Living in Aus: Life Lessons

Great Ocean Road Australia
Contemplating life on the Great Ocean Road

As you probably already know if you've visited my blog/Instagram/any social media recently, I am in Australia on a working holiday visa (I think I posted about it once or twice!). As you can imagine, it’s quite a change from the 9-5 life in the North East of England, and having lived and travelled around a few different places in the country, I feel like I've learned a lot about travel, life and Australia. Read on if you're thinking of travelling, visiting Australia one day or if you're simply nosy of course...

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things
When you're across the other side of the world, there’s no better time to experience something new. Luckily, there’s all kinds of fun to be had in this amazing country. You can try out everything from horseback riding and swimming with dolphins to scuba diving or the one your parents will advise you against - skydiving, and that’s just a few of the experiences travellers have the opportunity to partake in. I'd recommend biting the bullet and trying out anything and everything you've ever dreamt of doing but not had the opportunity to. You won’t regret it, I've never spoken to anyone who embarked on an adrenalin adventure who regretted it. Even my friend who is terrified of heights says jumping out of a plane is the best thing she's ever done... I'm yet to give it a go but New Zealand is next on my list and it may well happen there - stay tuned!

2. Always Be Optimistic
Australia is often spoken about as one of the world’s happiest countries and I can understand why. Well for me, personally, the sun and warmth and being outdoors makes me so happy and content. Plus, the people here are (not to stereotype and they do have different personalities, but generally) so friendly.

You're guaranteed to hear a jolly "How’re you going?" at least once a day - don't panic and wonder how you're supposed to respond to this alien phrase, they simply mean "How're you doing?" so the standard response, of "Good, thank you - yourself?" is fine.

3. Never Forget Where You’re From
Although the food and drink in Aus is amazing, there are some subtle differences which have not gone unnoticed. Firstly, and most importantly (as a chocaholic), the Cadbury chocolate is different. Don't expect to buy a Dairy Milk bar and it taste the same - the chocolate over here is made to a slightly different recipe to stop it melting as easily (it still melts easily). Additionally, the Weetabix (or 'Weet-bix') is just not quite the same.

It goes without saying that everyone will get a little homesick when they’re away and I’m really thankful to be travelling with my best friends from home (which really makes the trip feel like home from home) and my family back in the UK for always being on the other end of the phone for a chat, advice and updates about what's going on back in Teesside. They've also sent me care packages all the way to Australia from home that are packed with all my favourite things and it’s given me a newfound appreciation for all those things I took for granted back in the UK (miss you, Galaxy chocolate).

4. Make New Friends
Don’t be shy – try to talk to anyone and everyone whilst you’re travelling. Because you’re all in the same boat, you’ll find that you make new friends really easily and keep bumping into the same faces on your way around the country too. Esepcially down the East Coast if they're travelling in the same direction as you. We made some friends with some really nice girls along the coast (from Leeds lol) who we now hang out with in Melbourne where we're all living now. I guarantee you’ll make friends for life.

5. Go Off the Beaten Track
Yes, visit all the main touristy spots on your first visit Down Under – like the Harbour and Opera House in Sydney, Bondi Beach, the Great Barrier Reef and the city of Melbourne (which I love and have talked a bit about in a previous blog post here). They’re all a must on the to-do list, but don’t skip visiting some of the lesser known spots too, as they’ll give you a unique insight into the culture and how everyday life works away from all the travellers and visitors. I'll never forget our visits to tiny towns along the East Coast and chats with locals in the bars there. If you can’t squeeze these into your first trip, then it’s a good excuse to go back and visit again. I'd love to come back and do Western Australia if I don't manage to fit it in before I leave.

It’s hard not to fall in love with Australia when you visit, even if it’s just a short trip. I mean, when I first came out, I thought I'd be homesick and flying back to the UK before Christmas, yet now I'm considering carrying out 88 days of farm work to allow me to stay another year (this is what's required for your second year Visa fml).

Aus is a huge country with so much variety in everything from food to climate. You can have a chilled, beach lifestyle here or a busy city life. Or a bit of both as all the major cities have beautiful beaches. If you're suffering from wanderlust and not sure where to go, I can't recommend Australia more.

My journey in Australia isn't over yet, and I'm looking forward to all the adventures to come. Who knows, my northern accent might slowly start morphing into an Australian one and I’ll end up swapping parmos for parmas! Only kidding, that will never happen.

Have you travelled around Australia before, too? What lessons do you think will stay with you from the experience? If you haven't travelled Aus, but are planning to, check out my packing 'how to' post here.

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