Last days in Asia – First days in Australia

After a long bus ride from Siem Reap, I arrived exhausted back in Bangkok. After 5 months of traveling through Asia, this was the most terrible nightbus. Nah, I’m leaving Asia soon, so at least I won’t forget the night-busses soon. Back in Bangkok… Back from where I started. The last occasion to do some shopping at normal prices before flying to Oz.


For my three nights in Bangkok, I staid again in the Good One hostel. These last couple of days in Bangkok had a couple of priorities:

  • Buy earphones
  • Eat as much as Pad Thai/Papaya salads as possible
  • Repair my small backpack/buy a new one
  • Get a Thai massage
  • Do some Muay Thai training

Rumors on the street and the interwebs talk about getting custom student Id’s on Khao San road. Student discounts are always welcome, so I managed to get one of these.
For my Muay Thai trainings, I went back to the same gym as 4 months ago: Legend Thai Boxing.
The receptionist still remembered me and was happy to see me. It was impressive to see his improvement in his English in only 4 months!

I said goodbye to Asia, packed by bag and made my way to the airport. When checking in my luggage, the crew-member gave me the magic words “Mr Van Mieghem, we gave you an upgrade to business class“… All right! Mr business class coming through!


Australia! After spending 5 months in Asia, where few people speak English, traffic is crazy, tuk-tuk-drivers trying to lure you in their ride and the people just eat in the street, it’s a strange feeling arriving in a western country. An inverted culture shock.

Back in Vietnam, I had the pleasure of meeting the energetic and awesome Inbar of Israel. At that time she was traveling trough Vietnam, but she’s currently studying and working in Sydney. She invited me to stay at her place when I would arrive in Sydney. Arriving at her place, I had the honour of meeting her incredible friends and housemates: Weiz, Karven, Sags, Fatima, Sanna.
We would celebrate Karven’s birthday on the day I arrived. We celebrated this with some beers at the beach. No better way to start my Australian adventure! They convinced me to stay longer in Sydney, so 31 wallace street, Kingsford will be my home for the next couple of weeks!

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One of the big changes between Asia and Australia is the cost of living… I feel like I’ve been riding a speedboat through Asia but I fell out and I’m trying to keep my head at the surface in Australia. As soon as I find some work, I’ll get a better feeling with life here.
But I won’t be missing having Asian people around me: around 20% of the population in Sydney is Asian + Sags is from Singapore/India and Karven and Weiz are from Malaysia

My plan for Australia is to work here in the different cities and discover the country. As for now, I haven’t found a job yet but I’m presenting all my skills to find something: graphic design, bar tending, waiter, apple shop, motion graphics…

I’m also available for freelancing! I’ve created a professional part on this website:

2 Comment

  1. Nice!! Perhaps it’s your infamous “Mats ‘n Miles” name that got you the upgrade ;o)

    I’m heading to Thailand (arriving in Bangkok) in 3 weeks. What do you suggest? We have 12 days haha.

    Take care!

  2. […] arriving in Australia as a backpacker: you can not survive without working. As I mentioned in my previous post, I started looking for work the moment I arrived. It hasn’t been easy so far, but after two […]

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