About

Hey there, mate!

Do you need someone to help you plan the best trip ever?

You want it packed full of adventure and meaningful experiences and you don’t want to do the same old thing as everyone else.

You want to be there for as loooong as possible so you can explore every crack and crevice, enjoy every cultural experience on offer and chow down every delicious local food you can get your hands on.

But… There’s a catch.

You have a kind-of-tight budget you need to work within and you need to make your money go as far as possible.

Chill. I got you.

I’m here to help you do all this and more!

I will help YOU become a fearless traveller who grabs life by the big ol’ balls!

I help you to get so much more life experience out of your travels and mayyyybbe I’ll even inspire you to travel further and to more places too! 

I want to show you that more travel is possible, that budget travel is achievable and fun and that you can do it in a way that keeps Mother Earth happy.

🌎 💃 ☺️

We already know that travel teaches you life lessons we can’t learn in a book or a boring cubicle. 

Now, together, we are going to make meaningful travel happen for you!

But how can I even help you achieve this seemingly impossible travel?

Well, that’s easy.

I can teach you from experience.

This is my travel style:

  • Adventure Travel
  • Budget Travel
  • Eco-travel
  • Slooooow Travel

AND I do this type of travel a lot.

Since finishing university I’ve been on three extended trips.

The first was around South and Central America for 6 months (on only $5K!), the second was mostly around Southeast Asia and India for almost 2 years and the latest one was worldwide including a little bit of Europe, a lot of Mexico and a taster of South America. 

I do this extended travel from the money I save working full time. I earn very little while actively travelling and I always manage to find myself a new job when I get back to my home country of Oz. 

Read more about how you can save for your dream travel too.

I want to inspire you to travel to new destinations, have life-changing experiences and grow, learn and change for the better.

And Castaway with Crystal is how I will do all that.

Here, you’ll find epic budget guides, off-the-beaten-path knowledge and in-depth suggested itineraries, plus helpful videos and pictures that’ll make you drool.

All of my articles are written with the budget traveller in mind and often share valuable tips and tricks that will help make your travel more wholesome and cheaper.

If you’re in the process of planning your travels, be sure to read my gigantic packing list for long-term travel.

But what makes my blog any different from the thouuuuusands of others?

I don’t like doing the same old thing everyone else does and I refuse to only scrape the surface of a new destination.

I get creative in the way I discover new things.

I talk to the locals and travellers, I use apps to help me find new and interesting things and I’m not afraid to go off-course to find something new.

And I am obsessed with urban exploration and dark tourism (the ethical kind). I want to be face to face with the backbone of a town or city. To feel its innards and figure out what makes its people tick.

🗣 📱 🕵️‍♀️

This blog is a direct reflection of my way of living… Fearless and alternative.

Speechless, castaway, and wry, a spellbound oddity am I. My feet are planted in the clay, my gaze is locked upon the sky.
– Cecilia Dart-Thornton

To understand me better…

Watch me talk for 30 seconds…

Did all that impress you?

Possibly not…

Maybe you want the deeper stuff.

Like, who am I? What’s my deal? What’s the meaning of life?

Well, to surely impress you, I will summarise my life in dot point form to save time.

◈ ◈ ◈

I was born in 1986 in a tiny mountain town called Mt Barker in South Australia into a weird cult religion. I got my name from this cult because they believe in the healing power of Crystals. My brother and dog were also named after the cult.

My mum (who raised me) never had a job and we lived relatively poor so I’ve always been real good at saving and managing money… Out of necessity, you know?

I nearly died of an asthma attack at two hours old and the doctors got me breathing again by swinging me around the room by my feet! Now, I have asthma and sinus problems and I get sick far too easily.

Growing up I wanted to be a Veterinarian because I LOVE animals. But then I did a week’s volunteer work in a Vet Clinic and after seeing dead puppies I decided that career just wasn’t for me.

At 18, I went to Southeast Asia and since then I haven’t been able to stop travelling despite my obvious monetary disadvantages.

Even at university, I desperately travelled every mid-year break I had. Literally forcing my car to travel on the smell of an oily rag.

Travel has been a part of my life since I was born. At one year old, I was dragged around rural Australia in a camper van…

WANNA KNOW MORE ABOUT THAT? Read: HELP, a dingo ate my baby!

…And since eight years old we never lived in a single house for more than a year. This possibly contributed heavily to my inability to settle down in one place for too long and my ease-ability to leave and travel for extended periods of time.

I was in a really, REALLY bad car crash when I was 16 years old. If you want to know more about that then watch the documentary I made about the crash aimed at young drivers.

Doing voluntary road safety work got me into the film and television industry that I’ve worked in for 10 years, developing my storytelling skills.

Before I left Sydney I ran my own small-scale production company; Nostalgia Films, that makes promotional videos, music videos and other small-scale shoots.

