It’s Tweet Tuesday!

Hi guys,

I’m really sorry to do this, but unfortunately, today’s post is kinda like the time you got your first period.  Do you remember that?  You go to sleep one day as a twelve-year-old and wake up with your insides constricting in pain, a brown stain on your undies and you’re apparently a *woman* (it was a confusing time for me). It comes every month, uninvited, and it just sucks.

Today’s post is like that.  Normally I enjoy this time with you where we can discuss cool things on the Internet and that awesome juice recipe and how life rocks!  But then I got a tweet from @GazzaMaate.  I’m not kidding, that’s his name.

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Mate, I’m not sure what you expected but I’m about to sit you down and serve you a cup of Grammar.  We will talk about the subject matter later.

The first thing you should obviously know is: I’m a writer.  Most people know this because I mention it approximately seventy billion times per blog post.  I like to think I’m pretty up with grammar.  In fact, it causes me pain when I read sentences poorly constructed like this (that’s also known as your syntax).  Believe me, I’ve read better from ten-year-olds.  But anyway, there’s neither here nor there (and that, my friends, is an example of cliché).

There are a number of worrying things about your post that we must address before we can have an intelligent discussion about asylum seekers.  I’ve helpfully put it into a list for you.

Four Things You Should Know About Grammar So You Don’t Look Like A Total Racist Jackass When You’re Whinging About Something On Twitter

(Actually, I probably can’t help you with the racist thing.)

    1. Have you heard of a homophone?  Based on your post, I guess not. Homophones are a group of words that sound exactly the same yet mean something different (and they’re also spelt differently).  An example of this would be they’re, their and there.  Now, Garry, I assume by the fact you have Twitter and presumably are typing off a computer, that you’re probably above the age of twelve.  That is really old enough to know the difference between the three words above.  It’s definitely old enough to know the difference between to and too. Let me help you out, bro.- “They’re”, of course, refers to they are. It’s also called a contraction – a shortened version of two words. You can use it in a sentence like this:
      “They’re obviously grammatically illiterate.” (Ahem.)

      – “Their” (and it really hurts my brain I have to explain this) is a possessive adjective. You use it when you’re showing possession in a word, like ‘yours’, ‘hers’, ‘mine’ etc. You can use it like this:
      “Everyone has something they regret in their life. You probably have a few things.

      – “There” relates to a place or something that exists. “Ahoy, over there!” etc. In your case, we could use it like follows:
      “Go over there. Far, far away from your keyboard.” Whatever, I’m not bitter.

    2. Next, we gotta work on your punctuation.  Buddy, I understand you’re upset.  I do. You probably have a very stressful and difficult job (and a lot of free time) but in order for your message to come across effectively, learning how to correctly punctuate your angry sentences will be good for you. Without proper punctuation, everything gets pretty confusing.Here, we have a classic case of too many exclamation marks!  These bad boys look like fun, I know.  But there’s a wrong way to use them.In fact, my good friend Baden Eunson (actually, he has no idea who I am) writes in Communicating in the 21st Century, “to maximise the impact of exclamation marks, minimise their use.” BRILLIANT! Short, sweet and to the point!He goes on to say:

      “You may think you are being persuasive and inspirational, but others may think you are merely being shrill and hysterical.”

      Hey, he said it, not me.

    3. This leads straight into my next point: your capitalisation.  While you’re certainly exercising your right to using interjections (that’s how you express feeling or attitude), paired with the excessive exclamation marks makes it have a rather undesirable effect.  In fact, it just makes me want to set fire to my laptop and I’m not at all inspired to #STOPTHEBOATS as you eloquently put it.  Eunson puts it as, “Be wary of overusing capitals. A writer can very quickly give the impression that he or she is trying too hard to impress.” Hmmmmmmmm.
    4. Finally, I’d like to make a point of your usage of the word ‘refuge’.  I know what you meant, but refuge and refugees are two separate words.  Technically, it’s not even a word, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt (hey, another cliché!). They’re both nouns, so that’s great.According to the Oxford Dictionary, refuge means:

      n.  The state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or difficult: he was forced to take refuge in the French embassy.

      And ‘refugees’ means:

      n.  A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster: tens of thousands of refugees fled their homes.

