Andrew's Big Gap Year

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Hello NZ
Hello New Zealand!

Currently sitting in Auckland International Airport wating for my connecting flight to Christchurch. Only got an hour or so to wait so shouldn’t be too bad. Flight here was pretty good actually, only really took just under 5 hours. Did the usual things, watched some movies, documentaries etc and was lucky to have the two seats next to me free so manages to get an hour’s sleep. Time difference here in New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the UK.

Spoke with the hostel just there and I’ve got my transport organised and they will be waiting with my key when I arrive. Really looking forward to getting there as the reviews were great and it has a great feel to it.

If anyone needs to call me then you will need to find the NZ code for my mobile and I’m not sure too sure what it is.

Should be in Christchurch by 22.00 and tucked up in bed by 23.00 or at the bar depending on how I feel.

Updates will be more frequent now as I will have some more free time.


A weeks worth of updates for Dad
Wow, I really haven’t updated this for a while, sorry dad.

As most of you will know I have decided to return to Oz in January on a Sponsored VISA from work. Hogs Breath will be the company I will be working for and they see me progression to General Manager of one of there store within the near future. Not going to lie, was one hell of a tough decision but I think it’s the right one. Worst comes to the worst I can always come home.

Just finished housekeeping now. Finding it more and more difficult to get out of bed every morning when but when you only have to pay 150 buck for 6 weeks rent it’s worth it. I am however looking forward to lying in bed longer than 9am each morning when I get there.
Great news also! Rich will be joining me in New Zealand. He will arrive the day after I so it looks like our trail of carnage will continue over the Tasman Sea. Really happy about that.
3 months and I’ll be home guys, more or less 14 weeks...not long eh!

Just back from the show and it was good wee evening. Myself, Krystal and her two friends Xhulio and Revecca went along. Luckily the weather stayed dry and we all had a good time. Up early tomorrow for housekeeping so heading to bed shortly. Off Tomorrow lunch but back in at night to do what I do best....dominate the stats!

Sleep tight.

p.s. just found out I’ll be sent to QLD when I return to be trained by head office. Not even Krystal has received this type of training so I’m glad I made this decision as they hopefully see big things from me and want to move me up fast.

What a weekend that was. Sunday was crazy as it’s father’s day here in Australia. Restaurant was full for most of the day and we did just shy of 500 covers. Was good to sit down with the guys after and have a few beers and talk about the day etc. Working tomorrow afternoon then heading to the Royal Adelaide Show with Krystal. Will enjoy a night off with her and hopefully get her on some of the rides.

Goodnight guys.

Busy night at work last night. Did around 180 for dinner which was good considering the weather was really poor. Going to be a manic weekend though s its Fathers Day on Sunday so should keep me busy. Only off Sunday next week so heading to the Royal Adelaide Shows with Krystal on Monday night after my shift. Hopefully the weather will stay dry for us. Well on a triple today (housekeeping the double at hogs) so better grab some late breakfast before I start.

Have a good day

Is Tuesday 15th September and I’m lying in bed thinking about all the great friends I’ve made and memories I have of Australia. I guess it’s just starting to sink in that I’m leaving in 5 days. In one hand I’m so excited about spending time with Rich, seeing a new country and meeting new people but the other hand is one of slight sadness as I’m leaving. I’m just very fortunate that I’ve made some great friends and that I have an amazing girlfriend who understands and is actually happy that I’m going travelling more (on the basis that I’m coming back though). So just getting things organised just now. Money, visa’s, what to do etc. In a strange way it feels like I’ve been working the last 6 weeks non-stop and now I’m about to go on holiday again. Heading to Christchurch on Monday and then making our way down to Queenstown to meet some friends. From what I’ve seen/heard we could be in Queenstown for quite sometime. Working tonight so just getting all the boring stuff down before I go to Hogs and dominate the stats again with my up sells/extras. Millsy Millsy!

