The Pink Palace

Struggling in Surfer’s Paradise, going hard in Gold Coast


Surfer’s Paradise and Gold Coast, Australia: I’m drunk

Coming from a small hippie town where everyone wear tie-dye dresses and no shoes (Byron Bay) and going to Surfer’s Paradise with skyscrapers and Macca’s is just what we need. We are staying at The Islander, which is very close to the main strip that leads to the beach. Since we arrive in the evening, we go to an Irish pub on the strip for dinner and some beers, when our friend Jay calls us.

Jay was a guest at The Pink Palace back in 2013, and what a legend. Always wearing Budgy Smugglers and singing Disney songs, he was one of those people you remember very well. We’ve all kept in touch, and he’s invited us to stay at his parents’ house in a few days. And right now, he is out with a friend, drunk, and wants to meet up.

Sharon and I quickly finish a few beers and then meet Jay and his friend Veronica. We go to The Avenue, where we all spend at least $100 each on drinks and dance to the live music. We’re having a great time, when I spot a guy from Boracay that Sophie and I desperately tried to avoid. So what do I do? I go over to him and say hi of course! After that, we go to Orporto for a late night snack, before Sharon and I go back to the hostel and crash.


The following day, we go to a Vodafone store to sort out a plan. We are told we need our passports, so we go back to the hostel to get them. When we come back, we are told we need a list of transactions from our Australian bank account. We go to the bank to get them, but their printer is not working. We go buy lunch at Woolies, when the bank calls us to inform us the printer is working again. We get the lists, go to Vodafone and then I realize I need to go get my Westpac card, instead of my Danish card, so I run back to the hostel again. When I get back, we finally get things sorted out. We eat our lunch back at the hostel, but it’s nowhere near filling, so we run to McDonald’s, where we order on touch screens (!). We treat ourselves to a nap after our trying day, and for dinner, we have Mexican food and frozen sangria. We’re mentally and physically preparing ourselves for the mayhem that is hanging out with Jay.

We check out in the morning and go to Ripleys Believe it or Not!, which is an interesting experience. Kinda shit, really.

We then go sit on the beach for a while. It’s a beautiful day, but we didn’t bring our bathing suits, so we just sit on a staircase in the sun and look at the bright blue sea, when Jay calls. He is on his way to pick us up, so we head back to the hostel to pick up our backpacks. We drive for a while before we reach Sanctuary Cove, a gated community on the Gold Coast. We are staying with Jay’s parents, Cathy and Ian, in their beautiful 4 bedroom (I think?) house – or should I say mansion!? I have never stayed in a nicer house, and it’s full of life – the parents of another Pink Palace guest are also staying, as well as Jay’s sister, Nikki.

I jokingly ask Jay about kangaroos and whether there are any around here, since there is a big golf course in their backyard. He asks Nikki and Cathy as if I’m crazy, which makes me regret it – until Cathy takes us in her golf buggy to see a big mob of them! A few of the females are carrying joeys, and they let us get pretty close to them, before jumping away. Such a great experience.

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Jay is heading to work at the Cove, and we sit back at the house for a while, watching TV with Nikki. Around dinnertime, Nikki drives us to the Cove so we can get some food and drinks while watching Jay work. It’s a Tuesday, which is usually pretty quiet, but as soon as we arrive, it gets quite busy. We have a few beers and one of Jay’s homemade drinks, which gets me pretty drunk. After Jay gets off work at around 10 PM, we go back and watch Aladdin in the TV room. After that, we watch Pawn Stars and I am so intrigued that I fall asleep and start snoring. Loudly. We go back into the room and have an amazing nights sleep in the most comfortable bed I’ve been in in ages.

The next morning, Jay gets up early to play golf with his dad, while we sleep in. Around 11, we finally get up and lazily starts dressing before trying to sort out bank stuff. It’s proving to be very difficult. Nikki knocks on our door an hour later to let us know they’re heading out for the day, and then Jay gets back and takes us to his workplace, where we get some food – we’ve only eaten a banana all day. At night, Jay is working again, and the whole family is going out, so they show us how to drive the golf buggy – and that’s how I drove my first golf buggy!!

