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Greetings from Dani-land..

Welcome... great to have you here.
You can view my blogs below to the left, my photos to the right.. AND you can leave me messages (lets keep it clean, my mum reads this :) ) on the bottom right corner.
Hope to hear from you soon!

Diary Entries

Saturday, 01 September 2007

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Well, I don't know how to tell you this, but I think this whole "us" thing might be over... its not you.. its me... I"M NEARLY HOME!!
I think this might be my last blog... wow... is it really the end?
I am sitting in my hotel room in Bangkok, the last person I spoke to was the tailor who made my suit which just arrived. It looks awful on me. I tried to tell him, but he doesn't really like talking to woman, so I just let it go. I also have a bit of a gastro bug, so if this blog is a little disjointed, thats why.
So I am using this time to think about my trip....12 countries, over 8 months. I have met some amazing people (and some pretty weird ones too). Have done things I never thought I would dare, and think I might be a little more "ballsy" then when I left.
Everyone keeps asking me what was my highlights of the trip. Thats really hard, as every single one was an adventure but I will try and write something...
1) New York City.
This place was amazing for me. I had the strangest feeling everytime I woke up there, like I had finally found my place. It broke my heart to leave. I will try and make regular holidays there.
2) Angkok Wat, Cambodia. One of the most amazing places on earth. Hard to describe, you just have to go there yourself.
3) Rawai Muay Thai, Phuket Thailand. I think I found something I was good at (Kickboxing). The people were lovely and it was great to have some focus (and beat the stuffing out of someone)..:)
4) Monteverde, Costa Rica. The zip lining and the abseiling, they were the start of me getting outside my comfort zone.
5) Tulum, Mexico. An amazing beach I will definately go to again.
6) Dublin, Ireland. The people were friendly, the food was good, and the beer was even better.
7) Santorini, Greek Island. Beautiful senery.
8) Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai. I could sit and watch the elephants for days. These huge creatures that when you look in their eyes, they seem so fragile.
9) Agua Volcano, Antigua, Guatemala. The scariest thing (and the most stupid) I have ever done. it cost me a pair of sneakers that melted, but a once in a lifetime thing.
10) London, England. Because I got to spend time with some amazing great friends while I was there (Lucy, Amy, Steve). And Amy was just like my mum and made sure I had a home cooked meal.:)
PHEW! well thats it... the end... I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I did writing it. I have no idea what the future hold for me once I get back on Australian soil, BUT I do know I am overdue for some parental love and some good Aussie humour.
Lots of love.
Dani xx

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Location: Phuket, Thailand

Greetings from an episode of "Survivor"...
So I don't even know where to start...
Sunday I arrived at the Thai Boxing Camp. For those who don't know, its like boxing, except you can kick, knee and use your elbows (my favourite move). I had seen on the website these really cute little cabins, that were very much like a 5 star hotel room. BUT they were all taken, so I was put in the basic village to live for the next week. Its kinda like being at school camp. We have these little cabins, with two bedrooms, and a shared bathroom, lounge (with tv and dvd) and kitchen. (this is all built in some Thai families backyard). They are not the cleanest or nicest places, but I share with a cool chick called Tara from London. She is a actress and a little crazy, so we get on like a house on fire. Everyone just comes and goes into each others cabins, and its no surprise to come home and have someone else watching your tv.
Currently there is about 30 people at the camp, from all over the world. Some to lose weight, a few girls to learn self defence, a few rugby league players for fitness and a few serious boxers.
So a day in the life of Dani goes something like this:
6:30 am - get out of bed... NOOOOOOOOO!!
6:40am - I get on my little scooter and head to the boxing gym. The place we stay is about 5 minutes drive from it, but because I freak out trying to drive a scooter in Thailand traffic (road rules do not exist) I drive like a nanna and it takes me 15 minutes.
7:00am - start training. Its usually one on one, and my trainer goes through the kicking, punching and elbowing. Oh and the trainers hit you back. The first time he hit me a nearly started to cry, not because it hurt, it was just such a shock. But now I am use to it. I also have to wear the Thai boxing shorts. (will try and take photos today). Unfortunately when i bought mine I didn't realise that it had a big wolf's head on the front and well, it looks a bit silly.
8:30am - pass out. Having sweat so much, I look like there can't possible be a drop of water left in my body, my knees are red raw from hitting the bags, and every muscle is cramping, I rest while watching lots of very toned and muscular men with their trainers.
9:00am - arrive back at the cabin and drink about 100 litres of water. Have cold shower (there isn't any hot, even if i wanted it).
9:30 -3:30pm - either have a massage, watch a dvd, play in the rain, eat, go to the beach, eat.
3:30pm - leave for the gym again for my afternoon session.
4:00pm - have my trainer kick my butt, then throw a tantrum because I hurt so much. I then try and hide from my trainer. And usually I get yelled at for talking to everyone around me too much.
5:00pm - collapse in pain, asking for an ambulance.
6:00pm - 8:00pm - have a shower, then lie on my bed, wondering what I am doing here.
8:00pm - dinner at one of the many dodgy restuarants on this part of the island.
10:00pm - in bed.
There are a few really serious boxers here, and on Monday night we went and watched the fights. Oh my god... Two of my new friends were fighting that night, Jordon a boy from Canada, and Lindsay, a girl, (yes, a girl) from Canada.
The first fight of the night were 8 year olds. All I could think of was my beautiful Matthew being about the same age, and it took all my strength not to jump in the ring and tell them both to go home. It was so hard to watch.
Then came Lindsays fight. She was up against this HUGE woman from Belgim. She was this mean looking woman, and the fight was horrible to watch. Lindsay lost and has two black eyes to prove it.
Then was Jordons flight, his first. He got some really good punches in, but then the guy did an elbow to the temple and it knocked him out cold. Watching it was gut wrenching.

