After being away for a week, I’m certain of three things:
- You need to wear factor 50 because the sun is a different animal out here, I have fingerprints on my body where I didn’t apply suncream and now look like a drumstick sweet.
- Australian people are so nice. You go in to a shop and they ask you how your day is, give you recommendations of where to go. Food portions are also huge.
- I’m really homesick and wasn’t expecting to feel this sad on a ‘trip of a lifetime’
I’m putting the latter down to jet-lag, but it’s been a huge culture shock coming to a country that is pretty much the same as the UK. I feel like I’m in the twilight zone, post-apocalyptic version of Shoreditch. It’s hotter here, you feel safe walking down the street late at night…but you also have to open the train door manually and walk out in to the middle of the road to catch a tram. Australians also haven’t caught up with the concept of ticket inspectors so I’m enjoying paying minimal $ on travel.
It’s really quiet where I’m staying currently (South Yarra) and I think a part of me was expecting it to be something different to what it actually is. The jet-lag for the first few days was terrible. We arrived at our ‘superhost’ AirBnB and without saying too much, we were cat-fished; nothing about this place is ‘super’. It was then freezing the first two days and the bathroom smelt like egg, so you can imagine I was on FaceTime IMMEDIATELY crying in a coffee shop saying that I wanted to come home to my boyfriend. Thankfully he told me it’s normal to feel a bit shocked because I was so tired.
This week has been a humbling experience. In hindsight, I took a lot for granted back home; being able to drive a nice car, having a living room (we don’t have one currently) and just generally knowing how to get to places. Here I’ve pretty much gone back in time and feel like an 18 year old uni student walking everywhere and having to live with housemates. Australia isn’t a place where you can automatically jump in to glamorous accommodation as it’s the heat of summer, so nice places are expensive. We thankfully move in to amazing accommodation for Christmas, but that cost an arm and a leg so I’m going to appreciate every moment of it.
I guess the point of sharing this is that now that I’m settled, I can honestly say I’m enjoying it a lot more and I’m extremely grateful for what I have back in the UK. Nothing screams motivation to make money as a freelancer more than being in an AirBnB where your bathroom smells like egg. I’m counting down the days until we can go to our apartment over Christmas, but this is definitely a lesson for me to appreciate what I have, and it shows that taking yourself out of your comfort zone (although a shock at first) can gives you moments like the picture below, sitting in the botanical gardens in Melbourne catching a tan with your besties! Very lucky that I’m out here with three of my closest friends, so I can have a slice of home with me wherever I go.