Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in a nutshell. What a fricken AWESOME year. How is 2011 to top it?

Snowboarded my first Double Black

Drove the West coast of America

Stuck my head in a giant LEGAL garbage bag of weed

Hit my first ever three day festival Coachella in Los Angeles

Sandboarded outside of an oasis

Flew in my first single engine plane

Hiked 50km to Maachu Piichu

Mountain Biked (yes me on a bike) the most dangerous road in the world, Bolivia

Swam with sea lions in the Galapogas

Held a Caiman, Caught a Pirahna, Went swimming, in the Amazon

Drove my Jeep in Mexico where I camped on a beach and drank lots of margeritas.

Drove to Colorado from Mexico partying it up with tons of wicked people along the way.

Came home to my friends and family.

Started hosting and suddenly my house was filled with some of the most amazing people in the world that it makes me smile thinking of all the awesome times we had.

Crazy Camping trips, Snake catching, Nights out Dancing & Drinking, Outdoor Raving.

Thanks to everyone I met in 2010. You guys made this year for me :) Happy new year!!!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I miss snowboarding so much.

3 More Months until Utah :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Love me some newbie surfers

Once upon a time, hard to believe I know. I was a newbie. A kind couple Cynthia & Randy from Dawson Creek BC were awesome enough to take me & my ex in under their wing without any references! I’d pre-pared little gifts for my hosts with chocolates and things from Australia. They were probably two of the most generous people I have ever met, well except when I moved on to the next host haha.

Anyway you need to start somewhere and like I said I love newbies, I like to think I’m pretty experienced and will give advice. Plus my house seems perfect for first timers. Firstly we don’t do everything for my surfers. Its my opinion that a surfer should be self-sufficient. And not only that the surfer should help out the host. The host is giving you a FREE place to sleep, something as simple as cleaning up the dishes is great but I my all time favourite is the ones who cook. You are saving $25 a night for accommodation , use that money to cook a nice meal for your host! Or if you can’t cook buy a 6-pack or something. Everyone in my house is super friendly and if your new and not sure about integrating into someone’s life then its good to be made welcome. I know some hosts can make a person feel very awkward. Its always best if your new to surf with a host with lots of experience.

Every newbie I’ve taken in has often surpassed some of my most experienced surfers. Hell I had one surfer and she turned on the air-conditioner whilst I was away and left it on all day with the windows open! And didn’t even ask me, air-con is expensive!! And she had a lot of surfing experience.

Thomas , Flavia, Greg, Jack, Jeremy, Mark & Mel, Holly & Wayne, Jessica, Silke – some of my newbies who went above and beyond.

If a newbie fills out the profile, puts up some pictures and gives me a good message about why I should host them then they deserve a chance because honestly.. we were all there once.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wet vs Dry

Taking a ride on the best couch in Darwin (yes I’m talking about mine) can be a completely different experience depending what time of the year you come. I’ve noticed the difference in the length of time people stay as well. In The dry it got out of control and I had massive overload of surfers because they never wanted to leave. And why would you, beautiful weather while the rest of Australia was miserable, lots of work, big nightlife, beach swimming, night markets. In the wet you have heat, heat, rain, heat.

Snake catching is a speciality of mine that right now is only available in the dry. It could possibly change when I learn the migration of the sneaky bastards. I love to see the little European faces light up when they experience holding their first “wild” snake. And for the animal activists out there, no harm is done the snakes are released after capture. I even had a couple of surfers catch their own with gentle coaxing. Greg from France was the first protégé and its great to watch people moving out of their comfort zones and experiencing true Australia.

Another great dry season event is the camping. & the 4WD camping is the best. In the rainy season the roads to the best locations close up most of Kakadu is only available for a few precious months a year. In the dry the nights are cool and you don’t have to worry about being rained on. Camping is one of the reasons I love Darwin and really getting down those 4WD tracks to places untouched by tourism makes it all worth it.

So lets not forget Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. A premium attraction in the northern Territory and a great place to eat, drink and watch a beautiful Sunset. Once again, does not function in the wet season – rain is imminent.

In the Wet so far my hosting has been pretty relaxed. It usually involves sitting around a table drinking beer and sharing good food. Occasionally we hit the town especially as there seems to be a lot more electronic events on which I love. There is always a BBQ going at my house, another favourite pastime of mine. One of the best things about the wet is that if you do get out to one of our national parks the waterfalls are pouring down, there is so many less tourists. Litchfield is amazing and can still mostly be done by 2WD.

And the storms. Watching the lightning crackle across the sky, the wind blowing the palm trees around its one of the most beautiful things in the world. Darwin in the wet is so wild, full of life & not for the weak.

Monday, December 6, 2010

its a way of life.

When I got back from my 2.5 years around the America's I entered back into real life. It was like this total drain on personality. I went from every day being something new and exciting with someone different to talk to to being back in Darwin and seeing all the same things I left behind.

Seeing all my friends & family was definitely a bonus and I love them to bits but my restlessness was hard to ignore and within the first week I was hosting with reckless abandoment. I began to live vicariously through my surfers. I started to do things around town that were new even to me and night after night was filled with some kind of adventure. My personality is chaotic and I thrive off change which funnily enough 3 years ago was exactly the opposite.

3 years ago I was in a committed relationship, moving forward with my life. Now I have nothing but the next day in my mind. You sometimes need to wonder what makes you happy. For me the little things make me smile and I just feel so positive about everything. This I can contribute to Couchsurfing. Its brought me in contact with some of the best people in the world who I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise.