I’m delighted to present an exclusive sneak peek book excerpt for my new travel memoir ‘Backpacker to Nomad’
What’s Backpacker to Nomad? It’s my new travel memoir, chronicling the evolution from naive newbie to full-time traveller through my adventure & misadventures.
Backpacker to Nomad overview:
Through the thrills and spills of his early calamitous struggles with solo travel to the crazy adventures and misadventures he encounters with travel companions, from Australia to Southeast Asia comfort zones are smashed, crippling fears are faced, there’s the odd brush with death and the realities of long-term travel hit hard. While despair is never far away this remarkable journey feels like living in an alternate reality – But it isn’t, It’s British backpacker Amit’s new nomadic life.
Amit shares a collection of candid, thought provoking yet humorous travel stories from a ‘take the rough with the smooth five year journey. He provides a unique perspective on life, shows the transformation he undertakes from backpacker to nomad and reveals just why he cannot return to ‘normal’ life in this travel memoir sure to fill you wanderlust and laughs!
If you love travel adventures, discovery, escaping reality to drift off to lands far and wide this is the book you need to pick up.
Book Launched: July 27th 2022
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Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy …..
Campervanning New Zealand overview
The unbreakable promise was broken, an impromptu decision was made, a new country, a new beginning, home was campervanning new Zealand and getting lost was the game. Amit & his traveling friend wondered into what seemed like an opening scene of a horror movie where he experienced both the most surreal & unexplainable freakish moment of his life.
lost again campervanning New Zealand
“You are such a dickhead, Amit—not again!”
It wasn’t the usual soft southern German accent floating across from the driver’s seat to the passenger side of the campervan. It was stern, and a good job Alex was still driving. The tarmac on the road outside had turned to loose white stone, like an old dry dirt road not used in years as the bushes grew thicker and taller either side of it. There hadn’t been a single vehicle pass us in hours.
Although my finger traced along the map resting on my lap, it didn’t feel right. It had been hours since we left the wide-open sprawling highway. In our—well, in my—infinite wisdom, I suggested to come off the highway and follow what I thought would be a scenic route to the campsite. I may have been wrong, the highway provided the view of rolling green hills and this route provided bushes closing up on us. But I couldn’t admit that.
“What do you mean ‘not again’?” I asked, knowing what the response would be.
“We are lost again. All the time getting lost!”
There was no need to look to know her nostrils were flaring—her tone said it all.
Yup, we are 100% lost, not a clue where we are, probably should have just stuck to the main highway. This map doesn’t look right either.
Lost in New Zealand was the game
“No, we’re not lost… look, the map says we’re going the right way. It’s OK, just keep going.”
“How can I look, dickhead? I am driving, but I do not believe. I know you too well. And, of course, I keep going. I’m not just going to stop in the middle of nothingness. Dickhead!”
Since getting lost on the very first night heading up to the most north tip of the country, it had become our thing, getting lost was a regular occurrence, the only difference was that this time, it was in the heartlands of the North Island. Before the coast was always reachable, tonight, having left behind the rotten-egg-smelling, sulphur-fuelled Rotorua, we were heading further inland.
No plans while backpacking New Zealand
Rotorua, along with the Coromandel and abseiling into the Waitomo Caves just outside Hamilton, had been the highlights so far. The sulphur park, the natural hot springs, geysers erupting, the Mauri experience, learning the Haka, eating food cooked under the ground—all had been amazing experiences. But the foul eggy stench of sulphur would not be missed.
I couldn’t take all the blame for getting lost… we had both decided not to plan anything except for a general idea of direction—from Auckland to Christchurch, touring both islands. We wanted to freestyle it because of both our experiences travelling Australia with everything planned and organised. This trip was unplanned, discovering and finding things as we go, so technically, we had never got lost—just discovered, like the true explorers we were.
Along with the map, a book listing all the campsites in New Zealand also lay open. We bought the book after we had got lost on that first night, massively failing to find a campsite. However, since acquiring the book, it hadn’t stopped us from getting lost, but we had found some amazing places. Wild camping in New Zealand was quite popular and there had been some incredible locations with the most breath-taking scenery. Hopefully, tonight, we would stumble on another or I was going to be in trouble.
