Tomorrow marks one month in Australia. One month “on my own,” yet so surrounded. One month in paradise, meeting new people every day. One month away from those I love, yet feeling closer than I have in a long time! For those of you who aren’t my closest family and friends, I am sure you still understand how close I am with my family – and I wouldn’t be here with a smile on my face if it wasn’t for their love and constant support throughout my every endeavour. Allison has been fantastic for sending me videos of Kinley weekly, sometimes a few a week, of her smiling or just being the little two month old character she is. What a gorgeous child! I miss her so much, and crave holding her and watching her grow! I can’t thank Allison enough for keeping me updated so often! I am so happy I’ve got this iPad! – I save and store all of the videos and pictures I’m sent of Kinley, and although I’m only witnessing her growth and life unfold via video and pictures, I am fortunate that I even have that option, being so far away from home.
Fellow travelers from my circles of friends back home, and those I meet along this journey, only enhance my desire to see the rest of the world. Every friend I have back home has a story or several to share with me, has tips to pass on about particular countries or cultures. Every traveler I meet while I’m away from home welcomes me to their table, into their circle of friends, and makes me feel like I belong. I feel like it is an unwritten code between world travelers – every stranger is a potential friend, so make them one! I met a really handsome fella from England named Alex, and he shared with me an article about a man that traveled all 201 countries of the world WITHOUT using a plane?! What an accomplishment. Imagine being able to say you did that?! Dream big! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2239087/Graham-Hughes-British-man-person-visit-201-countries-WITHOUT-using-plane.html
Although my travel experiences will never reach such a level, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying each and every experience. I haven’t done anything overly wild or crazy, but each day brings something new into my life story. I’ve spent nights in four person dorms, both female and shared dorms, and have spent almost a week in a fourteen person shared dorm, which has turned out to be an experience that I really enjoyed! For some people, personal space and privacy is really important, and of course at times it is for me too… but what an experience to share your living space with twelve people, between seven bunk beds and tall shelves for everyone’s belongings. Bathrooms and shower facilities are sometimes shared, or separate. You just carry all of your bathroom stuff with you to and from the shower/bathroom. Staying in one hostel for more than a single night means you see the same faces day after day, and I’ve met people during my time in Western Australia who have lived in hostels for months, and even years because they just love it and enjoy it so much! There’s a particular hostel in a place called Fremantle (just outside of Perth) where I have spent some time, and it’s called The Old Firestation – and it is just that! An old fire station, right next door to the current one. There are several larger dorms, and with so many people that have been living at the hostel for longer periods of time, it’s like a huge family. There are common rooms, an outdoor patio, free wireless, large kitchens, lockers, ping pong, pool, tvs and movies, vending machines and computers for those who travel without their laptops. It’s a pretty brilliant spot, and I can see why people find work in the area and live in such a hoppin’ and friendly place. There are activities and movie nights put on weekly, and they even have an outdoor cinema, comprised of several old comfy chairs and a projector aimed at a blank white wall under an awning.
Several streets and parks all across Australia are starting to be decorated for the holidays. I realize that I will be experiencing a warm Christmas this year, but a palm tree with Christmas lights just looks bizarre to me! There was one tree that really struck me, in the city centre of Fremantle, with huge Christmas balls hanging from some of the branches, the size of yoga balls! There are large tinsel stars too, but the yoga balls really catch your attention!
Weather continues to be fantastic, lots of sun during the day with cool evenings almost instantly after the sun disappears. It’s lovely for sleeping! Yesterday though, we experienced some wild winds and rain, but it was a nice change and it was needed.
Looking into December, I have my house/dog/cat sitting adventure coming up and I am really looking forward to it! I have spoken to Ron and it turns out I will be sharing the experience with a Scottish couple, so I won’t be alone after all! I didn’t mind the idea of having the house to myself, but some company is always great, especially over the holidays. He says they are lovely, and I trust he speaks the truth!
I spoke to my friend Jo who is still in New South Wales, outside of Sydney. What a sweetheart! She seems to have things lined up quite well with a serving job in a little town, and is renting a house with her boyfriend Steve who is also finding good work. She has told me that she will come visit me at some point on the Gold Coast after she makes a bit of money! I would love to see her and catch up.
I figure for the time I’m in the Gold Coast, I may even look into some café or bar/restaurant work since it’s pretty central. It’s just a matter of getting there and shaking hands and handing out resumes. Day at a time for now! Nothing set in stone yet for jobs, or even lined up for continuing on with my regional work. That is still up in the air, but I will see what I can find!
For the late afternoon and evening, since it’s a little rainy, I think I will get lost in the couch with my book. I have had lots of time to read and I am really enjoying it! I’m currently reading The Kite Runner, which was recommended by my friend Kate Smyth, and she was right! – It’s incredible. Definitely a page turner. I’ve been told it was made into a movie? This is under investigation. :)
When back in the city, I have plans to take a guided “torch” tour of the prison in Fremantle! It’s supposed to be brilliant, with many interesting facts and stories, so I will be sure to write about how that goes.
So, until next time!
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!