Things I realised in my first Month of Travelling through Down Under

If you don’t want to, you are never alone.

It is so easy to meet people when you stay in hostels. Everyone told me so before I left, but I couldn’t imagine it that well – now I know what the mean because it is so easy. Even if you are a shy person and not confident enough to speak to someone yourself, you will meet people that are and eventually start talking to strangers yourself as well.

Which leads me to the next point…

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Travelling alone isn’t as scary as it sounds

Especially because you aren’t alone that often and even if you are its still not scary (after you get used to it a bit). And Australia is a very safe country as well (which makes it great for solo travellers, (solo) female travellers and people that are new to travelling) because the people here are so friendly and helpful!

I haven’t had a bad experience so far. Obviously a few that didn’t went as planned, but that’s totally normal and you grow and learn by working yourself through them (or asking for help).

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Calling and asking

When I first started being “grown up” and having to call people and organize things by myself I was always insecure and flustered when I had to do so. It bettered through time and practice but just now being here I learned that it is so much easier to call than to fight myself through websites or try to figure out things. I just call, quickly ask for what I am looking or explain my problem and they answer me or even book/do something for me. And afterwards you feel good and safe because you know that it worked out and you don’t need to be worried that something went wrong because you missed/misunderstood something.

But I have to say that this point can be different from person to person. As I feel mostly safe talking English or at least explaining what I want to say it’s not a big deal for me.

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Planning and Booking can be exhausting.

Even if you call to book. Planning, booking and figuring out where to stay the next night or what to do when, how and with which company can be very exhausting. It is also very time consuming (when you don’t just go to a travel agency and book the first thing they offer) because you need to know what you want (not easy when there are so many options! :D ) and you need to find good prices.

That’s why I am already looking forward to traveling with my parents for three weeks (where my mom is the one that planned most things in advance), stay at my AuPair family for a few weeks and have a job and a fixed place for a while in the future.

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Decisions don’t matter that much. You will have a great time anyways.

On the other hand, it doesn’t matter that much what you decide to do. You will have a great time anyways or make the best out of it.

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Hostel life is awesome.

Besides that, living in a hostel is wonderful. You get to meet people so easily, you cook together, most hostels have free activities you can join and overall, it’s a great vibe to stay with other travellers.

But it has downsides as well.

It can also be very tiring to be around people all the time and have no privacy at all. It’s rarely completely calm and peaceful, even when you have a small room and quiet people. You always need your room key when you just want to go to the toilet, shared kitchens can be disgusting and it’s annoying to live out of a backpack sometimes, even when you tried to pack the least that is possible.

But don’t get me wrong it is still great! Sometimes everything is just too much and you get annoyed by things that usually don’t bother you.

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After 8 people dorms, it doesn’t matter anymore.

12-bed-dorm? Basically, the same as 8- or 10- bed dorm. Trust me, it really doesn’t matter. It’s just a lot of people, but I personally don’t have a problem with it. I have my ear plugs and sleeping mask and I’m good.

Soon I am going to stay in a 16-bed dorm and I even would take bigger ones. It really doesn’t matter, it might even get better because the rooms get bigger.

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Doing dished before and after using them.

When you use the hostel kitchen you do the dishes before and after cooking – at least that’s how I did it in the beginning. Now, I just look if they are clean enough. Only sharp knives and trenchers get cleaned properly before because you never know who cut raw meat on there before…

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You can make crazily good friends in a very short time.

I never ever expected making so many friends in such a short time here. I already met so many awesome people and a few became really close. And the good thing about it is that you will eventually meet again here in Australia (as everyone is kinda going to the same spots) or anywhere in the world.

I already know that I’ll go to Milan, Amsterdam and Guatemala in the future to visit my friends and explore their home with them.

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Letting go and saying goodbye to people you only knew for a short time still hurts.

But you also need to say goodbye to a lot of people very quickly because your ways split. That’s just how it is and you can only hope to see each other again soon.

When you are alone you meet people more easily.

Especially when you travel solo you meet people super easy. Why? Because you would rather talk to a stranger when he is sitting there alone than to a group or two people. And when you see another solo traveller you are more likely to understand his situation and connect with them.

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Earplugs, Tupperware, camping fork-spoon are essentials.

I’ll for sure do an extra post on the best and most practical items every backpacker should have, but here are my top 3.

Tours are worth the money.

I know they sound expensive at first, but I decided for myself that they are worth the money. Especially when you travel alone and don’t have a car/travel mates with a car. You don’t need to worry about planning, organizing, driving long distances, food, what to do, where and how to do it best and you learn a lot from the tour guide. You meet people super easily and as you are together for a few days you can get to know each other easily.

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You can’t just live the cheapest possible, you also need to enjoy.

In the beginning, I really tried to spend as less as possible. And I still try to, but you can’t only take the cheapest possible. Especially with food I now spend way more that I could (and should :D ) but I enjoy going out with friends to eat or try all the good stuff they have here (Australia has so many awesome food options as their cuisine is so diverse from all around the world). And it makes me happy, so it’s worth it.

At least I don’t spend money on coffee or a lot of alcohol :D

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Speaking English will feel natural very quickly.

When I was in Melbourne, I only spoke English and I loved it! It felt so natural after a while and I really could feel the progress of being more confident and quicker.

I really tried to stay away from Germans, but it is hard.

Germans are everywhere.

Sometimes I wonder, if I am still in Australia as there are soo many Germans here. Little annoying even though they are nice and it’s fun to meet them – I really want to speak English! :P

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You will make mistakes and pay for them.

Oh yes. You (Umgehen) it, even if you try very hard. Sometimes things just go wrong or you just realise afterwards that you booked something stupid.