“According to the book, there should be a campsite close by, in about a mile—sorry, kilometre. There will be another road to turn off, we just follow that down and the campsite should be right there. See, I know what I’m doing. We’re just discovering, that’s all.”
Tall thick trees replaced the bushes on either side of the road started to close up like they were swallowing the van up. Branches from both sides enveloped us and intertwined over each other, keeping the sunlight out to create a natural tunnel. Loose gravel churned against the rubber tyres, kicking up against the white van, causing Alex to slow right down.
“Wow, looks like an enchanted forest, where are the fairies?” Her face lit up. Her smile was back as she took it in.
“See, if we stuck to the highway and main roads, you wouldn’t have got to see this,” I said with a smug grin.
“Yes, that is true. OK, I do not mind. Amit did good.”
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Follow British backpacker Amit’s humorous wild ride into nomad life. From his early calamitous struggles with solo travel, the odd brush with death, to ghetto snobbing (his words), it’s been a ‘take the rough with the smooth’ type of journey
Don’t just imagine the journey – see it through this FREE photo album
A bit of off roading
The campervan started to bounce around, potholes who knows how old started to get deeper, but it was the perfect condition for one thing. A new skill I was forced to learn in New Zealand was to roll my own cigarettes rather than buy readymade, simply because it was too expensive. The only issue was, I sucked at rolling unless it was on a bumpy road.
The road became only slightly smoother as the branches above unlaced a little, letting beams of sunlight through like punctured holes in a box, but the campervan came to a stop. Alex’s dainty fingers slid over the map, following the route, murmuring something in Bavarian before starting back up. It wasn’t long before a gorge started to reveal itself as the treeline grew thinner; the gravelled road ran alongside a fading river, it might have been raging in its glory years, but it was nothing more than a shallow wide stream now.
We’re, like, proper lost, there aren’t even any birds flying around. She is gonna be pissed big time.
The stream disappeared as the vegetation got thicker. This was the heartland of the North Island. The further we drove, the further we sank into thicker vegetation
North Island New Zealand horror movie opening Scene!
The rusty sign didn’t exactly fill me with confidence, in fact, it looked more at home in the opening scene of a horror movie the way it hung on by a lonely nail on a broken post.
“Amit, this does not look right. I do not like. I have the… how do you say, creepy crawly.”
“Yes, this. What is it? Heeby-jeeb? This not real, you make these words up. Amit language?”
She turned off on to a tighter gravel road than the previous one.
“No, they’re real words. But, yeah, it does look a little sketchy… I think we might need to update the book. Not my fault.”
My words were cut short as everything started to get tossed around, the maps went flying as did the backpacks and bedding in the back and anything else that wasn’t fastened down. The kettle, bottles of water, our snacks were all jumping around like the campervan was possessed.
If I hadn’t had my seatbelt on, I would have joined the splattered mosquitoes on the grey ceiling. A 4×4 was required to get down this road—not this old ex-rental campervan that we’d picked up for cheap.
maybe we're a bit too lost!
There was no way campervans came down here on a regular basis. Alex had to manoeuvre off the road and on to the long grass for fear of snapping the chassis underneath. As had been proven with previous breakdowns of this campervan, neither of us were mechanics—well, we were clueless. However, the old girl was proving she still could dance.
A huge huff from Alex flew in my direction like a spear—I was in the doghouse, that was for sure, especially as she hadn’t called me a dickhead in a while. Slowly rolling along the grass, her sighs and grunts were saying everything. To make it worse, the bushes either side of us started to close in, scraping up against the van from either side, forcing us back on to the potholed death trap of a dry muddy track. My eyes flicked over to her as she wrestled with the steering wheel she was about to lose control!
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This was just the start of the campervanning new zealand story, nothing is ever how it seems, adventures can easily turn into misadventures on the drop of the hat and not revealed itself yet.
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