Scared shitless about driving on the left side in the dark, I manage to get us to the Cove, where it is completely hectic, with an hour long wait for food. We try a sparkling wine called Innocent Bystander, just because of the name, and it proves to be amazing. A few of those later, we are driving home behind Jay. It turns into a bit of a witch hunt, Jay being the witch who’s driving with his lights off.

The next day, we sleep in yet again, and since Jay has a few stuff to sort out, he drives us to Main beach. We lay out there for a while, before we decide to walk 3 km to Surfer’s Paradise for lunch. We accidentally end up on a crazy shopping spree, buying jewelry, blue hairdye, clothes and whatnot. Before we know it, it’s almost 5 PM and Jay is on his way to pick us up.

We go to the Cove for dinner again, and then we pre-drink at Jay’s house, before going out in Surfer’s. First up, we go to Waxies for beers, then Avenue for more drinks, and then Orporto for late night snacks, before being picked up by an Uber driver.


On our last full day with Jay, we go to the mall to buy some stuff, and some beer and champagne for his parents as a thank you for letting us stay with them. We have a quick nap before sitting down with everyone for a great dinner and a chat about our countries educations systems and how we can extend our stay in Australia. Jay and Kimberly (the mom of the other PP guest) have a great discussion about equality. Kimberly brings up hand jobs. We are almost on the floor, laughing.

We start pre-drinking, taking turns introducing each other to good music, when our Uber driver arrives a bit too early. We hurry outside and go to Surfer’s yet again. At Waxies, we meet up with a couple of Jay’s girlfriends, joking about how Jay has so many girls sitting around him, and yet he’s still watching the sports game on TV. We move on to Melba’s, a nightclub full of creeps grabbing us for a dance every now and then. Jay follows one of the girls home, as she is “too drunk”, so Sharon and I grab his keys, go to Orporto, and then get an Uber driver back to Sanctuary Cove.

In the morning, Jay calls me and asks me to unlock the front door. He then goes to sleep, while we start packing very slowly. I am feeling hungover for the first time in ages, but thank God it’s not too hard to be alive today. We go to Macca’s for brunch, before Jay drives us all the way to Brisbane, which is so sweet of him. We’re going to miss him so much!

A look back on (at least) 14 hangovers

hfdihdf2014 has come and gone quickly. Just this time last year, I was preparing for my final exam and packing up my things to put in storage. I was daydreaming of colourful sarees, paradise beaches and freedom. Now, a year later, I am doing almost exactly the same. I have booked a flight to Cambodia early next year, and have been granted a Working Holiday Visa for Australia. I am excited, nervous and poor. I still have a lot of planning and purchasing to do before I’m ready for departure.

As everyone sits down to reflect on their year (usually with that stupid Facebook feature), I’ve created a list (yes, another list) of some accomplishments/experiences that I found worthy of sharing with someone. I clearly live an exciting life.


  • Visited 10 countries (if you count Burma)
  • Was (only) reported for pornography on Facebook twice


  • Made this website
  • Ate bull’s testicles (read here)
  • Tried mead, the drink of Vikings
  • Got really fat. Again.
  • Read 4 books in one week, because I am bored and unemployed


  • Rode a camel and ripped my pants (read here)
  • Danced on stage in front of the entire city of Udaipur (read here)
  • Was kinda sexually assaulted by a group of men and managed to laugh at it (read here)
  • Threw colors at people (read here)
  • Motorboated a lady boy (read here)
  • Danced on stage at a stripclub (read here)
  • Ran away from my friends during a pubcrawl to look for 7-11 toasties
  • Lived on pad thai and banana lassis for almost a week
  • Rode an elephant and almost passed out while sitting on it (read here)
  • Was hit by a tiger’s tail (read here)
  • Had my name written by a vagina on a piece of paper (read here)
  • Got into my first fight (read here)
  • Rode a scooter for the first time and cried about it (read here)
  • Fell off a scooter. Twice.
  • Puked on myself and could do nothing about it for 12 hours (read here)
  • Donated blood at a children’s hospital (read here)
  • Became addicted to laughing gas (read here)
  • Ziplined (read here)

