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Getting to know me!!

Hi everyone!!

My name’s Natalie and I just thought that I’d let you know a little bit about myself.

I love to travel, but unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to go to everywhere that I want!! I have been to Singapore (1996), Europe for 3 months in 2001, South America in 2005 for 2 months, China, Tibet and Nepal for 5 weeks in 2007 and Thailand for 3 weeks in 2008.

I moved to Dubai in 2008 and haven't stopped travelling since.

General Tips on Australia

For those planning that big trip to Australia, a little word of warning. Australia is a BIG country. I have heard of a lot of people who plan to take a day trip from Melbourne to Carins for example. You can’t do it!!

To give you a general idea of how long it takes to get anywhere, it takes 10 hours to drive from Melbourne to Sydney and about 12 hours to drive from Sydney to Brisbane. Although I have never done it, it takes around 4 days (with stops) to drive from Melbourne to Perth.

Flights at the moment are very cheap as the airlines are having a price war, so if you’re short on time I suggest flying to each capital city. Melbourne to Sydney – 1 ½ hours. Melbourne to Brisbane – 2 ½ hours. Melbourne to Perth – 4 ½ hours. Prices start from $39 plus tax each way from Melbourne to Sydney so as I said, it’s dirt cheap!!

Another quick warning, the weather in Australia varies immensely. For example, Darwin is usually mild and in the 30’s where Melbourne in winter is usually around 15 degrees but in summer can get to 40 degrees. Sydney can be quite humid and warm but it does rain there more than Melbourne!! Basically, the further north you go, the warmer the weather tends to be (logically) but the weather can change at any moment so be prepared!!

Amazon and Inca Adventure

Following is just a quick little story about my experiences in South America. It actually won first prize in a travel story competition. Yay me!!

Enjoy!!

*******************************

We were off on a trip of a lifetime, travelling around South America to experience tango, Incas, Amazonian rivers and Galapagos sea lions.

Our first stop in Buenos Aires gave us a pampered experience and the opportunity to indulge in steak, wine, tango and more steak. Buenos Aires is really a beautiful city with an amazing history - I highly recommend it as a stopover!!

After the buzz and excitement of Buenos Aires we were ready to experience the warm and exotic Amazon from the gateway city of Puerto Maldonado. Dressed in shorts and tees we landed in the extreme cold that is the Amazon when the "Freo" (cold front) comes to town. The entire plane gasped in shock when the doors opened and the 30 minute wait to get our bags in an open air baggage hall certainly made us appreciate warmth when we were finally able to access our ski jackets!

Our guide in the Amazon was an unlikely dwarf with a quirky sense of humour and a highly developed sex drive! Through his guidance we experienced all that the Amazon has to offer and more with macaws, Caymans, tarantulas, jaguars, piranhas and spectacular flora and fauna . Sleeping was an interesting experience in the cold weather as we were camping in open air huts with only one blanket per person and cold water showers: let's just say that we were a little on the cold side!!

After the Amazon we were off to Cusco (altitude 3400 m) to start our Inca Trail adventure. What a disaster!! After leaving early in the morning with our group we discovered that we were two tickets short for the trail (not ours, luckily), had a guide who barely spoke English and had inexperienced porters. What this meant for us was a mixture of sneaking through passport checks, starting on the wrong day, porters quitting, hiding in bushes (and getting ticks), getting 3 different answers from the guide for the same question and not knowing which campsite was ours. All of this topped off with acute altitude sickness!! After all of this we still managed to appreciate the vast beauty that is the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and the Andes. We met an incredible group of people and the memory of the sunrise over the Andes and Machu Picchu will stay with me forever.

With stiff legs we jet set off to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. All I can say about this is - wow!! The wildlife, people and views are bar none the best I've ever seen.

South America is by far the friendliest, cheapest and most beautiful destination I've ever been to. I highly recommend it!!

I'm famous!

During my recent trip to Iraqi Kurdistan, my group was interviewed by a local reporter. Kurdish and English translation below:

http://blog.kurdistan-adventures.com/2012/04/01/natalie-murray-from-australia-an-ancient-religion-alayazdih-yezidi-is-different-something-exciting-and-influential/

http://www.lalishduhok.com/2010-10-12-15-22-02/2011-01-05-15-01-47/11534-2012-03-28-07-42-13.html

2007 Australian Citizenship test

Australia is implementing a "Citizenship test" for people wanting to become citizens of Australia. Below is an email I received making fun of the real test which most Australians think is an absolute joke! Half of us don't know the answers to the proposed questions!

