a friendly response and a real smile back just ask one of the questions above t start a conversation
  • In the kitchen. When you ask to get a kitchen tool after they are done using it or tell them that their food looks/smells yummy you can easily start a conversation and sit together while eating after cooking.
  • In the common area. When you sit down with your food next to someone/at the same table, smile, say hey and if you get a friendly response/smile back you can start a conversation
  • On Tours. Because you are travelling for a few days together, it is a lot easier to find friends here because you are kinda forced to talk to each other and get to know one another. When you meet at the bus ask where they are from or see what the situations bring you. Oftentimes the tour guide also makes everybody to introduce him-/herself.

And you will see that oftentimes the other person is just as willing to start a conversation and starts him-/herself. Especially when you are travelling alone and other people are together or in a group they will start a conversation because it is a lot easier for them than for you as a solo traveller. And when you are shy to do the first step, better choose another person alone than a group/couple because that makes it less scary.

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Why Australia and why on your own?

It’s hard to exactly say what made me do all this. There were several reasons behind it, but the biggest was that it just felt right. I felt the urge to go travel on my own after school and Australia called me.

Other than that, Australia is a warm and sunny country which I love, it is big so it makes sense to explore it in one year and really see many places (for example New Zealand can also be done in 2-3 months, at least that’s what I think), the nature and animals are completely different than in Europe or wherever I’ve been so far and it’s supposed to be a very good country for travelling solo as a female for the first time when you are still very young. It is also pretty popular for travellers, so you can easily meet others, find jobs as a Backpacker and travel around.

When I was thinking about my gap year I was always seeing myself doing whatever I want, not being with someone and when I started to get more into it and read amazing experiences and advantages solo travel has I knew, I want to do this on my own.

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Why do you love and recommend travelling alone?

Because you learn and grow so much as a person

  • You learn to be confident,
  • to make your own decisions,
  • stop being shy and practice talking to strangers
  • getting life experiences that will help you your whole future life
  • meeting many different people from all around the world
  • you will get to know yourself and your own character trades more
  • making friends with new people and some will be part of your life forever
  • you get to see the world and culture more intense and maybe even differently
  • you can do whatever the hell you want to without having to make compromises or justify it

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I love travelling with my friends or going on vacation with my family. But solo travel just has such a special feeling to it and it changes and lets you grow even more than travelling already does.

I can only recommend everyone to try it themselves! It’s special, it’s an adventure and it will only have a positive impact on your life at the end (even with a bad experience you will learn something).

I urge you to travel. On your own.

Q&A – Work & Travel Australia

Blog post number two in which I want to answer all the questions I daily get about doing Work & Travel in Australia.

I already posted one that included all the questions about Travelling and Backpacking through Australia and because there are a few more topics that I want to talk about, there are more informative blog posts coming soon:

  1. Q&A – Backpacking Australia
  2. Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
  3. Q&A – Solo Travelling
  4. Q&A – AuPair in Australia
  5. Planning your own Work & Travel Year

So I hope I will answer as many questions in all these posts as possible and give you guys the information you may want and need for your own adventures.

If you have more questions or ideas what I should include into the following posts, please comment them down below or message me on Instagram @mind.wanderer

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Are you in Australia with a Work & Travel Agency?

No. I planned everything myself and would say that it is not necessary to get help from an agency to apply for a Visa, Tax Number, get a bank account setup or a SIM card.

I decided to do everything myself because the daughters of my mom’s friend tried both and said that it’s way cheaper than with an organisation and you don’t need the help they offer you.

On the other hand, I met a German girl here that came to Australia with ‚Praktikawelten‘ and paid 2000€ which included her flight, the first week in Sydney in a hostel with everyone that travelled with the organisation and they did a lot of things together. As well as getting a Visa, Tax File Number, Bank account and SIM card and more – which I think is an amazing price.

I still liked that I did everything on my own because I learned a lot and it’s not too hard to do it yourself.


