HEATHERMATTHEW

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 Watching the England Vs Panama game in a New Forest pub, England.

Watching the England Vs Panama game in a New Forest pub, England.

Today we arrived back home in Australia. Before I completely lose my travel mode, I thought I'd share a few insights and travel tips for those who have been following our adventures for the past three months.

My biggest revelation is that I’ve learnt to like football. Not AFL, but soccer, world cup style. The first time I really encountered this international topic for conversation was ten years ago in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Manchester United were playing and the name on everyones T-shirts and on the street was Renaldo.

I didn’t know who he was, but as the years went by and the lead up to the FIFA finals came around, I started taking an interest, especially when the South Americans or Italy were playing. This year we were travelling right at the time when football finals gripped every country we travelled through. We watched the Australians get knocked out of the game in Montenegro, England thrashing Panama 6:1 in England, Belgium winning against Croatia in France, and France winning while we were in Lasalle. The whole town turned up for the spectacle.

 France vs Croatia in the Grand Final.  Lasalle's townsfolk came out to watch and cheer.

France vs Croatia in the Grand Final.  Lasalle's townsfolk came out to watch and cheer.

Now on our way home after the flight from London to Singapore and Singapore to Brisbane; I thought I’d share some of my travel tips before becoming immersed in everyday life again.

What I’ve learnt:

#Travel light no checked baggage, no waiting round for lost bags. You don’t need as much as you think you do.

#Wear old clothes away, buy new clothes as souvenirs. Throw out the old ones.

#Pack 5 pairs of undies, you’ll never go needing.

#Wash little and often, jeans will last for several days, undies won’t.

#Document your travels – post on social media, Instagram is great for pics.

#Print out the blog/pics etc afterward, you’ll have a book of your travels and not just squillons of pics on your phone or computer.

#Learn to love football (soccer) its played all over the world and is a great topic of conversation.

#Remember at least two words from every country, hello and thank-you. You can get by with everything else.

#Drink the national beverage, when in England drink tea, in Greece, coffee. There will always be a national/regional beer (except if you are in parts of the Middle East).

#Trust but be attentive. You could lose a great opportunity to meet people if you are too suspicious. Most people all over the world are intrinsically good.

#Believe in yourself.

#Double check your travel tickets, better to be sure than miss your flight/bus/train connection.

#Smile. It’s a universal language.

#Remember to have fun, smell the roses, go for a swim in the river. Look up.

 

 Enjoying the sunset at Ulcinj, Montenegro.

Enjoying the sunset at Ulcinj, Montenegro.