Big cities have always been my natural habitat since I was born and raised in Chicago. I’m used to having options. I’m used to convenience. I’m used to colorful art and a train stop away from that fab new restaurant. I can enjoy free concerts in Millennium Park in the summer. Or go ice skating in the winter (even though I don’t actually know how to ice skate without letting go of the railings). I can sip on delicious hot chocolate while walking through the German market. Or go to one of the farmers market and eat all of the cheese. Or I can just stay in for a night of reading and Netflix and do a whole lot of nothing.
While living in a city, I depend on having options – lots and lots of options. If you’re a city girl, you know that cities offer much more than a place to live. With shops, art, music, and architecture, living in a city can spoil a girl. So with that in mind, being stranded in the middle of nowhere with limited options on what you can eat and do is a city girl’s worst nightmare.
OK, fine. I wasn’t exactly stranded. I was taking a 6-day tour through the Outback last year. But it’s practically the same thing, right? Since I really wanted to see that part of Australia, I put my inner city girl aside and hopped on a tour bus with 20 random people. And I almost died!
So if you’re anything like me, a city girl at heart and like having options – lots and lots of options, then you probably won’t survive. Forget selections. Forget girls’ night out. Forget fancy cocktails. Forget Netflix.
You will die. And here’s a few reasons I came up with for the average city girl who likes her lattes and Netflix and options – lots and lots of options.
9 Reasons Why A City Girl Will Die In The Outback
1. You Will Have To Sleep On The Ground.
If you’re used to the comfort of a bed or having the luxury of lounging around on a couch, then sleeping on the ground might be a challenge.
Of course, if your goal is to see Ayers Rock, camping outside isn’t you’re only option. You can also do a day tour if you’re staying in a nearby hotel or hostel in Alice Springs. You can even go with friends by car and figure something out.
However, if your option is to go alone and all the people you’ve met along the way of your Australian journey have told you how amazing it is to sleep underneath the stars, and you, too, want to feel the magic, then an organized tour might be your best option…until you realize you have to sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag and a swag (which is supposed to keep you warm during cool nights). Then looking at the stars might not feel as magical as you thought it would.
2. And You Won’t Be Able To Sleep Because Of All The Snakes.
Australia is filled with snakes – not just in the Outback. And, yes, chances are you probably won’t see one (unless you’re working on a farm or something – which, being a city girl, are you really going to work on a farm?). Snakes generally won’t attack you unless you attack them (or step on one!). However, knowing that you’re sleeping on the ground with all the things that can kill you are wandering around, including poisonous snakes, may not help you sleep under the beautiful stars on the Uluru campground.
3. You’ll Be Too Afraid To Go To The Bathroom Alone In The Middle Of The Night.
Yes, really – even if you really, really have to go. You won’t dare do such a thing.
4. You Will Have No WiFi Or Even Get A Phone Signal.
That’s right, ladies. Unless you have a very good data plan on your phone, you won’t be able to update your Facebook status to “OMG, YOU GUYS, I’M DYING OVER HERE IN THE OUTBACK”.
5. You Will Find Bugs Everywhere.
Having to go to the bathroom in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of moths flapping around you is nearly impossible. You will find bugs (including spiders!) everywhere. You will find them in the shower, in your food, on the bus, on your face and, yes, in the bathroom.
Tip: If you go during the summer time (which is normally not recommended because of the extreme heat but I did it and I lived… kind of), you might want to take a fly net with you to cover your face because the flies in the summer time are ridiculous. And take all of the mosquito spray.
6. A Lot Of Nothing.
Australian Outback covers several thousand kilometers, and although you might be excited driving up the Stuart Highway to reach Uluru, you’re not really going to see much along the way. You’re in the desert and once in a while you might see a kangaroo hopping about in its natural habitat or some type of interesting looking animal that you don’t normally see. But you won’t see a lot. You’ll probably just sleep…that is if you can sleep on an uncomfortable tour bus.
7. You Will Have Limited Options.
Want a burrito? Want late night Chinese food? How about a fancy cocktail?
As a city girl, you’re probably used to having options. You can have brunch with the girls on a Sunday if you’d like. Or visit an art festival. You have the option to take public transportation instead of owning a car. And, sometimes, the biggest problem you’ll face for the day is whether you want to stay in and watch a movie or get dressed up and go out. Yes, life is hard.
However, the options are very limited in the Outback, especially if you do an organized tour. You will eat what the tour guide gives you. You will wake up when the tour guide tells you (think 4-5 a.m.). And if you hate the tour or the people you’re traveling with, you can’t easily leave because you’re in the middle of the desert. It’s not like you can hop in a taxi and just head over to Sydney. That’s not how it works.
8. You Will Be Gross. Like, Really Gross.
Sure, you may have access to the camp showers. But once you’re done, you’ll get dirty again. Because guess what? You’re in the desert. And it’s hot. And you’re just going to be really gross and sweaty and bugs are going to get in your hair. It’ll also be impossible to shave your legs.
9. You’ll Realize How Out Of Shape You Really Are.
Yes, you may have a gym membership and you can drop it like it’s hot in your Zumba class, but hiking Kata Tjuta (near the Red Rock) or Kings Canyon (located midway between Alice Springs and Uluru) is no joke. You will need water and lot of it. You will also need an 18-year-old German kid to carry your backpack because it’s too heavy and you’re struggling to climb the steep steps of Kings Canyon with it on your back.
Well, city girls, there you have it. But don’t be discouraged. A part of travel is getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things. So go ahead, plan your trip to the Outback. I’m sure you won’t die. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Are you a city girl? Do you like having options and cocktails and Netflix?