As with all my blog posts, this isn’t going to be your when, where, what to do post. This if anything is my ode to Australia, a country I never liked, never got on with, didn’t understand and wanted to leave the minute I got there. BUT, its also a tribute to a country that embraced me whole heartedly as an apparently posh surrey girl, who had the absolute time of my life and didn’t want to leave in the end at all.
In fact I would have stayed for years.
The UK will always and forever be my home, but Australia, in particular that hateful slut Sydney, whom I resented for a long time, has become my second home, with my second family. Home to a life I created alone, with of course a handful of gorgeous individuals help, it became my hub, my base and basically my life. I lived, I worked, and I did all the normal shit people do on a daily basis. Plus the copious drinking Australians do. I loved every single second of that life. So here is my tribute that place, land of kangaroos, koalas, spiders, bogans and all manner of dangerous, murdering things as well as tim tams, vegemite and k-mart.
A place I called my home.
I went out to Australia in October 2016 for the wedding of the century, the celebration event to rival no other: my brother and his gorgeous wife’s big day. It was the most incredible day; only they could do their first dance to ACDC’s ‘You Shook me All Night Long’ and only they could have a day filled with so much love and laughter. I was even lucky enough to be a bridesmaid. Bloody brilliant, the sister I got out of the deal too? YES!
After this I went off and backpacked Bali, Lombok and Kuala Lumpur and made some utterly beautiful friends.
But really, my love affair with Australia began when I was backpacking in Bali, and I met a guy; yep, most of my stories start with a guy. Long story short, I fell head over heels for this bloke, taking the leap and moving to Perth to be with him. Those months I spent in Perth were great, love is a great feeling! But Perth hated me and wouldn’t give me a job so realistically it was a struggle on the money front, which ultimately resulted in the breakdown of the relationship, and my moving to Sydney to take full advantage of the happy couples spare bedroom. Looking back on ex-relationships and breakups is always hard, but I have no ill will there, we were crazy in love for a while, and he was there for me when my incredible Grandad in the UK passed away, for which I will be eternally grateful. But sadly it didn’t work out. All the best to my happy bogan!
So I moved to Sydney, a city I had visited a few times before to see my big brother, but one I had never stayed in longer than a holiday. To be honest, for the first couple of months we did not get along. I was homesick, Sydney is no comparison to London and my temp job was another admin role that dulled the senses and made me physically hate computers with a strong passion but got my skiving technique down. However, it did introduce me to a group of friends that I will never let go of, who made the rest of my time there worthwhile, whom I drank a shit ton of beer with VERY regularly. In particular one of them became my constant source of annoyance, in a way only a best mate can be. Zoe, you’re my Australia rock, my ayers rock if you will. That bitch is golden.
The day I got to Sydney I organised in an interview with a temp agency and basically got a job starting Monday, and thus began my time living in Sydney. I swore from the get go I was there temporarily, I was still trying to make my relationship work, I wanted out swiftly as soon as I had some money under my belt. But gradually I began to actually LIVE in Sydney, rather than treat it as a stop over, or a money making scheme. Living with my brother and his wife was a fabulous, their cat bloody loves me, as all cats do with single girls but spending time with them has been an absolute dream that I just did not and never do want to wake from.
But when it became evident that I was no longer following a bloke around Aus, I found somewhere to live, and my Australia abode was found, and that house became my home, with my Sydney family around me, and I bloody loved it. I was incredibly lucky to find a beautiful home, filled with beautiful people and of course, two dogs. Heaven. They let me come and go as I pleased, they let me eat their bread when I came home pissed, they stayed up and drank red wine with me to god knows what time and they loved me like one of their own. Brooke, Monika, Jasmine, Estee and of course Jasper and Millie, you’re mine forever.
Now I am not going to go through each thing I did in Sydney, because realistically I cannot remember everything. I lived there for 8 months, and I really just ‘lived’. I did everything day to day that everyone does in their normal lives. Go grocery shopping and try and catch the produce as its hurtled at you by the Aldi staff, I paid bills, I stayed in and netflixed, I bought bleach for the toliet and I ate pesto pasta on a near daily basis. But throughout my time, my circle of mates grew. Granted it can never rival the number of mates and the relationships you have in your home town, I spent nearly 28 years creating that base, but it was one I absolutely cherished and was aggy AF to leave.
So, some of the top things I did in Australia; that I can remember right now:
- The beaches in Perth are brilliant as are the people I got to know there.
- Nights in Soda Factory in Surry Hills, on our knees to Madonna with my b, and generally every other drunken night out at least once a week resulting in hilarity, injuries, occasionally vomit and always fun.
- All of the coastal walks, Bondi to Coogee, Spit to Manly etc.
- Christmas in July! aka a bowl of cauliflower cheese.
- The many fuelled nights out with my big bro and his wife, including a random night at a Gin psychiatric hospital, and generally becoming the most incredible friends with them both.
- All the random art/food festivals I discovered, Rookwood Cemetry Sculpture Walk, Parramatta Lanes, the Cherry Blossom Festival.
- My skydive.
- Making all the top friends I now have.
- My tribute tattoo to my Grandad.
- My beautiful house and housemates.
- I had two great jobs, the second of which I adored and tried my utmost to stay with forever.
- Learning the MASSIVE cliche of who I am and how I actually survive as a human, and that people can survive on pesto pasta and tim tams if they want to.
- Being a part of my brother and his wife’s news, THAT I AM GOING TO BE AN AUNTIE.
Of course various other things happened that for the life of me I cannot remember.
But they were all bloody brilliant.
A huge regret of mine is not doing my second year, for which you have to do 88 days farm work. Its not my deal, it was never going to be my deal and realistically it never would have stood. There was no fucking way I was picking bananas 88 days straight. Absolutely not. This also meant however that I could only stay for the year, which completely sucked. I tried my hardest to get a sponsorship with my great job but to no avail. But it also means I get to travel now, and then be back in the UK for a proper christmas- christmas in Australia is an atrocity.
All in all, the life I have had for the last year has been perfection. Yes its been hard, at times bloody hard. When my Grandad passed away it was the hardest decision I have ever made to not go back to the UK. But he wouldn’t have wanted me to cut my experience short, he always encouraged me to live my life to fullest.
Even if that meant saving hard and eating pasta three meals a day.
You were brilliant.
You will never be London, or in fact Europe, but it pained me to leave you, and I am already planning the next trip back to SEE MY NIECE OR NEPHEW, as well as every other brilliant sod I made friends with and could call my Sydney-family, and every drinking hole I frequented.
I love you all, I love you Sydney, and I love you Big W.
I’ll be seeing you all as soon as I can.