A very late update on my latest blog.. !!

Well.. Firstly I must say this is a pretty belated update on my half.. to which I apoligise deeply!

Lots and lots of things have happened since I last posted on here. Just reading over my previous blog is quite weird really, knowing the jump I made to quit uni so I could persue my travel cravings!!

So here I am.. you might want to prepare yourself with a cup of tea of maybe a biscuit.. or 4(??!)..

Ok so.. the last time I posted was October last year not long after I quitted uni. Well.. as you may of guessed, I managed to get myself my full time contract at M&S. I was really chuffed at the time, cause it meant I could get my savings right on track and figure out when I could start my travels in Aus! Of course the whole joy of working full time and getting the money in my pocket was over in a flash when I realised how frustrating it was to work full time!! I’m on a two week 5 day rota, which means I work 4 days on (Mon-Thurs), then off one day, then back for 6 days (Sat-Thurs) then I get a three day weekend off, then I start again on the Mon to start the rota all over again!!

That was back at the end of 2008.. now into the new year of ’09..

With the whole plans of going travelling, and my parents getting rather worried about me going alone.. I had started speaking on a thread on the trusty gapyear.com, and just by chance, I came across a fair selection of lovely people! After many chats and around 100 odd pages of speaking later with a mass of other travellers planning to go in Oct this year, myself and 7 other people chose to all get a flight together out to Aus…

Tracie – Was the first to start speaking to me (not forgetting Samantha who started the thread, but unforntunatly is’nt getting to Oz till Dec! 🙁 ) on wanting to go in October, these days you can’t shut us up as we are forever sending emails the length of my arm to each other on facebook! Love this girl 🙂

Heather – Our wee police woman! She was kind enough to take me into her humble home when the Brum Meet Up came about in March ’09.. more on that later! Unfortunatly Heth works night shifts at Tesco, so it’s hard to catch up with her!

Sarah – Pulls the funniest faces if a camera is thrust in her face!! Sarah will be joining the camper crew in November, but will be with us lot till then. Her list for her backpack is MASSIVE!!

Nadia – Joined the Oct 14th Crew a little later than the rest of us, but already love this girls banter! She’s a fellow potty mouth! Unfortunately havent had the priviledge to meet her yet, but that’ll soon happen!!

Jamie – Only boy of the group, but does’nt seem fazed! Already has his bag packed even though we still have another 2 months or so to go now!

Jaimey – Again, like Sarah can pull some pretty funny faces on camera! Often involving the view of her tongue!!

Katie – Have’nt heard much from Katie as she is working constant overtime, but from what I’ve seem, she is quite the laugh! Love it!

So there we have it, our little travel group! Otherwise known as The October 14th Crew. Simple!!

So as I was saying.. after getting to know these nutters and many others on the thread.. some of us decided to purchase our Aussie Visa.. just to get the ball rolling, and make it feel more real 🙂 So in January this year.. I bought my Australian WHV, set me back £93.. but worth every penny! I did it at the same time as Tracie, and as we were emailing each other, we expected the response from the Aus government to be a few hours, if not more. However, a mere few minutes later, we both received an email to say our application had been granted!! Joys!! I loved how it said “You are now free to enter Australia” It sounded god damn sexy to my eyes!!

The following month came.. and something more special was purchased.. the flights!!! After much searching for cheaps deals online.. and after loosing out on one deal we found with British Airways.. we found the perfect (and cheapest!) deal with Air Aisa. Never heard of them before, but a few threads on gy.com had been created on this company, and everything seemed to be a.ok. So on the 7th of Feburary, my dads birthday, myself, Tracie and Heather bought our tickets at the same time.. whilst speaking on msn!! Gotta love live chat! Of course.. it did’nt run so smoothly, as myself and Tracie both had problems with our credits card not being accepted. Panic of course set in!! Thankfully though, Tracie managed to use her parents card, and I managed to use my aunties card (who just happened to be over for the weekend!) and everything went through just perfectly! Smiles all round 🙂

So that was that.. our dates had been confirmed.. Leaving Stansted on the 14th Oct ’09 at 18.10, arriving in Kuala Lumpur the following day at 14.10. We plan to stay in Kuala Lumpur for a few nights, leaving at 23.00 on the 18th Oct, only to arrive in Melbourne on the 19th at 08.30!! And so the countdown began.. at 247 days!!

Not only in Feburary was the flights booked, but also we booked our beds for Sydney! A bit over organised? Perhaps. But from Tracies experience, she otld us beds often book up fast.. so we thought we should get first dibs!! So some of us booked ourselves into Wake Up! Hostel in Sydney for 14 nights. I’ve booked in from the 20th Dec covering the 2 weeks over xmas and NYE.. looking forward to it sooo badly!!

The following month.. March came and now was the time to meet all the crazy people I am to be travelling with in Birmingham! All the Oct 14th Crew were present, aswell as pretty much everyone else who chatted on the gy.com thread. Everyone who is’nt in the Oct 14th Crew, who were at the Brum meet, I will be seeing at Sydney at xmas time.. as those guys will either be travelling else where in Aus, or in else where in the world! Good times!!
Much fun was had at the Birmingham meet up!!
I travelled down (being the one who travelled furthest from Bonnie Scotland!) via bus to Manchester.. after which my bum had numerous doses of pins and needles! Here I met up with Heather, who was kind enough to let my stay over on the friday night making it easier to get to Brum the following day! We had a great laugh, even though I was shattered after being up so early! We had a trip to Pizza Hut, then to the cinema where we watched Marley & Me. I tried my damn hardest not to cry my eyes out to that film infront of Heather (being the first time I met her and all!).
The following day we got up bright and early to catch the train to meet up with Samantha and Tracie! We then travelled down to Birmingham with Samanthas trusty sat nav.. and after much banter and laughs in the car journey, we arrived safe and sound at our hostel! Thankfully the BullRing was easy to find, with it being so big.. and soon we met up with everyone else! So exciting seeing all the faces for real rather than on some little box in my computer! Everyone was so nice and we all seemed to click pretty well 🙂
As you can imagine, over the weekend.. much banter was shared.. lots of names were said.. and forgotten (bad memory) and lots of laughs were had.. unfortunately lots of photos were taken too. Oh dear 🙁
And before we knew it, it was Sunday and everyone was heading home.. most of us knowing we would’nt see each other till Oct.. or maybe even xmas time which was well over 9 months away!! Sad times 🙁