Anyhoo, I am off to the beach, the sun has come out for a small moment, so I might see if it lasts longer than 10 minutes.
Love Dani

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Location: Phuket, Thailand

Good morning!
Well I am safe and sound in Phuket... and its RAINING! noooo... *sob* *sniff*. They tell me its been raining for the last 5 days, and will continue for another 5 at least. So far I have watched every movie ever released on the movie channel in my hotel room. Have walked around the streets for a good few hours. And eaten enough food to feed the whole of Cambodia.
So I think it get my thru the next few days I am going to do to a ... wait for it... wait for it... Kickboxing School. I am a bit scared as I don't know what to expect. What if I hate it?. I have to sign up for the minimum of 1 week. I guess I can just do a runner if it too hard. Wouldn't it be great, ME knowing how to Kickbox (I can hear at least 2 ex-boyfriends screaming in panic).. No no, the new calm Dani is all about inner peace and I am really just doing this for basic self defense ... (ha ha.. *evil laugh*). I don't know how much I could learn in a week, but its all about trying new things, so I might just give it a go.
Now I have to run off and try and find a "kickboxing" outfit, oh and get my hair braided just like Hilary had in Million Dollar Baby.
Smooches
me x

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Location: Chaing Mai, Thailand

Ok, so where was I??.. I think the last entry was Cambodia, so I will start there. We went out and spent the day at the Angkor Wat temples. My god, they are fantasic. Some of the most amazing stuff I have ever seen. But walking for a whole day, mixed with the heat and lack of water I nearly died, but was so worth it. I really liked Sien Reap. It was a bit touristy but still nice, with lots of good bars and restaurants. We also did a boat trip to the floating markets which was really just a village on the water. I can't believe thats how they live. The bus trip to the Thailand border was long and bumpy and we were happy to finally make it to Bangkok... to check into the most horrible hotel in the world. They didn't have a reservation for us and the hotel gave me flashbacks to the ones in Central America. Not happy. We only had one day in Bangkok so Jason and I tried to find some markets and ended up getting a little lost on the way back to the hotel.
Chaing Mai is really nice. Yesterday was "tour day" and we went up to an elephant farm. I tried to sneak a baby elephant into the back of our car to take with me, but they wouldn't let me. Not happy. They are SO cute. I really want one!! We also went rafting down a river, which was a bit scary as we had our passports, cameras, ipods on us, so if it tipped over we would have been stuck here.
Today we went out to a snake farm and to a village near the Burma border to see the long neck women tribe. All I can say is OUCH!
Currently we are at the hotel, heading to Bangkok tonight, then Phuket first up in the morning.
Missing everyone.
love Dani x

