I’m delighted to present an exclusive sneak peek book excerpt for my new travel memoir ‘Backpacker to Nomad’
If you are a regular reader, you will know since the pandemic hit, I’ve turned my attention to writing books about long-term travel life and over the past year I started work on my first travel memoir. However if you were not aware let me just give you a little insight. I started traveling in 2010 and didn’t return home to England until a global pandemic put a pause on my crazy nomadic life.
Backpacker to Nomad overview:
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 for British budget backpacker, Amit!
This selection of humorous yet thought-provoking travel tales dives into the adventures, discoveries, and despair of Amit’s nomadic life. He gets into sticky situations others may think twice about, especially when he’s trapped with a lunatic pilot enroute to a deserted island in Australia, scaling active volcanoes in New Zealand completely underprepared (not his smartest move), or getting propositioned by opium-addicted locals in Southeast Asian jungles to name a few of the soaring highs and crashing lows he shares.
Amit’s life isn’t normal and provides a unique perspective on long-term travel, but these true travel stories will fuel wanderlust for armchair travellers and free-spirits alike.
Book Launched: July 27th 2022
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Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy castaway trip Australia
Kamakaze Pilot & castaway trip overview
Adventures could turn into misadventures with the flip of a coin for Amit, even with a new found purpose & a promise that couldn’t be broken. A year & a half into this reality he felt experienced and ready for the latest adventure, but life hadn’t stopped messing with him. Some harrowing news shook Amit to the core, not to mention being trapped with a Kamikaze pilot & the castaway trip Australia!
Castaway trip Australia with a kamikaze pilot
Holy fuck, what are you doing, you crazy lunatic? You’re going to kill us!
No actual words could come out while my skin clenched as tight as my teeth, and my fingers dug into the pleather seat. All my excitement had evaporated—a noise that shouldn’t come out of a twenty-eight-year-old man escaped again as my eyes bulged, nearly popping out of their sockets. Not just my guts, but all internal organs slammed against my throat. The voices within were screaming, even inner demons were hanging on for dear life.
What the hell did I do to deserve this? cried one.
The other wept, I don’t wanna die like this, please don’t kill me!
A highlight reel of my life started to flash by as the ocean lifted to swallow the plummeting plane. My body didn’t need any help from the vibrating plane to shake uncontrollably—fear was doing that all by itself. I braced for impact, with my heart ready to explode, this was how it would all end. It was all over…
…Two hours earlier
“This one’s still fresh, check it out, guts and everything,” called out Tom.
He flipped his red baseball cap backwards, jumping and leaning over the carcass. Flies and bugs were already feasting on it as I joined, leaning over, but the stench was too foul. We were no vets, but it didn’t look more than a few hours dead. My sunglasses slid back on as I jumped away. The grassy ditch along this side of the never-ending main road was like a kangaroo graveyard. The mystery was where they came from—there were no live kangaroos jumping around through the tree lines or in the fields either side of the road.
“Do you reckon I can get to its teeth?” asked Tom innocently.
“Yeah, sure, just like the dead shark on Fraser Island,” I mocked from a distance.
“That was covered in maggots, I would have got it out if there weren’t so many people watching.” His head snapped back, shaking a little.
“Sure you would.”
He gave up investigating the kangaroo and trying to extract a tooth. Both of us scanned the tree line once more; if there were any kangaroos, they were doing a good job of hiding. Dead wild animals had become a theme on this journey up Australia’s east coast. Dead kangaroos were the latest, from a decomposing humpback whale, a dead tiger shark, giant spiders, mono-lizards, and a couple of dead snakes. We had also been lucky enough to see live sharks, stingrays, snakes, copious variants of lizards, and my personal highlight—a humpback dive out of the water in the Whitsundays right in front of us. The death-to-live ratio was quite balanced.
“Will you two stop messing around? We’re going to be late. You don’t have to stop at every animal you see.”
Vicky’s dark bobbed hair bounced back as she maintained a distance between us. Four of us, friends from the Funkhouse Hostel in Sydney, were on this trip up the east coast together. Our latest stop was the small coastal town of Agnes Water ad on our way to a castaway trip Australia. Tom caught up to Vicky, swinging his arm around and pointing back towards the kangaroo carcass, but she wasn’t interested.
Both were English, Tom was a very boyish typical Brit abroad from the coastal town of Ipswich or somewhere in Essex—it was hard to tell at times. Vicky was from the north of England. They, like me, were on working holiday visas, but this was their first year while I was on my second-year visa. We had all become good friends in the Funkhouse Hostel after I had returned, following a short stint back in England.
That giant ball of fire was flexing its might high in the sky. After feeling deadly scorching temperatures in the arse-end of Australia, also known as Mildura, anything less was manageable. However, shade was still needed and the high tree line on this side of the road provided the perfect cover.
Life messing with me
As usual, nothing was straightforward. Life loved to fuck with me, and over these past few months, it had turned sadistic. It’s like it opens its arms up, provides amazing experiences and moments, lets me touch and taste happiness, then wraps a baseball bat around my head. It even tried to mess with me while returning to Australia, making me sweat. If it wasn’t for proof in the form of pictures that I did, in fact, in complete my farm work, I’d be back in England again. Permanently. That, it seemed, was just for its own amusement. It was the far more serious issue that had started to plague this trip.
There wasn’t a cloud in the perfectly blue sky except for the one above my head, which grew darker and heavier by the day. My friends back in Sydney and those here with me had tried their best to help it from playing on my mind, but it was right there festering in my brain any time I was alone. It’s nearly ruined this trip on more than one occasion and have been close to just going back to Sydney to get answers, but as I’ve been informed so many times, there is nothing I can do right now.
“Shit, he’s thinking about it again. No, no, no, get it out of your head,” implored Tom as he spun on his heels, waiting for me to catch up. Shaking his head, he continued, “Mate, you’re not allowed to walk alone, we’re not having a repeat of Nusa Dua.”
Not my fault
“Can’t help it, how can I just let it go? Until it gets sorted, it’s always gonna linger.” My shoulder lifted and dropped instantly while catching up to their concerned faces.
“Yeah, I get that, but you can’t do anything about it. You know the score, geeza, you know what they said. Just let them do what they need to. We all know even if you went back, you will just get angry and start throwing head-butts around and make it worse.”
From the moment I heard the news while in Brisbane, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Something like this could only happen to me, only I had this type of luck. But all my friends were right—there was nothing I could physically do about it.
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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
Castaway trip australia inbound
“Come on, you’re about to go on an incredible adventure, remember how excited you were about it when we booked it? Try not to think about that, think of what we’re about to experience. Even I’m excited about the next few days.” Vicky’s skinny tanned arm flung around my shoulder.
“Will you lot hurry up? I’m tired, we’re the only ones walking. Why couldn’t we get a taxi like everybody else? You idiots making me walk.”
A screech broke through the air from blondie in the distance—the fourth friend. It was a long walk, the receptionist in the hostel said it was only a short walk into town. In Australian terms, it might have been short, but in English terms, it was fucking miles. Tom shook his head, laughing, but held his hands up to acknowledge.
Read full castaway trip australia story in new travel memoir
This was just the start of the 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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