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One traveller's day-by-day account of a year-long journey through Japan, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada

Back in the town, I bumped into a couple of familiar faces. The first was Sebastien, the ginger German from Auckland. Alas, he was moving on today. The second was none other than Dwayne. The horror... the horror... He'd just arrived. I was friendly to him but was appropriately vague about my plans.

I got back to the dorm to find two people's stuff had been added. One chap was in fact still there, Tom from Chester, and he was a spot-on bloke. We were like-minded guys, and nipped down to the bar that evening for a couple of Tuis and a chat about Hollyoaks.

Returning to the dorm to get ready for bed, I found the other dormmate sorting her stuff. I acknowledged her with a smile but didn't chat. I had a pillowcase to tackle.

My, how different my time in New Zealand would have been if it had been left at that. But then she turned and confidently introduced herself with a glowing smile.

"Hi, I'm Yan."

And we got chatting. She was an absolutely lovely girl, a German of Chinese descent. And in maybe only fifteen minutes of conversation, I could tell we were scarily on the same wavelength. It was a real shame we were both moving on in the morning.