So April 10th 2013 marks six month since we left the UK for Australia. Since we landed in Australia, we have travelled the East Coast of Australia, hated and loved Melbourne, completed 88 days regional work by picking oranges, driven in a camper-van from Adelaide to Melbourne and fallen in love with Australia so much that we changed our plans completely. Here are my six highlights of the last six months…
1. Landing in Sydney – For as long as I have loved travel I have wanted to head to Sydney and see the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach. They have been iconic places all the way through growing up yet felt so far beyond reach so finally being able to see them was amazing. Landing on the other side of the world and being able to say to anyone who thought you couldn’t do it ‘look I’m here’ is an exhilarating feeling.
2. Travelling the East Coast – Getting to see all the places that have sounded like a fantasy is incredible. Fraser Island, Byron Bay, Whitsunday Islands, Cairns the list just goes on and on. Over the six weeks we took to travel up the coast I achieved everything I had wanted to for years. It might be the typical backpacker route of Australia but no matter how popular it is the reason for that is because it really is that good.
3. Completing 88 days of Regional Work – We never really set out to achieve this until we had completed 44 or so days. I think that amongst other things makes our achievement feel more rewarding. We got to bask in beautiful South Australia in the hottest summer on record but to achieve that luxury we had to pick oranges in that same intense heat for 6 days a week and only be paid per a bin we picked. The gruelling task felt incredible only once we had finished.
4. Sky Diving – This has been a bucket list item for me since 2010, I have had several chances to do this but none of them have ever come through until we arrived in Cairns, yes even throughout the East Coast chances were still passing me by. However when I suddenly realised my budget allowed a sky dive I was in the office booking it the same day. Having watched my friends have their sky dive cancelled 3 days in a row; I wasn’t holding much hope for this time to come through either. Somehow I got lucky this time and had my first experience of jumping 14,00ft out of a plane. Needless to say I loved it and have wanted to do it again ever since.
5. Driving the Great Ocean Road – Another bucket list item for me – the Great Ocean Road is something I have collected pictures of and lusted over for the last three or so years so finally getting to see the Apostles, London Bridge, Gibson Steps etc. had me jumping around like a small excited child. I am thankful I visited towards the end of peak season as it really has become a very busy tourist hub. Still that aside this area of Australia is beyond beautiful.
6. Moving in to a fancy apartment – Might seem a strange highlight but after five months of living in hostels I was very ready for a chance to have my own space and some privacy. As soon as I had secured a job in Melbourne we went on the flat hunt only to be lucky enough to secure the first place we viewed! On the Southbank of the Yarra River it is prime location for city life as well as feeling very much like a hotel with its own gym and swimming pool! It isn’t like any other flat I have ever lived and before now I would never have imagined being able to afford something like this (the price is similar to my London flat which was a tiny 1 bed apartment in the north).
Seeing my highlights in black and white makes me realise how much of a bucket list ticking off six months it has been. Every now and then it will dawn on me that this is the life I wished for constantly over the past few years and now I have it. I really feel very lucky and privilege to be living the life I am, however I know it isn’t just luck that got me here. In the months leading up to leaving the UK I worked so hard to earn and save money which enabled me to achieve all of those bucket list items.
This by no means is everything great I have done in the last six months, some of the top things that just missed the list were; Christmas, New Year and Australia Day in Waikerie, having my first surfing lesson, flying in Bruce’s plane to castaway and seeing the Great Barrier Reef – even if the fish freaked me out too much the first time round.
My advice to you is; if you dream something don’t just sit back dreaming go out there and make it happen because you have nothing to lose. Now is the right time to follow your dreams you have the rest of your life for everything else.