The Backpacker Years

 

Since 2015 I have spent a total of six months travelling the World over the course of three trips in as many years. During those adventures I visited nine countries, saw wonders of the world both natural and man made, explored the great cities of America and so much more. It was my ultimate therapy.

Sadly, those years are behind me but they gave me so much to move forward with. Friends, memories, happiness. Everything.  

Follow the journey below.

 

Dubai, UAE.

The first stop. Originally my stop in Dubai was meant to be a three hour layover on the way to Australia. However, I saw that as an opportunity to explore an unfamiliar city and get that travel ball rolling.

Australia.

The go to destination for backpackers! I spent just shy of six weeks in the sixth largest country on the planet. Cities and beaches, surfing and wildlife, old friends and new, Australia had a little bit of everything. 

New Zealand.

There are no superlatives to describe my love for this country. My first trip to New Zealand was limited to two weeks but included Skydives and Bungy jumps in the same day, a trip to the set of one of my favourites film series of all time, making a close knit group of new friends as well as catching up with one I hadn’t seen in 13 years.

For some unknown reason I restricted my time here to just the North Island…

USA – West Coast

Cities, beaches and national parks. My first ever trip to the West Coast featured an incredible road trip with 19 other backpackers, all of whom come from different backgrounds. From LA to San Francisco stopping at Yosemite, Las Vegas and Grand Canyon sandwiched between two days in California’s biggest cities. An introductory visit i’ll never forget.

USA – East Coast

The final ten days of my first solo adventure started in Washington DC for monuments and museums before finishing off in New York City, if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere? 

New Zealand – Take Two

The one thing that was on my mind when I got back from my first trip. I needed to get back to New Zealand. 8 months, a lot of hard work and a lucky win at the horse races and I was at Heathrow Airport ready to explore the rest of this beautiful country. In doing so New Zealand cemented itself as my favourite country in the World.

Peru 

18 months after my return to New Zealand it was time to be reunited with my backpack for one last time for a two month trip across North and South America. First stop, Peru. Time to cross Machu Picchu off the top of my bucket list.

Bolivia

Same planet, different world. That’s all there is to say about Bolivia.

Brazil & Argentina

My final stop in South America. It included experiencing one of my favourite cities in the world in Rio De Janeiro and finished by exploring both sides of one of my favourite places in the world, Iguazu Falls.

USA – California

Two years after my first visit to the Golden State and I was keen to revisit for a number of reasons. I wanted a second go at Los Angeles because my first wasn’t particularly great. In 2015 I ran out of time and money to explore San Diego so was keen to get down there. I also had the desire to feel like a local in San Francisco because my previous two day visit wasn’t long enough, all of that plus a surprise visit to Sacramento to really get a taste for the California way of life, my second visit to this part of America certainly didn’t disappoint. 

Canada – Toronto and Niagara Falls

Canada has always been a dream destination of mine. To hire a car or camper van and road trip through Vancouver, Jasper, Banff as well as the other national parks in that part of the country is very high on my travel bucket list.

I still wanted to experience Toronto and Niagara Falls which is on the complete opposite side of the second biggest country in the world. Time to get that Canada stamp in my passport.

USA – Boston and New York

To get a real first person understanding of the history of America, Boston is the place to go. With its famous Freedom Trail and beautiful Boston Common it really was a lovely city to make my penultimate stop of the backpacker years. From there I returned to familiar surroundings as I fully unwound in the city that never sleeps, New York City.