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International Voices

International Smile: Backpacking through Australia

Blue Mountains

Last year I went on my first long term backpacking trip. My destination? Australia! Planning my trip was very exciting! The idea of going to the other side of the world on my own for 3 months was at the same time frightening and exhilarating. It all started once I’d bought my ticket to Brisbane and my return ticket from Melbourne. I had to plan where I was going to go, what I had to bring, where I was going to stay, and what I had to buy. Being an organization freak, I meticulously listed these things in numerous “to-do” type lists.

The backpack is the number one item on the list. I had to fit items of clothing for 3 full months in a 50L backpack. Suddenly, I was an expert at travelling light with just the bare minimum; when I was done packing it only weighed 10kgs! I had always been wanted to try living with a “capsule” wardrobe, this was my opportunity to try it out!

During the trip, your backpack becomes your best friend, but can sometimes be your enemy. Packing and unpacking your bag every other day makes you hate it, but picking it up every time you get off a bus or a plane makes you fall in love with it all over again.


Travelling makes you discover simple joys like having clean clothes or taking a warm shower. Travelling makes you see the world with new eyes. Travelling makes you meet so many people from so many different cultures it helps you become more open minded. Meeting all these people makes you want to travel to so many places; every single person I met made me want to visit their city or country, and you end up saying: “I should go there” every other day! My list of countries to visit has never been longer!

Koala up close

Now, here I am… back at university… sitting on my couch all alone wishing I was in a hostel where it is so easy to meet people from all over the world. I have amazing memories of my trip. Some that I won’t miss: spending days alone in the middle of nowhere, trying to sleep while half the hostel is snoring, or unpacking and packing practically every day. Other memories that I hope I never forget: standing up on my surfboard for the first time, seeing the opera house in Sydney, or swimming over the Great Barrier Reef.

Now what? I’m counting down the days to my next trip. And while it is currently snowing outside, I wish I was somewhere on the Australian East Coast tanning on a white sand beach!

My new passion


For those of you who want to read more about my adventures ‘Down Under’ please don’t hesitate to check out my blog and leave a comment: internationalsmilesite.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading!