Goodbye Australia *sad face*

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It is time to bid farewell to Australia. I truly had the most amazing time in Sydney & I know I would be really happy living here. I’m ready to get on the road again & be captivated by Bali.
I’ve had a busy day of last minute booking, shopping, organising & farewelling. True to form I arranged a consultation regarding my travel vaccinations the day before leaving Sydney. I went to the International Travel Vaccine Centre hoping I already had most of the required vaccinations. Four injections, boxes of Malaria tablets, a cholera cocktail & $500 later I am feeling pretty sorry for myself. (I think $75 of this was the consultation fee which I wasn’t initially aware of *grumpy face*). I thanked the nurse & she said it was ‘her pleasure’…. Charming!
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My friend has kindly agreed to stowe a bag of my belongings for the foreseeable future for me. I am so relieved, my back rejoices! This is obviously an unwritten contract that I shall have to return to collect them. ‘Present me’ is so laid back about the future & ‘future me’ will be so mad I’ve made a snap decision & will need to make an extra journey to Sydney for a bag of shite (it’s not really shite) (it’s kind of shite) (some of it)….  My manipulative unconscious, however, has just formed a ‘compulsory’ return to Sydney which is a pretty awesome plan. Right?!
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In true me style I booked my accommodation & arranged my airport transfer less than 12 hours before my arrival. I am always too absorbed in my current activity & surroundings to organise my next step. I always live on the cusp of disarray & unpredictability. Sometimes fun, sometimes a logistical nightmare! I have also booked a flight to India for two weeks later! I’m so excited to have the plans in motion for a country that has featured on my list for so long!
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With a sad heart & a heavy regret that I never applied for a working holiday visa, I bid Australia farewell.
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Koala loving in Symbio Wildlife Park

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I have a big love for koalas. They are my spirit animal. My friends carefully selected this as my spirit animal as nothing else remotely rhymes with my name & this was the best they could come up with. In hindsight this has been an excellent & apt selection on their part. I feel like anatomically I have similar characteristics to koalas & even our behaviour can be likened. I even save pictures of koalas that I feel embody me. Is that a step too far into my tangled mind??
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Upon booking my flight to Australia I was overcome with a second wave of excitement at having the opportunity to finally meet a koala (under respectful cruelty free conditions of course). My pal already knew of my resolute dedication to koalas so she arranged a trip for us to go to Symbio Wildlife Park to see the koala bears.
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Even the chocolate bars are koalas!

I was so excited when we arrived. I couldn’t stop smiling & was breaking my neck to try & spy the koalas up ahead. Yes, I was embarrassing. When we got to the koala area I was fascinated to see them & I won’t hesitate to tell you it felt like a reunion with a long lost family member. I can’t confirm whether the feeling was mutual, but I certainly had a deep unwavering love for the koalas. My good friend & her boyfriend politely put up with my childlike enthusiasm & again I felt so lucky to have friends who put up with me!
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We stayed for the koala talk which was, of course, extremely fascinating & bonded me more to my spirit animal. Afterwards they were doing photo’s with the koala’s for $20 so I literally jumped at the chance to meet them & gently stroke their soft inviting fur. I wanted to nuzzle my face into their fur & ever so slowly motorboat action them – in the most sweetest animal loving way. Unfortunately it would just be a picture next to them as cuddling koalas is banned in New South Wales & I support anything that protects animals (although I am in a zoo…..).

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When I got into the koala enclosure I felt so excited to meet them! My friend said I immediately told the park keeper that koalas were my favourite animal, like a 3 year old might. Sometimes I wonder how I can be this person one moment & a fully functioning adult with adult responsibilities the next. There were two koalas in the enclosure but I had my eyes on Imogen – the one the park keeper had during her talk. She seemed to be curious with a bit of attitude & really fluffy! As I approached her she fled to the highest branch of the tallest tree. Was it my manic smile?? I swear I was coming with only love for her!
The park keeper & assistant lured her down with food & took her to another tree where she again tried to flee from my loving energy. Maybe this is what I do to men (that I’m interested in). The staff considered getting the other koala then the photographer started snapping us & assured me that he got the picture. I was disappointed not to get a cuddle – or keep her forever.
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So this is the tale of the day I met & was publicly SHUNNED by my spirit animal. The awkward thing is that I respect her attitude & still love her & will continue to be spiritually linked to koalas.
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Wallaby selfie

