All posts by Milly Champion

I'm Milly, a 23 year old Business student from Queensland Australia. I love to play sport and I'm always on the beach, in one country or another. I've studied at universities in America and Germany and each time I travel I learn something new. I'm always looking for the next adventure and my bucket list is continually expanding! I love to write and blog to share what I know and what I've learnt travelling the world.

A Weekend Away in Byron Bay

Bryon Bay is one of Australia’s best known beach side towns, and acclaimed for being a surfing hotspot. It is located in northern New South Wales (NSW) on Australia’s east coast, around a 3-hour drive from Brisbane airport. Though Bryon Bay is a haven for surfers, it also hosts excellent scuba diving sites and is home to a conservation park headland complete with the famous white lighthouse. During certain times of the year, humpback whale migrations can also be watched from viewpoints such as the Captain Cook Lookout, or aboard tour boats.

We spent a long weekend soaking up the sights and sounds of Bryon as well as exploring the surrounding hinterland and smaller, quirkier places hidden among the hills. Bryon is a beautiful town and has become even more popular thanks to the frequent cycle of backpackers and weekend visitors. However, this has caused huge traffic problems in the Central Business District. As Bryon Bay is a place famous for its natural beauty and its ability to keep mining and excessive development away, many people felt that such heavy traffic was contributing to its loss of identity, and a lot of effort has since been put into keeping the town pristine and still attracting its visitors. Continue reading


The Open Road in Eastern Australia

During the heat of the summer holidays last year, my partner and I took a two week long trip down the East Coast of Australia. We set out from Brisbane with just our car, a tent, two surfboards and an esky. We had vague plans of stopping to stay with friends along the way but it was a liberating feeling to start out with a ‘let’s just wing it’ attitude.

I have close family friends who own property near Bendigo in Victoria and we planned to spend a big New Year’s party with them around the pool, and in the surrounding country. Living in the city can really put a strain on the most patient of us, and we both needed a break and a chance to change routine.

The distance from Brisbane to Melbourne, for those not familiar with the size of Australia, is about a 20 hour drive, and we had plenty of sights to stop at along the way. The coast road is the most scenic for tourists and provides the beaches, national parks and taste of seaside living that most visitors crave. We stopped in Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and arrived near Newcastle on the first day to stay with friends who lived right on the beach.

Author’s own

Shoal Harbour and the beaches near the city of Newcastle and further down towards the Central Coast of New South Wales are pristine, safe, and very close to hiking trails through national parks. For visitors who want to camp, there is a $5 app called Wikicamps which provides information on all of the free camp spots throughout Australia, complete with directions on how to get there and the services offered at each site. There is also an excellent book called ‘Camps: Australia Wide’ by Philip and Cathryn Fennell which gives useful information on camp grounds, some free, some not, and a lot of pictures to help readers find that perfect spot.

We took mostly inland roads on the way down and there are so many camps to stop at along the way, which is by far the cheapest and most interesting way to see Australia. Driving can be boring, but it is flexible and gives the opportunity to stop whenever and wherever you like! Continue reading


From the Sunshine Coast to the Indian Ocean: Aussie Surfer Goes West

Kununurra is an isolated but scenically beautiful area in the far north of Western Australia. It’s located at the eastern extremity of the scenic hills and ranges of the Kimberley Region, bordering the Northern Territory.

Local scraper operator Peter Shaw has been working the farming fields on the outskirts of Kununurra for the last six months and believes the area is a ‘hidden gem’ in Australia’s remote outback. In his time away from his home on the Sunshine Coast, Peter has extensively explored, hiked and camped his way around the area and been to some of the most secretive places known only to the locals. He credits his adventures to long-time local Phil Bloomfield, who took pride in the unique surroundings and spent many weekends giving Peter some of the ‘best times of his life.’

Photographer: Peter Shaw

Photographer: Peter Shaw

There is an airport located in Kununurra, but the best mode of transport in this area is definitely by four-wheel-drive, and to access Peter’s recommended sights it is essential. Hiking is one of Peter’s favourite activities and some of the views from the mountain ranges are something few people have seen. The area around Kununurra produces a very dry heat throughout the winter and, heading into the summer season, it is often hit with torrential rain and humidity. These extreme temperatures can make it a difficult place to call home, but they do not detract from its appeal to those who do.

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My Road Trip Along the West Coast of Denmark: ‘Cold Hawaii’

I wasn’t sure what to expect in the Nordic country of Denmark, and truthfully, didn’t know much about it. But after a wholehearted invitation from a good friend I met while studying in America, I knew it was a country I needed to explore.

Most travellers visit the capital of Copenhagen and continue their travels on to Sweden or Norway, however I started my adventures flying from Geneva to Billund, the second largest airport in Denmark, which was tiny. Throughout my week’s stay, I didn’t even venture to the capital, but I can definitely say I was not disappointed.


Aarhus is very cheap to fly to from the UK with airlines such as Ryanair, so if you fancy a slice of Denmark, get on Skyscanner and start booking! (Photographer: jenniferjoan; Flickr)

Henrik, my good friend, was on holiday from his university in Aarhus and was relaxing on his parents’ farm near a small town called Tønder in Jutland. The area was far from unattractive but Denmark is definitely one of the flattest countries I’ve been to so far. We drove through little towns and down towards the German border, where Henrik pointed out his old high school and filled me in on his life since we last saw each other way back in May.

His parents’ farm was lovely; they grow a lot of berries and grain and live in an old country house with about four or five outbuildings for housing their pickers in the harvesting season. It’s a really unique, green and quiet area and one of the things I didn’t realise is that although Denmark is a small country, they have two very different dialects; sometimes people from the North and the South (only a few hours’ drive apart) are unable to communicate with each other. Henrik explained that his parents, both born and raised in Jutland (the South) have a hard time communicating with his girlfriend who is from Aarhus further north, and he needs to switch between proper Danish and his family’s dialect to keep up. Adding in the English he needed to speak for me and the German to communicate over the border, I can understand how confusing it must be.

Eric Gross

Head to Jutland to hear different dialects, see different countryside and enjoy more of the Danish coast. (Photographer: Eric Gross; Flickr)

In Denmark things are done differently to in Australia; Henrik’s younger sister, who is 16, had just left home for school, which is quite common, whereas in Australia most students stay at home for as long as possible and either travel to university or study by distance, such as myself. It was so interesting to be able to be a part of a different lifestyle rather than just an observer. English is quite a commonly used language in Denmark and, according to Henrik, this is ‘because we realised Danish is a pretty useless language for anywhere outside our country.’

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Intercultural Communication

This topic can be controversial to a lot of people, particularly those who have only travelled a little, or not at all. Travelling to a new country, particularly one whose culture, language and traditions are completely different to yours, can be one of the most wonderful, difficult and liberating experiences of your life.

A lot of perceptive people who have studied, lived or experienced life abroad, experience different stages of intercultural sensitivity. Many people who have travelled for long periods and returned home to their native culture find their cultural adjustment just as hard. You cannot not communicate, and it is essential that individuals recognise the stages as they move through them. The three main stages are cognitive, affective and behavioural and are based on our own interpretations of culture.

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