Once again, I write this after a slight blog ‘hiatus’. But my word do I have a good excuse and bring you the reason I left it so long. That reason is this incredible, beautiful, out of this world, life changing, crazy place.
The beginning of last year was a bit of a crappy time and I decided on a whim that I was going to jump on a plane to Australia… a few conversations with family and friends later, and I decided to push it back a year to be sensible and do it properly. So there it was all booked and ready and waiting for me. The next year was slightly agonising and by the time March this year came around, I was done and just needed to get there. I remember being SO nervous in the weeks leading up. I found it hard sitting in a cafe by myself and couldn’t do a little day trip without planning it to a T, let alone travelling to the other side of the world with no itinerary other than my skydive I had spontaneously booked in a day after I would land. 24 hours of flying, 6 hours running around Hong Kong (by myself!!) and two expanding water retention ankles later, I was in Brisbane hugging my Uncle Guy.
Years I had waited to get out and see my family and experience their lives. I always tried to see my Uncle whenever he was around in the UK, but my Auntie and cousins weren’t seen enough and I was so ready to get some quality family time and finally meet Pumpkin the Cattle Dog. I loved every single minute of my time with them exploring Noosa & Melbourne.
It sounds cheesey and bit over the top, but this place genuinely saved my worn down little soul. I am so proud of myself for doing something that was completely out of my comfort zone. I did 13 flights in the space of 4 weeks, threw myself out of a plane, integrated into groups of people I had never met before and bonded with them over our experiences. I endured the most horrific overnight train you could imagine, got stuck in Sydney, stung in the Whistsundays, suffered from a heat stroke episode and booked the wrong flights, but the whole time I just felt chilled and after one little cry in a train station toilet cubicle and a ‘you can do it’ text from my amazing mum, I put my motivational, ‘you’re independent and you’ve got this’ song on and powered on through.
All of that was so so worth it when I got to go off-roading on Fraser Island, stargaze into the clearest skies I have ever witnessed, eat copious amounts of banana bread, cuddle koalas, chill with kangaroos, share a room with ghekkos and eat lunch with a goanna. I zip lined through a rainforest.. in the rain… rode a horse on the beach, managed to not freak out looking at golden orb spiders, learnt bush survival tips and ate ant bums (I’m saying no more…) I had my first casino experience and won $20, became a coffee drinker!! (24 years of hating the stuff and my cousin told me I was not leaving Melbourne until I was turned), swam with turtles, sting rays and saw sharks, learnt how to play the didgeridoo and throw a boomerang and most importantly, I met some of the most wonderful people and I’m going to say it… it’s happening, I’m so sorry… found myself.
4 weeks in this place and I lost a piece of my heart to it and undeniably found pure happiness.
London → Hong Kong → Brisbane → Noosa → Fraser Island → Noosa → Airlie Beach → Whitsundays → Melbourne → Sydney → Brisbane → Noosa → Brisbane → Cairns → Cape Tribulation → Brisbane → Hong Kong → London