The Laid-Back Land Down Under
When I landed I was still head over heels in love with Asia. I don’t think I was quite ready to face the western world again. The quiet hit me and the space too. It definitely wasn’t a bad thing but I needed to adjust. Australia’s a country I’d always dreamed of living and working in, but had never planned to have a holiday in. I kept looking around and wondering where all the people were hiding and assumed it must be due to the Christmas break.
Rather than it being an instant hit, Australia was a grower for me. Unlike Asia’s onslaught to the senses, Australia like its people just confidently is what it is – laid back, warm and welcoming.
I pushed myself personally to my limits, testing myself by spending vast amounts of time with a few people. This was a complete contrast to my previous 5 months where I was as free as a bird, flying solo for most of my journey. When it was good it was great and when it was bad it was awful. Even from the most dire head-doing situations, I’ll take a lot and have learned big lessons. At one point I’d hit rock bottom, but hey in some ways that’s the most exciting place to be. I said goodbye and low and behold it just freed me up to let some new amazing people in.
I discovered drinking again, but only when I was in a good place! Like many people I have a love hate relationship with alcohol. I’ve witnessed first hand the damage it causes growing up with alcoholism in my family and I’m a pretty textbook case, so have over the years abused my body with large quantities of booze too. It’s taken me a long time to get the balance right and I’m not going all preachy but a series of kidney operations tends to give you a reality check on looking after yourself a little better. Having said that I completely smashed it on my route up the east coast and had so much fun. Make your own judgement!
I covered a decent amount of ground in a couple of months but of course I didn’t see it all. I’m going to have to go back and check out the west coast too. A few places I visited that didn’t quite make their own posts are: Yamba, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Point Danger (near Surfer’s Paradise). All up the East coast and all probably worth a stopover.
Across the 2 months I slowly eased my way into Australian life, well travelling life. I’ve grown used to the endless space, even in the cities and I now recognise it as a good thing. The natural landscape, the mass of stars, the never-ending untouched beaches, the ocean filled with monstrous quirky creatures are all great reasons to fall in love with this country. However, it’s the people I want to pick up and take with me.