Holy moly guacamole – it’s time. I’m about to depart Australian shores and return to the motherland. Yikes!
One year and one day after I left the UK I’m at an airport once again saying more emotional farewells and preparing for some of the best hellos on the other side. However, this time I don’t feel sick with nerves. My palms aren’t clammy. There’s no desperate need to nervous poo. If I remember correctly this time last year every fibre of my being was screaming out saying this was the worst possible idea ever and why did I ever think I could do this?!
Well, take that overthinking brain because I bloody well did do it! And I have had the best time bumbling my way around, blogging about my antics and not adhering to any of my plans along the way! I’ve done some truly amazing things, been to some incredible places and met some fabulous human beings during my time here, and before I go I’d just like to say a few thanks yous…so please allow me one final soppy post before I depart!
Firstly, thank you Cathay Pacific for getting me there comfortably and safely. And then back home six months later. And then back here again. Much appreciated! Your inflight food isn’t great though.
Thank you to the BUNAC guys. Thank you for being the initial comfort blanket in an unfamiliar world. Thank you for your companionship, advice and the funny times we had together. I was a fresh-faced first-time backpacker, but I wasn’t alone and that meant more to me than you’ll ever know.
Thank you Hong Kong. I can’t honestly say I enjoyed my three days there, but it was those three days that made me realise I could do this and I would be OK. More comforting than you would think!
Thank you Sydney. Thank you for welcoming me, introducing me to Australia and backpacker life and then being my home for four months of my year.
Thank you Aussitel and Coffs Harbour. I hated the blueberry picking but it was there I realised how amazing this year could (and would) be. Thank you to everyone I met during my time there – my Coffs family. Some of my favourite memories are the times we had together doing things like playing pool volleyball, salsa dancing, exploring rainforests, our nights out at the Coffs hotel and my favourite – Christmas Day. Christmas is a time for family and I couldn’t have asked for a better make-shift family to celebrate the day with. I can’t help but smile when I think about each and every friend I made there.
Thank you Tim Tams. You are the reason I will be hitting the gym hard upon my return!
Thank you to PEACE Farm for giving me the opportunity to try things I never thought I would in a million years. I never thought Australia would involve catching chickens before breakfast, milking goats or bathing in a dam alongside cattle, but lo and behold that was all part of the day to day life that once again pushed me out of my comfort zone and provided me with some of my funniest Australian stories.
Thank you to the beaches. They truly are the best in the world, and now as a result everything I own comes with a free helping of sand.
Thank you Melbourne, for your charm, culture and character and for reminding me that the weather can be crappy over here too. Thank you for your affordable sporting events, making it possible for almost broke backpackers such as myself to attend. Thank you for being a different kind of city, showing me that I can be a city girl – it just depends on the city!
Thank you to those douchebags who used all my stuff in the hostel that time. I hope you made good use of the stuff you stole.
Thank you to all the wifi connections I’ve made use of over here, ensuring I could always get in touch with my nearest and dearest.
Thank you to my au pair family. Thank you for making me never want to leave. Thank you for being my Australian family and welcoming me so selflessly into your home and family. The love and support you provided me with during my lowest point this year meant more than you will ever know and I feel so grateful and blessed to have you all in my life.
Thank you Bonds underwear. Seriously, I’ve never been so comfortable.
Thank you to Growth Group and everyone at St. Albans. You were my first Australian friends and instantly made me feel at home with your warmth, generosity and humour. I love the idea I have international friendship circles now.
Thank you Cairns for the fun, the laughter, the people and the once in a lifetime experiences.
Thank you Emeli Sande and Kelly Clarkson. Your songs are like therapy and got me through the particularly tough times.
Thank you Tullamore. Thank you for adopting me as one of your own, allowing me to release my inner country bumpkin and introducing me to country music! Thank you all for sharing your stories and your way of life with me – not only did you made my farming a much more enjoyable experience than I had ever anticipated it being, but you have also given me the chance to come back for one more year so THANKS!
Thank you Nivea sunscreen for keeping me protected from those pesky UV rays.
Thank you Simple for soothing my poor skin when I forgot to re-apply sunscreen.
Thank you to each and every person I have met out here. Thank you for keeping me sane, helping me out in times of need, sharing in the awesome and making my year what it was.
Thank you to all my friends and family back home. Thank you for letting me go. Thank you for supporting me all year round. Thank you for showing an interest and reading my blogs and taking the time out of your day to message and say hi. I’ve been pants at staying in regular contact with all of you but thank you for understanding that sometimes life gets busy.
And finally, thank you to The Parentals. Thank you for everything – your support in the run up to this trip, the lift to the airport, the Tips From Dad, equipping me with the life skills to do all of this, your advice when things got tough, the giggles we’ve had over Skype, coming to visit me, the care packages and just for being all around AWESOME! I love you both so much and I cannot wait to see you in around 25 hours time!
Thanks Australia, it’s been a blast!