We landed in Brisbane the morning of the 14th and headed straight to the hostel we had booked the day before. The hostel was located pretty central so after resting up for a while at the hostel we took a walk towards town. We stopped and talked with a girl at a travel desk on the way and ended up booking a flight up to Cairns for the next evening and a greyhound buss pass that would let us travel down to Sydney from Cairns. I also booked Fraser Island which I'm going to do on the way down, It's a 3 day / 2 nights jeep tour on Fraser Island. Then we also booked a 3 day surf camp in Spot X, it included accommodation, food and surf lessons for the whole stay.

When we were done we continued to Queen Street Mall and had dinner at a Domino's close by (they have pizza for about $5!). Then we continued to South Bank where it was a really cozy walk path next to the water, coffee shops, restaurants and a cool public pool that looks like a beach. We had Ice Cream at Nitrogenie were they made the ice cream from scratch with nitrogen.

The next day we went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which is a Koala park a friend recommended. We took the bus there from town and it dropped us off right at the parking lot outside the park. There were Koalas everywhere inside and they had a area you could walk inside by yourself and feed kangaroos (we got to buy kangaroo food in the cafe next to it). They also had other animals like crocodiles, dingos, wombats, emus, birds etc in the park. We wanted to hold a koala but we learned that you had to buy a special ticket for that and we didn't know that until they were sold out, but we got to pet one and take a photo for free.

In the afternoon we went back to town and walked around in stores on Queens street for a while before we went back to the hostel to pick up our bags and head to the airport.

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The first day in San Diego we first drove to the hostel we had booked for the next two nights. We thought it would be nice to check in straight away and not need to think about that anymore but when we arrived the lady in the reception said we couldn't do it until later. Then we instead drove to La Jolla Beach and spent the day there, relaxing in the sun. It was a bit windy and we got a lot of sand blown on us but it was so nice just laying there without the knowledge we had to get back on the road soon again. In the afternoon we drove back towards the hostel but stopped for some grocery shopping along the way. The traffic was really crazy around La Jolla both on the way there and back with cars everywhere and we later realized there was some kind of fair going on just that day. Back at the hostel we took a shower and made some dinner before we headed into town. Our first thought was to try walking into town but we ended up taking the car instead. We stopped in Old Town which is kind of a historic site where they have built up a old style town with stores, post office, cafes etc and took a walk there, everything was pretty much closed up when we got there but it was nice anyway just having a look. I was in San Diego about a year before and Old Town was one of the places I visited then so it was a little flashback for me. Back at the hostel a girl in the reception had recommended a dessert place named Extraordinary Desserts in town so we drove there after our walk around Old Town. The place was like dessert heaven and we had so hard to decide for something but in the end we had two different pieces of cake that was soo good! Even though we had trouble finishing the second piece and ended up bringing it home for later because we was so full after just one.. We did a quick stop at the car and then we walked down to Gaslamp Quarter which is a popular street in Downtown San Diego with a lot of bars and restaurants. We walked along it down towards the water and then walked along the waterfront passing through Seaport Village and then making a quick stop at the Embracing Peace statue before returning to the car and head back home.

The next day we had breakfast at the hostel before we drove over to Coronado Beach which I had got recommendations about during my last visit but never had time to visit. It was a nice beach and not as windy as it had been in La Jolla. We spent the day there and then went back to the hostel for showers and dinner before we headed into town again. This time we just walked in some stores and gave into going back to Extraordinary Desserts for some late night sweets before going back home again.

The next day we checked out and started driving towards LA but had decided to sleep in the car one last night on the way there so we wasn't in a hurry to get there. We stopped at Black's Beach which I had heard about before. It was a nice but a bit steep walk path down from the area we parked the car to the beach. When we got down there though we got a little surprise because it turned out to be a popular nudist beach but we walked further down the beach and found a place without any people at. The sand by the water was really cool because there was patterns in dark sand mixed with the lighter one.. after a couple of hours there we walked up to the car and went to In-N-Out Burgers for dinner. We were lucky and got in exactly before the dinner rush with no line at all. When we had had our burgers and fries we drove to a outlet mall further up the road where we walked around for a while before we drove and found a rest area to sleep at for the night.

