It’s now the end of September and I’ve been away from home for 3 months. In this time I’ve travelled to a few places but my original plans of always being on the move and seeing different sights were soon scuppered when I realised I didn’t want to see such things without my boyfriend.
When I first reached Brisbane I began an in-depth look into where to go down the East Coast and how to do it. An agency contacted me and suggested they plan it for me and after taking one look at their itinerary, I knew that I couldn’t have experiences like sailing around the Whitsundays or driving around Fraser Island without him in tow.
This led to a dilemma. I’d been in the country one week and already my journey had ground to a halt. My boyfriend is unable to travel out here until the end of November so I have 5 months in total before he arrives and we can start our epic journey together.
In coming to this realisation I had to re-think all my plans and ideas of how this trip was going to play out and work out how to keep going for all that time without it being seen as a waste.
As you may know from previous posts, I’m filling the majority of my time in Sydney; working and seeing all that I can on the weekends. When I’m not working (and mostly when I was house sitting), I’m planning our future adventures that we can go on together.
During the month of August I had little to do but keep some beautiful animals alive whilst house sitting in Townsville. This gave me the opportunity to organise our ’round the world’ flights and set dates for each location. After (what we thought was) careful planning, we felt that we’d budgeted enough and could do the following:
- 3 weeks down the East Coast
- 10 days in Fiji
- 3 weeks in New Zealand
- 3 weeks in Sri Lanka
- A weekend in Dubai on our way back to the UK
So we booked our flights and set about organising the bits in between. My lovely agent from Peter Pan who’d already sent me an itinerary prior when it was just me looking, had now updated the trip details and given me an itinerary for the both of us – that was EC sorted.
Fiji was also fairly easy to organise. I did my research and learnt about each group of islands. I wanted peace and quiet away from the backpacking crowds, and somewhere close to good dive spots for my boyfriend. I found this website to be a brilliant source of information. Not only did it teach me about all the island groups, it also contains a brilliant search engine for accommodation. After settling on Kadavu island it was then a very small list of resorts to email and find out about Christmas specials. We chose Mai Dive which has nothing but 5 star reviews since 2011 and looks gorgeous.
My sister’s a travel counsellor, so she sent me across a 3 week itinerary of self drive New Zealand which was perfect. Next all we needed to sort was the camper which we found using a comparison site, then we downloaded a few apps which show you where you can park for free or fairly cheaply.
Having not used the app whilst in NZ yet, I can’t comment on how useful they are, but in preparation we’ve downloaded the Camping NZ and Happy Campers apps which both do pretty much the same thing. Camping NZ appears to be more useful as it allows you to download full maps, and I doubt we’ll have much signal while we’re there!
Sri Lanka is the bit we’re still working on but also the cheapest part of our trip. It’s expected that you can spend less than £50 a day in Sri Lanka, staying in the best hotels. Yes you can do it for less, but that could include accommodation with a toilet that’s never been cleaned (hygiene isn’t at the top of their priority list in SL) and possible hellish trips using their buses with no timetables. I’m not much of a camper so I couldn’t see myself surviving three weeks in camp-like hotel rooms.
Upon going through all these destinations it was soon evident that I’d need to cut back. Any plans of epic trips to Darwin and down the West Coast were closed off, and I am now living a true Aussie life, working a 9-5 and paying rent.
That’s not a bad thing though! I’ve always wanted to work in a foreign country, so I’m happy to be here and very happy to have work. It just means that from now until the middle of November, my travels will be limited to the streets of Sydney and beaches of the Northern Shores. It could be worse!