The Pink Palace 

  • Peed on a door on Aga’s birthday
  • Bought an inflatable crocodile, just so I could say “Is it your crocodile?” (watch Chris D’elia’s drunk girls parody around 2:11)
  • Pretty much quoted all of Chris D’elia’s jokes all summer
  • Crashed at a friend’s room, and did “the walk of shame” with a strap-on in one hand, the crocodile in the other
  • Was hit on by a straight man and a lesbian at once, and ended up going to bed to cuddle with the crocodile instead
  • Made the summer a bit too much about my crocodile
  • Got so drunk off mimosas during a breakfast shift, that I ended up staying at the bar DJ’ing most of the day instead of working
  • Drank retsina on the beach bar roof and saw shooting stars
  • Sat next to a foul smelling dog and talked about it for an hour
  • Pretended to be American and was busted several times by a group of Danish girls that had been there last year. And I still denied it.
  • Dressed up as a pirate for the booze cruise
  • Was forced to do my first body shot on the booze cruise. Wasn’t happy about it.
  • Did a 12 people, 3 AM ouzo circle that was absolute shit and amazing
  • Sexually harassed a shy co-worker for fun
  • Yelled at a family at dinner
  • Had a cake fight on Aga’s birthday
  • Forced myself to accept #CTMO
  • Planned a Full Moon Party that was so fun, our boss made us have as many Moon parties as possible
  • Got tons of free ice creams and compliments from Dr. George
  • Went to Jumbo like every week
  • Fell on my face all the time
  • Pretty much only drank champagne from the bottle and blacked out everytime
  • Sold an overwhelming amount of blowjob shots. To guys.
  • Dyed my hair pink
  • Danced to Martin Garrix – Animals every morning
  • Drank mimosas almost every morning, too
  • Pretended to be 17 and related to a guy from Chile


  • Had my hands full of beer steins
  • Was served breakfast, which was really just beer, through a funnel
  • Stole a pretzel for Hollie from the guys sitting next to us at one of the beer tents
  • Watched a drunk Asian woman try to run away from the medics
  • Bought myself a unicorn
  • Cuddled with Aga and Hollie to keep warm, while Aga was puking
  • Tried to watch The Other Woman three times, but kept falling asleep

I’ll end this post and this year with some of my favorite photos, just to prove I haven’t just been on the couch these past 365 days.

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Happy New Year! 2015, come at me.

My Pink Palace


(note: most of this was written in late August)

I’m home after two months of chasing guys that don’t like me, drinking champagne from the bottle and regretting it the day after, and most of all, working. It’s been pretty much non-stop, from breakfast until 2 or 3 at night. For the first time in many years, The Pink Palace was over-booked. It is rare that it reaches its maximum capacity of 300-something, but this year, we were pushing towards 600 guests – and more than half of them were families! Ugh.

I was jet-lagged, sick and tired when I arrived on July 3rd. Alcohol was hard to keep down, and my eyes were hard to keep open. I suffered from Boring many times during my two months in Corfu, but I enjoyed many of my nights cuddling with Jack, our inflatable crocodile too much to care. I got to read books. I finally got to see shooting stars while sipping on Retsina on the beach kitcken roof. I took plenty of naps.

A typical day this summer would go like this, with very few variations day to day:
Aga and I would wake up and go to breakfast, which started at 8. As the rest of the staff working breakfast didn’t seem to care if they were late for work, we started going at 9.30. We’d get the room keys from the cleaning lady and see if everyone checking out had already left – and if not, we had to give them a firm reminder that they would be charged if they didn’t get out. This led to many sights of morning wood and white butts. At one point we would leave after that and set up tables for dinner, but Dr. George, the owner, sent us down to the kitchen after a week or so of setting up tables.
After that, we would eat breakfast and pick up the guests plates. When Pete, our good friend through all our Pink years, was present, we’d usually drink mimosas. At 11, breakfast ended, and staff and the cool guests announced that by putting on Martin Garrix – Animals and fist pumping like drunk people (which we sometimes were, as one mimosa is never enough).
After cleaning up everything at breakfast, we headed up to the office to do marketing, party planning and picture sorting. For a short period, we had to stay and do lunch all day, thanks to a total cunt playing boss, but Dr. George had our backs! Aga and I would have a few hours in there where we would go to lunch at one of the beach restaurants with Pete, or take a nap. Then we would go do dinner.
Dinner was greeting and seating people, offer them 1 € shots after they’d been served and then tell them about the party for the night. We would clean up the dinner hall and polish cutlery until midnight, unless Aga and I had planned a party that called for body painting, which gave us an excuse to leave so we could paint the guests.
We’d start the party by painting people, setting up drinking games, or tying their togas, depending on the theme for the night. At one point, we had to bus at night too, but there was no way you could keep us up till 3 or 4 at night every night with everything else going on. We had quite a few early nights, as my body never fully recovered from my traveling.