I am currently writing on a blog post on planning and organising your Work & Travel year in Australia with many tips, websites & books that helped me, as well as a checklist!

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How is it going with the English language, Australian accents and have you improved?

I was never nervous about speaking English or not being able to understand/talk with people when I arrived because I already felt comfortable with it.

I would say that my English was already a bit better than average school English because I started watching English YouTube videos when I was 14 years old and improved my English at home ever since by listening and reading in English (not specifically to improve my language but because I loved American/British/Australian YouTubers more than Germans).

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The Australian accent is for sure very hard to understand. But the good thing is that most Australians don’t have a very strong accent, only older people, people from the country land or so-called Bogans (not very educated people) have a very strong and hard to understand accent.

But Australians do have the tendency to shorten words: Brissie = Brisbane, Avo = Avocado, Cambra = Cambarra, Breakie = Breakfast, AC = airconditioner and phrases like “Hey, how are you doing?” (verschmilzen) to “Hai-ho-a-u-duin?” …but you get used to it.

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The worst thing you can do is to be scared of talking to others in English because you think you won’t understand them or they won’t understand you. Especially when you are travelling with a friend/friends some people tend to hide behind others and let them handle things so they don’t need to talk in English or they only talk/make friends with other Germans… but that doesn’t help. Talking, practicing, trying is what makes you improve in the end and Australians/other travellers are usually so nice, take their time to listen to you and help you out if you need a word. So don’t worries mate!

My English for sure improved in the last four months. I got more confident and more fluent. Especially my Aussie and Canadian friend that I hung out with for around 2 weeks each helped me by correcting me, teaching me new words, sayings or pronunciation. For others, it might sound rude how often they corrected me, but I want to get better and learn so I was glad they took their time to help me improve.

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What phone contract / SIM card can you recommend?

I have a pre-paid SIM card from Lebara that I like and recommend. Every month I get to choose how much data/minutes I want to purchase (depending on where I am and what I think I will need) which is practical. But I’ve heard that Telstra is even better because you have a better connection, I still have to say that mine is totally fine and in the middle of the Outback, there is no connection for anyone anyways.

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What bank card do you have? How do you pay?

I came to Australia with 200$ of Australian cash that I already changed at home and would recommend to get some and not change at the airport. I also took two German cards with me for safety and to have a credit card to pay online. In Melbourne, I also went to the Commonwealth Bank to open an Australian Bank account which is necessary if you work here and very practical because you can do tap-paying without a code or anything up to 100$ here.

I transferred some money from my German bank account to the Australian with ‚Currency Fair‘ which is a cheaper and better way to do international transfers.

I always have a little bit of cash with me for markets or places that have cash only, but usually, I try to pay for everything with my Australian card.

I also write down every spend to have an overview for myself on what I spend the most money and also to show you what a year of Backpacking can cost and what is the most expensive part of my travels.

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What do you want to do after your gap year?

My plan is to return home in August and then search for an apartment in Wernigerode and start studying International Tourism Management in October.

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What do you work? How can you afford to travel?

I haven’t worked so far and been only travelling for the past four months. I saved up some money back at home with my job as a barkeeper back at home as well as my Birthday & Christmas money since I’ve been 14 years old as it has always been my dream to come to Australia.

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But now it is time to settle down and work for a while. I started as an AuPair for a family on the Sunshine Coast in February and will work for them for 1,5 months. Afterwards, I am planning to find another job somewhere along the coast. My dream would be to work in a health food café selling Acai Bowls, Smoothies, Juices and (vegan) healthy snacks and meals.

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I love to hear how many people are planning to travel through Australia soon and I hope my tips and suggestions can help you a bit, take your insecurities and make you even more excited for your journey! If you are ever in the same area as I am (stay up to date through my Insta stories @mind.wanderer) please message me and maybe we can meet and hang out together!

If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!