April and June flew by with most of us just working hard to save our pennies.. I had two weeks off in June just for the sake of it as it was my birthday (22 at last!). Did’nt get that much done, apart from a lovely trip to Glasgow with my mum to get some summer clothes for my travels! Spent lots of hard earned cash, most of which I got from my savings tin I had in my room for well over a year! I think I had over £200 in there.. can’t remember exactly how much!

And so with us all in the swing of the British summer.. (what summer?!) July soon flew onto our calenders.. and so came the next meet up of my fellow travellers! This time round it was’nt to be a big group of travellers, just a select few who had the cash to meet up.. or fancied a weekend of randomness! And boy it was random!!
On the friday morning of the “Suzyfest” weekend which was to be held near Blackpool I headed down via bus.. again it was a journey filled with pin and needles and knees up to my chin! I arrived safely in Preston, where I headed for the train station to meet up with Tracie. Thankfully she agreed to meet up with me, cause I’m no use with trains!! Bus I can somehow do.. trains are a whole other matter! Tracie is the oppisite, so she was lovely enough to meet up in Preston so we could catch the train together to Poultn Le Fylde.
Alot of laughs were had over the phone purely down to not being able to find each other near the train station! And this was only the start of the day!!
Finally we got on the train together and soon we were in Poulten where we met Suzy with her ace bright pink wellies!! Before we knew it, we were at Suzy’s house and not long after we plotted where our tent would be.. the others arrived!..

Tracie, Sarah and Jamie – You already know of!! (Members of 14/10 Crew)

Suzy – Was kind enough to put us up in her garden for the weekend.. having to tie up poor Kenneth (the pony!). She came out with some of the funniest comment of the weekend.. one being “I’d love to be a cock!” Don’t ask!

Chris – The Devon boy with the curly hair!! Spent most of Saturday night lying on the grass with this guy.. saw my first ever shooting star! Had much banter with Chris ever since Suzyfest, he’s brought out my artistic urge again!!

Becky – Our Welsh bird! Bex loves lots of things.. especially if it involves a happy ending! She knows how to pose infront of the camera.. but unfortunately was’nt too good with keeping her drink inside on the friday night!

So that was the members of the gy.com crew who graced the land of Suzyfest on the friday night. A few of Suzy’s sisters mates joined in on the fun too.. not that I can remember much of it… After a trip to Asda to get much food and much more drink (two 3litre bottles of vodka, 15 bottles of smirnoff ice, and 12 cans of beer.. between 7 people.. wise move!) we started our little bbq and got straight on the drink. Many many MANY laughs were had. I will never forget some of the moments from that friday night alone! But then again.. I forgot some of the moments the morning after!! I woke up with my hoodie covered in dirt.. photos of us girls gropping each others boobs (with clothes on if that makes it sound better!). My new ipod and camera were outside lying in the grass.. thankfully it was’nt raining! So yes.. you could say it was a pretty eventful night! Oh and of course there were photos of Tracie kissing Jamie.. and me kissing Chris, why the hell not?!! Haha!
Saturday at Suzyfest was also eventful, a wee walk to get rid of the hangover.. mostly for Becks, I was surprisingly fine consdering how drunk I was! Later Sarah, Becks and Suzy headed off for Blackpool for a touristy day, whilst myself, Tracie, Chris and Jamie stayed in the garden. Random things occured.. learning how to salsa.. playing with the poi poi.. attempting the Dirty Dancing move.. making daisy chains!
On saturday night, most of us chose not to drink so much as we had the journey home the next day so it was a sober..ish night for us. More friends of Suzys joined in on the party and more tents popped up and more drink was shared between those who werent there the previous night! Again, saturday was a great night and I would’nt change a single second of it.. well maybe some moments, but hey ho!!

And of course.. Suzyfest weekend was over with.. so fast! However, as much as I enjoyed Brimingham meet up back in March.. this weekend at Suzys got me even more excited for Aus.. the laughs we had and the fact we all felt so comfortable in each others company was just so so amazing! i loved every second of it!! Good times indeed! 🙂

So then August rolled on and here was where I handed in my notice at work. At the start of the month I typed up my notice and handed it straight to my boss.. confirmed!! I’m leaving M&S on the 30th September!!!
In August I also finally got round to purchasing my insurance. It cost in total a whopping £380 for 12 months cover with STA.. but at least it’s all paid for. Yes, it was a hell of a lot of money, but I just keep thinking it’s only about £7.50 a month.. I can live with that!
Whilst I was at STA buying my insurance, I also bought the STA cashcard for when I’m in KL for the few days.. saves me carrying the cash around. And I also applied for my Aussie bank account, so all that is needed now is for me to transfer the money into the account to activate it.. and once I land in Aus I can spend my savings wisely!!!

… And so…. here I am!! Finally!! Sorry for the long long blog.. I’m hoping you are’nt asleep and I’ve kept you entertained with everything thats happened with my life recently! I maybe should of told you to get more cups of tea ready to keep you going!!

I’m going to love you and leave you all here.. and I guess all I can say now is.. till the next time.. 🙂 x

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