Anyway, I could go on, but that was pretty exhausting.  Happy to chat when your Tweet is improved grammar and subject wise.

Love, Alyssa.

P.S. Here’s a tip, Garry. Install the Grammarly grammar and spelling checker to Google Chrome.  It’ll put a red line under everything that’s grammatically incorrect (won’t help with the racism, xenophobic attitude though obvs.)

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Newcastle and Whitley Bay: A Short Recap (otherwise known as the first week of trip)

First of all, only I would be drunk and jet lagged and forget my phone in the back of a cab at 2:22 in the morning.

Well, not necessarily. I read that something like 47 million phones are lost every year (that figure may not be correct.) I may be one of the lucky ones who actually got it back though, so there’s that.
I flew in London last Saturday at approximately 11am. If you’re from Australia you know the torture we go through with flying: if you want to go anywhere popular and/or overseas (anywhere further than New Zealand or Asia) it’s at least 16 hours. For me this time, it was 24. It was a torturously slow flight, as they always are, and I passed the time by movies and trying to doze in 20 minute increments which only worked when I was 16 hours in and so exhausted I basically fell asleep mid sentence to the couple next to me. It’s probably the sixth time I’ve done this journey and it seems to get harder. Maybe I’m getting older (20 years old compared to 26.)
So yes. I arrive to London exhausted. My bag is last out, which feels like a cruel stroke of fate, and when I finally found it i just felt like all my happiness had arrived.
ANYWAY less than 24 hours after arriving (which I passed by seeing friends and trying to stay awake – and mostly failing) I hop onto a bus for 7 hours to go to the Tyne, or Newcastle. 
(Great planning on my part. 24 hours plane with a 10 hour break followed by 7 hours on a bus.)
One of my best friends from Adelaide had moved there (well, to an idyllic seaside town called Whitley Bay) some time before, and had a baby and all that fun stuff so I knew I had to go. And it was great, it really was. We had a ton of fun the two of us then with our new little member, her son. It struck me continuously over the week as she mothered her child of how life changes. At the same time I found out a kid I went to school with died from an illness I had two years ago. Two years ago I couldn’t have predicated I’d be here. Probably neither could she, or him. Bleak, morbid, maybe. But for me, that realisation was a blessing. I live my life trying to “one up” myself, I think. I want to always be better and do better and stop biting my nails and be a super awesome writer and save more money and travel more places. And I have, and I have dreams, and I have fulfilled them. It’s good to have goals, but I wanted to take a moment to be at ease right now. Not happy, but at ease. I’m pretty lucky to have what I have, and even if I don’t become a good writer or write a book or become a journalist I have that.
So maybe you’re reading this (if anyone is reading this little post of mine) and wondering why I started with a sort of negative story to lead me to a realisation that seems unrelated. 
Well… I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m trying to live in the moment.
I think the phone thing is damaging. And I was surprised that, when I realised I’d left my phone, just how quickly I was able to let go of it. Within a night, I panicked, then let it go. It’s not going to ruin my trip. It’s just a phone. So what if it was the second day of my holiday. I’m being taught a lesson here. So many times our devices are attached to our every limb and I think it’s because we’re scared. Of the emptiness or the quiet spaces. What happens when the spaces we use our phones to fill remain empty? Maybe that’s why I got it back, as strange as that sounds.
Back to Newcastle, I got my phone back and continued having a great time with a good friend. And now the week is over and I get to go to New York tomorrow. 
I am counting my lucky stars.
My challenge to myself this trip; less phone, more camera. More times hanging with my best friend. More throw back your head laughter.
This all probably makes little sense since I’m half asleep. But I am thankful for the lessons I have learnt and how I have changed.

Food for thought.

“Please tell a story about a girl who gets away.”

I would, even if I had to adapt one, even if I had to make one up just for her. “Gets away from what, though?”

“From her fairy godmother. From the happy ending that isn’t really happy at all. Please have her get out and run off the page altogether, to somewhere secret where words like ‘happy’ and ‘good’ will never find her.”

“You don’t want her to be happy and good?”

“I’m not sure what’s really meant by happy and good. I would like her to be free. Now. Please begin.”

  • Helen Oyeyemi, White Is For Witching

The adventure awaits

Well, hello there, avid travellers / kind of travellers / men, women and children alike.