Wow, I really haven’t updated this for a while, sorry dad.
As most of you will know I have decided to return to Oz in January on a Sponsored VISA from work. Hogs Breath will be the company I will be working for and they see me progression to General Manager of one of there store within the near future. Not going to lie, was one hell of a tough decision but I think it’s the right one. Worst comes to the worst I can always come home.

Just finished housekeeping now. Finding it more and more difficult to get out of bed every morning when but when you only have to pay 150 buck for 6 weeks rent it’s worth it. I am however looking forward to lying in bed longer than 9am each morning when I get there.
Great news also! Rich will be joining me in New Zealand. He will arrive the day after I so it looks like our trail of carnage will continue over the Tasman Sea. Really happy about that.

3 months and I’ll be home guys, more or less 14 weeks...not long eh!

Belated Update
Just checked out of Aquarius in Byron and waiting for our bus to take us to Coffs Harbour. Looking forward to it as me has also not been there before. Our Premier bus isn’t until 4.35 so a wee wait but luckily I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allison and Jocelyn.
You may remember these girls from Glenelg. I worked with Allison in Hogs Breath and we all lived together in the hostel. Really nice girls from New York who I would love to meet up with again. They have just done a road trip from Broome to East Coast so many stories to tell.
On a more serious note, Jamie just ‘skegged’ me at reception and unbeknown to him I only had my swimming shorts on so the whole reception just saw everything I’ve got to offer. Was pretty pissed off at first but in hindsight it was pretty funny and the girls behind the desk didn’t seem to mind. If anything it gives me an excuse to get him back at a later date.
Enjoyed my time in Byron, shame the weather wasn’t better but you make the most of the situations and luckily we had some good roommates who were up for a laugh and a few beers.
Doubt I’ll be back here again this year so Byron, thanks for the memories!

Just arrived in Coffs Harbour. It’s pretty late here at the Premier bus service didn’t get here till 9.30 so going to have a quiet night and explore tomorrow. Hostel seems very quiet so a good night’s sleep should be had.
Today Jamie and I got up fairly early and took a walk down to the harbour. It’s a lovely spot and thankfully the sun was shining so that meant one thing...jumping off the jetty. Now as you all know Jamie likes to think of himself as a bit of a legend and that he’ll d anything. So he took his top off and looked at the water for about 2 hours. So I decided to step in and show him how it was done. Jamie turns his back for a split second and Andy boy nailed a double reverse back flip pike, while pigeon chested Jamie thought of another excuse as to why not to jump. Water was pretty warm so after a few more jumps (including Jamie this time) we decided to head into town and get some food.
We realised that the hostel hired bikes so we took them up on that and cycled into town. Now as you can imagine after 5-6 minutes the novelty of riding a bike in a foreign country wears off so it led to many collisions, right hooks and Jamie almost taking out a bunch of school kids. Was fun though!
Just about to head out for a few beers at the ‘Coast Hotel’ and watch the footy. Checking out tomorrow at 10am and then have to wait until 21.20 this evening to get the bus to Sydney. Have decided to skip Port Macquarie and go straight there as it gives us 4 full days in Sydney. I’ve booked us into ‘Wake Up’ which won the ‘Best backpacker hostel in Australia ‘last year, so it must be doing something right’.
Just checked out and too be honest the weather isn’t great today so we’ll need to be adventurous with what we do. Hopefully the sun will shine later.
Just arrived in Sydney and thankfully the weather looks alot more promising than further up the coast. I’ve booked us unto ‘Wake Up’ for 2 nights at the moment but we’ll be here for 4 days in total so either book longer or move somewhere else. It’s 6.30 am here and we are just off the premier service from Coffs Harbour. 8.5 hours on a bus would seem like a long time back home but after travelling over Australia it really isn’t much at all! Need to wait until 7 before we can check in and hopefully get a few hours before we check out what Sydney has to offer.

