After only being in Australia for 2 months to the date, it’s safe to say I didn’t have a plan to do this kind of article. However, 1 month and 26 days after first touching Kangaroo soil here in OZ, I was sat up at the Sunshine Coast. Skateboard resting on the chair in front, camera on the table next to me, quite happy ‘people watching’ at the Sunshine Plaza, choking back a sweet Corona and lime, and it just came to me! It all became so transparent as to what I loved about this place, and also, what European things I missed. I lived in Madrid last year for quite some time so I guess the Churro’s, Tortilla and true small town Cerveza’s still lingering in my mind.
So, I made a list! Cos’ everybody loves list, they are just so satisfying. I’m going to start with the things I missed the most because this list is MUCH smaller than the things I loved about this vast, mad, hot country!
[title maintitle=”Things I miss” subtitle=””]
- Peoples hang, and chill spots are Shopping Centers? Where are the Plaza’s, the park benches, the City Center water fountain steps where everybody sits while some hippy plays his guitar? Really, where do you go to meet people outside? Countless times, I have walked up and down many streets trying to just say ‘Hey’ to somebody. Please, someone, get me a Plaza to chill on.
- The drivers here are a bit aggressive, right? I miss normal drivers that don’t act like dicks on the road. Especially when I have a 2-year-old in the car with me.
- I MISS late night coffee shops in Madrid. The coffee stops flowing when the bars close. I wish I could just take my laptop to a cafe/bar right now and curl up in the corner writing on my laptop. Oh wait, nah. They closed at 3pm. For real?
- SO BIG, everywhere. Australia = BIG, huge! And in the Cities there’s no… centre? No centre point to branch off from. Where do you even start? I actually miss smaller cities…
[title maintitle=”Things I Love” subtitle=””]
- Being so big is actually a ‘love’ too, the bigger, the more grounds to cover!
- All the kids’ parks are pretty sweet, there are loads, and they are super fun. But I only go on them because, ya know, I have to look after a 2 year old.
- All the nature and wildlife. What more do I need to add? Simply spectacular.
- The people are so friendly and warm, and from mixed cultures and backgrounds.
- In general, the Aussie culture is pretty cool. I can’t complain when people tell me weird golf club related stories about toads, share traditional Aussie food with me, and play me wicked rock bands from Melbourne.
- The architecture here is nuts! Have you seen the new, modern day Aussie Shopping Center? It’s like a different world!
- The tropical climate is a winner… everyone’s smiling, sun, warmth, sun, and more sun.
- Big backpacker/expat community here and the generous offer from this beautiful Country to extend your stay from a 1-year working visa, to 2! I know people complain about some dodgy farms in which you need to stay on to extend your visa (like me), but it’s still a mega cool offer.
- Australians have our similar, dark, sarcastic humour. Who doesn’t love dark humour?
- The accent is just so pleasant, I love hearing Australians talk.
- Everyone knows a lot about wildlife and nature, since their back gardens step out onto it all!
- Part of the commonwealth. This is quite a winner, especially when it came to health insurance. I don’t feel like much of a foreigner here which makes a change! I actually get treated like a human.
- Yes, it’s a country by itself, but there are so many awesome countries cuddled around it, and cheap flights out to them all too!
- TRANSPORT! Nailed it. This country has nailed public transport. I mean, in comparison to England. Not Spain, I feel like Spain nailed it pretty hard too in most places.
- The freedom and nakedness. I love walking around with no shoes, half-dressed and, so what? Coastal cities and all, you wouldn’t expect anything less. Unless you’re on a nudist beach. Yeah, where are those?
- The dole system here is pretty awesome, with plans to keep track of youths and family spending and outgoings, and pushing youth development projects.
- The Aboriginal influence is still alive; it’s still around. I understand it’s been cut back loads, but as an outsider, I still see it and feel it all around. In comparison to the British, when the British colonised, they usually didn’t leave a trace of the past behind…
- THE LANDSCAPES, the views, the crazy, stunningness you have never seen before and will only see here in Australia
For all the above reasons and possibly more, it’s helped me to BE IN the moment. Which is something I have been trying to master for an incredibly long time. Especially when you live a life of constant travel and moving around, you want to be able to soak up every moment. Sure, I haven’t exactly mastered it right now, but I’m sure as hell touching base with it. It’s become so transparent to me what I needed to help me live in the present moment, and I guess I just needed Australia.