I feel like I start every update like this but, it’s been an actual minute since my last travel update. The last two months have been one giant blur of pure madness so I figured since life has finally calmed down for a bit (or so it seems), I’d sit down and talk about it.
I don’t think I ever really explained what’s even going on with my life now that The Year Of Summer is officially over because to be honest, I don’t even know what I’m doing. Anyone who knows me knows I absolutely hate being in Sydney, and being back for longer than two weeks at at time definitely took a toll on my mental health. By the end of the two months, I had left the house no more than five times and pretty much drove myself insane to the point where I booked a flight one week out and had to force myself to get on a plane to Amsterdam because I knew it was the only thing that would help.
I’ve been so undecided on what to do with myself now that The Year Of Summer is over because it started out as a one year adventure, and evolved into a lifestyle and somewhat of a career. So do I go down the boring traditional path that I worked so hard to get away from? Or continue living this crazy adventure and keep hustling until I don’t need to question myself anymore?
My main goal for this year is to continue travelling and going to as many festivals as I can, but without the pressure of having to hit a target. Last year was all about hitting 52 and as fun as it was, there were so many occasions where I wished I could just stop for a second or stay in one place a little longer; but I had to keep going. I don’t regret a single thing, but now that I’ve achieved the goal of a lifetime, I want to do it again, without all the expectations.
So now that I’m done with the super long preface…
I’m going to keep the first half as short as possible because to be completely honest, it was nothing too special. First stop was Amsterdam for X-Qlusive Da Tweekaz. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it felt to finally rave again for the first time in two months (considering up until this point, the longest I went without raving was two weeks). I rode the rail with some of my closest Tweeka Fam for most of the night and left AFAS finally feeling like myself again… and down $70 because merch is dope but the Australian dollar is not.
The next morning, I hopped on a bus across Europe to Prague where I decided to stay for two weeks because it’s one of my favourite cities in the world (and also dirt cheap). The entire two weeks literally consisted of getting out of bed at noon and eating a Wenceslas sausage on my way to Starbucks where I sat behind my computer for 10 hours straight. Not exactly the most glamorous life of a full time travelling raver, but the reality of a digital nomad. I did get to experience a real snow day and watch it fall from the sky for the first time ever and it was kinda everything!
Two weeks pass and suddenly, I’m in Cologne for the first time with my friend Danny for the world premiere of Tweekalution at Bootshaus. The show was absolutely incredible (I mean, I’m yet to attend a Da Tweekaz show that isn’t!) and I somehow managed to walk away with a Tweekalution flag (which just happened to land in my arms) and a Tweekalution duck (which Kenth handed to me from the DJ booth). My crazy inner fangirl also came out and well … the family photo speaks for itself…
After literally no sleep, Danny and I got on a train to Arnhem to attend the final edition of Hard Bass. This was also my first assignment in exactly two months so it felt so good to finally be shooting again! We spent most of the time up in the VIP deck with the perfect view of the stage, where I ended up falling asleep under a table. The photos came out dope though!
I literally had nothing better to do all week so I decided to get back on a train to Germany and spent a couple of days in my actual second home (Dusseldorf) catching up on work before flying over to the UK for the week. I absolutely hate raving in the UK but Da Tweekaz were playing, and it gave me an excuse to finally tick Victoria Warehouse off my list so why not. It wasn’t terrible but I definitely wouldn’t do it again. This was probably my favourite Da Tweekaz set of the entire trip though because the tracklist was absolutely fire! I got to catch up with a tonne of my UK friends and made so many new ones on the rail; one of which caught an I AM HARDSTYLE flag for me!
After a week in London, I flew back to Amsterdam and met up with my twin for the most mental birthday weekend to date! I recapped the whole event here but in a nutshell, I decided to end my 9 month sobriety to play a drinking game that involved taking a shot every time my face popped up in a Da Tweekaz live stream. 59 minutes and 29 shots later, the room was pretty much flipped upside down and the celebrations had officially begun. Fast forward to my actual birthday on Monday, we decided to save money by checking out a day early and spent the entire day exploring Amsterdam together, trying not to get ourselves killed. By 10pm, we literally had nothing better to do and no where to go, so we took some acid and laughed uncontrollably until the sun came up! I also managed to convince Taylor that it was good luck to pee in the canal during your first visit in Amsterdam and next thing you know, she’s hanging off the wharf taking a piss at five in the morning!