Thursday, 09 August 2007

Location: Cambodia

Hi,
well we are currently in Cambodia, and its hot. REALLY HOT! We spent two days n Phnom Penh which was pretty scary. Its just a really poor country so lots of little kids coming up to you, very similar to Central America. We went out to the Killing Fields and also the Torture Center, both of which were pretty gross, but it did help me understand what these people went through. I have eaten so many noddles, I could possibly turn into one. I hope tonight we go somewhere with real food. Jason ate a tranantula spider today. I got a photo, and if I can get this computer to work I will post them up.
Today we caught a bus to Siem Reap which is the place for the Angkor Wat which I hear is spectacular. Looking forward to seeing that tomorrow.
Sorry this one is short, but the computer is pretty bad.
Luv me x

Tuesday, 07 August 2007

Location: Vietnam

Good morning from Vietnam,
Well here we are. What a crazy place. There is currently about 5 million people in HCMC and 4 million scooters. Crossing the street is a nightmare, you really just have to say a little pray and walk slowly across and try not to get hit by about 300 bikes. ARRHHH!!. On Sunday we did a lovely tour of the city, visiting the Palace, the War Museum and Chinatown. Then yesterday we went to see the Chu Chi Tunnels, were a whole generation of Vietnam people lived under the ground during the war. Amazing place. We got to walk through some of the tunnels, which were about the size of a doggy door. I started to freakout in the first section which was about 20 metres, not something I would do again. We also got to fire a gun. You got to choose the gun, I picked a M16 and Jason picked an AK47. Err... yeah... really scary. I screamed when I fired the first shot and all the locals laughed at me. Lets hope I never have to join a war. We also did a boat trip down the Saigon River, which was really great. See all the houses that are just shacks on the water. How people live there is beyond me.
The food has been pretty good. Lots of noodle soups and I even had a pasta yesterday. The hotels have been really clean and nice. We joined our tour last night, and today we head for the Cambodian border on a "local" bus, lets hope its not the same as a local bus in Central America! Should take about 6 hours.
Anyhoo, have to go and check out of the hotel.
Big smooches, will try and post some photos soon.
D xx

Saturday, 04 August 2007

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Greetings from Vietnam,
Well I have made it here in one piece. Of course getting here wasn't completely stress free, but I made it and thats the main thing.
Trying to leave London was hard. Literally. We ordered a mini cab to pick me up from Amys and take me to the airport. The driver didn't really speak English and got lost and turned up about 40 minutes late, so poor Amy and Liesha's final sight was me throwing a trantrum at the driver and driving away. I made it in time for my flight and thought my luck had changed when I was told I was getting an exit seat. Unfortunately it was a really bad Exit seat as the door stuck out where my legs were meant to be, so I had to sit the whole 11 hours with my legs tucked to the side. (thank god for all that pilates). Then my overnight hotel in Bangkok was supposed to be by the airport. After a 30 minutes cab ride I realise that they needed to change their information. But it was a nice hotel, so that was a bonus.
I flew into Vietnam today on an Air France flight. Great airline (even if it IS run by the french). I dont know why but I always feel like they are faking the accent... wee... wee... it just sounds so cheesy! ha ha. And of course I then try and talk with a fake french accent and end up talking like a pirate. (yes, I know, my talent is truely in accents). Anyhoo..the plane was pretty much empty and every seat has heaps of leg room. Highly recommended.
Jason (brother) arrives in about an hour and tomorrow we are going to explore the city.
Will try and update as I go.
lots love.
Dani x

Thursday, 02 August 2007

Location: London, UK

Well my time in London is coming to a close... But what a way to end it. Last night Amy, Jo and I went to PRINCE. And yes that IS his name now, hes gone back to it. He is doing 21 concerts at the O2 arena in London, and we were lucky to get tickets for the first night. And they were great tickets. About 10 rows from the front. Really great concert and a really great venue. Its strange the people you see at a prince concerts. From men in suits, to old ladies, to 10 year olds, punks, freaks, and then the normal folk like myself. I guess he has been going for so long, he has to be at least 50? Still looks about 30 and can still move. But the funny part was the show was over and they put up the house lights and everyone started to leave, and then about 5 minutes later he came BACK on stage and sang all the good songs. So many people had already left! Lucky we got stuck behind some people and were still in the venue.
Anyhoo, so tonight I fly to Bangkok, then over to Ho Chi Ming City to catch up with my brother. Don't know how the internet will go, but will try and keep you informed. One of me travelling and getting in trouble is funny. TWO of us is going to be hilarious.
See you soon.
Love Dani x