So I guess what I should really say, is that my year was kind of disappointing, and I blame that on myself for being tired, and the staff for causing drama, spreading bad vibes, and giving no fucks about their jobs.

A great thing was, that my summer was one giant reunion. Former staff members and guests came back, and it was amazing. Pete, Bieber, Shank, Jordan, Cole, the Albanian girls, and many more. A lot of things have changed here since 2012, for better and for worse, but it was nice that my old friends came back to see it and still enjoyed it, because this place truly is magical. It has everything you need, and then it’s up to the people that are there to make it the party hostel it is supposed to be – even with families around. Aga and I arranged all the parties, and we tried really hard to have a theme or a game every night. We tiredlessly painted the same swirls and dots on guests for all the parties involving bodypaint. We drove to Jumbo constantly to stock up on glowsticks. We made posters, we told everyone about the parties at dinner, and we kept trying to get people involved, and most of the time we ended up with a camera full of pictures of smiling faces and painted bodies. I am proud of the work we did, and we got great reviews and feedback from many guests and some of our co-workers.

I was often desperate to leave the Palace during the daytime, as Agios Gordios, Corfu Town and Paleokastritsa are such beautiful places, and I wanted to spend more time there. We snuck out every chance we got, because we felt like everyone would be mad if they knew that we ate lunch somewhere else, or went shopping for friendship bracelets in town. We treated our summer like it was our last time there. I tried some amazing food in Agios Gordios: pastas, saganaki, calamari and moussaka. I sat on the back of a quad to and from Corfu Town plenty of times, just thinking about little and big things in life. Some people have moments of genius in the shower; mine were on the back of a quad. Whenever I wasn’t at the Palace, I forgot all about being tired, and I forgot about the staff.

As the lovely bartender Sue put it: “this is the worst staff this place has ever seen“. Not only did people come and go as they pleased after two weeks, 9 days or even just 2 hours of working here. The staff that actually stayed ended up clashing so much, that I spent most of my days wondering how I could make them leave. I thought working there 3 summers in a row would earn you a bit of respect, but instead I felt that Aga and I were constantly bossed around. We ended up being just a very small group that hung out and partied, while others watched us from the sideline, judging us. When we were over-booked, we were so busy, that I burned out completely. It didn’t help at all that we were severely under-staffed all summer, and no one seemed to think breakfast, marketing, dinner and night activities is enough of a workload.

It’s funny, because the owner, Dr. George, really appreciated Aga and me this year. Every chance he could get, he would tell us how much it meant to him that we were there, and that we were doing a great job. It wasn’t until last year that he even learned our names, and now he was handing out free ice creams and compliments and even a very nice bonus when we left! It made me feel so much better to know that at least we were pleasing the only person whose opinion matters: Dr. George.

Now that it’s all been said, I have to admit that all the partying was great, but I’ve forgotten most of it. I will always remember the great friends I’ve made here though, so a massive thanks to them for making my summer. And Chile, you were an amzing big brother. May you never have less than two people in your bed.

I realize that this post is boring, with no pictures, stories or people. When I get my memory back I will try and put up another on about this summer, I sorta promise.

Update: here is a video of my summer. It’s not looking too bad, eh?