So a busy first day for both of us. After a few hours sleep we got up and embarked on the city walk around Sydney. Around 3.5 hours long we enjoyed the sunshine but most importantly the sights. Chinatown, Paddy’s Market, Darling Harbour, Opera House, Circular Quay and Harbour Bridge to name a few. After that we decided to do what most Aussie’s do...have a pint. So we took position at the Opera bar which as it suggest is an open bar next to the Opera House. Nothing better than having a pint of ale in the sunshine next to one of the most iconic images in the world. wasn’t bad either. After that I got in contact with my friend Moe who I met up with in Cairns. Met up with him for a bit and then headed back to the hostel. Going to have a quiet night tonight as still a bit tired.

So after a good night’s rest Jamie and I jumped on the Sydney Sightseeing Bus. After sitting on birdshit (which I had to get off and clean off at the 3rd stop) Jamie and I embarked on a journey through Sydney with audio reference to the sights. Wasn’t a great day so perfect thing to do. After that we popped into the cinema and watched Toy Story 3 which I have to say was fantastic. Not too sure what we’re doing tonight but I’m sure it will involve some form of violence.
Happy Birthday Krystal, big old 22. Have a great night with everyone

So Jamie and I just spent the last few days in Sydney checking out the sights. Today we went on a boat cruise to Clarke Island and enjoyed and Aboriginal Culture Show. Nothing much planned for tonight as up early for our 8.45am flight to Melbourne.
Just arrived in St.Kilda and I’m absolutely shattered. Only staying here 1 night as heading to the Great Ocean Road tomorrow. Nothing else to report, I’m going to bed.

Currently lying in bed in our accommodation on the Great Ocean Road. Today e drove all the way from Melbourne to Princetown stopping of at various viewpoints along the way and finally stopping t the ‘Twelve Apostles’. Jamie and I then took a helicopter rider over the Great Ocean Road/Apostles and I have to say it was incredible. It’s amazing what you can see from there air but I have never been in a helicopter before and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Tired again tonight so probably going to have an early one as up early tomorrow to check out some more sights along the road.
So After a day of more or less driving we arrived back in Adelaide around 4.30pm. A quick ride on the tram and we were in Glenelg. A quick change of clothes and it was up to Hogs for a s steak. Was great to see Krystal and her usual chirpy self (although she did find it weird at first). After dinner we decided to head to the bar for a few drinks. This is when things got messy!
Jason and Ads had been at the footy all day so they were fairly tanked up when I saw them. After having a few beers with them it became a ‘free bar’ and Jamie was the first to take advantage of this. Was great to see him talking and making friends with all my friends and having a good time. I was feeling really tired so around 22.00 I decided to call it a night. Jamie decided to head to the ‘Grand’ with a few of my co-workers which, well looking at him just now (the next morning) seems to have been a good one. Unbeknown to me however, it appears that when he was walking back past Hogs (circa 3.00) the door was open so he thought he would pop up and see If I was there). I wasn’t there but it didn’t stop Jamie drinking till the small hours while I was tucked uo sound asleep in bed. Anyway he stormed in at around 3.30am and mumbled something about how awesome Glenelg is and then fell straight asleep. Currently 9.30 am but think it’s going to be a while before he wakens up. Krystal coming over at 12 to take us both on a drive around Adelaide so he can see the sights and what not.

Not update this bad boy for a while so thought I’d give it a go. Got 3 weeks in Oz left and then i’m off to New Zealand. Can’t believe that It’s almost up, seems like yesterday I was in Sydney meeting Brian and Kym for the first time. Got a big decision to make this week with regards to what I’m doing next year. As soon as I know, I’ll let you all know. Working tonight at 5.30pm so just chilling until then. Went go karting on Tuesday again and luckily I retained my title as Karting champion. Standings were as follows:
1 Millsy
2 Haggis
3 Jason
4 Ads
5 Mel
6 Andy
7 Krystal
8 Jackie
Still undefeated!!

Been A Long Time
Hey guys,

Sorry for the lack of updates but been a busy few months to be honest. Has been great to have seen the family and although it’s sad mum and dad are now back home it makes the thought of seeing them in 5 months more exciting. Jamie still here for another few weeks before he heads home.
Currently in Byron Bay and have been here for two nights and leave tomorrow for Coffs Harbour before making our way to Sydney.

