The lovely Julia Murphy told me the other day that she considered herself ISIW’s Number 1 Fan, so I thought she would be the perfect candidate for ISIW’s first interview 😉 Here’s a photo of her in Lauterbrunn, Switzerland!
Thank you Julia for being willing to share your travel experience with me and the rest of the world! x
Tell me a bit about yourself.
First of all, thank you for asking me to be a part of your newest feature on ISIW! I am so excited to share my travel experiences.
I was born and raised in the heart of Melbourne. I have been calling this city, my home, for the last twenty – three years. That’s right, I am twenty – three years old. What else I can say about myself? Currently, I am studying for a Bachelor of Education (Primary). I don’t like talking about myself much… But most people who know me would say that I am a very positive and happy – go – lucky person. I think that my glass is ‘half full’, never half empty. After travelling around Europe, it is safe to say that I absolutely love travelling and if I want something like that, it just doesn’t go away until I do something about it!
What was your recent travel experience?
I flew to Perth, Australia for five days this month and it was a lovely and relaxing getaway. However, my biggest travel experience was undoubtedly Europe! I travelled there from July to September this year with my friend. We went to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Madrid, and Sofia in Bulgaria for Deaflympics. Then we began our 18 day tour with Contiki which started in Amsterdam then went to Berlin, Prague, Munich, Hopfgarten, Venice, Rome, Florence, Lauterbrunn, and finally Paris. It was crazy but awesome! After these adventures we travelled to magical London and then our final country was beautiful Vienna in Austria.
How did travel change you?
So much, and in many ways. It changed my views about this world, the people I am surrounded by, my respect for so many different cultures and most of all, my identity as a Deaf person. Before I left Australia for Europe, I would say that I am not an “out there” person. I was quite a reserved person for some reason and always keen to please others in order to make them happy. I believe that I am now confident with who I am, I am open to new experiences with no fear and, I have learnt how to be a realist and to remain calm in any situations. I also found my love for travelling. I just want to keep going and doing more! I didn’t realise that I have this passion until I came home. I am so hungry for more adventures and am constantly thinking about other destinations for travel. I just want to explore and find a little bit more about myself every time I leave home. It is quite refreshing. It is exhilarating! Like skydiving!
What are your travel tips?
– Buy travel essentials at Kathmandu – it was my favourite shop when I was packing for Europe – and still is.
– If you are going away to many countries like I did; carry a backpacker – it is so easy, pick it up and carry. Do not bring a suitcase because you will have to drag it everywhere. I have seen that from my experience and it is pretty funny to look back on that now.
– Pack light. Roll up all your clothes. Don’t bring too many along either, you can always buy new clothes while you travel.
– I bought an anti – theft bag at Strandbags, very handy and I felt safe with it.
– Divide your money; I did that when I was out by keeping some money on me (pockets with zips) and some money in a bag I carried. If stolen, you will never lose too much!
– Be sure to carry small notes and coins. Do not pull out, for instance; €40 for an ice cream that costs €3. I did that when I was out to buy small meals and souvenirs etc.
– For expensive purchases; use your travel card (yes, you might get a fee for that but it is also not safe to carry a lot of notes… In my case – I bought an expensive dress with my Load and Go travel card!)
This is all that I could think of, hope it helps! I survived!
What did you like the most about Europe?
I LOVED everything about Europe! It is so different from what I see in my everyday life. I loved having some small interactions with local people, it was so easy because English is not my first language and the same goes for them, mostly. I mimed, pointed at things, and used Google translation to talk in their languages. It was quite surreal but an amazing and rewarding experience.
I loved the fact I was dressed like people in Europe! It was summer when I was there, so it was so casual, you could wear your thongs to a nightclub and dance the night away in clothes that you are comfortable with! Londoners wear their Converse shoes everywhere, I don’t see it here very much and I love Converse so I didn’t feel like I was a clown when I was there. I just love London, I do.
Some cities, I just fell in love with their culture, lifestyle and charismatic people! I loved Barcelona instantly. It is such a refreshing, lively and excitable city to be in! The landmarks and architecture is so stunning in Europe especially when I walked up to the top of Park Güell in Barcelona and it just blew me away. Venice was so beautiful and out of this world – no cars, just boats and ferries. I loved those little alley ways and I stumbled along those streets to discover something special. Another town that I would treasure for the rest of my life would be Lauterbrunn in Switzerland. It was so exquisite, a breathtaking and magnificent place to experience and a day trip to Jungfraujoch – the top of Europe, was the most memorable day of my entire trip there.
I love doing extreme adventures – so I did a bike ride and paragliding in Hopfgarten, Austria. That was an amazing day. Then I did that crazy flying fox through the air of Jungfraujoch – top of Europe in Switzerland! It was absolutely brilliant and I was on such high from there! I LOVED getting lost in Europe because I had all the time in the world. I was in no hurry to do anything that is ‘so’ important. It was quite nice to not stress for once, and travel at my own pace to explore and discover. I can just talk for hours and hours about this. It was just incredible.
Why did you choose to go to Europe?
It was very simple and clear to me that I was not enjoying what I was doing. University was dull and the motivation wasn’t simply there. I am the kind of person who never does anything half hearted and I wanted to be the best I could be. I deferred university for a while and I am glad to say that it is one of best decisions in my life. I also knew I needed some life experiences and I was missing my family, who live in Scotland, like crazy. I felt I was missing something in my life and I thought that travelling could do the trick. It did!
Where would you like to go next?
After my amazing adventure in Europe, I am a victim of this illness called the “Travel Bug”. I would love to go New Zealand or Canada! Their landscapes are so picturesque and breathtaking. Enough said.
Who’s the next lucky person, I wonder…? 😉