Thursday, September 29, 2011

The First Hundred: Stoked and Suffolk-ated

Australia, the 22nd country and fourth continent I've set foot on (pardon the vaunting of numbers, but it's a bucket list thing). It's also the first stop that we chose for our round-the-world trip. I reckon a three-month stay is too long if you wander around just a handful of cities, but too short if you explore its barren expanse - or if you're one of those backpackers who engage in WWOOFing and fruit picking to keep afloat or simply experience the culture on a more immersed level.

Our suburb's humble welcome.

A hundred days. This is the second longest period I've been away from home (next to living in the Middle East for half a year). And in retrospect, we have not actually done heaps. We've been to six beaches, three national parks, three - err birthday parties, one wildlife park, one cave, one amusement park, and one UNESCO World Heritage Site. I have crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge on foot, but nope, I have not seen the Sydney Opera House up close.

Temporal abode surrounded by dense foliage and a fence-slash-art installation.

So why the turtle pace? Well, programming jobs and article-writing projects that kept/is keeping us busy. To be honest, our route was not concretely mapped when we left the Philippines mainly because we were apprehensive about our funds. But now that the hubby signed up for a full time job (which thank goodness he could do remotely) and I suddenly got a steady stream of projects, we're confident to say that we're pushing through with the RTW and finally we'll be living the dream. Our dream, at least.

The porch, our workplace.

The ideal plan is to visit one or two countries per continent (uhm, except Antarctica). From Australia, we'll fly to California and stay for a month so hubby could report to their head office in Geekville Silicon Valley. After which we'll head down to Mexico, then further south to Peru and Bolivia.

Ghaya's artworks at the cozy living room.

For Europe we're eager to see Portugal and Turkey. I'm also looking forward to squeezing in some Greece holidays since the hubby's promoting Ios Island to me like a bubbly travel agent. He swears Greece is the most beautiful country he's ever seen (when asked if he likes it more than India, he's immediately lost for words). For Africa, Morocco's on the top of our list, next is Tunisia. We'd also like to make a stop in U.A.E. where (mushyness alert!) hubby and I met. Then revisit India before going back home.

Like I said, this is the ideal plan. We know for sure that budget and visa matters may spoil it in a blink.

Tallow Beach, south of Cape Byron Lighthouse. Our backyard.

But we don't have to worry about it now, especially we're too preoccupied obsessing about the cabin we're currently renting for six weeks in Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park (which is amazingly cheaper than backpacker inns). Ghaya, the artist who owns the cabin, is one of the park's few permanent residents. Her paintings, mosaic pieces, and mixed media works are in every corner of the rooms. We totally feel like we're living in a gallery.

Our lovely neighbors Charlie and Susan, a gray hippie couple, are very kind to us (I still feel uneasy seeing them naked walking around their curtainless cabin every morning though). Byron Bay, a famous town to tourists and New Age folks, is just a 12-minute drive away. And gorgeous Tallow Beach is only a few meters from our backdoor. We're all good vibes and positive energy since we settled in!

Join our stroll from the cabin to the beach!

Our home marked by a heart. Cause yah know, it may be cliche, but home is definitely where the heart is. And right now, our hearts are in Suffolk Park.


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Markyramone said...
September 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I envy the backyard and of course the promise of traveling around the world which is now within your hippie family's reach.

I can sleep at that porch. I'd probably drink hot milo in front of that beach every morning (kung di maginaw hehe)

Enjoy your RTW...pick up some postcards for me please haha

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 30, 2011 at 3:56 PM

It's still chilly in the morning, Marky. So you might freeze at the porch. There are heaps of campers in the park now cause it's school holidays, dunno how they handle the cold when they sleep in their tents...

Supertikoy said...
September 30, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Wow, I like where you're staying now. The house looks great. ganda ng paintings.

I wish I could do a RTW trip as well but I guess I'm tied up with my work so I'll do it one VL at a time.

We'll wait for your stories on your trip. I hope Luna will remember this trip, parang masaya makabasa ng blog from a kid's p.o.v. hehe


Pinay Travel Junkie said...
September 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM

It's the loveliest house I've ever stayed in, Jerome. And oh, about that 'one VL at a time', definitely way better than not having the chance to travel at all :)

morion said...
September 30, 2011 at 9:46 PM

i am an avid follower of ur journey ms gay" the place is interesting and the beach wow, amazing!

rome said...
September 30, 2011 at 9:57 PM

I so lurve your "nest"!!! feels like bahay kubo in Australia panalo! btw, I've linked your site to mine.

Mhe-anne Ojeda said...
September 30, 2011 at 11:33 PM

Soooo exciting Gay dear! Glad to have a peek into your RTW thingy! I hope to bump into you in one of your stops - could be Morocco, Tunisia or Greece coz these are on top of my list too!!

Ed said...
October 1, 2011 at 1:58 AM

wow. hippie na hippie! ok lang yan gay, no need to rush talaga. mas masaya yun kapag maraming oras sa isang lugar. at least nakakapagbakasyon kahit on a budget.