Unfortunately Jamie and I didn’t get a chance to go on our whale tour the last couple of days as the weather not been too good. Thinking about doing a skydive so will let you know how the progresses.

Having a quiet night tonight as was a fair big session last night with myself and Jamie stealing the show with karaoke! It’s funny how you feel at the start of the night that there is no chance of you singing but after a few beers you can’t keep us of that thing!

I promise there will be updates on a more regular basis now.
Hope your all well

What is life...?
Hello all

Been a fairly quiet week to be honest. Started housekeeping officially on Thursday 27th May with Kara. Unfortunately we were both slightly hungover from the nigth before but we managed to pull through. Ok, If I’m being totally honest, Kara was as much use as a chocolate teapot. I was very close to knocking her out but I held back.

Was working last night and had good shift but head office were in so Krystal was a bit stressed as she was the manager in charge. We went out for a few drinks after work just to wind down and as usual Krystal was pretty merry by the end of it. (She is only 5 foot so it doesn’t take her much to send her on her way.....reminds me of someone back home actually, can’t think of who though).

So not too sure what I’ll be doing today. My legs are killing me from the gym yesterday so might take it easy and just watch a few dvds or something.
Been thinking a lot again about what to do upon my return to the UK and for the first time I’m starting to regret not getting my 2nd year visa. I never had the intention of staying longer but feel really comfortable and safe and would happily stay.

Sometimes life at the moment feels like 1 long dream and I’ll wake up and be in the same job back home with limited social life and a love life worse than Edwards Dowds. I’m so glad I came travelling because It puts things into perspective. Why do a job that looks good on your CV, makes you respected but most of the time makes you so mad and upset that you don’t want to do it anymore but you feel like you have no choice when you can go and travel, become wiser, meet some amazing people and most importantly find out who you are. Life is too short, smile be happy and for me most importantly love every minute of life. I’m just fortunate that I have an amazing family that have supported me in everything I’ve done. Love you all.

Wow, that got pretty intense don’t you think? Oh well, not often you get that sort of chat from me so enjoy it.

Speak soon

p.s Kara just spilt juice on my bed, time for a beatdown!!!

Life of a backpacker
Ok so I’ll need to keep this as short as possible because I’m working soon.

Ok, now before you start judging please hear me out!
As you know from previous posts and my personality I’ve never been the sort of guy who hooks up with staff members. I deem it unprofessional. Ok so I did but when you backpack you have to let the good times role a little bit.
So I’ve been spending alot of time with the Assistant Manager at work (Krystal) and too be honest it was just on a friends level but now it’s gone one step further.

As you will have read in previous posts the other bartender at work is hooking up with the restaurant manager. As mentioned the owner was not best pleased because she has a responsibility to be a manager and not get close to certain staff members. So my question to you all is this? Does the Assistant Restaurant Manager count? If it helps she is 21, half Australian/Filipino and very, very good at her job. I think the attraction for both of us is that she understands the hospitality industry and when we talk about previous relationships we can relate. At the moment it’s just friends but I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. The best part of it all is though, that no one at work knows that were close. Plan on keeping it that way as I don’t want to make things awkward.

Anyway, yesterday we went to the cinema and watched Robin Hood. After that we headed up to Adelaide Hills and had an amazing view of the city. Krystal then surprised me and took me to the local pizza parlour and we had wood oven cooked pizzas...amazing!! I tried to pay but she wasn’t having it so in total she paid for the cinema, lunch and half of dinner. She believes that as a backpacker I should be treated.....too be honest that’s fine with me but I’m just used to treating the ladies.

Will keep you updated on this situation.

Good times, good times

Beltaed Update
Monday 12th May
Just finished my first floor shift at Hogs Breath and have to say I thorough enjoyed it. Been a while a since I worked as a waiter but I guess all that training from Mar Hall and Hotel Du Vin has paid off. I feel at home behind the bar but sometimes I get nervous with regards to food orders. Guess it’s a mental thing as always been like that but feel comfortable tonight and everything went well.

