My final country on the long list of travels is Australia. It is to be my new home and has been for 7 months now. How time flies when you are having fun. Life still feels like a holiday and the thought of getting on a plane (not that I have to) still feels too soon. It took me three years to get here and a lot of hurdles to jump but it was worth it.
What I find really striking about Australia are the views. I find myself catching my breath each time I see the ocean. The blues are incredible and my camera does not do them justice. I have so enjoyed walking along the coastal paths and sandy beaches. Oh and did I mention that I love the sunshine! It has been wonderful to experience 2 springs and 2 summers this last year. I almost forgot what goose-bumps were like. I still have the habit of taking a long-sleeved top everywhere with me, just incase it gets cold. People keep asking me how I lived in London for so long if I don’t like the cold. Well I did tend to hug the radiators, sleep with an electric blanket and this last winter I walked around the house with a microwavable hot ‘bean bottle’ strapped to my body. My first experience camping in Australia had me fearing I’d be cold. I packed thermals and a duvet and extra blankets. Why would I need all this in Australia in summer you ask? Well I had a nightmare experience camping in England in Spring where I nearly froze to death. This is not an exaggeration. I woke up because my body was shivering. I could not stop myself. Shivering became shaking, so much so that it woke my tent mate up as we were sharing an air mattress. She however was not cold having had the right kind of sleeping bag where as I had no idea there were different types of sleeping bags. I was so grateful when the sun rose and I was alive and I could get up and walk around to get my blood moving. With this in mind I was super prepared for Aussie camping and in fact I was over dressed and too hot.
I have enjoyed being a tourist in my new home. My mum and I decided to find a different tourist spot each week to drink coffee at. I have seen some lovely places and some that I would rather not visit again. I have been to wine farms, olive groves, breweries, beach cafes, chocolate factories, ice cream shops, coffee shops and restaurants. We visited a lovely beach cafe for lunch on the last day of summer, only we did not know it was the last day of summer at the time. It was a hot day. People were swimming in the sea. Boats were zipping across the bay and I was sitting under an umbrella dressed in a sundress watching the world go by. It was the perfect setting for a seafood lunch and I had my favourite, calamari. Seafood is meant to be eaten by the sea where you can smell the salt in the air. It was a wonderful day but the last sunny hot day we had. The very next day autumn arrived. It was like a switch had been flicked. The air turned cooler and we even had rain. Suddenly everyone was wearing long sleeves. I knew it would warm up again before the heat really said its goodbyes, which it did, but the days have turned autumnal with cool morning and evenings and some warmth in the middle of the day. Winter is around the corner.
Australia is beginning to feel more and more like home and I am really enjoying it. Of course there are things I miss about London too. I often get questions about how strange it must be moving from a huge city to the country side, but honestly it is not strange at all, just different. I also get asked about what I miss most. This is what I miss: My friends, there are a great bunch of people who I miss talking to and sharing life with; I miss how quick the postal service is in the UK, ordering anything online takes weeks, in fact mail sent from down the road seems to take days; I miss Waitrose Chorizo – I know that sounds funny, but I had found a gluten-free one in the UK and I have tried as many different kinds as I could get my hand on but I haven’t found the right one yet, it takes time to find things in a new place. I haven’ really started clothes shopping here yet but while I was unpacking all my winter clothes the other day I found all my lovely items from Fat Face and I thought, ‘I’m really going to miss that shop’. I wonder if they will post to Australia?
Things I love about Australia already: The colour of the ocean; being close to my family; having a car to drive; making new friends; the wonderful friends I have already made; supermarkets that sell things like coconut oil, almond butter, almond flour and other health food products; Kangaroos roaming around free, almost in my garden; that so many restaurants and cafes have gluten-free options; hot summers. I’m sure that this list will grow as time goes on.