REPORT CARD EDITION: One Month in Australia- Fishing, scubadiving and couchsurfing

It’s almost exactly one month (to the minute) since I stepped on the plane to Australia. The culmination of 8 years of thoughts, dreams and cheeky peeks on Skyscanner at work came to fruition. Getting off the plane was clouded by tiredness and sheer relief that my baggage didn’t get left in Dubai, and just as I suspected it wouldn’t, it still hasn’t sunk in that I’m actually here.

Life hasn’t exactly carried on as normal from my life in England, and that’s good news because that’s exactly what I didn’t want to happen. Just to give you an idea of the change in mood this place has given me, I wanted to list off some good things that have happened since I’ve arrived (in other words, I’m going to brag and make you read it).

  1. I’ve dropped a stone in weight since July.
  2. I’m exercising more than I ever have without a gym membership and I’m enjoying it.
  3. I’m drinking much less.
  4. I’ve seen more amazing sights here in a month than I have in the past year.
  5. I’m talking to family members that I’ve never spoken to before.

Okay I’m done. I just wanted to get a few of those out there, because honestly there have been so many positives since moving here that sometimes I can’t stop myself just smiling at nothing.

As some of you have seen, I went fishing the other day. What I showed on Facebook was me successfully holding a flathead that I caught on what was my 3rd cast. What you didn’t see were the first two failed attempts- one of which ending up tangled in the branches of the tree, but that’s the beauty of the facade of social media- you only have to show what you want people to see (omg that’s like so deep).

I really enjoyed it though, it’s something that I’ve always wanted to try and I’m glad I got the opportunity to give it a go. No doubt, I’ll be going back out on the river with the guys sooner rather than later- I might even have to get a rod of my own (giggity).

Another thing I’m going to turn my hand to soon is scubadiving. This is one of my “big 3” activities that I want to do while I’m here, the other 2 being skydiving and bungee jumping. This is the one activity that isn’t giving my poor mother sleepless nights, although that might change if she found out I wanted to swim with sharks as well- sorry Mum.

The PADI Open Water course is about $500.00 depending on where you go, and getting certified means you can scubadive pretty much anywhere you like with a buddy. I’m going to look further into it this month and get certified before I head to Cairns in November so I don’t have to faff around with introductory dives while I’m there. Always thinking ahead.

Also, if anybody has any recommendations for what GoPro to buy for scubadiving then please let me know your thoughts!

While we’re on the subject of recommendations, I’ve recently started planning my stop-off points for my roadtrip, so if you know anywhere cool along the east coast then let me know. I’ve already had a couple of offers from hosts on couchsurfing.org which is awesome, and my wonderful aunt and uncle up in the mountains have also offered me a place to lay my head for a couple of days. (The image for this blog is a picture of a snowgum tree, brought to my attention by my Dad as there are a lot of these up in the mountains and they are absolutely bloody beautiful).

All that’s left for me to do is book my dates for my various activities, and not tell these dates to my parents so they’re not fearing for my life. I can actually do that now, because the bank sent me through a card that I can use online. They were so quick and helpful that I feel bad now for calling them morons in my last post. This is what Australian friendliness has done to me- I’M FEELING BAD FOR F*CKING BANKS!

I should really start editing these blogs- everything just sort of comes out as a stream of consciousness and part of me hates it because Ulysses gave me nightmares at university, but the other part of me is just relieved I can get everything out without thinking too much about it. Unlike my novel which basically takes up about 80% of my thoughts at any given time. The other day I found myself researching what climates different fruits need to grow so that my writing is accurate, yet I’ve got talking goblins with no explanation as of yet why these fuckers haven’t been slaughtered in some sort of genocide. George RR Martin-esque.

So Australia, after one month I can tell you that you’ve done well.

Scenery: A* : Keep up the good work.

Weather: B : Not bad, but you can do better.

People: A : It would have been an A*, except for the really messy people who leave their tables looking like post-war Vietnam at work.

Activities: A : It will be an A* once I start jumping off of high places.

Driving: D : As in D for all Queenslanders drive like dicks. Bloody bogans!

So yeah, everything is going pretty swimmingly so far. I’m going to go and spend a bit more time planning, writing and seeking out family members for couches to sleep on- I might just type my surname into Google and see what comes up. I hope everybody who is reading these is enjoying them, and if you have a WordPress account then give me a follow and drop me a comment too.

Mount Warning is only 10 days away now, so be sure to follow me on Instagram and add me on Snapchat to get a look at the ascent, and hopefully some cracking views! In the meantime, I hope you’re all doing well and living life to the full.

Come with me and you’ll be in a word of pure imagination.

RIP Willy Wonka

Snapchat: jamesinaus

Instagram: malzjames

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