The East coast of Australia is one of the world’s most popular travel routes, and it’s easy to see why. Sailing in the infamous Whitsunday islands, camping on Fraser Island and diving in Cairns at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef all contribute to an action packed journey that would be difficult to forget.
Australia is a relatively easy country for Brits to travel through due to the similarity in cultures, as well as the obvious fact that everyone speaks English. Aaaand it makes sense that the majority of people who are willing and able to travel are generally on the right side of 30. But these two facts combined together has made for an 18-30 ‘lads-on-tour-2k12’ type feel to many parts of the country. It seems that no matter where you visit, at any given area of interest, there will probably be a very high ratio of British – or Irish, actually – to any other nationality and chances are that a large proportion of these will be either drunk, in the process of getting drunk, or suffering from the previous nights state of intoxication.
Not only does this result in the notorious reputation that Brits have acquired for functioning only by plying themselves with their own body weight in alcohol, but it can also work to ruin what travelling should be all about: exploring a different country and experiencing things that you couldn’t get to do at home.
Don’t get me wrong. I am partial to a drink… or five. Especially when i’m away and don’t know many people around me. It breaks the ice, there’s no awkwardness past the first drink or two, and you’ll probably achieve a funny a story to laugh or cringe about in the morning. But so many people let a hangover ruin their entire trip.
Kelly. Probably hungover. But still looking happy about riding a bike…
I experienced a prime example of this when stopping in Cairns. The two boys who were stopping in our hostel literally did not get up before 3pm for a whole week. When they did manage to stumble into consciousness, they’d busy themselves trying to feel human again before getting ready for another night on the lash. The time they spent sleeping off a hangover in bed could have been spent diving the Great Barrier Reef, or swimming in the waterfall of Crystal Cascades, or visiting the beaaautiful Cape Tribulation. Which is where I am in the picture below. These are things you can’t see anywhere else in the world. Even though they had some crazy nights, they wasted what they could have been doing in Australia, and could have gotten the same experience somewhere closer to home and half the price.
Meeting people from all across the world and having a few crazy nights on the other side of the globe in ’holiday-mode’ where you’re generally happy, carefree and apt to lose a few of those inhibitions is always going to be fun. There’s nothing wrong with messy nights of drunken debauchery, but everyone should make the effort and get out of bed in the morning – you never know what you’re missing, but it’s probably better than a hostel bunk bed.