It feels good being able to type this on a keyboard instead of a touch screen.
Yesterday morning I arrived home from what has been one of the most significant experiences of my life. This trip was my first solo venture, and I feel like it couldn’t have been much more varied and exciting than it was. I still cannot believe that it’s over, as this month has traveled by the quickest of any I have ever known.
I wanted to recount my trip briefly, and summarise what I’d learned and loved from each place. For those who have me on Facebook, I apologise for the album spam yesterday, and I’ve put my favourite pictures from each trip on this blog for an easy, bite-sized, cliff notes type summary of my Australian Road Trip.
What I learned: The importance of local community, looking out for people and giving those with less what you can, even if you haven’t got a lot.
What I loved: The beer, the people, the atmosphere and of course…the beaches!
Lismore & Nimbin
What I learned: Music is at once a language, an art and a lifestyle. It influences us more than we think and has a profound affect on our moods.
What I loved: Learning from Bernard, the freedom of Nimbin and the fact a place like that exists in 2016!
Coffs Harbour & Newcastle
What I learned: How generous and trusting people can be and how important it is to spend time with locals when it comes to finding the best spots in a town or city.
What I loved: The time I spent with my hosts; Baz, Kev and Jon and how I’ve made long-term friends through couchsurfing.
What I learned: Cultural differences mean nothing when you’re talking with somebody one on one. Beneath all of our beliefs and lifestyles, we are all fundamentally after the same thing- to be happy.
What I loved: The city life, the stunning views and how easy it is to get around. The perfect location for a city with the landmarks, great food, drink and beautiful beaches.
What I learned: Family is the most important thing, and caring is not limited to just people. You don’t need money to be happy, all you need is enough to support the lifestyle that does.
What I loved: The nature, the hospitality of my Uncle Garry and Aunt Cath, hearing their stories and connecting with them. The scenery, the simplicity and the calm was meditative.
What I learned: Don’t judge a book by its cover, or rather, don’t judge a city when you’re tired. There is always something to fall in love with.
What I loved: Simply, Melbourne. What a city, what great character and what truly beautiful people.
The Great Ocean Road
What I learned: “Odds Are” is one of the best games ever invented. Americans are hella fun and hostels really shouldn’t put toilet and shower cubicles in the middle of the hallway.
What I loved: Driving on this road- as someone who loves driving. Twists, turns, views, hills, drops, tight corners and edges. It was heart-racing and genuinely the most spectacular journey I have ever been on.
The Great Barrier Reef
What I learned: That dreams do come true. Sacrifice what you need to sacrifice to do it, because no matter what, it will be worth it. Also, Scuba diving is one of the most enjoyable things you can do- if it scares you at first, then just keep doing it until it doesn’t scare you anymore!
What I loved: Experiencing the reef and the wildlife in all its glory, watching coral breathe and getting probably the most awesome photos ever taken of me.
What I learned: That Cairns is the Magaluf of Australia- basically a bunch of drunk English people- me being one of them. Also, don’t stay in an 8-Bed Dorm.
What I loved: The lagoon- swimming is the ultimate hangover cure. The warmth of the water and the fact you can actually get pints here!
What I learned: Brisbane is probably my favourite city. I still don’t really know why, but the views here were stupid good, and there’s just something about it that I can’t quite put my finger on, but I need to have a night out here at some point.
What I loved: The chilled out vibe, the restaurants, the scenery and just how easy it is to enjoy yourself there.
What a trip it was. Thank you to everybody who hosted me, everybody I met, and all of the family that made my trip so incredible. This was a big thing for me, and it’s something that I will never forget for as long as I live. I’ve had an awesome time, met some life-long friends and ticked plenty off my bucket list- so I’m pretty elated!
Where to next?
The blog is going to go quieter for a bit, as is inevitable as I need to save money again for the next trip. I still need to book in skydiving this month, so stay on the lookout for that, and of course I will blog about my Aussie Christmas. I’m hoping to plan another roadtrip in March, but I don’t think I’d be able to call that an Aussie adventure…
I’ll keep you posted and updated when I know more!
In the meantime, thank you all for following my journey and for your supportive and loving messages over the past few months and especially this month. I miss everybody in the UK massively, and it means the world to me that you’re with me on this trip. I hope you’ve enjoyed following my adventures, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy them from here, after all, I still have 8 months left!
Thanks for reading!
Goodbye, and carpe diem