All TRUE Australians will know the answers to the following:

1. Do you understand the meaning, but are unable to explain the origin of, the term "died in the arse"?
Meaning - Failure
___________________________________

2. What is a bloody little beauty?
Meaning - a great thing
___________________________________

3. Are these terms related: chuck a sickie; chuck a spaz; chuck a U-ey?
No, 1. call in sick 2. Go crazy 3. Do a U turn
___________________________________

4. Explain the following passage: "In the arvo last Chrissy the relos rocked up for a barbie, some bevvies and a few snags. After a bit of a Bex and a lie down we opened the pressies, scoffed all the chockies, bickies and lollies. Then we drained a few tinnies and Mum did her block after Dad and Steve had a barney and a bit of biffo."

In the afternoon last Christmas, the relatives came over for a BBQ, some drinks and a few sausages. After a coffee and a sleep, we opened the presents, ate all the chocolates, biscuits and candy. We drank a few beers, and mum yelled after dad and Steve had a fight and a punch up.
__________________________________

5. Macca, Chooka and Wanger are driving to Surfers in their Torana. If they are travelling at 100 km/h while listening to Barnsey, Farnsey and Acca Dacca, how many slabs will each person on average consume between flashing a brown eye and having a slash?
___________________________

6. Complete the following sentences:
a) "If the van's rockin' don't bother ...? "Knocking"
b) You're going home in the back of a ...? "Divvy Van"
c) Fair crack of the ...? "Whip"
d) Fair suck of the ...? "Sav" (Used to inform somebody that they’re taking more than their share)
_________________________________

7. I've had a gutful and I can't be fagged. Discuss
Meaning: I've had enough and I can't be bothered
__________________________________

8. Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of a wedgie?
__________________________________

9. Do you have a friend or relative who has a car in their front yard "up on blocks"? Is his name Bruce and does he have a wife called Cheryl?
__________________________________

10. Does your family regularly eat a dish involving mincemeat, cabbage, curry powder and a packet of chicken noodle soup called either chow mein, chop suey or kai see ming?
__________________________________

11. What are the ingredients in a rissole?
__________________________________

12. Demonstrate the correct procedure for eating a Tim Tam.

Tear it open and dunk it in your milk, coffee, tea, juice....
__________________________________

13. Do you have an Aunty Irene who smokes 30 cigarettes a day and sounds like a bloke?
__________________________________

14. In any two-hour period have you ever eaten three-bean salad, a chop and two serves of pav washed down with someone else's beer that has been flogged from a bath full of ice?

Standard party procedure...
__________________________________

15. When you go to a bring-your-own-meat barbie can you eat other people's meat or are you only allowed to eat your own?

Share and share alike!!
__________________________________

16. What purple root vegetable beginning with the letter "b" is required by law to be included in a hamburger with the lot?

Answer: Beetroot
__________________________________

17. Do you own or have you ever owned a lawn mower, a pair of thongs, an Esky or Ugg boots?
__________________________________

18. Is it possible to "prang a car" while doing "circle work"?
__________________________________

19. Who would you like to crack on to?
____________________ ______________

20. Who is the most Australian: Kevin "Bloody" Wilson, John "True Blue" Williamson, Kylie Minogue or Warnie?
__________________________________

21. Is there someone you are only mates with because they own a trailer or have a pool?
_________________________________

22. What does "sinkin'” *** at a mate’s joint and “gettin’ para" mean?

Answer: Drinking booze and getting drunk

  • Intro Updated Apr 1, 2012
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Comments (89)

  • bournejames202's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2014 at 1:42 AM

    Hi Natalie...I enjoyed reading your profile and about your travel. I have noticed you haven't visited India yet. Any particular reasons?

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Hope your birthday is filled with all the fun you can handle!

  • Donna_in_India's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Happy birthday Natalie!

  • RUMISABUNCU's Profile Photo
    Oct 22, 2012 at 4:37 AM

    You have excellent and very informative VT travel pages. Greetings from sunny Antalya,TURKEY.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Much more interesting than the Uk citizenship test! what percentage of children get pocket money and how much do they get from the tooth fairy? Who speaks scouse and how many women work in the uk? .nice page!

  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Hey Natalie, "Happy Birthday", with all my best wishes ..... :)

  • DaHongHua's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Its your birthday, I used to greet the active VT friends. Today I found a friend from Dubai who are special and active since 2006. Cheers, keep every things nice up. A warm happy birthday greeting to you from Malaysia.

    • DaHongHua's Profile Photo
      Sep 16, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      Hello Natalie, after so many years on VT and you are rank close to the top 1000, why don't start to have VT friends, V > maybe the friendship is virtual but it help to some extend I think when we discuss about travelling and tour. Cheers

  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Aug 27, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Have fun in Romania! I know I'm supposed to fail the Oz test, but I got more than I was expecting... Happy belated

  • Jun 4, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    Hey Natalie, You have a nice page,cant wait to read more about your travel experience .....

  • connectingrod's Profile Photo
    Mar 15, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Hi

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Real Name
Natalie
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Member Since
Aug 29, 2006

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