Johnny Danger's Guide To Travel: 'If You Don't 'Gram It, It Didn't Happen'
So I've done a little bit of travelling and it’s probably the number one pleasure I enjoy out of the many. The trick is to combine all the things you love in life while you venture out into the world. For me this wasn’t hard to achieve. Being a 25-year-old recently single stallion all I wanted to do was party, get my adrenalin flowing (and pop some p***y.)
For my big O.E adventure I decided to head to Europe for five months and then to South East Asia on my way home. It was getting pricey to live in Europe, so heading to Asia meant I could stay longer before I had to head home.
As I was leaving New Zealand (with me mate Mullins, A.K.A Pukglobal), the adrenalin was already starting to flow. It’s an amazing feeling before you set off on your big O.E, it’s a bit of a mixture between being excited for what’s to come and a little bit of fear of the unknown, not to mention leaving most of your friends and family at home.
There are different ways you can travel. You can do it in luxury, you can budget, you can be organised and be in certain places at certain times, or you can just go with the flow! All of the above I’d gladly do.
For this trip, we chose a mixture; we had no set plan or guidelines we had to follow. Before we left, we sat down and brainstormed all the events and festivals we wanted to attend (Tomorrowland, Sziget Festival & Oktoberfest to name a few) and went from there.
We checked when and where those events were and planned our travel based around that.
Since I was a kid I’ve enjoyed extreme sports, so it made sense to start the trip with 'Running Of The Bulls' (Or San Fermin Festival) in Spain. That shit is fucking intense. I can tell you now it’s a rush and a half. I call bullshit on anyone who tells you otherwise.
Our next destination was Belgium (Tomorowland), so in the meantime we had all this time to do basically what ever we wanted. This was my favourite part, as we didn’t know where we would be in two or three days time. I enjoyed not knowing what was ahead and being free to roam wherever I wanted… Anyway enough of the hippie yarns!
If you’re into meeting new people and having a good time with like-minded folks, I highly advise you to stay in hostels while you travel. Before I left I had an image in my head of what they would be like but most of them were better than my room at home. The only downside for some people would be that you have to share a room with other people, but nine times out of ten they’re good c*nts.
As we travelled we met people that were doing the same thing we were. You end up forming pretty awesome bonds and next minute your best mates so you end up booking the same hostels and end up sharing rooms together so a lot of the time you won’t be rooming with randoms.
I will mention this piece of shit hostel I stayed at in Amsterdam, though.
Sheeeit, I’ll never forget that. We were on the fifth floor and the last two sets of stairs were highly dangerous, the beds were saggy, the aircon was shot & the showers were f*cked. Every town has that one shitty abandoned house that has all these stupid rumours surrounding it.
You will save a shit-tonne of money doing it that way and have triple the fun. A lot of the hostels are almost like tour guides, some of them run their own pub-crawls even, so it’s a win/win. They know exactly where to send you for what ever you’re interested in doing.
I wasn't too focused on the sight seeing side of travelling I was more into the festivals and meeting people, I told myself I’ll come back and sight see when I’m married off with a lucky little Shalala.
So, from my experience I would say Running Of The Bulls is a must do! Even the camp grounds and the opening ceremony is an awesome experience, if you don’t want to run with the bulls you can still spectate at the arena, it’s pretty entertaining seeing everyone get rag-dolled by angry bulls.
You have to check out Tomorrowland for the 'Gram. If you didn’t 'Gram Tomorrowland, you didn’t go to Europe. Everyone knows that.
Try climbing up the scaffolding of the main stage right to the top, the feeling at the top when your looking down at hundreds of thousands of people is amazing.
It’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced. If you make it make up there, again just make sure you 'Gram it… Or it didn’t happen.
Sziget Festival in Budapest was probably my favourite festival, it’s a lot more interactive, they’ve got so many different types of foods, even a portable McDonald's. You can camp right in the festival grounds, there’s just so many different things there; bouncy castle volleyball, bungee jumping, they even have a gym and the Luminarium (800 square meter inflatable sculpture).
Oktoberfest is another must, it doesn’t sound like much but just wait till you get there, it’s probably better going when you don’t know what to expect. So for those that don’t know I’ll just leave it at that. Go and thank me later.
If you're single you’ll definitely want to go to the Greek Islands, specifically Mykonos and Ios! It’s quite small, so you’ll find out where to go once you get there. The islands kind of have a routine, in Ios you party at the ‘Far Out Beach Club’ earlier on, then town picks up later in the night.
Santorini and the other Greek Islands are still fun, they’re just not as loose. Wine tasting in Santorini was pretty good; the views are even better than what you would think.
Amsterdam is a definite must, the vibe you get from that place is amazing and not just because everyone’s stoned, it’s just a beautiful place. The people are nice, the food is great, and it’s probably the one spot in Europe where I’d like to live. One of the things I enjoyed the most was how all the chairs and tables outside face towards the foot path, so you can people watch.
Also if you buy a weed muffin don’t eat the whole thing, have half! Me and my mate Nigel Christensen had one and we both were knocked out for 14 hours.
Before Mullins and I (A.K.A Pukglobal) left for our travels we both agreed we weren’t going to do a Contiki or any other tour because it just didn’t appeal to us. We wanted to wing it, which worked out fine but I ended up going on a little two week Contiki type of trip when I was in the Greek Islands called the ‘Med Experience’, my views on these sorts of things has definitely changed, if I was to go back I’d probably do a bit of my own travel mixed in with a Contiki or tour.
By the end of the two weeks you all feel kind of like a family and it was almost sad to say goodbye, where as with Mullins, I couldn’t wait for him to f*ck off.
If you’re a big drinker you better have a big wallet because it all adds up pretty quickly in Europe, it’s more expensive than here in most places I found. You can save money by buying beers or what ever from a dairy or super market and pre-drink but sometimes you forget you're paying with Euros, not Dollars when your out at the bars or clubs and you find yourself spending a lot if your not careful.
Ibiza is the worst, for the price of one beer in a club there you can buy the equivalent of a box back here in NZ. Even in places like Thailand and Bali you get there thinking its going to be cheap as chips then you go to the bars and the beers are only a dollar cheaper than home, but if you head to the dairy or supermarkets you’ll find the prices are pretty cheap.
When you’re traveling you find yourself partying a lot more than usual and your body gets pretty run down, luckily my friend was a walking Pharmacist. He had everything! We had multi-vitamins and whatever would help daily, it’s a wise strategy that payed off, because you can start to feel like a real piece of shit if you know what I mean.
The best thing from my whole overseas adventure was the people I met, and the bonds we formed. It wasn’t the places I visited and the things I saw, although that was all amazing.
For me it was the people and it made me think “F*ck I wish I met this person earlier”. That’s what really made my travels worthwhile. Coming home with some lifelong friendships with awesome people you met on the other side of the globe is priceless. There are too many f*kwits in this world!
Johnny Danger's Quick Tips...
- Make sure you have a bag with wheels.
- 'Hostelworld' or 'TripAdvisor' are good apps to book accommodation on.
- Skyscanner is great for flights.
- Get a decent portable charger for your phone, they’re handy.
- Be prepared for slow ass Wifi (frustration levels reach all time highs at times).
- If you get a taxi ALWAYS check the car before letting it drive off just incase you dropped something!
- Those stupid man bags are pretty good when you’re travelling.
- If you’re about to get harassed by beggars act like your deaf and do sign language (it works a charm).
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