We were told before we left for our trip that we would meet people along the way and friendships would be formed. That we would come across like-minded people from all over the world that were travelling just like us. This turned out to be true, we have met people from all over the world. Many have helped us out along the way, offering tips and advice. We were even able to meet up with a couple we met in Fiji while visiting Christchurch last month. What we didn’t expect was all of the hospitality and invitations from people we had really just met! With only four months of travel under our belt, we have already stayed with two sets of friends that we met along the way and have plans to visit others when we reach their home country.
As we drove into Brisbane, we contacted Matt and Laura who we met while in New Zealand. They had graciously invited us to stay with them when we were in their neighborhood. It was amazing to be able to sleep in a real bed, do laundry and shower in a full bathroom! Matt and Laura were originally from England, but had been in Brisbane for a few years. They were the perfect hosts to show us around the area. They had just adopted a great Golden Retriever, Penny, that we had lots of fun playing with. Laura took us to Redcliffe, an area that they had previously lived in. We had a great day walking the beach full of jellyfish and enjoyed a beachfront lunch. The next day the 4 of us headed on the ferry into the city and spent a few hours walking through Southbank, a fun area of town full of restaurants, shops and lagoons.
We enjoyed some delicious ice cream before heading back on the ferry and getting some delicious Indian takeout. We had a nice visit and it was great talking with people other than ourselves! We said our goodbyes and headed from one set of lovely hosts to another!
We drove just south of Brisbane to meet up with Pam and Neville, an awesome couple who we had met in Alaska. They had shared lots of tips with us on the cruise about Australia and we had stayed in touch through our travels. We ended up staying three nights with them, catching up and getting some more great advice on traveling through their home country.
We arrived with a little air conditioner issue in the van and their neighbor Pete was nice enough to fix the issue, being that he was an automotive radiator specialist. We walked around their gardens and even killed some cane toads and tadpoles in their pond (a poisonous problem animal). The first full day we went to lunch at the yacht club on the gold coast, followed by a stop at the fisherman’s co-op to pick up some fresh prawns.
The next day we were busy! We headed to Mt. Tambourine where we looked through some shops, went to the brewery, picked up some cheese at the cheese factory, had lunch at one of the wineries and afternoon coffee overlooking the valley. That night we were invited to a barbecue with the neighbors, where we met more great people and shared stories of travels.
Traveling is truly an amazing experience in so many ways, but meeting great people from all over the world has to be at the top of the list! We truly cherish the friendships we have gained and hope to cross paths with these wonderful people again.