To celebrate a year since we left and commiserate a few months being home I will share some pearls of wisdom.
You need a credit card if you want to do things. Many activities were credit card only, like ice climbing or renting a Winnebago. That Electron card isn’t going to pass muster. I survived without one but only because the guys both had one. They kindly subbed me until I could reimburse them via Internet banking. Which is another thing you should have.
Have a decent current account. HSBC is apparently the worlds local bank. If your local bank bends you over the cash machine each time you withdraw money then yes, it’s local, very local indeed. They charge you either an arm or a leg on each withdrawal, whichever is greater. I would not recommend them. Nationwide on the other hand offer a VISA debit card that gives free withdrawals world wide. Kudos.
Keep a diary. When Lewis first mentioned this we scoffed and derided him. But we quickly came around. Nothing serves better as a lasting tribute. In twenty years time you’ll be a able to look back and remember what a spanner you were.
Be single. It’s hard enough tricking girls into getting naked (not that we did…) without adding guilt into the mix.
Some items one could take include digital camera, extra memory things for the camera, mp3 player, a book, playing cards, sun lotion, photocopies of important documents, a watch, a travel adapter, a day rucksack, a torch and some fetching red swimming shorts.
Donâ€™t get too attached to anything. You might lose it. Incidentally the following items seemed to go missing from my possession.
My bright blue Asda flip flops. Lost within the first 12 days. Last seen at Dry Bar Ko Tao, Thailand.
The friendly Monk lady friendship bracelet from Tiger Cave, Krabi. Last seen Pine Lodge Tourist Park, Ramsgate beach, Botany Bay.
My mobile phone. Last seen at Surfside backpackers Coogee, Sydney.
Apparently I lost a pair of Lewisâ€™s socks. I find this hard to believe given the allegation was based purely on circumstantial evidence. I doubt they were ever in my possession to begin with. Highly dubious. Last seen on my feet.
BERTIE the big blue food bag. â€œGot everything?â€ â€œYepâ€ we chorused as we checked out of the hostel. Not quite. We left poor BERTIE, still stuffed full of goodies like porridge, tuna, bread and porridge. Sheâ€™d been faithful for over 2400km and what did we do? Left her to fester on a shelf. Last seen YHA Mount Cook, Mount Cook Village, New Zealand.
My attractive red swimming shorts. Last seen post sauna at YHA Franz Josef. I think someone probably saw them hanging up to dry and just couldnâ€™t help but help themselves. I donâ€™t blame them.