I’ve decided to resurrect this blog (previously it was used for the purposes of a UniSA assignment). I am studying journalism, currently in my second year, and as blogging has become such a runaway success for many writers, we were tasked with creating a blog on a topic we are passionate about. I am passionate about travelling, hence why I picked solo female travelling. I wondered to myself if I would keep it going, but evidently with school, life and work commitments, it tapered off a little bit.

But I leave for my next trip in approximately 24 days so I have decided to continue this blog for me, and whoever decides to join me in the adventure. I’m a writer, yes? Then logically, this makes sense.  One of my favourite things to do in my downtime is to remember the stories, look at my photos and just recapture that feeling of feeling so alive, and to record this trip seems the best way to do this. As any writer knows, it will mean discipline, but it’s about time I get serious about my writing.

SO.

I am a female solo traveller, and my name is Alyssa. Here comes a short description of who I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going.

Some of the places I have been in recent future, in no apparent order: London, (this, upcoming, is my fifth trip.); Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Rome, Bologna, Pisa, Venice, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Dublin, Palma de Majorca, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, Boston, Orlando, Miami, Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, brief stints in Thailand (mostly Phuket and Kao Samui), most Australian capital cities, and in the South Pacific Islands, cruising.

This trip, I add Canada (can I just say I am supremely excited for Canada. This is bucket list shit right there. I love you guys.) I’m also heading back to LA and New York and Nashville but heading to South Carolina as well. And then, I go to Oxford.

I kid you not. I am studying at Oxford University in July this year – 900 year old university, living on campus, eating in dining halls, the works.  The workload looks intense – 24,000 words over 4 weeks – but God, this feels where I’m meant to be.

The last two years has seen me going back to University at 25 years old, which has been a massive challenge. All my classmates were fresh of out high school, which is fine as I get along with most people (one of the advantages of being a people pleaser, I suppose) and when I was first telling people my age, they were all “Whaaaa?”.  At first, I didn’t really know what I was doing there. I have a love and passion and (if I may) talent for writing, and journalism felt like the obvious choice, but it really being such a cutthroat industry and also maybe a dying industry too, I struggled to find my place.  But over the last couple of years I have found myself really enjoying my study, which, yay. Strangely, I’ve found a newfound love in radio which I never thought I’d see. I’m getting good marks, whereas when I did that year fresh out of high school, university was pretty much my last priority and my grades reflected that lack of commitment. A few years out has taught me a lot about life and where I actually want to be, and here we are.

I am a poor Uni student (and yes, currently I am very poor) but I couldn’t give up the idea of travel, so I scraped together my pennies and here I am. I decided to apply to Oxford fully not thinking I’d get in, but knowing I could see myself there, and I start in just over 9 weeks after a few weeks in America which I am lucky enough to be able to do with my best friend.

The itinerary for this trip looks like the below:

  • fly to London. One week hanging around and visiting another bestie who has a 3 month old baby boy. Baby cuddles!
  • Fly to NYC. Jump straight onto G Adventures tour, 15 days up to Canada and finishing through Boston. Places of interest: Allegheny National Forest, Niagara Falls, Toronto and Montreal.
  • 4th of July in New York. YAS.
  • We then head down to South Carolina then jump on a bus to Nashville to spend time in Music City. My last trip to Nashville was magical, so I knew I had to head back.
  • Heading to LA and San Fran, where our only plan is to visit Harry Potter World (another YAS).

We really want to be open to adventure and spontaneity this trip so have purposely felt gaps that we can fill in.

Then I fly back to the UK, attend Oxford for a few weeks, then come home to Adelaide, Australia, and (presumably?) fall into a depression until I can work up some cash and do an exchange, or something.

So, yeah. This is the plan. I am looking so forward to it, and will be updating regularly, for solo travellers and regular travellers alike.

Boom. Out.

(that’s a 100 reference. If you haven’t watched the show, do. It’s great.)

Ps, this is me.

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Hey, girl! Are you looking to travel someday?

We have a Facebook and a Twitter account where you can get in contact with us, and we’re more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Follow us on Facebook: Girl, meet road

And Twitter: @girlmeetroad

Some of our favourite spots… (we’re doing that love heart eyes emoji right about now).

Lake Sebago, Maine, USA

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Palma de Majorca, Spain

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Comacchio, Italy

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