I have since taken this company with me and make travel videos as I go!

I now travel the world with my Girlfriend, occasionally getting into sticky situations and making videos as I go!

The countries I have been to are:

Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Japan, India, New Zealand, England, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Cuba, Greece, Turkey, Italy and the Philippines so far…

🌍 🌎 🌏

GET TO KNOW MY BLOG!

Angkor wat with buddhist in front Backpacking Cambodia Itinerary

The Ultimate Backpacking Cambodia Itinerary (2 weeks or 10 Days)

The ultimate backpacking Cambodia itinerary! Compare our 10 day or 2 week Cambodia itineraries. Mix and match to make them suit you!

35 comments
The ultimate packing list for overseas travel! Never forget a thing when using this backpacking packing list for women and men. The ultimate packing list FREE PRINTABLE. Plus useful packing tips, products, templates, ideas and which are the best bags to put it all in! #Packinglist #Free #downloadable #travel #CwC #products #tips

The Only Long-Term Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need!

Wondering what to pack for long-term travel? This is the ONLY long-term travel packing list you’ll ever need. Comes with a free printable travel checklist!

3 comments
101 of the Best Safe Journey Quotes and Safe Travel Wishes on the internet!

101 Safe Journey Quotes and Wishes (to Inspire and Show You Care)

This is the biggest compilation of safe journey quotes you’ll find on the internet. Perfect to use on your Instagram caption to inspire wanderlust or to wish someone safe travels on their next journey. It’s very true that travel is about taking risks, but calculated risks do not have to be unsafe. If you are […]

0 comments
Day of the Dead Oaxaca cover - Dia de los Muertos Oaxaca

How to Experience Day of the Dead, Oaxaca (The Mexican Way)

Are you going to be in Oaxaca for Day of the Dead this year? This complete guide will help you experience Day of the Dead, Oaxaca like a local. Day of the Dead (or Dia de Los Muertos in Spanish) is a dearly held tradition of Mexicos Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people for thousands of […]

15 comments
Travel to oaxaca mexico - things to do in oaxaca

Travel to Oaxaca, Mexico (A Mega Backpacking Guide)

The Complete Guide to Travelling & Backpacking Oaxaca One of the most naturally beautiful places in Mexico, travel to Oaxaca seems like it’s one of those hidden gems, still undiscovered by the masses. With dramatic mountains and epic coastlines, the beaches in Oaxaca are some of the best that Mexico has to offer! There are […]

36 comments

Mega Japan Itinerary: 14 Days or 7 Days

Japan is definitely a place where you don’t have to travel too far to be able to experience their country to the full. We had just over 2 weeks so our Japan Itinerary included travelling south of Tokyo all the way to Beppu. If you only have 1 week or less you could easily just […]

28 comments

DIY Uluru Tour: How to See Ayers Rock Cheaply

In Australia, we like things BIG. Big rocks, big spaces between literally everywhere and unfortunately big, expensive prices. Did you know Sydney has surpassed London as one of the top 10 most expensive cities in the world? Well, I’m here to help you save some of your dosh because I know you’re going to need […]

11 comments

23 Totally Free Things to do in New Zealand, North Island (with Map)

New Zealand is an expensive country. But it’s well-worth spending the money when you get to experience such a lush, vibrant and adventurous country. But some days you just want to do something fun that doesn’t cost the Earth, right? You’re sick of paying $100 + for, like, literally everything. Well, that’s how I felt […]

24 comments

5 Reasons to Visit Meteora, Greece

Visit Meteora Guide: Things you must do and see! Meteora is a unique mountainous area right near the towns of Kalambaka and Kastraki in Thessaly. Filled with dramatic mountains and rock pillars coupled with precariously placed hand-built monasteries balanced atop, and you have a pretty spectacular destination. These ‘columns of the sky’ in Greece draw […]

18 comments

Cappadocia Guide: Everything you need to know

This is your mega Cappadocia guide (a magical wonderland in Turkey) Turkey is an awesome country! It’s got those Mediterranean vibes but without the cost of being in the European Union. And Cappadocia might just be the most famous place in Turkey! It’s is like a mystical wonderland where incredible natural formations have been burrowed […]

3 comments

The Mud Statues of Kolkata You Probably Never Knew About

Why must some of the soil used in the statues of goddesses come from the land of a prostitute? Lost in the winding, dirty streets of Kolkata, hundreds of people work round the clock to create beautiful artworks made of mud. Kumortoli is the potters’ quarter of Kolkata and the mud statues that are created […]

7 comments

How to Kill a Man With Your Bare Hands [READ]

All the events leading up to us ending up on a deserted island with an ex-soviet soldier seemed perfectly normal at the time. When I think back on it now, however, I’m surprised by how easily Grace and I had accepted this man’s offer. A huge, muscly man we’d never met before. The San Blas […]

33 comments