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Location: London, England

Hi!
ok, so this story will pretty much only make sense to the Cutting Edge kids..
Last night I went on a girls night out with the very beautiful Lucy K. We decided to do a show and dinner. The show was "Chicago", which is my favourite, I just love it.
But I couldn't stop laughing throughout the whole show as one of the chorus dancers was a man who is the spitting image of Jason Ressel. And I mean SPITTING IMAGE. I actually really thought it was him, and it was only after a shimmy dance, one handed cartwheel and the splits did I start to think that it might acutally just be a double. It was topped off by the outfit he had to wear. The best way to describe it would be to say "CE Ray Martin, disco outfit". You remember the see thru shirt he use to wear out?, and a pair of lyrca trousers. ha ha.. Oh it was the best laugh.
Jason, babe, if you are reading this, I never thought you were such a good dancer!! but one piece of advice. Maybe re-think the lyrca. :)
PS: I really wanted to take a photo, but I was in the front row, so they would have seen me..
ha ha..
me x

Friday, 27 July 2007

Location: London, UK

Top of the mornin' to ya...
So I am back in lovely sunny London. Ok, so its not really sunny, more rainy and cold. I had a wonderful time in Ireland and wish I could have stayed longer. I never really understood the whole political situation over there, and it was great to get the full story.
We were really lucky to have good weather, as before I arrived, it has rained for 41 days straight. Then for most of my trip it was nice and sunny, with just a few 1/2 days here and there of a bit of rain. The only down side to the whole tour was that the accommodation was backpacker hostels.. ARRRHHHHH!!!... yep I am official OVER the whole hostel experience, and if I ever set foot in one again it will be too soon. At least we got to share rooms with others on the tour, but I got about 3 hours sleep max per night, and lining up for a shower is not something I like to do.
So Dublin was pretty cool. Really nice people. Then we headed to Belfast, which was a bit scary. Parts of the town are segregated and they lock them in at night, and tensions are still pretty high. We didn't go too far from the hostel. Derry (also in the north) was really pretty but again, with the tension, its not a place to walk around by yourself at night. Galway was the party town and my favourite, and then Killarney was smaller than I thought and also nice.
Of course I did the touristy stuff, like kissing the Blarmey Stone and visiting the Guiness factory. But for some reason now that I am back in London, whenever I think a thought, its in an Irish accent. Yeah, I know, I am really weird. ha ha.
Overall, I ate WAY too much good food, drank WAY too much, slept WAY too little, and meet some pretty groovy people.
Today I head up to Manchester with Amy to spend the weekend was the very spunky Steve K. He tells us he has organised a weekend of fun. I have a sneaky suspicion alcohol might be involved. (just please NO MORE GUINESS).
Hope you are all well.
luv Dani x


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Recent Messages

From Lucy
Hi Dan,
Sorry to see you got beaten up by an 8 year old boy - was he the one on the left or right of the photo??! (kidding!) If only there was a camera crew - it would top all over the other reality tv shows.
Not long now til you're home. I hope the 'return' goes well. You've inspired me to live out my dreams - look out UK X-Factor! ha ha

Keep safe mate
Love Lucy.

PS - yes I remember the guy in Chicago who looks EXACLTY like your friend Jason.

From mum
I think this adventure tops all the others, my beautiful baby girl kick boxing and getting out of bed at 6am......amazing stuff.
You go girl, kick butt
Mum xxx
From mum
Years of wanting revenge for the boys ( Drew,Jason,Nick) picking on you is no reason to learn kick boxing, oh dear, danger, danger, what happened to calm Dani !!!
See you soon love you
Mum and Dad xxx
From Tineka
Hi Dani!

Missing ya. Just wanted to say Hmmmmmmm...Jason just admited he is in London - maybe it reeeally was him in the lycra! Whahahaha. Doh that you didn't get a photo!
When are you home babe?!
Cheers, T. :)
Response: soon babe!
From Joanne & kids
Well the kids and thought the photo's of the elephants are cool. Matty wants you to bring home the baby elephant for him to own.Simone agrees with you about the rafts being unsafe.Have fun guys, and we miss you both.
From Jason Ressel
Re: July 31 London

Spandex Spandex Spandex!

And you thought my only talent was
massages :)
It seems I'm 6months behind you in your travels. You leave Gold Coast I move to Gold Coast. You leave London I go to London. Now you will be leaving Thailand and I go to Thailand. As a stalker my timing sux. Missing ya.. (literally) See you whenever :)
Response: next stop is Brisbane, so you better be making your way there! Hey, I thought I was the stalker? ha ha! see you soon.
From mum
Thanks for the great photos, they are great.
Worry about Jason's eating habits !! Matthew will think that is cool.
Love you both lots
Mum and Dad xx
From Joanne & kids
Well I hope all is going well, together. How's having your big brother there. Can't wait to read next blog or see new pictures. Have fun you two.
From Sarah
Dani I might put on of those wishing wells in downtown Robina!

