You know that bug that people speak of, ‘the travel bug’, well I’ve been well and truly bitten!
I promised my friends, my family, even myself I would never go again, I could never live out of a backpack, they all heard me say it! A solid 6 months went past and I still believed that; I was happy , I was home, I was near everyone I loved!
But there was something niggling in the back of my mind, something I just couldn’t put my finger on, something felt missing..
And then along came Jenny, a girl desperate to explore the world. That’s when it clicked, I missed the world! Not in that cringey Wanderlust way but that the feeling of travel was missing from my life.. Let me try and explain..
The intensity of travelling is only understood by those that’s have experienced an extended time away from home. All emotions are intensified a thousand times over. The enjoyment of doing something new everyday, the love of meeting new people, the agony of saying goodbye to newly formed friends and the extreme longing for people at home! That’s what I miss, and that’s weird right? But I needed that back, I guess you could say I’m addicted to the intensity.. How romantic!
So Jenny and I together came up with a plan and before we knew it we had booked a years trip, I thought my family were going to kill me but their support and encouragement is what excited me more about another incredible trip to the other side of the world.. first stop Australia!
This is where the blog begins.. I hope your all up for another roller coaster ride.. Strap in, it’s time to hit the runway…
I would of never ever guessed I would be back in this country so soon! I felt like me and Australia had some unfinished business, a few issues that we needed to hash out.. It was time to get straight with OZ!
We left England on the 15th February and landed in Brisbane in the early hours of the 17th.. That’s a serious flight, well 2 flights to be precise – Australia is real far from home!!
Brisbane is a beautiful place. We very quickly made the decision we could both live in this city! The weather is amazingly beautiful, you might even call it tropical! A huge change to what we had just come from, good riddance English weather, you will not be missed!!
We had pre booked a private room in a low end hotel so we could give ourselves time to get over the jet lag and acclimatise to being the other side of the world! The room was indeed private but boy was it small.. Some may call it a box room, I would call it a prison cell! It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it did do the job, as by 3 o’clock we were falling asleep on our feet so headed back to the cell and crashed for 16 hours! Waking up and not knowing where we were our whether it was the middle of the day or night was a weird feeling – jet lag is no fun!!
Feeling a little more human, we were ready to explore the city. In our dreary states yesterday we had stumbled upon The Southbank which was a buzz with activity. So we headed back there to see what all the fuss was about!
Wow what an incredible looking place, with a huge man made beach, restaurants and bars lining the entire way, gardens and chill out areas dotted throughout with people reading books, relaxing with family or enjoying their lunch break it was a paradise within a concrete jungle!!
Before we new it 3 days had past and it was time to move on to Sydney. Our flight was one of the first on the 19th so we got into this new city with a whole day ahead of us.
A piece of advice I was given, too late for it to save us, was that you must book a hostel well in advance in Sydney. There’s a lot of really nice hostels but it also has its fair share of bad ones too.. Luckily enough the hostel we ended up in was slap bang in the middle so we survived the 2 nights we had booked unscathed, however the lack of air conditioning and sociable travellers put a real sweaty downer on the place!!
It felt amazing being back in this incredible city, one of which I knew and knew my way around!! Of course on day one we had to take a walk to the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, possibly two of the most famous landmarks in the world!
As this was my second visit I wanted to do different things and explore different areas and one great thing about the hostel we were in was its location, bang in the centre of Kings Cross! The walk from here into the CBD (central business district) is such a lovely one around a point called MacQuaries Chair and through the lushous botanical gardens.
MacQuaries point is apparently the place to get to for New Years Eve and you can see why, that view in the middle of February is amazing, I can’t imagine how incredible it would be at the end of December!!
We still weren’t completely adjusted to the time difference so by late afternoon began to struggle, so much so that there was no better thing to do than have a nap in the botanical gardens, like a couple of hobos.. We actually looked like we were sunbathing, but the both of us were out cold!!
Have I mentioned it’s not my first time in this city.. well I’m calling myself an expert now and took control of the to do list, Jenny kindly obliged!!
Top of the day’s itinerary was Manly Beach, the only place in Sydney where you can catch a ferry to swim in the ocean!
Theres an array of shops, pubs and restaurants on the ‘Corso’, the stretch that connects the ferry terminals to the beach which was bustling with people. The beach is beautiful, a long stretch of golden sand with big blue waves crashing onto the shore. It made surfer watching a delight and that kept us amused for hours!
We caught the ferry back and headed to Darling Harbour for the evening. A people watching paradise. Boats line the decking one side while restaurants and bars sit facing them. We walked through crowds of people, it’s clearly the place to have a hen or stag night – which I can imagine is good fun!! The crowds here are all on holiday either that or Jen and I felt very poor as people were lining up to go on sunset cruises, dressed in their finest clothes looking real glam. And then there was us, with sand still on our feet looking for a cheap meal.. Success though we found a good deal and treated ourselves to a bottle of wine, just to try and feel a little bit more like real life!!
We’ve hired a camper van for the next leg of our Australian adventure and I’ll talk more about that in the next blog but today we pick it up and armed with a set of wheels were going to head over to my cousins house for a catch up and a lovely family BBQ!!
It was lovely to see them again, and the weather was scorching so we sat in the garden eating, drinking and catching up! They very kindly offered their driveway as our first campsite as there was still more we wanted to see and do in Sydney!! So perfect as now we had a base for a couple of days within easy reach of the city! Thank you a thousand times over Lamberts!!
So with our base now set up we planned our next couple of days here.. First on the agenda as Taronga Zoo. Rebecca, my second cousin, has the coolest job and works at the zoo so really kindly gave us entrance tickets – what a babe.
Taronga has got to be one of the coolest zoos I’ve ever been to, you have to get the ferry from Circular Quay and the view looks back towards the city with the impressive Opera House and Harbour Bridge looming in the distance. We spent the whole day there, there’s so much to see and do, we even caught a bird show which was super impressive..
We made it back to the city an hour before sunset for spontaneously decided to walk across the Harbour Bridge and watch the sunset from the otherside. What a great decision, the colours in the sky were so incredible, and looking back at the city from that angle you really get to appreciate just how cool Sydney is!!
Our last day in Sydney was a hot one so there was nothing better to do than hit the beach. We said our goodbyes to everyone in the Lambert’s household and jumped in the camper van towards Cronella beach.
Is this more of a locals beach so wasn’t heaving when we got there, perfect for the few hours we wanted to spend there before our skin started to frazzle. The sea is crystal clear here so I took my go pro in the water to try it out. The videos I took are pretty funny, obviously as Australia is the land of surf the waves are huuge, so getting taken out by them on several occasions makes for funny viewing!
Our time was up in my second home 😉 it was time to hit the road for our epic road trip down south..
Wish us luck and I’ll catch you up with everything on the next post..