How I was bitten by the travel bug

The more I look around me, the more I see people having it just as bad as I have. We share the same symptoms: Eyes light up, when the subject is travelling, or places we’ve been to. A lack of enthusiasm over anything that happens at home. Difficulty making plans, as there is a chance we’ll be long gone by then. The feeling of being too big for this place. Diagnosis: Wanderlust.

I can’t brag about being a ‘real’ traveler. As a Scandinavian, I’ve only visited two out of our three countries. As a European, I’ve only visited about 13 countries on the continent. My first and only time out of Europe was two weeks in Los Angeles and Vancouver. I visit the main tourist attractions, the road most travelled, and I haven’t been away from home more than two months at a time.

When I was younger, I suffered from severe homesickness. Sleeping at a friends’ place or going on an overnight school trip was dreadful. I missed my bed, and I missed my mommy. I could deal with our week-long family vacations in Turkey, Bulgaria and Spain, because I had my family with me. In 2010, I was on my first holiday without them; it was just me and two girlfriends from High School on a 5-day trip to Barcelona. It was amazing, but when the buzz from the Sangria started wearing off, I was there, on the dance floor of a crowded club, and I just wanted to go home. Things aren’t like that anymore.

The following year, two girlfriends and I decided that we should try Interrailing. A 22-day trip around Europe by train. We had to wear backpacks, practical but ugly hiking sandals, miss out on a few showers and eat croissants on the floor of a dirty train station. This was certainly new and exciting, but I wasn’t very sure of it, and I considered cancelling several times. A month before departure, my boyfriend of 4.5 years, whom I lived with, broke up with me. I was hurt and lost, and finally, Interrail seemed like a good idea. We had some amazing times around Europe; we hated Paris, partied hard in Nice, walked till our feet fell off in Milan, took a break in Florence, fell in love with Rome, suffered in Bari, and then there was Corfu. The rest of our trip was spent hungover from Corfu. Everyone in my life knows that I have a longstanding love affair with The Pink Palace in Corfu and the people travelling there, but the reason that island and that hostel was so important to me on that trip, is that I realized I had gotten over my ex-boyfriend one fateful night at the Palladium. There were a few times on our trip when I missed him and contemplated sending him a text. It was our second night or so at The Pink Palace, and we sat at a table at Palladium, having drinks. No one was dancing; I don’t even think there were that many people there. This group of guys walked over to us, sat down and started chatting us up. At first I was texting my ex, but the guys got increasingly interesting, and suddenly I noticed that one of the guys was really cute. My phone conversation started to annoy me – the final straw was my ex trying to make me feel homesick, saying even his mom was missing me. I looked at the text and thought “fuck that, I am over this now” and I had an amazing night with the cute guy. Of course I was “in love” for half a year after that, but we never talked again.

I kept coming back to Corfu and The Pink Palace, and I “fell in love” again my third time around, less than a year after my first visit. I was so “in love”, not just with this guy, but also with this place, that I came back a few weeks later to work there for a month. And then returned a few months later to visit my new family and my “boyfriend”. And then I returned the next summer to work there for two months. Every time has been difficult to remember, and difficult to forget.


Being “in love” made me do crazy things, so one day I booked a trip far away to go see him. I had two amazing weeks in two amazing places, and this guy wasn’t even the main reason why my trip was so great. I got to see the USA I had always dreamt of seeing, I was hit on in the subway, people greeted me when I did my morning jog on the beach, I got to go to the Jay Leno Show, and then there was Canada. I met up with people I had befriended back at The Pink Palace, I saw the beautiful nature and I got hammered daily. Looking back, parts of it are sort of bittersweet, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have travelled to whereever my “heart” has taken me so far, and it has enabled me to meet people, experience things and see the most beautiful sights. I can’t imagine living a life in just one place anymore.

So now I am here, on the verge of graduating and moving out of my apartment and quitting my jobs and selling my things. I’m going on an adventure. I have only planned a few months ahead. Maybe I’ll come back soon and be an office rat and find a boyfriend who understands the language I speak, but maybe not. I want to see every continent, do every festival, meet all the interesting and fun people and just be true to myself, whenever I find out who that is. My only true belongings will be my actions, and I will keep my “heart” and mind open to everyone and everything.


not all those who wander are lost