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After waking up we first drove into San Francisco, it was fun to see the city in daytime and we got to see a lot of the city just driving around looking for parking. I thought it was fun to drive up and down all the steep streets and I was amazed every time the car didn't start rolling backwards... when we finally found somewhere to park we walked towards Chinatown. On the way there we past by the Union Square where they had a heart sculpture we stopped and took some photos of.

Finally coming to Chinatown we didn't have super much time before we had to be back at the car so we focused on finding a place to eat and ended up on a small restaurant a bit away from the main street, there we ordered in some different dim sum dishes that was really good.

Afterwards we went back to the car and started driving to Santa Cruz where we had booked a room for the next night.

A bit outside San Francisco we started seeing different pumpkin patches and thought it could be fun to stop at one. When we had parked the car we first went and looked around at all the fruits and vegetables they were selling and ended up buying oranges, peaches, mangos, corn, a pomegranate and a big box of strawberries. After loading everything in the car we went and had a quick look at all the pumpkins before getting out on the road again.

The hotel room in Santa Cruz felt pretty luxurious after sleeping in the car for a few nights, especially because we had our own room with both bathroom and kitchen. But at night we got really creeped out by a big fight in the room over ours, there where people screaming about killing each other and loud noises so we were glad to leave the next day.

After Santa Cruz we went to Monterey where we first stopped at Lovers Point and stretched our legs before driving along the 17 mile drive. The coast view was amazing and we made a lot of stops along the way taking photos. When we felt done we drove down to Carmel beach and took a walk. The water was freezing but the sand was so nice to walk in.

We wanted to make it past Big Sur before it got dark so we soon went back to the car and kept driving. We had reed about a beach there we wanted to visit but when we finally was there we first saw that the beach was closed and then we came to a road block stopping all traffic from continuing. We learned that there wasn't any road down towards LA except from Monterey so we went back there for dinner and then drove down the 101 to a rest stop outside Bradley where we stayed the night.

The morning after we drove down back on Highway 1 and then up north to see how far we could get on that side. After driving all the way to where the road closed we turned down again and continued down towards San Diego. We stopped at Ragged Point which was a nice place along the coast with beautiful gardens and walk paths down to the beach.

In San Simeon there was a view point where we could stand and watch Elephant Seals laying on the beach. We expected to only see a few of them but the whole beach was full with them. It was fun to see them move because they would only move a little at the time before almost passing out for a while and then move a little more.

We wanted to reach San Diego that night so we spent most of the day driving. We made a stop at a beach to get out of the car for a while. There we talked with someone who told us there was a food fair going on in a town along the way so we went there afterwards which was a fun stop even though it wasn't that big when we got there. We went in a local pub next to the fair and listened to some live music before driving down to Santa Barbara where we had dinner at a Mexican place.

After seeing the sunset in Santa Barbara we went straight to San Diego.

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Because it got pretty late before we left Yosemite National Park we decided it was easiest just to sleep at a rest area again and instead drive into San Francisco the following morning.

After waking up we first made a stop in Pleasanton where we had some food before going to the public pool for a swim and shower. When we was done we drove towards the Golden Gate Bridge but what we didn't expect was that it would be such a thick mist around the bridge that we could barely see it... later I learned that it's really common to be that misty in San Francisco.

We took some pictures of the bridge and then we tried getting to the Point Bonita Lighthouse but unfortunately that day was one of the days it was closed so we just came to a dead end walking the trail there. Afterwards we parked the car next to the Golden Gate Bridge and walked over to the other side which was a different experience because of the mist. Finally in San Francisco we walked over to Pier 39 where we stopped and looked at a guy who were standing up in the air juggling and making funny yokes, walked in some stores and had a late dinner before returning to our car.

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After stopping and sleeping at a rest stop in Amargosa Valley we continued driving until we got to Death Valley where we were surrounded by sand and mountain as long we could see. It was a strange and unreal feeling that we actually was driving in the desert with only a barely working offline map on the phone, but in the same way so exciting not to be sure how it would turn out.

With time the desert landscape started to turn more rocky and after a while the road headed up among the mountains where the views were breathtaking at some some parts. It almost looked unreal and one of those things that are impossible to catch on a photo.