Maybe I can retire then!!

Enjoy Thailand

xx
From mum
stressing about one has been bad, stressing about two, can we handle it ?? Love you both heaps, have a great time together, try not to fight too much Mum,Dad and Ralph xx
From Jason
All packed and ready to go. See you in Ho Chi Minh City in 2 days..

And no - i will be there to keep you out of trouble .. i hope ..
Response: see you soon!
From Lucy
So what IS new Dani ??
Lord help you, if he hasn't already!
Man, this kind of stuff never happens to me! maybe cause I look intimitating, or look like I don't speak-a-no-english ... ha ha
I think you and Ireland will get on really well, I feel it in my waters, they are fond of crazy aussies like you ha ha ...
Have fun and see you next week.
Love Lucy.
From Juzzie
Hey Dani, I love reading your blog - you crack me up! Great to hear your having some fab adventures....keep the "it only happens to Dani" stories coming babe. Take care. Love Juzzie xo
From mum
That's my girl.... I was beginning to think you had mellowed, silly me, welcome back ..tee hee you will fit in very well in Ireland, remember the family tree.
Love you from all the familyxxx
From Pete
Hey Dan,
Didn't realise you were in my FAVE part of the world!!!
Hope you're enjoying Greece...Have a yiros for me!
ps You should be a writer, piss funny stuff.
From Banks
Hi Dan,
You are a classic. I have been reading your blogs to Cooper and using you as an example - "Stay away from the crazy lady" It is never to young to do the stranger danger thing. Only joking! You can't say you aren't having an adventure and isn't that is what life is all about - what i think we could do without the credit card fiasco. Enjoy and can't wait to see you soon.
Response: ha ha.. NO not my future husband and the next world surfing star...
It so beautiful over here, you would love it. xx
From mum
remember greek men love thick eyebrows.......haa haa...did you remember to thin them first......
mum xx
From Laura
Hey Dan
Did you get to go to Wimbledon - have been looking for you on tv! Keep up the great blogs
Love Laws xx
Response: no, Luc ended up getting her ticket from a friend, so I didn't go... :( and I had all sorts of great ideas to get me on tv too.
From Lucy
Hey, I finally make it to your blogs! - I have so much catch up reading to do!!!!

Have a good one with the Greeks - the weather looks fantastic.

Love Lucy.
From Lexy`
Dani Gard! you crack me up. LOVE your blogs. They read like a script for a sitcom comedy - it could only happen to you!
Stay safe and keep the stories coming. Cant wait to hear how hospitable the Greeks were - s-bleep- s-bleep-!!
love ya babe! LEXY :) xo
Response: Oh no.. I forgot that Greece will be filled with Greeks! ha ha.. love you.
From mum and dad
parents are always happy when they are needed, lets hope dad never meets the credit card thief........
kisses mum and dad
Response: You know, you could always send me YOUR credit card to tie me over .. ha ha..
From Sammy Brwn
I'm so sorry to hear about the M*********er who stole your card... that is not great news... remember babe, London is the city that supposedly invented manners but they never use them so, elbows out, scowl on and give 'em wot for. Well just until your out of your angryness of the card debacle :) Some of them are quite nice... x
Response: ha ha.. feeling much better but still not happy about the weather :) . Miss you.
From Midori
I know I'm a bit slow... Thanks for a fantastic weekend in New York! I'll for sure go back as it isn't as scary now that I've had you as my personal tour guide! Hope London's treating you well! Bye for now
x
Response: my pleasure! It was a great weekend. London is SO cold..boo hoo..
From Matt Dye
I found this website, and thought it might come in handy for you...

http://zenhabits.net/2007/05/beginners-guide-to...
Response: ha ha!
thanks... (i think)..
From Sammy Brown
Running? Running?! Thank you for describing events though in relation to shopping sales. It certainly put things into perspective for me. You were lucky you weren't KILLED! Now if that isn't an incentive to give up running I don't know what is...
missing you :) x
but you should see my running shoes.. they are very pretty. Orange and gold and white...
ha ha.. big smoches babe!