I cannot believe I have been in Australia now for nearly 9 months, the time has gone so quickly and I have enjoyed (nearly) every moment. It’s been a fun, roller coaster ride in this vast, weird and wonderful country but I wouldn’t change any of it.
We first arrived in Perth and stayed with Toms family for a while, it was great to actually know someone was meeting us at the airport at midnight so we didn’t have to worry. They were so lovely and welcoming to us and I’m forever grateful they let us stay with them. I enjoyed Perth, the city itself was not that impressive, very small but my favourite spot was Kings Park. Especially at dusk, such a great view of the city.
During our time in Perth, as well as looking for jobs (unsuccessfully) we got to know the cool little suburbs – my favourite was Fremantle. Such a cool little place with awesome markets.
After Perth we travelled up the West Coast and stopped at Exmouth. I loved it here, such a chilled out environment. My only regret here was not doing the diving with whale sharks. We got there at the perfect time of year and its one of the best places in the world to do this. But as we were careful with money we decided not to. We still scuba dived in the national park which was lovely and hired out a car for the day to drive round the different bays. I would recommend anyone doing the West Coast to go here, so beautiful!
We then went back to Perth for a while and found ourselves jobs as a charity fundraiser. At first I was open minded and thought I’d give it a go, but the pressure they put you under is unbelievable and I had strong doubts that any of the money donated even went to the charity involved. Tom got fired on his first day as he didn’t speak to any members of the public, I left the next day too. Looking back now it’s so funny and all part of our experience here. We decided we would fly to Cairns in search for farm work and sunnier climates, (it was cold and rainy in Perth at this point) so off we went…
We arrived in Cairns and it was so exciting, the weather was warmer, we were out of the city and we were in the tropics! I loved everything about it. We stayed at a hostel called globetrotters, it was very clean, right near everything and staff were friendly. When we were in Cairns it was my 22nd Birthday and on the day I was so lucky, we got to sail out to the Great Barrier Reef. It was one of the best days of my life. I love diving so much and it was so incredible. As soon as you out your head under the water you literally are blown away. I so want to dive there again one day!
After the fun in Cairns we managed to find a job on a farm. It was in a little town called Ayr, not far from Townsville. We were picking Zucchinis (I had to google what a zucchini was before I got there, as we call them Courgettes). We were staying in private cabins with a communal house on a big farm. It was in the middle of no where and we got taken to the nearest town once a week, other than that we stayed there. It was literally back breaking work at first, deep heat became my best friend. But after a while you got used to it and getting up at 5am EVERY morning wasn’t so bad. It was a lot of fun living on the farm, we made lots of friends and it was just a chilled way of life. I sometimes miss the simple life, going for a run in the cane fields every evening and doing yoga in front of the sunset. Looking back it was the healthiest life style I’ve ever lead and learnt a lot from it.
The zucchini season came to an end after 6 weeks of being there. In a way it was sad but we were looking forward to moving on and trying something new. We found more farm work, but it was the other side of the country, near Melbourne. We flew there and stayed in the city for one night. I wish we had stayed longer as we didn’t get to explore much. What we did see though was pretty good, I loved all the little lanes filled with bars and restaurants, it had a cool vibe. The next morning we had to travel 8 hours inland on a bus to a place called Mildura. If your ever looking for farm work in Oz I strongly suggest you NEVER go here. We got scammed by a guy who was renowned for ripping backpackers off. He was on the news and labelled as ‘Australia’s worst boss’. Seriously, just type it in youtube, awful. He was a grotesque man (if I can call him a man) named Don. Just thinking of him makes me fill with rage. We had a lucky escape in the end and got out of there asap. After that terrible experience we decided we would sack off the farm work and try and find a proper job. Of course, there was only one place to go to make a fresh start…
SYDNEY! We got the train from Mildura – Melbourne – Sydney. It was literally the longest journey of my life and the scenery on the train was exactly the same for the whole trip. But it was worth it! We stayed in a hostel at first called Maze backpackers on Pitt Street. It was fine to be fair but after a while we wanted our own space and decided that as we would stay in Sydney for a few months, we would find an apartment. It didn’t take long for Tom to get a job, he started labouring straight away. I found it slightly harder but eventually got offered a job as a Christmas casual for Peter Alexander. I had never heard of it before but as soon as I walked in the shop for my interview, I knew I wanted to work there. It is a sleepwear shop that sells the cutest PJs and accessories. A bit pricey mind, but not too shabby with staff discount. Working in retail over xmas was horrible but it had to be done. Christmas in general here in Australia wasn’t what I was expecting. For one, it rained on Christmas Day. I’m not just talking a bit of rain, I’m talking biblical, heavy all day rain. No beach christmas for us. Although it did feel kinda Christmassy sitting in our PJs all day eating and drinking as much as possible and watching films. That’s what Christmas is all about, right? This was the only time I really felt homesick, as I’d never been away from home during the festive period. It’s not something I’d want to do again particularly, it just didn’t feel Christmassy here at all.
But New Year Eve made up for it. It was on my bucket list to see the New year in on Sydney harbour. We brought tickets for Luna Park, a small fun fair right on the water under the bridge. It had a special NYE party with DJs and live music. It was a fun night, and of course the fireworks were incredible. Definitely the best NYE I’ve had!
After Christmas I got a second job waitressing at a small American diner in Mosman. I also started promoting for a travel company called Peter Pans. This job I got paid in travel money so it would help pay off for New Zealand which was handy. After a tough few months working 3 jobs and barely seeing Tom (I worked all weekend – he had them off!) my time at Peter Alexander came to an end. I also stopped promoting as I had paid enough money off, so I started doing more hours waitressing. After 4 months working at the diner my last shift finally arrived yesterday!! I was happy and sad, as everyone there was lovely but I’m so excited to move on.
I leave Sydney on Saturday and I just cannot believe my time here in Oz is almost over. I will miss this beautiful country a lot and so grateful I’ve had the opportunity to see it. However when one journey ends, another one begins…