Blogger Birthday Party Part 2 – A Year’s Recap

You didn’t think that was it, did you? No, of course not. And so today I commence my flashbacks of a whole year of travel filled with lots of adventures, encounters and places. Are there any you would like to see for yourself? Let me know if your bucketlist gets some more items as I go along.


Kind Gestures

  • I had to walk nearly an hour to my hostel, carrying 20kg on my back and two heavy grocery bags on either hand, when the latter broke and the milk poured down the street. A stranger replaced everything and send me in the right direction.
  • While struggling to get my blog started, I met the nicest person who gave me a pep talk, lots of tips and even had me business cards printed.
  • In New Zealand I was stranded rather often and got offered free rides by the nicest women who went out of their way to drop me off at the other end of town.
  • A bunch of strangers, who didn’t know one another either, took me on a pub crawl on my birthday. And I got a little present as well.
  • In Japan, when I asked for the way people were super nice and trying to help me but one person was especially so, asking many locals and even inviting me to one of the biggest temple festivals in Tokyo to carry a shrine with her – a prestigious thing!

    Animal Encounters

  • I (more or less voluntarily) licked an ant’s butt and was kissed by a baby kangaroo.
  • I saw a white dolphin but am convinced it was actually pink. Either way it’s awesome.
  • I was lamenting that I had never seen an echidna and dramatically looked down to stress my point when in that split second an echidna appeared by the side of the road. I missed it!
  • I rode a camel and even though I knew how weird it would feel, I was surprised it was even more so.
  • A deer cornered and attacked me for a cookie. I defended my cookie!

    Aussies: jooey, wombat, echidna, cassowary | Birdies: fairy wren, rosella, some New Zealand bird, some Hong Kong bird

    My most Boring Places

  • Blenheim: Came here because the backpackers kept talking about it. Of course they would, it is the one place where you can have high hopes of getting a farm job. Otherwise there is nothing here. Not even heating in winter. I had to hike a mountain to keep me warm.
  • Hamilton: Don’t trust the brochures, Hamilton is far from exciting. The only redeemable thing were its magnificent gardens, representing different gardening styles all over the world. Those were worth a visit!
  • Margaret River: If your life is surfing, then you probably resent me for putting this here because that’s what you do in Margaret River, surf and hang out with surfing buddies. And sunsets are also beautiful but I do seek some more entertainment.
  • Darwin: Again backpackers will love the main street for its array of bars and pub crawl opportunities. But if you stray beyond that and do not make it the the market, then Darwin is quite the bore. The last resort is to go to the laguna.
  • Heyri Village: I guess I hit it on a quiet day but it was advertised as lively and artsy. The only entertainment factor was a deserted kids park, quirky house decors and modern architecture. Even the cafes closed in front of me. Check the opening times for museums and you might be lucky!
  • Airlie Beach: Tourist trap and starting point for Great Barrier Reef Excursions, that’s about it. Oh, and you can dine well here and stroll along the main street beneath palm trees. A lazy holiday place all right. My tip is to catch a bus to the nearby national park and get hiking.

    My Top Tips of Adventurers

  • Snorkel in the Ningaloo Reef – less people, brighter corals and more undamaged nature
  • Visit Kangaroo Island for a mini Australia – blue ocean, red stones, white desert, lots of wildlife
  • Hike the Soul City Walls for the best views, a military zone experience and a healthy workout
  • Mount Amos is quite the challenge even for experienced hikers and the view over Wineglass Bay remarkable!
  • In Queenstown not only get active in winter sports but hike up the mountain and descent on the city lights in the gondola after sunset.

    :Skylines: Auckland, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Melbourne | Sunsets: Margaret River, Exmouth, Coober Pedy, Hong Kong

    Action Packed

  • I Flew through the canopy of an ancient forest.
  • I sandboarded. Twice. And I still don’t like it.
  • I tried surfboarding. Saying I learned it would be a tremendous lie.
  • I jetted to the Whitsunday Islands. Hey, eating and basking in the sun al lday is exhausting!
  • I could swear the tuna were getting a kick out of scaring me when I tried to swim next to them.


  • I learned how to make sushi – and now you can too with my simple sushi recipe.
  • I ate the best cheesecake ever – and the winner is Australia!
  • Cape Town spoilt me rotten – and I let it.
  • I still refuse to eat oysters – foodies are allowed to be picky!
  • I finally did the Tim Tam slam in it’s country of origin!

    Fashion: Melbourne Spring Fashion Week | Foodie: Can’t resist my daily dose of sugar.

    And that was not it but I had to make a selection. Of course you can always search for something that interests you and ask me anything about travels and tips. But for now I hope you cheer with me to another year of blogging!

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    It had to happen, after ditching the 9-5 for a prolonged break, Annemarie's wokaholic tendencies led her to start a daily blog about her adventures. Realising how much travel has helped rebuild her confidence and and general #GirlBoss-iness, Travel on the Brain released a book about her adventures in Down Under and New Zealand and creates quirky video series focusing on story telling in destinations around the globe.
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