First off, G’Day to you all!
Well, it’s official: “Operation Australia Road Trip” has finally come and gone; yep, after a gruelling 28 hour trip back we’re finally home, and – other than this jet lag that’s kept me up four hours each night for the past three nights which is why I’m up at 3:12 a.m.writing…AGAIN – I declare the whole trip a massive success!
As you can tell from the post above, before leaving I created a pretty ambitious set of goals for myself whilst down under in order to (a) make the most of a trip that took us some 11,556 kilometres from home, and (b) to really challenge myself to press through certain pesky, omnipresent comfort zones that often get in the way of my achieving greatness in one way or another. In other words, being halfway around the world I definitely didn’t want to screw up or miss out on any opportunities because who knows when I’ll be back this way again? And so with that in mind, I did all I could to make sure that the past fortnight was full on “Put-Up-Or-Shut-Up” time for yours truly, and buzzed around ticking things off the list. And you know what? Even better was I got to discover a few extra surprises along the way~!
Looking back I’m pleased with all that I achieved and challenged myself to do; I also figured that rather than bore you with a bunch of long, drawn out (yet insanely clever) descriptions, I’d simply recap the trip (and accomplished goals) with photos. Heck, I even figured I’d put them in a quasi-chronological order in hopes they make more sense to you, dear reader, rather presenting them in the original, haphazard way as I did in the original post – Hey, it’s not my fault; seriously, what the hell did I know before when I wrote that stuff? Nothing! And as long as you can forgive me for this heinous oversight, we’re good to go, okay? Excellent! Let’s get started~!
I Airbnb’ed It: This was my first overseas Airbnb experience, and it was AWESOME. My host Terry was like the older brother I wish I had; He and Shane are hospitable, friendly Aussies who opened their home and pretty much included me in everything from dinner, to making coffees, to watching (and explaining) the footie match. Oh, and did I mention the view from their cottage that I got to look at every morning while I had coffee, and night as I ate dinner? Nothing short of SPECTACULAR! My digs were a definite highlight of the whole trip.
Not Drink Fosters! Once settled into my Airbnb, my next task was to dash off to the liquor store where I quickly whisked past the Fosters and grabbed a case of XXXX Gold; then after running back home, I got busy wrapping my laughing gear around a tinny only to realize my rookie error… “Strueth! It’s a bloody light beer!” With this horrific discovery, I vowed to return back to the store the next day, only this time would whisk by both the Fosters AND the XXXX Gold and grab something with a little more clout; in this case, a big old slab of Victoria Bitter- a stronger, better tasting beer that helped me sleep a little better than the night before… Mission Accomplished! And just to be clear, I still drank up all the Bogan XXXX Gold… Just because I was on holiday didn’t mean I wasn’t still cheap!
Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge: On my first day in Sydney I connected with my friend Sarah (from WDS) who just happens to be (a) a local native, and (b) an awesome tour guide. She showed me around the city, then took me to some local beaches, and then after a quick bite of lunch finished up with a visit to the famous Sydney Harbour, home of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
For all you parents of toddlers out there, I’m talking about the things you see in “Finding Nemo”, which as I write this, realize is a pretty pathetic reference. Either way, both landmarks were a bit surreal and very awesome to see up close and personal. After snapping a few pictures it was off to grab the strong cup of coffee I’d been craving since leaving Victoria, which being a “Flat White” (Huh?!) was fabulous and did the trick. All in all it was a terrific day, and a HUGE and enthusiastic “Thanks” to Sarah for her excellent hospitality that day!
Being A Stranger In A “Strange Land”: On my third and final day in Sydney, I took the plunge and made my own way into town on the light rail transit to do some sight seeing of my own. Why is this such a big deal you ask? Here’s why – I’m actually pretty freaked out in unfamiliar cities let alone those in foreign lands, and the thought of going it alone without getting totally lost brings on a major bout of anxiety for me. It’s true; and I know the only way to tackle this fear is head on, which is exactly what I set out to do. I’m happy to report that while I did get lost in the city several times (resulting in seeing some really cool sights) I eventually regained my bearings, since in the end, all roads really do lead to Rome… or in this case, Lilyfield. Best of all, I managed to catch the right bus home, and still had time to quaff a few beers before cooking dinner for my hosts – all whilst enjoying the beautiful view at nighttime. An epic day all around, I’d say!
Meeting up with Blogger Emma from The Marvellous Mind: You know that anxiety I just mentioned? It had me so wound up that I forgot to bring a camera that day, which meant I didn’t get a photo of my meeting with Emma from The Marvellous Mind. The good news is that we did get to meet up for coffee, and swapped tales of blogging, etc. Even better, we discovered a few ways we can help each other out in the future, which illustrates exactly what I love about my life these days, which is connecting with like-minded from around the world to share stories, ideas and skill-sets for the sole (soul) purpose of helping each other grow. It’s an awesome way to live, and I’m pretty stoked about partnering up with Emma in the near future on some projects and interview opportunities. Thanks for making the time to see me Emma! It was great to meet you in person and I’m looking forward to doing great things together~!
Experiencing Trinity Beach: After hearing about these beautiful oceanfront paradises for years from Paula, it was wonderful to finally have an opportunity to visit them and take in some of their Aussie-Awesomeness; and let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed! The apartment was gorgeous, with a deck that was – I’m not kidding – at least 2,000 sq. ft. long, and that overlooked the beach and ocean. The beach was gorgeous and the water was brisk, but not cold; and when the clouds weren’t out, the average temperature was around 29 degrees which was just enough for this Canadian to get a wee Aussie tan.
Time for a little R & R: As eluded to earlier, our life is crazy-busy these days, and so we were looking for a little R&R and downtime to catch our breath, which is exactly what we found at Trinity. Lazy days were spent reading and writing, having a few cocktails, the occasional road trip and then culminated with a group dinner (and more cocktails) as the whole invited gang (9 – 13 souls, depending on the day) gathered for great food and conversations on the deck to recant the days activities, or lack thereof – a perfect way to end each day.
Honorable Mention: This was my second trip to Australia, and the only roo’s I’d ever seen were in a wildlife park, so this trip I was determined to see some running (jumping?) in the wild. At first, I saw three; but unfortunately, like raccoons at home, these buggers were all roadkill ditched on the shoulder of the highway. (*Note to North American readers – I know, right? Roadkill Kangaroos? Who’d a thought?) Anyway, on our second to last day, Paula spotted not one, not two, not even three – but a FEW HUNDRED roos in a field! She expertly spun the car around, and took me so that I could see them for myself, completing my authentic Aussie experience once and for all.
So there you have it: A fun, epic and relaxing adventure down under, made all the better by me pushing a few comfort zones and trying some new experiences on for size. Because “same-old, same-old” gets boring after a while, so why not push ourselves a bit to learn and discover new and exciting things? Or best of all, mix ’em up with a few familiar things, and create a vacation to remember, just like I was fortunate enough to be able to do. Either way, I highly recommend to everyone that they go out and create great adventures and memories that will stick with them forever – it’s a great way to take a break from everyday living… Trust me on this one!
Oh, and just in case you didn’t believe me about the whole “Finding Nemo” thing, check it out here, at around two minutes. Enjoy!