Save Money on Postcards

Why spend money on Post cards home when you can simply hold them up and take a photo?

You get a lovely picture of a place you visited and all for the price of a snapshot on your camera – i.e. free.

When I did this in Munich, Germany, another traveller near by caught on fast and started picking up the photos and holding them up for a quick snap. I’m not sure the shopkeepers will be too happy, but hey, that was some coin back in the piggy bank for more BEER!

Another helpful tip from the traveller Em

Don’t judge a Traveller by their Backpack

The old saying “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is equally applicable to the everyday backpacker. Don’t look at another backpacker and immediately discount them as someone you don’t want to associate with, who knows, they might be a lifelong friend in waiting.

This is exactly what happened when I was in the culturally rich city of Munich in 2006. I had been staying with a friend in a town called Raubling and now I had the day to myself to explore the big city. I decided to take the free walking tour, which I had heard so much about, to get to know the history of this very pretty European city. But before I ventured out with this new group of travellers I made a promise to myself….

“Today, you will not meet another Aussie. You have come all this way from Australia. You have spent the week with German people only and you are learning so much. Get to know the locals. All Aussies are the same overseas and you want to broaden your horizons.”

And off I went!

We wandered around the great monuments and churches listening intently and snapping photographs of everything. I did want to share my experience though and decided to chat to the gentlemen next to me. A lovely German man (Yes! A local) who I had a lovely conversation with about exploring your own city… for all of 5 minutes! Well back to the tour it was.

As we walked through a lane, we stopped at a peculiar sign, doggy parking? Yes. I kid you not. Doggy parking. I had a bit of a giggle and shared a smile with the fellow traveller next to me. He took this as a good time to start up a conversation and what came out of his mouth….. well I don’t remember the words, but they were in an Australian accent!

Great! Exactly what I didn’t want to happen today. Ok, so I would be polite, have a quick chat and get back to my cultural exploration. Until! He mentioned where he was from…… 15 minutes down the road from me. Of course. Is this not always happening in Europe? Turns out we know the same bars, went to schools near each other and have one or two mutual friends. And this was how I met my good friend Adam.

Next thing we know, we’re joined by a lovely bubbly girl, also Aussie, Nikki. We’re virtually the three musketeers…. or Bush rangers…. or something Australian. We spent the afternoon together after the tour and had an absolute ball!

Who was I to deny a possible friend purely based on their country of origin. Especially one that is my own. I could have missed out on a really great day in Munich as well as someone I now treasure as a friend. Adam is still in Germany but I swear we talk more than I do to my friends who live in Sydney.

Moral of story – Don’t judge a traveller by their backpack!

Adventure Travel & Backpacker Expo Sydney

Today I went down to the beautiful Darling Harbour to check out the Travel mania that has swept through Sydney this weekend. My focus was on the Adventure Travel & Backpacker Expo but it was easy to get distracted with Mind Body and Spirit as well as two other festivals going on around there.

My greatest surprise of the day was to get into the Expo at around 3pm (closes at 4pm) and see that it was already time to start celebrating the success of the day. However, my sources inform me that the whole expo is like one big backpacker travel party. Good people, travel on the brain, beers and other beverages flowing and generally a great vibe throughout the whole place.

The expo is run by sponsored by Myexpotravel ( aswell as TNT Magazine and YHA Australia. The goal of the event is for people interested in travelling in Australia and Around the World, who have a focus on Adventure and Backpacker style travel to connect and learn more about what’s on offer. And man was there a lot on show!

From overseas work to Incredible India, Bungee Jumping in New Zealand and Volunteering in schools in Africa. You had the latest in backpacker accessories, the best in accommodation and backpacking locations around Australia as well as the cream of the crop for Travel agents and guides. Throw in some competitions, live music, 1000’s of brochures, lollies and FREE giveaways and you’ve got the traveller’s dream day.

My favourite stand was definitely the crew from Cairns! They set up a bar and the tunes were pumping out all day. Win friends and influence people with FREE Beer, these guys are on to a good thing.  I was also very impressed with an up and coming group, DragonBus. was launched last night and they will be offering a hop on/ hop off bus service in China. You also can’t miss the fun teams at TNT Magazine and TravelManagers for their down to earth vibe and great advice (Contact NickBowditch for all the best deals!)

I really took away from this Expo just how little I know about Australian Travel and the many wonderful places that this great country has to offer. I have been to some of the “must see” destinations in the world- Eiffel Tower in Paris, Taj Mahal in India, Pyramids of Mexico and Oktoberfest of Munich. Sadly though, I have not seen Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or Ayers Rock. I haven’t even been to some of our major cities like Hobart, Adelaide or Darwin. It was definitely a bit of home truth for me and Australia is now at the top of my travel list!

The event is on again tomorrow, 8 November 2009 at the Exhibition & Convention Centre (Darling Harbour). Grab a few mates, cool down with a beer and you can start planning your next big adventure!

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