From Dave: I'm excited to announce Brooke Schoenman will be joining the Go Backpacking family as of this month, and will henceforth be contributing on a weekly basis. I began following Brooke way back in 2007, as we both (publicly) planned our future travel adventures. Please join me in offering her a warm welcome!
I am writing this article while sitting passenger in a car destined for the Mid-north Coast of New South Wales.
The sun is shining so bright that I just had to reapply sunscreen to keep from getting that nice car sunburn that only graces one side of the body.
Oh, the joys of road trips in Australia in the summer.
The first thing you should know about me is that I'm an American living as an expat in Australia, quickly coming up on 3 years in the land down under.
And, since I'll be writing here on GoBackpacking.com on a regular basis, now is probably a good time to make my introduction so you can get to know me even better. Here goes!
About Yours Truly
I was excited to get the offer to share my travel stories and tips here on this site because I am a backpacker to the core with the love of blogging flowing through my veins.
My personal travel journey started back in late 2007 after about 1.5 years of planning and saving.
I finally set off for a few shorter adventures — a month-long archaeological dig in Spain and a two-month excursion to Central America — before setting off again for the trip that would eventually evolve into the now.
During that time, I've been able to hack on a list of life experiences that include:
- Spending about 5 months traveling
- Living and studying Russian in Central Asia
- Teaching English in Kiev, Ukraine
- Wandering around the Baltic countries for 6 weeks and meeting the Aussie love of my life
- Moving down under to be with said love of my life by signing up for a work and holiday visa before applying for the defacto partner visa
To discover the full extent of my travels and experiences, I suggest having a look at my personal travel blog: Brooke vs. the World.
My Favorite Places in the World
Another thing you should know about me is that I have an obsession with the countries of the former Soviet Union.
After spending a significant amount of time in the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, and further teaching English in Ukraine, I've been set on visiting as many of them as possible.
The adventure continued with a return trip this November to Kyrgyzstan, and upcoming travels on the Trans-Mongolian train will ensure that I finally make it to Russia.
Kyrgyzstan is a little known country that has a special place in my heart, and take it from me: This place is going to be a big travel destination in the future.
Still shaking off that sheltered upbringing brought on by the USSR, Kyrgyzstan is finally starting to draw interest from backpackers and adventure travel seekers.
I find the country intriguing and surprisingly comfortable given its developing surrounds.
Bishkek, the capital city, is modernizing at a rapid rate, yet small villages of rustic, and even some nomadic yurt-living, Kyrgyz dominate the countryside. I'm excited to be able to share this destination with you.
Australia is not a travel secret, as many backpackers head down under to live out a year or two of their lives thanks to the working holiday visa. However, Australia is surprising.
Being such a gigantic and sparse country, there are definitely locations in Australia where you can visit and feel like you are the only person on Earth.
Let's not forget about the extreme natural beauty, the quirky and iconic wildlife and hundreds if not thousands of beaches.
I love Australia as a travel destination because there is so much on offer. You can have your big city, shopping-filled getaway, eating in trendy cafes and restaurants before seeing a show.
Or, you can get back to nature, camping in the outback or hiking to waterfalls. From secluded islands to dense tropical rainforest, the choice of environments for your holiday is yours!
My Writing Topics
Over the coming months, I'll be sharing posts that cover a number of topics ranging from female travel to working abroad.
I'll divulge insights into a life living as an expat in Australia, tips for foreign language speaking wannabes, and alternative holiday ideas.
You can also be sure to get several posts on some of my favorite countries in the world: Kyrgyzstan and Australia.
It should be an interesting mix, and if you think so too, be sure to stick around.