There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There's a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you'll never see the end of the road
While you're traveling with me
- "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House
This time when I returned to Sydney I did not fall into despair, thinking my dreams were dead. I know that there will be plenty more adventures in my future, so long as I have my soulmate beside me. My whole world has opened up, quite literally in this case, thanks to a wonderful man who gives me courage. He kept me afloat while I was stuck in a queue at US customs and after a tyre blowout in the Scottish highlands.
I thought I'd learned most of the stuff I needed to know about travelling from my one epic trip to the UK in 2013. But there were plenty more experiences to be had this time around, especially as I hit up two new countries. So here you go, 15 essential points I gleaned from my 2015 trip.
1) Never go to popular Northern Hemisphere destinations in summer. Just don't. You will find yourself battling queues and crowds and your photos will always have someone's nose or hand in it.
2) AVOID New York in July. It is disgustingly hot and smelly.
3) You can share a MetroCard on the subway in New York. This is handy because you only need to carry around on of the cards.
4) If you are visiting Toronto, don't stay in Hamilton. Only two trains before 7am to get to Toronto? Dismal.
5) Try to get to Niagara Falls either early in the morning or in the evening when it's not too hot. It's also okay to park a little further away from the Falls to save money.
6) Tim Hortons is a Breakfast God.
7) Research the events going on in the place you intend to visit. This stops you from accidentally going somewhere during a busy sporting event or a freaking parade.
8) St Paul's Church is NOT St Paul's Cathedral. You probably didn't need to hear this, but I wish I had.
9) Always go the speed limit in Britain. They too have discovered average speed cameras and they are not always obvious. On the flip side, you will annoy the shit out of people stuck behind you!
10) Know how to change a tyre with confidence. You never know when you'll be stranded near Loch Ness!
11) Skye is the prettiest place on Earth.
12) Always check seasonal opening times. This is particularly helpful if the attraction is only open at 12pm or closes entirely for a few months.
13) It is illegal to share a hotel room in Dubai with a person of the opposite gender if you are not married. Though according to some people as long as you don't mention it, you should be fine. Still, why risk it?
14) I can't wait to marry the man I love.
15) Don't ever let yourself think you will never get to go on another epic trip!