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Marrakech – First Impressions and Survival in Morocco

Almost everyone I talked to before coming to Morocco reacted in the same way: “Morocco? And you’re going alone? Like by yourself? You’re not meeting anyone there? Be very careful!!” Just the looks on their faces was enough. They thought I was crazy. They thought I was going to get harassed non-stop and continuously groped while walking down the street. They thought I was going to have a terribly stressful time and have all my money scammed away from me. Some probably thought I would get into even worse trouble, imaginations ran wild. To be honest, it got to me a little, and my confidence was stretching thin by the time I arrived.  

By the time I had been in Marrakech for two hours I knew one thing for certain: all of these people who thought Morocco was this stressful and dangerous place had NO IDEA what they were talking about.
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Lisbon – Custard Tarts, English Grammar, and Unconventional Tourism

Arriving in Lisbon was complicated, there seemed to be several different transport options to get from the bus terminal to the city, and we couldn’t figure out how to use any of them. Eventually we got some train and then had to hike about two kilometres UP and DOWN (just like everywhere else in Portugal) the city streets to get to the Brickoven Palace Hostel. But when we got there… Wow. It was one of the most expensive hostels I’ve ever stayed in (€16 a night but the cheapest available during the Easter break), but it was also by far the nicest. The furniture was really cool, the vibe was chill, and the wifi actually worked, I was so impressed.
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The Algarve – Faro and Lagos

My flight from Porto to Faro arrived just after 11pm, and by the time I walked through the airport, got a bus into the city, and found my hostel, it was nearly midnight. I didn’t even get changed, I just threw my things on the floor and went to bed. The wifi didn’t work in the room, seemed to be a common trait.

Ria Formosa: beautiful waterways and interesting birdlife, right next to the landing strip.

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Porto – The Gateway To Portugal

As soon as I stepped out of the airport to wait for the metro tram (not train!) I was in love with Porto and more excited for Portugal than I ever thought I would be. I don’t really have expectations when I travel, I would rather be pleasantly surprised than let down. And Portugal has definitely given me a pleasant surprise.  

Porto in all its magnificence. A view from the bell tower.

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Beijing: A Lesson in Flexibility

My time in Beijing really began with my departure from Melbourne. No shit Sherlock, hey? But seriously, what a hectic experience.  

Departing Melbourne

My flight was supposed to leave Melbourne at 9.40pm on Saturday. On Thursday night I received an email saying my flight had been cancelled and I would most likely have to be on the one leaving 24 hours later. Fine. After a few emails I went to bed, confident it would all be sorted out for me. The next day I didn’t have confirmation yet, and I spent a very long time making phone calls and harassing people to organise things for me. When I wasn’t on the phone I was packing my suitcase, partly because I just like being organised, and I think partly because a piece of me knew there was a possibility the day would turn out the way it eventually did.
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Everest Base Camp 2017 – Part 3

Day 6 – Acclimatisation in Dingboche
I think this was the windiest day I have ever experienced. Our acclimatisation hike from Dingboche (4410m) to Chukung (4730m) for lunch was a gentle but constant ascent, coupled with similarly constant buffeting from the wind. There were many frozen puddles and streams we had to cross and one actual frozen river that was somewhat stressful to cross but a thrilling experience regardless. Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos because it was so cold I didn’t want to take my gloves off.
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