After leaving Death Valley National Park we stopped at Keogh Hot Springs for a swim which was a really nice stop after driving the whole day. The water was really warm and nice to swim in.

We hadn't really read anything about Yosemite before coming there but had the picture it would be some cool landscapes and that we would be able to go on a hike in the sun... which we really had to rethink because the closer we came to Yosemite the colder it got. Still we where to stubborn to change into warmer clothes so we were the crazy people running in and out of the car in shorts and tank tops taking pictures along the way while everyone else had warm jackets and camping gear.

The temperature kept dropping and after a while snow started showing on the ground and we ended up in a small snowstorm with the windshield wipers on max... so much for hike in the sun πŸ˜‚

When the snow finally stopped coming we decided to drive out of Yosemite because it would soon start to get dark and we didn't want to risk driving into another snowstorm even though it would have been cool to see the waterfalls in Yosemite Valley.

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Our first plan was to take a bus from Las Vegas to San Francisco and then rent a car there but after looking up buses and prices on some different sites we decided it would be nicer and easier to just rent a car straight from Las Vegas and drive to San Francisco. We learned that it was cheaper to rent a car from Sweden because the insurance is already included in the price then so a friend at home helped us book a car from there instead on Sunday morning.

We both felt like one more day i Las Vegas was enough and decided to rent it from Monday which felt like a good decision later because of everything that happened during Sunday night. Because we didn't get the chance to see much of the Strip the night before we decided to stay a bit longer in Las Vegas before leaving and went to Gordon Ramsay's Burger for lunch and then walked along the Strip for a few hours.

When we felt ready we took the car to a Target on the way out of town where we got some water, snacks and other things we needed for the trip before we drove off towards Death Valley.

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Today we started with making some breakfast in the hostel kitchen which ended up with two very funny looking pancakes, according to the girl next to us who agreed our first pancake might not look it's best, we would do much better with number two and three.. we didn't do a number three but number two surely proved her wrong by turning out totally burned πŸ˜…

Afterward we started walking down the old Las Vegas strip (Freemont street) which our hostel is located at, and made our way to Downtown Las Vegas. We found a cool street we thinking about visiting again tonight and see how it looks with all the lights.

After that we walked down Las Vegas Boulevard just exploring the area a bit in daytime. We went into the 'world famous gold and silver pawn shop' and meet a famous person from the tv show I have no clue who he is and I can't remember the name of.. we also lost count of the number of weddings we got to see, I believe we counted to around 7-8 couples.

We had some burgers at Carl's Jr for lunch and then we ended up at Circus Circus where we won some tickets at the coin machines which we changed in for a bag of candy before heading back to the hotel.

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So yesterday was the day. We finally left Sweden to travel around the world.. neither of us really grasping the fact we are going too but still super excited.

We drove down to Stockholm on Friday, staying a night at my aunts house and then yesterday my dad dropped us off at the airport with our backpacks and the moment we had waited so long for was actually there!

We dropped off our bags, went through security and sat down to fix some last things before getting on our first plan to London.

In London our next flight got a few hours delayed so we walked around stretching our legs in tax-free and then buying some snacks for the flight.

When we finally got the gate information we started walking there but right before the gate airport staff was checking everyones tickets and of course I was 'randomly chosen' to go through a extra security check from the homeland security and had to sit down and wait for someone to get me. After a while I got to go to a special area and get swiped and checked out but made it through without problem. Felt like just my luck.

While waiting through another hour delay we had the most fun so far on the trip watching a woman from the airport staff getting a driving lesson from another staff member trying to get into a staff elevator with something that looked a bit like a long golf car that they used to drive people with walking disabilities around the airport... in the end everyone around was laughing to tears and a group of older travelers from England started filming and coming with funny comments. The whole thing was so funny it's impossible to even describe what she was doing.

The flight to Las Vegas felt super long and it's nice we don't have to many of the to look forward to.. finally in Las Vegas my luck was there again and I had to stay behind in customs to be cleared again exactly like when I went to the States the last time, at least the staff was nicer here...

After grabbing our bags we got into a lyft ride and headed for our hostel, on the drive there we sat glued to the windows amazed over our first look at Las Vegas 😍

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