Eating in Manly

My eating tour continues… Today we went for a drive to Manly & went to Four Pines for lunch. Dear God it was incredible!!!! I seem to be really splashing out when it comes to food & drink in Australia – not something I would allow myself to do so much in New Zealand. The food is amazing here & there is so much choice! In Four Pines I shared a salad & the vegetarian platter washed down with alcoholic ginger beer. Easily the best meal I’ve had this year!!!
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I did my signature classic eat-so-slow-to-bask-in-every-bite move. We were there for a few hours eating, chatting & putting the world to rights. Life is so good! Even the 3 hour journey home via Sydney traffic couldn’t dampen my spirits. My friend (who has joined uber as a driver) even managed to pull in behind a line of parked cars presuming it was traffic (They were clearly parked cars) – this is the second funniest thing that I have witnessed this year! The first of course was dearest Julia & her failed bungy jump in Queenstown. I am still showing people that video, I will never tire of it.

Another Incredible day in Oz

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Today I met up with another good friend. It is so surreal seeing someone again after so long!
We went for a lovely wander around Botanic gardens catching up then walked to the Sydney Opera House & had a couple of glasses of wine & a cheeseboard while taking in the view of the Harbour Bridge. It was so perfect! I really feel blessed at times.
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Coogee Baths

Today I went to the female baths, McIvers Baths in Coogee. They are run by volunteers & only 20 cents to get in! 20 cents!!! Crazy good!!!! The pool is a natural pool that is segregated from the sea by rocks. The waves are free to crash in, which they did that day. The sea was very rough, we were warned several times about going in. There were other ladies who I presumed to be regulars swimming so I joined in, staying to the side furthest from the sea. The water was so cool & refreshing in the sunshine. The waves were getting stronger so I chilled & read my book on the grass in the shade, continuously reapplying factor 50 baby sunscreen – My dear, high maintenance, pale Irish skin *sigh*
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The volunteers heroically open the baths at 6am so ladies can take advantage of a pre work morning swim. My mind was instantly saturated with ideas of me living in Coogee, getting up for a swim before work & enjoying the good life. Really Australia, can I stay??

I’ve fallen for Coogee

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Who knew I would fall head over heels for Australia!?? Australia has always been somewhere I didn’t give much consideration. I presumed it would be unbearably hot for me with too many spiders for me to cope with. With everyone going there I always knew it would be incredible, but maybe not for me….
I have since fallen in love with Australia – based purely on my love for Coogee. It is incredibly beautiful, my friends here are so happy & have a wonderful lifestyle. The pace of life is perfect. The area is absolutely stunning & it seems very sociable. What’s not to love!!??
Along with the better wage in comparison to New Zealand I feel Australia may be a more financially viable choice for a working holiday (with intentions to save).
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I did the walk from Coogee to Bondi which took over an hour with all my stops to bask at view points & take photographs. I went to world famous Icebergs for a glass of delicious Pinot Grigio & enjoyed the laid back fun atmosphere. Bondi beach was not as bogan as I expected! Everyone along the coastline seemed super chilled really appreciating their surroundings & making the most of it. I have a strong desire to be one of those people!
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I took the bus into town & enjoyed the familiar shops & busy, self important pace of life. I went back to my friends, got a bottle of wine to have with dinner & ate tacos, drank, gossiped & laughed. What a perfect day. Australia, can I stay???

Sydney

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Flying into Sydney on the cusp of sunrise & the skyline looks incredible. I have a feeling I would have a good time in this city. It’s a shame I’m just here for a connecting flight.
I’m exhausted from the traveling. I hate how my face feels so congested & puffy & my feet feel heavy with fluid. I hate how my skin is as dry as the Sahara & my eyes are crinkled with lack of sleep.
Despite all these things I still do it & will continue to for the feeling of a new country, for the air of somewhere new & the atmosphere of the unknown.
You will not break me jet lag. You won’t even deter me slightly. I will endure you. Wanderlust has me now.