This week’s Wayfarer is a very special person in my life. I met him for the first time last year and we only had about two or three weeks to get to know each other while he was visiting from Australia. However, when a boy wins over the heart of your oldest and bestest friend (that’s right, BESTEST), then that boy wins over your heart as well. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Peter Bowles.
Peter also goes by Pete or Petey, though in my head I call him Peter Parker Bowles. For some reason my brain combined Peter Parker, i.e. Spiderman, with Camilla Parker Bowles, i.e. the Duchess of Cornwall. Don’t ask me why, I question my own thinking sometimes. Anywho, Pete is an Aussie hailing from Megalong, NSW (I kid you not, that’s the actual name of his hometown). A recent graduate of Deakin University, Pete is now working at the University of Melbourne (where, coincidentally, my best friend Lauren will be graduating from in just a few days. My girl’s finished Med school!! So proud…).
Pete’s gone on a few trips in the recent past, including coming with a group of us to Cuba while him and Lauren were visiting last year. However, a few years back he went on an epic journey backpacking throughout Europe and Southeast Asia.
Pete’s inherited some crazy stories from his travels and has so far provided me with the most answers to question #6 out of all of the previous Wayfarers I’ve profiled. I guess when you’re nineteen and travelling with your mates, you’re up for anything and anything can happen.
I absolutely adore this kid and miss him to bits. Take care of my girl, Petey. I’ll hopefully be seeing you guys soon ❤
1. What countries have you visited? Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Vatican City, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba and Canada.
2. What is your favourite place to visit? Impossible question! I have so many great memories from each place I could never really pick one. But if I absolutely had to give you the top three places that I would go back to without a thought, they’d be Germany (OMG Oktoberfest), the Greek Islands, and Vietnam.
3. What’s one thing you’ve learned from your travels? To always keep an open mind. It’s easy to get cemented in your own little culture/world, but travelling can really broaden your mind if you are open to it.
4. What’s one thing you must always bring with you on a trip? Definitely music!
5. What are the top three destinations on your travel bucket list? Japan, Tibet, and the Antarctic!
6. What’s the craziest thing to have happened to you while on a trip? Toughie. I went backpacking through Europe for a year with two of my buddies when we were all nineteen – I still don’t understand how we survived haha!
Here’s a few stories, take your pick:
Side note: I decided to include all of Pete’s answers because frankly, they’re nuts…
We had mushroom-milkshakes on Koh Phangan Island in Southeast Thailand, which turned into a night of shooting fireworks at each other (I don’t know how nobody got hurt).
I knew an Australian friend was going to be at travelling around Europe with his girlfriend around the same time as us, however we’d had no communication with him since leaving home. We ended up running into him at a campsite in Munich for Oktoberfest the first night of being there!
A German friend of mine let me drive his car on the Autobahn. I didn’t have a full license, was going 150km/h, and I was driving on the opposite side of the road that I’m used to with the gears and pedals all on the different side of the car!
My friend broke a toilet in the house we were staying at in Dubrovnik, Croatia. We were going to flee (poor backpackers), but decided to tell the owner and pay for the damages. We found out that he happened to be quite high up within the local police and we probably would’ve been arrested.
One that didn’t happen to me but I always tell to anyone that is going to Thailand: the local police are quite corrupt – they make a lot of their money by getting bribes off of tourists. A couple of Americans staying down the beach from us got back from a night out, took a couple of banana lounges from where they were staying, walked directly down to the beach in front of where they were staying and slept there. The owner woke up the next morning, thought someone had stolen her chairs and rang the police. Police came and arrested the Americans, who were still on the beach in front of where they were paying to stay, and demanded a bribe of 5000 Baht (about $200). The Americans thought this was silly and refused to pay, tried to explain they were staying there, etc. They ended up in the Koh Samui police holding cells, which provide no food, water, or toilets. They had to have strangers that they had just met while travelling come and bring them food and water. They were in the cells for a month before they were released. That shit cray.