Monday, 6 June 2016

Australia Dreaming.....*

 Yes, I am dreaming of escaping to an island so I can see clear blue sea like this one again. I have been lucky enough to travel to Australia and I have to say it was the most amazing experience of my life. I was there for 22 months and managed to travel all the way around the outside; starting in Brisbane, going north to Townsville, stopping off to see Magnetic Island on the way. Airlie Beach was amazing, there’s nothing that will quite compare to watching the sunset in the Whitsundays, whilst sitting on a sailing ship……#bliss
 






Cairns was next along with a stop off in Cape Tribulation. A flight west took me to Darwin which led me on a 3 week tour down the coast and inland, sleeping out under the stars in a swag, cooking on gas stoves, walking down to natural pools and then up again. There were long days aboard our trusty minibus, thankfully we had music, UNO and sleep to help pass the time. Long-life friends were made, stories shared and selfies taken. Best 3 weeks of my life. In between we stopped off in Broome, left some friends there and picked up new ones. One more weekend of sleeping out under the stars and then it was back to hostel life for the remainder of this tour. Nothing like going without proper showers/toilets to make you appreciate running water and washing facilities!

 
Perth was the next destination for me, a visit to King’s Park reminding me of a promise made only 7 years prior, that I would one day return.
 
 
After staying a while to refresh, re-focus, do all necessary washing it was time to move on to Adelaide for yet another tour. This one would be along Australia’s most famous (road), The Great Ocean Road. Here there were views aplenty of crystal blue oceans and the touristy stop offs, The 12 Apostles, (actually there were never 12, only 9 and now only 7!), London Bridge, The Razorback and Loch Ard Gorge……..having pizza & cider on Gibson Steps beach with the sun setting was pretty magical.
 
 

Arriving in Melbourne, I could feel I had finally ‘come home’, with its funky architecture, arty vibes and of course many a piece of graffiti hidden around many a corner. Here I again made more friends and discovered Melbourne. It was a place in which no maps were needed, that lended, nay begged to be explored off piste, It almost stretched out its arms to say, come find yourself, here among the hidden laneways and there’s no getting lost here, just finding something that wasn’t there before. I could breathe a sigh of relief and put myself there, to be comforted, nursed and brought back to centre. The Melbournian people were so helpful, so happy, even when it decided to rain. I instantly made a connection, as if my whole journey had all the time been leading me here. Now I was here and I didn’t want to leave. But onward I went, to further explore the magnificent country and perhaps to find myself experiencing the same joy as I had found so comforting, so wanting, there in Melbourne. Alas, it was time to leave, for there was more I had to uncover.


I had to board a minibus to Sydney. Taking in The Snowy Mountains and Canberra along the way. Funny thing about Australia, when they were trying to decide on a Capital for it, such was the fight between these two big guns that finally it was decided the Canberra would get it. just like siblings squabbling, the younger, much less obvious choice wins out in the end. With it being halfway between the two it must have seemed like the obvious choice.
 
 
 Upon arriving, you wonder why! Parliament meets here and with its iconic spire on top of the building, it is easily visible from almost anywhere. The Snowy Mountains were a literal shock to the system, after being used to the almost unbearable tropical heat of the west coast, it was like stepping into a freezer! My English bones did not take well to this and I had to take to my bed, like I was some whimsical, fragile little being who couldn’t do much for fear of being broken. Thankfully, it did not last long and I was able to continue.
 
 
Arriving in the hustle and bustle of Sydney I could not find my centre, like I so easily had in Melbourne. There was too much noise, the pace was too frantic, I couldn’t get peace. It may work for those used to London, but being a delicate country bumpkin I ached to get away, to find the green spaces I had to loved once upon a time. Thankfully I did not have to be un-balanced for long. I was soon out in those green spaces, in a magical place called Leura, near to those Blue Mountains that I had once taken a train through. It seemed like a world away from the business centered, touristy heavy noise I felt upon arrival. I was glad of it. A few days spent here I could feel myself slowly, gently coming back to centre and feeling like I could once again take it on.


There was one part, my adventurous, do-it-now-for-you-only-live-once self was yet to explore: The Gold Coast. I used to say I would never jump off a cliff, but I found myself doing just that during my 3 week tour of the west coast! So I felt justified in wanting to experience a true Aussie sport; Surfing!! While I may never have actually stood up on the board, I did come away feeling a little more Aussie than I had prior. The group of people I met during this tour were amazing, so many differing characters, from so many different corners of the world. Travelling sure brings the world to you if you’re only willing to open your eyes and experience it.


After all this travelling, I needed calm again. I needed to stay in one place, to be able to come back at the end of the day, knowing I wouldn’t again have to pack in the dead of night to get up with the birds to be off somewhere new. Thankfully I found the very place I needed, with added dog! This made me happy beyond belief. Now I could have some real value. Nothing I love better than waking up everyday to a furball who needs walking. The other great benefit?? Seeing the iconic Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve Fireworks.



Another dream I had close to my heart since watching them on TV. Now, it was about to become a reality. Now it was only a 40minute walk away. This, after getting over the shock of actually coming to Australia, was the only thing I needed to truly have experienced Aussie life. Everything paled into insignificance when I realised I would be able to do this. I did not even care for the long walk there and back, for feeling cold and inadequately dressed in my shorts and t-shirt. For the I might have to view this alone feeling I had whilst walking the dog to the viewing point earlier that day. Thankfully this proved to be a stroke of luck, as I met a group of English backpackers with whom I would share this most iconic of evenings. Now, with the New Year rolling around and my 2nd Year Visa approved, the possibilities seemed endless…
 
 
 
Love,
Sarah
xoxoxoxo
 
 
*First posted on UK Bloggers Blog (Source)
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