Tuesday 8th September 2015 – Thursday 8th September 2016
A year. I’ve been in Australia for A WHOLE YEAR. 12 months. 365 days. I swear, it feels like approximately 5 minutes has passed since I was waving my family goodbye in Manchester Airport, slightly teary but excited for the adventure I was about to go on, despite not really knowing where I was going. Alas it’s been a year. And what an adventure it has been.
It’s safe to say I’m not ready to go home yet, if ever. This year in Australia has made me wants to do more of this living on the road lifestyle, moving town to town, exploring places I never thought I’d see and experiencing different cultures and climates; from scorching humidity to freezing cold (or what us Brits would call ‘summer heat’). I just didn’t think this was the life for me or anything I’d ever really enjoy. Let’s all remember that it was only a few months before I decided to come to Oz on a total whim, that I was happy with life in Manchester, working in television and saving for a flat. In this past 12 months I’ve been to so many different destinations around the Australian Coast (yes, I’m yet to venture inland; that’s what I’ve got a second year planned for), and lived in places I’d never thought I’d live (on the beach in Mission Beach and on the side of Darling Harbour in Sydney). I am living. the. dream.
My ‘content with life’ face.
Other cool things I’ve done this year include:
- Held a koala bear (eep, cute and fluffy!)
- Hand fed a kangaroo
- Rode on the Happy Coach to Nimbin
- Sea kayaked and watched Dolphins
- Visited the famous Australia Zoo, home of the late Steve Irwin, and watched crocodiles be hand fed
- Canoed on the Noosa River and camped on the shore, in a tent, alone.
- Fell off a bunk bed and managed to get myself 3 free nights of food and accommodation (in hospital that is. Less cool and definitely less brain cells)
- Sand boarded down the dunes on Rainbow Beach
- Drove a 4X4 on the beach on Fraser Island
- Had a van party
- Flew a plane
- Rode a motorcycle and saw wild wallabies
- Sailed and snorkelled around the Whitsunday Islands
- Touched a giant blue fish whilst snorkelling
- Drove an open top car around Magnetic Island
- Fed wild rock wallabies
- Had a parrot sit on my head
- THREW MYSELF OUT OF A PLANE AND SURVIVED!
- Met a boy, Benjamin, who I think I’ll keep
- Spent my first Christmas away from home in the best place on Earth, Mission Beach
- Banana farmed in order to achieve my 88 days of regional work needed to acquire a second year visa
- Cycled 22km around Rotnest Island
- Fed a quokka
- Spent my 22nd birthday on the beach in Fremantle, WA
- Visited the Blue Mountains, twice
- Experienced Vivid Festival in Sydney
- Went whale watching and saw a mother and calf
- Experienced a State of Origin Match (GO QLD!)
- Watched a movie on the biggest cinema screen in the world, the IMAX at Darling Harbour
- Went to the Famous Bondi Beach and walked the coastal walk to Coogee
- Climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge!
And to top it all off my second year visa was accepted within 30 minutes, so I breeze into my second year straight away and BOY do we have some exciting plans. First on the list is the famous Great Oceon Road, for which we will be hiring a van and living on the road for the week as we drive the route and see everything the coast has to offer. We plan to head out there mid-December and spend Ben’s 22nd birthday on the road. Next will be Christmas and New Years in Sydney (!) and to say I’m excited is an understatement. New Years in Sydney was top of my to do list since I decided to come to Australia and so to be stuck in Mission Beach for it last year was, although we ended up having a blast anyway, disheartening. So we’re here, months in advance with our flat ready for those bad boy fireworks. I can’t wait. And shortly after the New Year we’ll be off to see what the West Coast has to offer, although we’re not yet sure as to whether we’ll be buying our own 4X4 or joining the Magic Bus tour from Perth to Broome before finding our way to Uluru and Alice Springs. The possibility are endless my friend, but there’s much excitement to come nonetheless. LET THE FUN BEGIN!