Tuesday 13th May
Just spoke to Brian Denmark for the first time in over 3 months. Managed to get his mobile number so gave him a call and it was awesome to hear his voice. Hopefully this will lead to regular phone calls back and forth to keep in touch with him. Now Jamie is my bestest and closest friend, always will be, no one will ever come between us, but outside Jamie, Brian is one of the only true guy friends I have and I can’t wait for Jamie and the rest of the family to meet him.
Have my 1 day off tomorrow so heading into town with Kara and then hopefully heading up to Hogs Breath to try the food for the first time. Bring on the prime rib!!!

Wednesday 14th May
Just back from Hogs Breath where Kara and I had our first real Hogs taste. Have to say that it was really good and we both enjoyed our steaks. Kara went with the Traditional Byron Bay Rib with a hot chilli sauce and I went for the blackened Rib with béarnaise sauce. Was very tasty and Krystal was kind enough to give us several discounts which helped the bill that little bit more.

Thursday 15th May
So, took a wee road trip to Largs today, was a great wee day out. Myself, Mel, Andy and Kara went for a wee drive as Mel was going to see her parents and decided to take me ‘home’ for the day. We stopped at the Largs hotel, where of course, I had fish and chips. After that we headed down to the ‘Largs Bay Kiosk’ for an ice cream and a walk along the jetty, Was a lovely day but the only thing missing was Clarks amusements...
After that we headed back to Glenelg as I was working. No rest for the wicked.

Friday 16th May
Not much to report from today, just chilling before I start work. Back on the bar tonight which should be good. Bring on the cocktails.
Working split shifts over the weekend so not going to be on the internet for a couple of days. A few large bookings so possibly going to get slammed which is going to be awesome.
p.s 30 hours this week, get in!

(no subject)
Thursday 6th May

Got a good email from Deeonne today. Was great to hear from her. Feels like I haven’t spoke to so many people in ages but as you can imagine it’s pretty difficult to keep up to date with everyone.
So after tonight I’m working the rest of week which is good because means I get some more cash which is always a good thing. Having a few drinks with the guys from work tomorrow night after my shift as Matt is leaving. Matt is the guy I went to the footie with last week. Really nice guy from England who I hope to meet up with again sometime.
Is funny because quite a few people I met when I first started travelling have been in contact and have all said “If your ever here let me know and you can stay at mine”. So far I have confirmed accommodation in

San Francisco
New York
South Africa

Will definitely have to make use of this at some point in the next few years.

Friday 7th May

So it was Matt’s last shift last night so we had a few drinks after work to send him on his way. After a few beers in work we headed down to the Jetty Bar where we all continued drinking.
Now Krystal, the Assistant Manager at work, hardly ever drinks. She is small, Asian and one of the funniest girls I’ve ever met. Anyway, due to her size it was clear that after one beer she as on her way. The rest of the group just watched her and laughed as she tried to act sober and coherent but too be honest she failed miserably. She then turns to me and says

“Millsy I don’t feel too good”
“Why don’t you get a glass of water from the bar then”
“Good idea Millsy, good idea”

Krystal then goes to the bar and appears shortly after with another bottle of beer. That’s my girl!

So after that we headed to the Grand on the beachfront. Unfortunately the bar was shut but we had a wee dance and a laugh before leaving.
Everyone left before me as I went to the toilet and what I saw at the front of the bar was interesting to say the least.

Haggis was sitting on the steps with blood over his face and on the pavement. My immediate reaction was to make sure he was alright and find out what happened. Looking around the rest of the group it because clear quickly that something funny I hat caused this situation. Apparently when I was in the bathroom Haggis was slagging our dance moves and how we couldn’t dance properly. Matt, who is a big guy decided to pull out the most ridiculous robot dance moves you have ever seen and in the process elbows Haggis clean on the nose.

An unfortunate end to the night but comical to say the least.

