Monthly Archives: June 2013

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Travelling at home

Itchy feet are starting to set in which has led me to thinking in the last few days about how I would treat my hometown of Manly in Sydney, Australia if I was to arrive here on my nomadic journey. What I began to realise was that while I have this insatiable desire to explore the world, I’ve really been a very poor traveller of my home town.

While its one thing to look at my surroundings through the familiar eyes of local knowledge, it’s quite another thing altogether to appreciate it from a travellers perspective. What you start to see is the beauty in the simple things you’d overlooked a hundred times before.

Countless times I’d jogged around the path that joins Manly Beach and Shelley Beach but only on a handful of occasions had I ever stopped and fully appreciated it. It was late afternoon last summer that it fully dawned on me just how beautiful this part of the world is. I had stopped halfway along the track and glancing back towards Manly I could see the entire pine-tree lined promenade.

It made me think back to a time in Colombia when, after the promise of ‘the most beautiful beach in the world’ I’d agreed to spend 3 hours on a boat to go see it. Having barely slept the night before it made for a rather unpleasant boat trip and I couldn’t help but be underwhelmed. That isn’t to say Colombia didn’t have beautiful beaches, it’s just that this wasn’t one of them. Coming back home to Manly Beach, I was confronted with the irony of it all. I had been on the other side of the world, in search of an oasis I’d previously disregarded at home.

Over the next few months I’ll be exploring Sydney with an entirely new perspective, so stay tuned for a local travellers view.

The Boy Wander

What has travelling taught you about your home town?

The Boy Wander

Forget Sydney…

Well, not quite but it would be easy enough to do on New South Wales’ South Coast. Although Sydney has an endless list of attractions, which makes it one of the favoured cities by tourists and backpackers alike, you may be aiming a little high on the coastline if you’re looking for some of the best kept secrets New South Wales has to offer.

The South Coast (conveniently located 2 hours from Sydney) is known for its abundance of Australian wildlife so it’s a must for anyone looking to find dolphins, whales, wombats, echidnas, koalas or kangaroos.

Camping or camper-van is the favoured choice by the modern day explorer on the South Coast allowing you to immerse yourself in nature. Surrounded by such serenity it breeds locals to suit. How truly content they are is reflected in the way they talk about the area, upon asking where to go we were left with endless suggestions. Given that I’m a sucker for lighthouses and headlands we drove out towards Point Perpendicular on the Northern Head of Jervis Bay.

The gum-trees on either side of the road set against a steel grey sky would’ve looked equally as appropriate in an Australian Art exhibition as it did guiding us to the light house ahead.
Looking up from the grounds of the lighthouse where a kangaroo hopped around, the huge white lighthouse keeps guard over Jervis Bay. Shortly beyond the lighthouse the cliffs fall so perfectly vertical to the ocean you suspect it may be the work of a huge ancient stonemason.

While the view from the headland had left me awestruck, the highlight of the trip was yet to come…

Another kangaroo on the other side of the bay.

Another kangaroo on the other side of the bay.

A short walk through the bush opens up to one of the most beautiful beaches I’d ever seen, Honeymoon Bay. The fine white sand wrapped around the bay like a waning moon. The crystal clear water had tempted a kangaroo down to the waters edge and even in the chilly late autumn weather I was tempted to indulge. If skinny-dipping happened to be on your bucket list, a swim under the stars in Honeymoon Bay would be hard to beat. You just don’d find this serenity anywhere in Sydney.

After returning to camp and realising that not too far down the road are places that offer surfing, water-skiing, fishing, bush walks, wildlife tours, wineries, markets and more you slowly start to forget Sydney…

The Boy Wander begins…

IMG_2104Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all. – Helen Keller

It seems I’ve long had an infatuation with exploring and anything new. I’ve always struggled to stay settled in one environment for too long but I never really had an appropriate outlet for it until I discovered travel.

After spending some time in New Zealand, Austria and Switzerland throughout 2009 I was given my first glimpse into travel and set about following these trips up with a more serious adventure the following year which took me from the ski fields in Canada, down the West Coast of the USA, across Central America, to the rainforests of Colombia.

Returning home after 9 months I thought I’d ‘gotten travel out of my system’. Now that mindset and what I think is wrong with it warrants an entire post itself but basically I thought I’d come home and begin setting up the life you’re told you’re supposed to.
Within a year of being home I had come to the realisation it just wasn’t right….I had to explore again.

The plan is….well there’s no real plan as such. I fly to India in early February from there my plans will be spontaneous where possible as I endeavour to find the rhythm at the heart of every town and city I visit.

As for the next 8 months I will look to share more about what drives me to explore, my travel preparations and a bunch of useful tips as well as a locals guide to Sydney and its surrounds. I promise to show you a bunch of stuff you won’t find in any guide books and only the truest of locals know about.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on NSW’s beautiful South Coast. As promised here it is Forget Sydney.