So I feel like for some of you reading my blog you witnessed a very quick jump from Australia to the USA overnight.
Well it really was just that. A realisation of something I knew all along but should have acted on sooner.
For a long time I’ve wanted to visit Australia and so naturally it was only fair to myself that I make it happen. I’d thought about it for years and planned what I would like to see before I came out here and began my trip. I knew 4 things I didn’t want to leave Australia without doing:
1. Seeing the Sydney Opera House and Harbour.
2. Seeing and possibly snorkelling or diving the Great Barrier Reef.
3. Experiencing the outback and visiting Ayers Rock (Uluru).
4. Seeing my first kangaroo and koala.
I presumed everything else would just be a bonus. But I also figured that I would enjoy it so much that those 4 things would just happen naturally and I would see them in between living and travelling around Australia.
The thing is, things don’t ever work out the way you plan them.
I never for a second thought I wouldn’t like Australia. I don’t know why I thought this but with the amount you hear about how amazing it is I just naturally thought that people were right. Unfortunately it’s amazing for them- in their opinion.
Travelling Australia for me was a whole load of terrible hostels attracting drunk loud mouthed British and German travellers who appeared to only be in Australia because they’d heard goon was cheap.
Honestly, my travelling experience was absolutely terrible. I can’t turn around and say it was just the one hostel, or the one city that was like this.. I visited 11 cities, 5 states and 10 hostels in total over the 2 month period. If there wasn’t a bunch of drunk British people screaming in the hostel, then there was nothing going on or worse yet- nobody staying there.
I can form this opinion based on experience.
In North America- Hostels are catered to those wanting to experience what the city has to offer. If a hostel doesn’t offer a walking tour of the city, I am surprised. Bar crawls, games nights and trips to local museums, attractions or even theme parks are some of the things organised by the hostels that I have experienced whilst travelling in the USA. I’ve always met people and always had countless things to do.
In Asia – These hostels are run by families. There’s not always activities because the family man the hostel and there aren’t endless amounts of staff there to run them. They don’t focus on alcohol but on cultural activities. Recommendations from the hosts are easy to come by and they are exactly what a hostel is meant to be – HOST ed.
In Europe – These hostels are my favourite. The great thing about Europe is every city you can choose to stay in a calm relaxed hostel with a bunch of activities to choose to participate in, or you can stay in a party hostel. I’ve stayed in my fair share of party hostels and they are NOTHING like the disgusting state of the Australian hostels.
On my travels around Australia I stayed in only one hostel I would return to. The only good thing about this place was the nightly activities it arranged but all again, revolved around alcohol.
I am so saddened to experience first hand the emphasis the Australian backpacker scene puts on partying, getting wasted and spending all your money within the first month on trying to fit in with the crowd.
Travelling should be about cultural experiences and seeing what the country has to offer and I really feel Australia has so much more to offer than this. There is definitely a gap in the market for hostels aimed at the culture curious traveller. Whilst ‘Hostelling International’ do tend to target this more, they are a very large brand and it would be great to see some local hostel chains specific to Australia that cater for the none party scene.
I feel I’ve ranted enough now and will go on to say Australia is really beautiful. But if you get the chance, travel off the tourist route. Hire a car, stay in hotels, camp.. Whatever it takes, unless something changes. Don’t put yourself through sleepless nights in what feels like university dorms you are too old for.
Because of this, I chose to leave Australia and continue on my trip around the World. I love travelling the USA and I definitely have some places I still want to see here.
But whilst in Australia, I did all the things I wanted to do. In fact, I even managed to do a full circle from Sydney to Sydney through Victoria, Northern Territory, South Australia and Queensland. My only regret is not diving the Great Barrier Reef but I’m sure one day I will return for this. Got to leave myself a reason right! I did however snorkel the reef and that in itself is good enough for me.
I did more than enough to feel that I got my fair share of Australia and made the most of my trip.
I will never forget my experience but for now- Goodbye Australia.