Introduction to a series detailing our Australian adventure. Access the full series here.
So the day I’ve been anticipating for years has finally come. We touched down in Perth, Western Australia, several hours ago – the culmination of years of dreaming, hoping, waiting for the right time and finally planning what we hope will be the best holiday ever.
Admittedly, before I met Steve (my boyfriend of 4.9 years), Australia had not been high on my wish-list of holiday destinations. The thrill of travelling for me lies largely in gaining experiences very different to what I know and English-speaking Australia, with its customs largely borrowed from Britain, seemed an awfully long way to fly just to end up somewhere similar to home. Steve, on the other hand, has dreamt about travelling Australia since he was young and been talking to me about it since we got together. He wanted to backpack around the country for a year, make it the gap year he never had.
Time passed by. We finished the university course on which we met and immediately secured the jobs we needed to support ourselves. Our careers then took us to London and to bigger, more prestigious jobs that despite earning us more money, we could afford less to lose. The Australia dream became shared as I learnt more and found myself slowly seduced by its wild landscapes and ancient history; but unfortunately, it also shrunk. From a year, to six months, to three months, to one, the trip became shorter as we brought it closer in line with what seemed realistic. Even at a twelfth of its original size, the trip still seemed implausible until our shared life received an upset sufficient to jolt us into action.
When I was made redundant from my job, Steve finally bit the bullet to ask for a month off from his. To our great joy, Steve’s request was eventually met with a ‘yes’ and we spent the next few months planning how exactly we were going to fit all we wanted to do in Australia over a year into just one month. When I accepted the offer of a new job some months later, I did so only on the condition that I could have the whole of November off – and it worked! We decided on November: a Spring month warm enough in the South and not yet blisteringly hot in the Centre and North.
Our journey begins in Perth, where we’re staying with some relatives of Steve’s. After a few days there we board the India-Pacific train to Sydney, stopping off in a few places on the way. After a few days in Sydney, we hire a campervan to drive up the East Coast to Brisbane ourselves, stopping off at Nelson Bay, Port Macquarie, Coff’s Harbour and Gold Coast on the way for beaches, rainforests and themeparks. After a few days in Brisbane we fly to Uluru to trek around the giant red rock, then drive to Central Australian town Alice Springs to get the The Ghan train to Darwin. From there we fly to Singapore, to stay with friends of mine. While our trip will be nothing groundbreaking in the eyes of the world, it will be the biggest adventure of our lives to date. I hope to document it the best I can on here for the benefit of our family, friends and anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing something similar themselves. Stay tuned to discover how our Australian adventure unfolds!