Throwback to 30th April. 2015. Manchester Airport.
I’m sat at the boarding gate with my ticket and passport in hand. I said goodbye to everyone I loved and everything I was familiar with. The minute I said goodbye to my mum I knew I was alone. Truly alone. And it terrified me.
I think back to the day I arrived at Brisbane airport. Bleary eyed. Still terrified. The anxiety I felt making my way to my hostel. I’d read the reviews. That didn’t help. I’ll be honest, I broke down. I questioned my decision to make this adventure. I questioned my bravery. But I stuck at it. I tested my limits. I broke out of my comfort zone. It took me all of five days before I realised how damn ridiculous I was being. So I pulled myself together. And I started living.
416 days and counting.
18 hostels. 5 jobs. 3 flights. 25 buses. 3 islands. 5 cities. 4 lost sunglasses. 100+ friends. 1,000+ memories. 0 regrets.
I drove dirt bikes through the outback. I went snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. I skydived from 14,000 feet. I celebrated my 23rd birthday. I flipped my hair at Mila Mila falls in the Tablelands. I road tripped and camped through Cape Tribulation. I took a 22 hour bus ride through the centre of Australia. I visited Uluru, walked through Kata-Tjuta and hiked Kings Canyon. I went on a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Alice Springs. I spent Christmas and new year on Kangaroo Island. I surfed in Noosa. I drove on 75 Mile Beach on the beautiful K’gari (Fraser Island). I took a stereotypical traveller photo at Whitehaven beach. I’ve laughed so hard my sides hurt. I’ve cried so much everything hurt. I’ve fallen in love. I’ve fallen over drunk.
People always ask me what is my plan? Where am I going next? Are you planning on going home?
Honestly I can never answer any of these questions. I’m literally winging it. Every day. I turn up in a new city and I’ve always been so fortunate to find work almost straight away. But I never know exactly where I’m headed next. Some of the time I have a rough plan. But I never really stick to it. And I guess works. Because I’m still here. I’m still creating amazing memories every single day.
As for going home, well, I don’t see that happening any time soon. Not that I don’t miss home, miss my friends and my family. Of course I do. I actually recently read an article called “The Hardest Part Of Travelling No One Talks About” and it has really hit home about life after travelling. It basically sums up all the fears about returning home after being away for so long. Brilliant read. I definitely recommend checking it out.
And for now…
I recently bagged myself a job with EF language school as an Activity Manager in Cairns so I had to pack up and leave my amazing volunteer job on the beautiful K’gari (Fraser Island) with Drop Bear Adventures. Naturally I was absolutely gutted to have to leave but I’ve been travelling long enough to know that goodbyes are inevitable. If I stayed in every place that I loved then I never would have found new places that I loved just as much if not more.
And so now it’s June. I’m two months in to my second year travelling Australia. I don’t know what is around the corner. But what I do know is that if it’s anything like the year just gone, well I can’t wait for what is to come.