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Young Antipodeans and their desire for Worldwide Travel

From a New Zealand Backpacker travelling...

Like most Antipodeans in their early twenties, the desire to travel for me was incredibly strong.

Havin grown up in a remote part of the planet (New Zealand) on rural farmland, I could be forgiven for my perception of the world being flat and not extending much beyond my front door. However, as I grew older the world seem to grow smaller.

Growing up in the age of the internet has bought people from different cultures and corners of the globe together. My first foray into travel was a short hop over to the land of the criminals - every New Zealanders arch enemy, Australia.

Basing myself in Sydney was far enough to be away from home, but close enough to feel safe. Plus, the added protection of living with close friends from University made the transition into big city life a smooth one.

Four years of the beach, sun and a career later, I decided the time (and the bank balance) was right to explore some more of the world. Things had changed as I now had a girlfriend which made planning travel so much more important.

We decided to part ways for 6 weeks to "do our own thing" (don't worry there is a happy ending!!), and I travelled solo through North America, while she travelled with her brother and a Contiki crew through Europe.

The USA is perceived to be a land full of opportunity. Home of McDonald's, Google and the Simpsons - all that I hold dear to my life. However, on first arriving in the small metropolis of Los Angeles I realised that while we spoke the same language, we didn't hear the same things.

In fact, I recommend that LA is your LAST stop in the USA - it is non-reflective of the rest of the population but hey, it definitely is a place you have to go. Travelling on a round-the-world ticket allowed me to see a few different cities in USA and even Canada. LA, San Diego, Corpus Christi (Texas), Vancouver, Chicago and finishing up in New York.

This itinerary allowed me to sample the many different aspects of a nation of nearly 300 million people. Coming from a village of no more than 50 to a place like this was a real eye-opener, and made me appreciate how lucky us Antipodeans are.

Starting in LA and finishing in New York actually left me wanting more of the USA (Vancouver was essentially another slice of the good old American pie). Currently based in the 'Rome of the North' Edinburgh, I will be taking my girlfriend back to New York in a few months time.

The experiences I had in that 6 week tour were enough to feed me a lifetime - however I want more. I could detail every person I met, every day I spent, every noise I heard, as it is all recorded on  the greatest video camera ever - my memory. And to someone like me, who has come from a small area in a quiet corner of the Earth, that's all that matters.

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