Hi! My name is Damian and this blog contains my travel stories. If anyone reads it and finds it interesting, then great! If not, well, it doesn’t matter.
Firstly, a little about myself. I was born in a small town called Te Kuiti, in the north island of New Zealand, and my family moved to Papua New Guinea when I was three years of age. After several years there, we moved back to New Zealand, my parents split up, Dad went back to Papua New Guinea, and my sister and I travelled every year to visit him. Eventually I moved back to Papua New Guinea again to go to High School and live with my father. During our years in Papua New Guinea, we had many adventures and lived in many different and beautiful places. I grew up speaking English and Papua New Guinean Pidgin as a second language. It’s a wild country that will remain in my heart forever.
Finally, one thing led to another, and I moved to Cairns, North Australia, where I reunited with my mother and sister and finished high school, then trained as a commercial pilot. Flying is and has always been a great love of mine. My father won an aeroplane in a raffle at the Port Moresby Aeroclub and became a pilot himself. I stayed with it for a few years, mostly flying Japanese tourists on scenic trips over the great barrier reef, but soon became fed up with not being able to find a decent job with regular hours. I had one other main passion though. Something else I had done all my life. Travel, travel, travel. I can remember as a small child, feeling incredibly excited and counting the days until I would next be able to board a large – and very impressive – jet aeroplane and fly to another country. Something I had done every year of my life, since I was 3.
So, after about four years of attempting to work as a pilot and feeling very discouraged at having spent so much money on a qualification that would not even secure me a decent job, not to mention having to work extra jobs that I did not like and having to live at home, I made a “spur of the moment” decision. I bought a ticket to Germany, via Indonesia and Thailand. Germany was about as far away from home as I could get, so it sounded good to me. I had been to Indonesia before on a school trip which I had enjoyed very much, so that was a good start. A few days in Thailand after that was another nice stepping stone.
Finally, there I was, Germany at 7am and cold! It reminded me of winter in New Zealand. It was a dream that I never thought would be realised and suddenly, I was there! Nobody was speaking English, of course. Fortunately, at high school in Papua New Guinea and Australia, I had studied German, so it wasn’t too much of a shock to my system.
I left Australia with my best friend Graham, together we travelled a small portion of Europe by train and bus, which became expensive. I worked for a while in England using my 2 year working holiday permit. I quickly became bored with rural English life, and soon was back in mainland Europe. Previous experience with bus and train had proven to be expensive, so I began to hitch hike. Through hitching I had many more adventures – which I will go into with more detail in subsequent blogs. I had originally intended to stay in Europe not longer than about 3 to 6 months. About 3 years later, I returned to Australia.
After about two weeks in Australia, I was bored. I got a job on a prawn trawler in the Gulf Of Carpentaria and a few months later, I had an around the world ticket and I was off again. Back to Asia (Thailand and India) and Europe to visit friends, and work, then USA and Mexico. Finally I decided to return to New Zealand for a while, to see what it would be like to live there again. I arrived (as usual) with absolutely no money, so was stuck there for about a year anyway. I left for Australia again because I missed the warm weather, plus wages in New Zealand were much worse than I expected. Back in Cairns, Australia again, and penniless once more. About a year of working in construction, a 16 day trip with friends to Vanuatu, itchy feet again, and then back to Europe once more. Again to visit friends. After 5 months of travelling around Europe, here I am, with old friends in Prague, one of which has asked me to do this weekly blog. Perhaps some of my stories will help other travellers in some way, money saving tips and info. I shall be selecting stories from my travels, in no particular order, for each week’s installment. Photos included. So, until next week, Čau!