Nathaniel and I have only hit two out of eleven-ish destinations so far and already have a list of DO's & DON'Ts for flying. 

*When airlines say a MAXIMUM of 10 kilos, they actually mean 10 kilos. Not an extra 7 that we tried to carry on. If you're as unlucky as us, they'll weigh your carry-ons and they WILL make you get rid of the extra weight. We ran into this problem when flying Tiger Airways from Melbs to Gold Coast (our very first flight ha). We "got rid" of our extra weight and proceeded to the terminal with multiple shirts/jumpers on & loaded pockets. Do what ya gotta do. 

*What we learned from this mishap was to obviously pack lighter, and if you get caught in a situation like this, wear as much of the weight as possible. Hey, if 250 pound people can fly, then I should be allowed to wear half the wardrobe I brought.
Picture
I made this chart for the carry-on requirements for the airlines we're using
*We had this supposedly brilliant plan to sleep at airports when we have an early flight the next day. Because who wants to pay $100+ for a hotel you're barely utilizing. So check out of your hotel, drop your stuff off at the airport & store it in a locker and bam! You have the entire day to do what you want, a place to keep your stuff and a (possibly uncomfortable) place to sleep without any accommodation costs!

*What you should make sure before this brilliant plan kicks you in the ass: is the airport open all night, enabling me to sleep indoors? At Gold Coast, the answer is NO. As in, we slept on the beach, again wearing multiple layers of clothes. Of course, if you also have a whiny boyfriend complaining about his legs going numb at 130am, you will not do much sleeping on the beach and will instead wait outside the airport until they open at 4am

*When flying budget airlines, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. So we booked all of our flights well in advance and got great deals. We paid about $65 a person to fly from Bali to Phuket via AirAsia. Unfortunately, flying budget airlines means they can change or cancel your flight and not do a damn thing to help you figure out what you should do about it. So goodbye $65 direct flight and hellooo $200 flight with a layover, causing us to lose half a day. And no, AirAsia (nor either of our travel insurances) did not pay the difference or give any kind of compensation whatsoever. They didn't even refund us so we're instead, having to dispute the charge via our credit card. 

*Budget airlines might cancel the entire service of flights from one city to another, like they did with AirAsia. Sometimes they'll just move your flight up 3.5 hours and completely mess up your schedule and cause you to miss the tour bus that you were planning on taking in the Philippines. Again, airlines like Tiger Airways, will NOT do anything to help you - such as changing to a different flight or giving you a refund. 

*If at all possible, fly more legitimate airlines. Unless you're bargain (aka broke) travelers like us and need to get the cheap flights. If you're like us, then my advice is to be very flexible with flights because they can always change. As in, don't book too many transfer flights where missing one where cause you to miss the other. Also, maybe spend more time in each place you're visiting to ensure you have sufficient time there in case situations like these happen. 

Summary of Dos & Don'ts:

*Don't check luggage - this will save you literally HUNDREDS of dollars
*Pack as light as possible! Weigh your carry-ons before you go to the airport. They don't always check but it's better to be safe than sorry!
*Sleep at airports when possible if you want to save money but always make sure they're going to be open. A lot of smaller airports will not stay open all night for domestic flyers (most airports will for all international flights). 
*Be flexible if you're shitty budget airline decides to screw you over. 
*Read your travel insurance coverage carefully. They may or may not help you get money back from cancelled/delayed flights. May as well try to make a claim regardless.
*Make an adventure out of every mishap because they'll never stop anyway and they make for good stories later:)

Now we're off to New Zealand, hopefully we don't hit any more bumps along the road!
 
There's no better place or time to write than when you're sitting at the airport. So here I am. I'm not yet leaving for Australia, but just going back down to San Diego/Vegas/LA for a week until my final departure.

First of all, I should probably mention that I kept a diary for about 13 years until my laptop tragically crashed a little over a year ago, resulting in the loss of about 7 of those years. (Always back your computer up on an external hard drive or a flash drive at the very least!) The remaining years are on actual handwritten diaries or old-school floppy disks. I decided to quit writing after that (dramatic, I know). But it’s pretty discouraging (AKA heartbreaking) when literally hundreds of pages slash my entire high school and college life were erased (this also includes pictures. Thank God for Facebook). But ya, so I've had a few years of experience with writing at airports/on airplanes.

Anyway, it’s always so bittersweet being at airports. Always leaving somewhere behind. I suppose I should be more optimistic and see It as going somewhere, but it always seems more bitter than sweet. I sit here now (which is currently on the plane), leaving Sac until July – which isn’t even that big of a deal because I’ve gone longer without being home or seeing my family. It’s just weird now that I’ll be living in a different country, even further away from my adorable nephews and the rest of my amazing family. My nephews are all getting so big, it’s crazy! When I get back they’ll probably be twice the size they are now.

NorCal was good while it lasted. Went to a Kings/Warriors game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, which was fun – minus the Kings losing (PS, how am I going to watch basketball in Australia?!!). Hung around the bay for a couple days visiting Nate’s family and then came to Sac about a week ago. Jumped around my sisters houses and got to spend some quality time with the family. I feel like I’m getting pretty good at this packing light (well trying to) and constantly moving thing because we changed houses every 2 days at least.
So now I’m heading back to San Diego right now and then I’ll be leaving for Vegas on Friday until Sunday. Monday I’m having my going away/birthday dinner with my friends. I hate goodbyes because I’m definitely not the emotional type and basically just get really awkward and uncomfortable in those situations. It’ll just be weird because I’m not sure if I’ll be moving back to San Diego, ever really. I mean, I obviously wouldn’t mind and if I didn’t have any other plans, I might as well (there or back to Sac). But my goal is to keep traveling and moving around. Hopefully Nate or I (or both of us would be nice) get a good job somewhere and can move to a different country or even stay in Australia. That’s the plan for now, but who knows – things always change. 

OH & I added another thing to my bucket list. My old dance coach Kristin convinced me to go to this hip hop dance class last night and so I went. Almost forgot how much I love dancing. Or how good it feels. (Or how out of shape I am). So I’m determined to find a studio or somewhere in Australia to take dance classes. It definitely filled a void I didn’t even realize I had. 

So hopefully all of my blog entries aren’t this long. I realize I should probably be trying to cut them short to keep my audience’s attention. But it’s so hard to condense everything I want to say. I guess I’m a little too used to doing the whole diary thing where I would write pages and pages about my entire life. So I’ll work on making it short and sweet. Til the next airport I arrive at!