Saturday 7TH May

Was working this afternoon but work was dead so just stayed at Hogs had some free lunch and had a chit chat with Krystal about her behaviour on Thursday night. Is 16.30 at the moment and back in at 17.30 so just chilling listening to some music.

Got an email from Suzy today which was great. Glad to hear her dad is getting better and that her and Fraser are still going strong. There both heading of to Dom Republic in a few weeks so that will be a nice break away from all the exams they have bother just been through.

Sunday 8th May

So busy weekend here at Hogs Breath. Was Mother’s Day here on the Sunday and we ended up doing over 450 covers the whole day. That’s alot of steak but It went rather smoothly and got some good hours so can’t complain.
On another positive note, Andy the other bartender is leaving next week to do his 3 month fruit picking in order to extend his Visa. I’ve already spoken to Mel and she has confirmed that she won’t be hiring another bartender which means I will do all the bar shifts during the week and just have someone helping me out during the weekends. This will hopefully mean I’ll start saving money now also.

Do you guys remember Tom? He was a good guy I met up in Cairns while working in housekeeping. Well anyway, he was back in Glenelg over the weekend as he was flying from Adelaide home. Was good to see him before he went and have some good memories from our time in Cairns.
My lovely little buddy Leah has also departed these shores and is on her way back on Canada. First met Leah in Brisbane months and months ago and we have kept in touch ever since meeting in Noosa, Brisbane again and Cairns. I real breath of fresh air and someone who just smiles all the time. Will miss you my little Bueno friend, get home safe.

So working again tonight. Mel is training me on the floor to give me more hours which is good. The best way to describe Hogs Breath is that it’s very similar to TGI Fridays back home. Now I know my hospitality background is very different to that but the turnover in these places is unreal. Krystal who is the Assistant Restaurant Manager is a young 22 year old, half Australian, half Pilipino girl who is a bundle of laughs. It’s funny because whenever we work together she always asks me who to deal with certain situations because I have managerial experience back home. I find that really flattering and sometimes awkward even though these guys have more experience at this type of hospitality.

And yes Krystal I think the customer was right when they said that no hand wash in the men’s bathroom wasn’t ideal. Ha-ha, so I told her to send one of the waiters to the reject store and buy some before we order some more.

Working at 5.50 so nice lunch and chill is in order. Hope your all enjoying the sunshine back home.


Hungry Jacks
Tuesday 4th May

Hostel feels more like a house share at the moment due to the fact that there is only 11 people staying. Is quite nice though as there isn’t as much incentive to drink but I love meeting new people and it’s hard when there is no one here to meet.

Funny story from Hungry Jacks the other day. Haggis, Matt and I were on our way to the football and we decided to pop in for an orange juice and maybe a cheeky burger at Hungry Jacks. On the bus there Matt and Haggis were talking about Hogs Breath and how they get bonuses for up selling with meals. (side orders, large drinks, the usual up sell malarkey). The both claim that when there not working and someone tries to up sell they always decline...So we get to Hungry Jacks and Haggis orders a cheeseburger stunner meal for $4.95, no problems at all. Its then my turn to order so I get myself an orange juice and a bacon cheeseburger. Then it’s Matt’s turn. The conversation was as follows:

Matt: Hello, can I get a small stunner cheeseburger meal please
Cashier: Do you no want a large one cause a small one is usually for kids
Matt: Ok, so how much more in price is that

At this point Haggis and I are amused that he has been turned into buying a larger meal. I then nip to bathroom to come back and expect Matt to be finishing his meal. How wrong was I.
Matt is still at the counter asking loads of questions about the burger and beside the cashier, is another member of staff and the manager. I turn to look at Haggis for some clarification as to what is happening and he is falling off his seat with laughter. This sets me off which then sets Matt off and the three of us are in hysterics. Here is how much we all paid individually to Hungry Jacks that afternoon:

Haggis: $4.95
Millsy: $4.85
Matt: £11.95

He was up selled by more than 50% and not only that he got an unexpected ice cream and an M&M Sundae!


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