Dear Lauren…

(This post is in response to Dear Kate… on my best friend’s blog, Lauren Hannah Kiera. For context purposes you may want to read her initial post first!)

Oh hey girllllllll!



Like you I still can’t get my head around the time difference malarkey. The Parentals have two clocks above the pantry, one showing London time and the other showing Sydney time, and I sort of wish I had that where I am. Always having to work out what the time is to people I’m chatting to back home is harder than you would think, plus it’s weird having to schedule Skype sessions for evenings or mornings, rather than whenever I darn well choose!

Your big decision makes me SO happy! I read your post in the hostel just after having checked in and it just brought the biggest smile to my face! To the point where I was smiling crazily at strangers, which is OK in hostels thank goodness! I’ve kind of known for a little while that beauty and make up is quite clearly what you’ll end up doing, but I think there’s only so much people like myself can say until you realise that for yourself. We can give all the advice in the world, but until it becomes your decision it’s all completely worthless. Over the summer you were talking about all these potential job routes you could go down – the police, PR, stage management, directing etc. and the one thing you would always come back to was beauty 🙂 (Even if that was just by buying crazy amounts of stuff purely for you to review on your blog!)

I think you’re right to be pursuing something you’re passionate about – we have 50 odd years of the daily grind ahead of us as it is, we might as well do what we can to enjoy it! The Mothership is my inspiration for that – there are times when her job is incredibly testing and moments where crying might seem the best option, but she never wakes up and thinks “I hate my job”, as the positives vastly outweigh the negatives.

So YAY! I know the saving bit will be a pain, you are talking to the queen of saving after all 😉 It’ll be worth it though, I had to make quite a few sacrifices in order to afford the trip I’m on now, but as you know I’m all about the quotes and the one that really helped me with saving for this trip was…


You may think you need a whole new wardrobe, but you don’t, trust me! 😉 And at times you might feel a bit like you’re being a bit of an Unsocial Sally, but your twenties are about being selfish, right?! And your future career is way more important than 20 consecutive nights out in Aylesbury!

Exciting things have been happening in my world too, and like you I’ve made rather a big decision in the last couple of days! I got quite homesick last week, and a bit grumpy too which is never a good combination. I think it stemmed from the whole lack of Surf Camp thing. I took what I could from that experience by learning to just roll with it, understanding that not everything is going to go to plan and so the control freak within me really just needs to chill out! But it left me in the heart of Sydney for a week longer than I’d anticipated, and that got me thinking!

Basically, the long and short of it is that I have itchy feet. I’ve had an amazing time these first few weeks as Sydney was definitely the right place to come first, but the initial excitement has worn off and I’ve started to feel a bit too comfortable. Sydney is wonderful as it’s much more relaxed than any UK city I’ve been to and it has some beautiful views and the beaches surrounding the city are just stunning! I know I’ll be back at some point in the new year, but right now Sydney just doesn’t feel like where I’m meant to be.

So I’ve decided to leave Sydney. YIKES! It feels like a big deal, and it is! I’m venturing out on my own and going against what I had always planned to do, and my inner control freak is screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU FOOL?!“, but I’m just choosing not to listen. 😉 This also means I’m one of the first of the BUNAC lot to be leaving everyone behind, as many have chosen to stick in Sydney for the next three months. It’s definitely what I need to do though, because with no disrespect meant to any of them I need to get away from being in such a big group. It’s really hard to find any time to yourself and have some space to think, and at the end of the day I haven’t come to Australia to then stay with 25 others Brits. We’ve all come out here with different intentions anyway, and I know I’ll meet up with them throughout the year as some of our plans coincide. 🙂

I think what these last two weeks have done is put me out of my comfort zone, which is definitely a good thing, but there have definitely been moments where I’ve felt out of place. I don’t necessarily want to fit in, school and university both played their parts in making me realise I don’t need that from life. But, for example, I’m not a big drinker and don’t really want to spend every night going out and getting wasted. However in Sydney Backpacker World that sometimes translates as ‘boring’. But at the end of the day I haven’t paid for this trip and then saved over £3,000 to then spend it drinking my liver into oblivion in standard backpacker bars. I want to get to know more people, see the ‘real’ Australia (whatever that is!) and do things I wouldn’t be able to do in the UK.

And so, on the 22nd November I will be leaving Sydney to go to a little place on the coast called Coffs Harbour! It’s still in New South Wales, but it’s going to take me over eight hours on the train! EIGHT HOURS! I’m suddenly realising how big Australia is, as a journey of that length in the UK would get me to Scotland, yet this one won’t even take me from one state to another! How bonkers is that?!

It took a bit of courage to book though. The emails I sent The Parentals were complete mumbo jumbo whilst I was in the limbo period of making a decision about what to do. What I really wanted was for someone to say “here Kate, this is your plan, it’s right for you and therefore what you will be doing until late January”. But that’s not what I needed, and I’m learning there’s a big difference between want and need.

So! Coffs Harbour! I’m hoping to do some fruit picking there, meet backpackers and locals alike and hopefully spend Christmas and New Year in the area should everything work out just right! And after that I’m not planning ahead. I want to but I’m not going to because I want to stress out my control freak side even more(!) knowing that it’ll be better for me in the long run if I do. Since getting here I’ve really struggled doing things without a plan, I get a bit too uptight and twitchy, but I’d like that to change so have decided to be as proactive as possible about it! 🙂

I feel really positive about this change, there’s the same feeling in my gut that I had when I first booked this trip. It scares me too, but (and back to the quotes we go!) I had to remind myself of this little beauty…


So my only plan now is to keep scaring myself! It’s weird, I’ve been gone almost three weeks, been in Australia for just over two, and I can already feel it changing me. I have 50 more weeks of this, so goodness only knows who I’m going to come back as haha!

Until next time amigo!

Love love love love loveage xxxxxxxxxx


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