I'm venturing into some freelance projects and hopefully next year, makakapag-Asia na din ako uli. :D

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 1, 2011 at 5:54 AM

Thanks Jeffrey(?) for following our adventures!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 1, 2011 at 5:56 AM

Rome, hahaha! It does feel like a "bahay kubo in Australia". Will add your link too :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 1, 2011 at 5:57 AM

Ate Mhe-Anne, oh I'd love to bump into you somewhere on the globe!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 1, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Ed, yeah! It's total immersion. Good luck with your freelance projects, and maybe we'll see you somewhere around Southeast Asia next year!

Chyng said...
October 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM

grabe si Luna, true blooded daughter of backpacker parents! will conquer the continents at age uhhmm 2? =)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 1, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Chyng: Hopefully, even if she's older, she'd still love backpacking.

Anonymous said...
October 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Wow this is epic Gay! I can only dream to plan something like this for now. Can't wait for your stories. Enjoy living the dream for us!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 1, 2011 at 1:10 PM

We also started with a dream, Drew :) We never thought it will actually happen... And it could happen to you too.

lakwatsera de primera said...
October 1, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Buti pa dyan ramdam na ang summer, pati si Luna naka-sleeveless na :)

valerie said...
October 1, 2011 at 1:58 PM

*so jealous* lovely place to be in for your first hundred days. a nice break from budget hostels no :) i love your RTW plan. wish we have the resources to experience that as well. for now i'll dream na lang muna. haha.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 1, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Claire, yeah! We finally escaped Sydney's freezing spring!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 1, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Valerie, renting a house (which thank goodness is even cheaper than staying long term in backpacker inns) is such a nice break. I can still do mum duties like cooking, cleaning the house, watering the plants etc... It feels like we're at home even when traveling.

Malditang "Kura"cha said...
October 1, 2011 at 9:45 PM

wow! and you went there barefooted. hihihi! inulit-ulit ko pa yung part na yun. Inggit much. How I love to have a house with beach on backyard. Pero mas matimbang pa rin ang house on stilt. hihihi! gusto ko yun.

God bless your family gay! Ok lang yan. Take it slow para talagang bakasyon grande mode.

Cha said...
October 2, 2011 at 2:45 AM

So cool indeed! I wish to travel again soon!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 2, 2011 at 6:43 AM

Maricar, in Byron Bay, people walk around barefoot. Even inside establishments. It really is my type of place. Hihi.

A stilt house is also nice :)

tina said...
October 2, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Wish I could have that backyard too :D

And just wow on the numbers! :D 22 is 22 :D

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 2, 2011 at 1:40 PM

... And the bucket list keeps growing, Tina :p

dong ho said...
October 2, 2011 at 3:48 PM

nice that youve added a video. it's nice seeing luna.

parties... hahaha...

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 2, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Dong, I'm so stoked to show family and friends our place eh :)

jileology said...
October 3, 2011 at 2:36 AM

Hi Ms. Gay, I stumbled upon your blog and I am so amazed! Trip around the world! With your family!! Wow! :) I am definitely going to bookmark this page and follow your adventures as you go around the globe! :) Thank you for the inspiration! This definitely inspired me to plan a backpacking trip of my own and make it happen! ^^ -Geleen

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 3, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Thanks Geleen for following our adventures! Welcome to my blog :) Hope you do backpacking soon!

Elal Jane Lasola | The Shades of Grey said...
October 3, 2011 at 8:05 AM

The place looks fantastic. Also, wow to your baby and the backyard!

rc5zero said...
October 3, 2011 at 11:49 AM

This is so awesome!! i hope i could travel around the world too.. :)

your house is so wonderful. :)


Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 3, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Thanks for dropping by RC! Glad you like our abode.

InsideJourneys said...
October 4, 2011 at 5:48 AM

What a backyard! My goodness. I'd never want to leave.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 4, 2011 at 7:11 AM

I got the same sentiment, Marcia! We'd be sad to leave, but we got to, to see the beauty of the rest of the world!

The Nomadic Pinoy said...
October 4, 2011 at 7:58 AM

Hi Gay! love your hip-looking abode..soon you'll be leaving this for breathtaking vistas and kaleidoscopic experiences! You'll never go wrong with South America - my favorite continent!

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Dennis, it's gonna break our hearts when we leave this awesome place... But we're really excited to see South America!

Seair said...
October 4, 2011 at 8:28 PM

your daughter is so lucky to be able to travel the world at such a young age.

Technosyncratic Travel Blog said...
October 5, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I think your place looks really lovely - how did you find it? And your daughter is so adorable! I always love following the blogs of traveling couples that have young kids - it's great inspiration. :)

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 5, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Hi Christy and Kali, we luckily found the owner's ad online. Thanks for dropping by :)

Agnest said...
October 6, 2011 at 2:33 AM

I am so excited with your future trips! I rely on your blog for the virtual experience. I'd love to do what you guys are doing, soon maybe. ;) Best of luck, I'll just lurk here, waiting for updates! ;) -- AgnesP.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
October 6, 2011 at 6:16 AM

Thanks Agnes for following our adventures. It really means a lot. Enjoy the virtual tour and hope we stumble upon you somewhere on the road!

Scott - Quirky Travel Guy said...
October 6, 2011 at 9:41 PM

I would love to spend time in a place like this. I love your travel itinerary too... 100 days in Australia sounds amazing!

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