But… It’s only money, right?

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Tell me what you think! How did you like this kinda blog post?
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Eating out Vegan in Melbourne // What I Eat #2

In my first What I Eat in a day from Melbourne, I showed you a lot of very cheap, quick and easy meals I made in my first few days in Melbourne.

I really want to stay healthy, fit, mostly plant-based and eat on a budget while I travel, but I also want to try the amazing vegan food spots, enjoy my time and go out with friends.

That’s why you will find some restaurant recommendations for Melbourne in this post, as I went out for food quite a few times with my friends – and it was worth it!

Now I try to still keep on track with my money, but also enjoy the amazing (vegan) food they have here without any regrets!

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Saturday 29/9

On Saturday I had to leave my first hostel and move to Sabrina’s hostel in Fitzroy, so I enjoyed the free pancakes for the last time for breakfast.

I really wish they would not have them in most hostels for breakfast for free, because they aren’t vegan and pretty unhealthy but free – so it’s hard to resist :D

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For lunch, I had some leftover pasta with my go-to sauce at the moment that I keep repeating. You can find the recipe in my last What I Eat post!

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IMG_6176 After watching the Football game in a pub, I was super stoked for some unhealthy burger (as many people ate them in the pub) and so we went to ‚Lord of the Fries‘ an all vegan fast-food burger chain. It tasted unhealthy, but awesome at the same time! I had a ‚fish-burger‘ and sweet potato fries with vegan aioli and only spend 20$ for that.


Sunday 30/10

For breakfast, I met again with my AuPair mom in a wonderful, small and calm café called ’slowpoke‘ on Brunswick Street.

This time I ordered buckwheat chocolate granola with coconut yogurt, almond milk and pears which was super delicious and very filling. Luckily, I didn’t got the Avo Toast this time, as it could have never topped the one I had two days ago with her!

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As a snack, I had some bread with hummus as well as carrots to dip.

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Sadly, I forgot to take a picture from our actual dinner.

We had an oven roast with sweet potato, broccoli and capsicum with tomato chutney.

As a dessert, we got these funny Asian rice balls with peanut butter from the Asian supermarket.

They taste weird but okay and it was cool to try them.

 

 

 

More Meals…

As I had pretty much the same for breakfast most days / it didn’t look that great / I just forgot to take pictures I will only show you a few more meals I had in Melbourne.

My breakfast was either free pancakes with maple syrup, rice-porridge (that I showed you in part one) or toast and chocolate spread/strawberry jam at the free breakfast in my 2nd hostel.

Sadly it wasn’t as healthy as I imagined it, but it’s hard to decide between being cheap or healthy…

 

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My last week in Melbourne was a little less tourist-y and more enjoying time with the friends I met. We went to the market to go food shopping and had a late breakfast / early brunch there. I bought a falafel wrap for 4$ (2,50€) at the food court which was very good as well as another slice of banana bread.

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Even though the banana bread from Aldi is packed individually in plastic which sucks, it is so practical to take with you and not eat everything at once. And it also keeps it moist and yummy!

And if you wonder: yes! They have Aldi here :D

 

 

 

 

 

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The day we went to Brighton Beach, I had olive ciabatta with olive hummus for lunch in the sunshine and the same for dinner with another slice of banana bread.

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Another day Sabrina and me slept in and then made this amazing vegan pasta bolognese for lunch. Super easy, quick and delicious!

Quick Vegan Pasta Bolognese

You need: pasta, carrots, onion, tofu, tomato sauce, salt, some spices and a little bit of oil and soy sauce

How to: Boil pasta with salt. Fry chopped onion with a little bit of oil in a pan. Add chopped carrots and a bit of water and steam for a while. Mash firm tofu with a fork and sprinkle with soy sauce, add into the pan. Spice with salt, pepper, veggie broth, Italian herbs (whatever you have/like). Add tomato sauce and the cooked pasta.

If you like you can add cheese or nutritional yeast as well as fresh spinach & tomatoes to make it even more nutritious.

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The next night we ate some leftover tofu fried with onion, capsicum and carrots in a wrap with hummus, tomato chutney and lots of spinach. I really like wraps and eat them a lot here because they are healthy, easy, variable and delicious!

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Soy, mushroom and tomato noodles with fried tofu, broccoli, salad and fried onion.

One night we went to ‚Lentils as Anything‘ and it was a feast! We tried all the dished they had that evening and everything was just AWESOME! I am for sure going there in Sydney as well. Oh and everything is VEGAN by the way!

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Savoury Japanese pancake with tomato relish, vegan aioli, firm tofu and nori. Extremely delicious and something I never ate before.
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Veggie Ratatouille with mashed potato, salad and nutritional yeast. My favourite dish!

Cauliflower and something soup and dried fruit chocolate brownie for dessert.

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You can see that I couldn’t really resist eating out on my second week in Melbourne :D That’s just how it is when you meet people and want to enjoy your time with them and for me, that’s totally okay! I rather sleep in a 12-bed-dorm and live cheap as much as I can, but spend a little bit more on dining out with friends and having a wonderful time! Especially when it’s healthy and vegan food!

At ‚Madam Saigon‘ I had this amazing vegan noodle salad bowl for only 11$ (7€) which is amazingly cheap for eating out here!

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My second hostel had a free soup night every Tuesday, so I had vegan carrot soup with bread and some more fresh carrots with hummus for dinner that night.


That’s more or less everything I ate in Melbourne! Besides my Breakfast mostly healthy and besides eating out mostly cheap :D

How do you like my Backpacking What I Eat in a Day’s? Is it interesting? What would you like to see and hear more of?