Saying goodbye the next morning was absolutely brutal since we wouldn’t see each other again for another three months (or so we thought). Wow. So much for keeping this first half as short as possible. Well now that’s over, this is where the month of madness begins…
I kickstarted March in Amsterdam, finally ticking Don’t Let Daddy Know off the bucket list. After attending the Thailand edition a couple of years ago, I have been dying to visit the flagship show in Amsterdam and it did not disappoint! The lasers were insane and I even ended up interviewing Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano! One of my favourite memories from this weekend was running around in the photo pit vibing with the insanely dedicated rail riders when two girls called me over. I assumed they wanted me to take their photo, but they actually wanted to take a photo with me! Up until this point, I completely forgot I was famous (I’m totally joking I’m literally trash pls sense the sarcasm in that sentence). Being showered with Champagne by Timmy Trumpet (again) was definitely a close second!
Literally an hour after the festival ended, I hopped on a bus down to Eindhoven to celebrate my very first Carnival in the Netherlands. I stupidly let instagram decide what costume I should wear and next thing you know, I was on the rail at Karnaval Festival dressed as a literal dickhead! At least it kept my head warm and my hair dry in the rain!
I headed back to Dusseldorf for the week where I managed to catch the end of Germany’s carnival celebrations as well. More boring work days passed and by Friday night, I was back in Cologne with Danny for Dr. Peacock’s album tour at Bootshaus! Still running on zero sleep, I headed back up to Dusseldorf for a couple of hours before getting on a five and a half hour bus down to Mannheim for I Am Hardstyle (very poor planning on my part). I could only stay for half of the festival (the best half at least), before heading back on that same 5.5 hour bus up to Dusseldorf to get on a plane back to Sydney.
This was probably the worst travel mistake I have ever made.
I knew I needed to be back in the Southern Hemisphere after this festival so I booked a flight to Thailand a couple weeks prior with every intention of relaxing on the beach for a couple of weeks. After finding out I needed to be back in Sydney, I booked a separate flight from Thailand to Sydney… departing four hours after landing in Bangkok. So after leaving the festival early to make it back to the airport in time, I show up to the gate only to find that the flight was delayed… and then delayed three more times after that; and suddenly four hours turned into 30 minutes and I still had to check in! I should probably mention, the entire journey was: Dusseldorf > Bangkok > Singapore > Gold Coast > Sydney. VERY long story short, after multiple mental breakdowns and misinformation, I was able to get on the next flight to Singapore for $170 thanks to a no-show, and didn’t have to forfeit the next two flights. So if you’ve made it this far into the story, don’t EVER book long haul international flights under separate bookings… or at the very least, buy some travel insurance for fucks sake!
So for the first time probably ever, I voluntarily went back to Sydney; and I have never been more excited or nervous for anything in my life. I was hired as an official photographer for the biggest edition of Transmission Festival in the world! I definitely cried a little on stage when Above & Beyond played Sun & Moon because it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to pushing the button myself! It’s so crazy to think about how far I’ve come with photography in less than a year and being able to shoot FOR my dream festival aka the mecca of lasers, was beyond a dream come true! Seeing the response to my photos was absolutely insane and it still blows my mind seeing people using them as their cover photos and wallpapers! Like… I did that!
So here is where the update should end. I decided to stay in Sydney for a while to get ahead with the million projects I’m working on and save up for the Summer when…
A friend/colleague pops up to me at 3am Monday morning telling me that there was a media/photo pass with my name on it for … ULTRA MIAMI! I had to be stupid to pass up an opportunity like this so I booked a flight on Tuesday night and by Wednesday afternoon, I was in Miami! I was reunited with Taylor and a tonne of my rave fam, most of which I haven’t seen in almost a year and we spent five days together in one of my favourite places in the world. Not even two weeks after shooting at Transmission, I found myself pointing my camera at the Ultra Miami main stage! Literally WHAT IS MY LIFE?! This update is beyond longer than I anticipated so I’ll probbaly go on about my Miami adventures in another post, but like… WHAT?!?!
So that finally concludes this long overdue travel update. I still have no idea what I’m doing but hey… it’s working! Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice my Thailand trip this week for Miami (totally worth it though), so I’m stuck here for the next month and a half. I’ve got a couple of festivals in Australia coming up before I leave again so if I haven’t completely lost my mind by then, there will be another update coming soon.
I don’t know how to end these soo … this is it I guess? Laters ✌🏻