Life is much simpler on the road. You have nowhere to be, no obligations, no responsibilities, no work, no appointments, the only thing that is required of you is to enjoy the moments, however fleeting they may be. Im in barcelona now, and its becoming clearer that I may never want to leave, the smell of the mederterainian fills the air, the way the sunlight hits the meticulously constructed works of art we know as buildings, is entrancing to say the least, but the part of this trip that has captivated me above all else has to be the people, a collective group of interesting unique personalities from all corners of the world, all walks of life, desperatly searching for the same things. Everything happens quicker when your travelling, its as if youve tossed aside all of the bullshit that we fill our lives with back home and just enjoy the company and laughter in its purest form. Ive made friends in the matter of days that I know will last a lifetime, ive fell in love in a heartbeat and subsequently had my heart broken in what seemed like an instant, backpackers are fueled by emotion, an intense desire to discover something more, to live, to laugh, to love on their own terms, with no judgment or expectations. Although I have only been on this journey for a couple of weeks, its seems like a whole other life. I have no idea how long I will be in barcelona, nor do i know where im going next, but that simplistic spontaneity and beauty is what makes this the most rewarding experience of my life. For the first time in my life, love, friendship, and the promise of the unknown will guide me, im living purely in the moment, and that feeling is beautifully addicting. Marc

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Anonymous's picture


6 years

To some extent, I understand you. True, my last trip to Barcelona was related to work I love my job and probably on this even business trips to me in joy. The feelings that you describe, I understand very well, so I feel the same way.

Anonymous's picture


5 years

My parents for the longest time probably tried to stop me going overseas. While I was finishing primary school many moons ago, I was given what was probably Hobson's choice. I could either go to private school and have to make my own way overseas or go to public school with the chance to go overseas for free. However, they eventually had a change of heart. They agreed to let me visit Canada provided that I stayed only in hostels rather than posh hotels. I was excited because I could escape the awful heatwave in Australia for fun in the snow.

But it wasn't snowing when I got to Vancouver. I'd changed planes at Los Angeles after another flight from Melbourne. All I wanted to do when I arrived in Vancouver was to rest, but I needed to buy food also. Hence that's what I did.

I stayed in what's probably a 3 star hostel with like three storeys. The other tourists were friendly yet the beds were rough. When I first got there, I shared a room with two Swedes called Filippa and Hugo. They were going skiing in Whistler, although I wasn't joining them. I'd missed the boat for that Powder Rush trip. They were cousins. But I otherwise was alone. My friend Aden couldn't join me because his parents hadn't given him what he needed. However, he's offered to go with me one day to New Zealand. That's where hopefully I'll find work eventually working in a hostel (unless I go to the UK and/or Ireland first). Nonetheless, I had a few fun days with Hugo and Filippa. We played chess and billiards. Otherwise I was essentially on my Pat Malone. (That's rhyming slang for alone.) A Frenchman called Nick also boarded with us.

Beware of beggars around Davie street in Vancouver, however the hostel is in Burnaby Street unless I'm mistaken. One of them Elijah said quite abruptly to me: "Hey you!" So I said: "Excuse me?" And he asked me whether I could give him some change. Feeling threatened, it's probably intuitive what I did. However, he was cheeky. When I payed for his drink, he tried to get a bag of lollies. Therefore I asked him: "Wait a minute, didn't I only offer to pay for your drink?" My advice consequently is not to travel alone. After all being with at least one friend could have stopped me from being questioned. Furthermore, take care while using Mary Jane. I overdosed on it and thought the police were asking me to leave the hostel when they weren't. On a different note, I booked a tour of Vancouver with TripAdvisor. The guide Dave was friendly; but while it's recommended to eat seafood on Canada's coasts according to a book by LonelyPlanet, I thought the deep fried cod was a bit weird. It wasn't what I'm used to - because I'm Australian, we usually eat more flake, butterfish, salmon and stuff than cod.

I went to Montreal nearly a week after I arrived in Vancouver. I don't recommend poutine on the west coast since isn't the gravy artificial? I tried it there and it wasn't good in my own opinion. However, the crepes furthermore are delicious in Montreal. Didn't find a creperie anywhere in Vancouver.

McKibbins is a good Irish pub with delicious Belgian beer (Grimbergen) but no pokies. The chicken tikka masala was delicious and it was fun playing games there with the Canadians. But the best thing about Montreal was drinking apricot wheat ale at St Ambroise - eventually, however, I made my way to Mont Tremblant.

Since I was having a great time, I didn't want to return to Australia and bake. I got drunk a few nights at the pub there. However, the bartenders, all women, were very friendly and I remember some of their names: Klaude, Eliza and Rachael. I liked mountain biking here on an electric bike through the snow however the skiing was the highlight here even if I did it only for one day.

I also returned for a few days to Montreal before I needed to return to Australia. I think the HI Montreal was better than the Auberge Bishop. But if I go overseas again then I'm tempted to stay in either the Westin or the Hilton (only if it's a brief sojourn).


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