15 months in Kangaroo Country…
Finished. Australia is over. Back to reality, back to the questions, back to my good old France.
This will be my last review, my last article on this unique country, both beautiful and annoying.
Has this trip changed me? A little, maybe. But mostly it made me realize a lot of things about myself, and about life in general.
Let’s go with the review.
Why are you coming back?
Because I miss my big dummies!
For several months now, I had lost that ability to be ecstatic, the Wow effect of landscapes no longer had a hold on me. And I can tell you that if it’s annoying to visit a place with someone nodding critically in front of a white sand beach. It’s even harder to be that killjoy person.
Knowing that we should be dancing with joy at having the chance to see all of this, but only seeing the negative sides of it, isn’t much fun.
Actually, I just wanted to share this with the people I love. Yes, I was starting to miss my family and friends a lot. I wanted to watch my niece grow up, hug my parents, and have a drink while talking nonsense with my friends…
Well I’m not going to lie, the cheese, “Saucisson” and all the delicious food that was waiting for me here when I got back had a small influence as well.
I was looking forward to walking through an old city, to living in a less sanitized environment, to living in a country where money is reviled and culture is on a pedestal. To hear my first name pronounced correctly too, for that matter…
And besides, I’m not young anymore, and procrastinating about my future on the other side of the world is fine for a while… But now, I’m going to have to take action.
What I think about Australia
It’s a beautiful country to visit. To see much of it, not all of it but a good sample, you’ll need at least a month.
I’d probably go back… In ten years, when I have kids (I’m touching wood), I’d go back for several weeks, and travel the roads in an RV… the Australian way!
The nature there won me over. Living there, on the other hand… I don’t know, it’s so far from my values…
Come on I’ll give you the balance of the pros and cons… In my opinion!
- Australia is huge, and the cities are extremely far from each other. No train, it’s the plane every time, or hours of driving!”
- Everything is regulated there! Everything. Here, no room for improvisation. You want to start any activity, you will undoubtedly need a training and a license … Oh it’s not hard to get… But it could be expensive…
- A culture of all car. Here the car is queen, it is huge, polluting. The city centers are abandoned in favor of the suburbs. Too bad for the pedestrian city dwellers like me …
- Gastronomy is really not their thing. When you know that one of the Australian dessert specialties is Fairy Bread (recipe)…you quickly understand. What I complained about most was the poor quality of the ingredients: meats, cheese, cold cuts, and even vegetables are not as tasty as they are here.
- Life is expensive, groceries especially and rents… But hey salaries are high!!! Just plan a little more budget, if it’s for the vacations.
- There are not as many beautiful surfers as on the brochure… Small Asians, rednecks with mullet haircuts, beer bellies… as soon as you get away from the beaches, the surfer with the golden musculature disappears…
- The relationship with the aborigines in Australia is hyper complicated. In many cities, they are marginalized, drug addicts, alcoholics. Impossible to remain stoic in front of their sad fate.
- All the nasty beasts, small or big that prevent you from living… Jellyfish and crocodiles that prevent you from swimming, sandflies and flies that ruin your life…
- The nature! The landscapes are breathtaking, the West a real happiness of turquoise waters and deserted beaches… In the East, waterfalls, tropical forests, mountains, deserts, canyon… There is something for everyone !
- The animals ! Only a few kilometers from the metropolises, we can already cross small kangaroos. The marsupials are so numerous, and so cute …
- The weather in Australia is much better overall than in Europe. Perth is one of the sunniest cities in the world for example… Not gross!”
- If you want to work, you work. Except during the covid lock down period, employment is healthy in Australia. And for a traveler willing to take on odd jobs, it’s very easy to find.
- Everyone gets their cut. Yes, the trader earns more than the maid, but the maid gets a more than decent salary. I earned almost as much being a gardener in Australia as being a product manager in France… In short, there is no such thing as a silly job.
- The economy is going well!”
- They pay salaries by the week or by the fortnight. And you pay your rent by the week, too. It’s more flexible, and when you’re just starting out, it’s so much easier! To manage your budget too…
I wouldn’t know about the rest… Education, health care, or taxes, I haven’t thought that much about it.
What I’ll miss about Australia
There are things I’m going to miss about Australia, that’s for sure. Here are a few of them:
- The sun!!!
- The nearly empty beaches
- Get a cappuccino or Ice Latte to go
- The Acai Balls.
- Playing my charm with my little French accent and exoticism…
- The cheap sushi
- The pluratity of restaurants: Asian, Indian, Italian, etc.
- The carefree attitude!
What I did in Australia:
Well, I didn’t do much in terms of miles and surface area… But we do what we can ^^.
Sometimes a picture is better than words:
The twelve most beautiful things I’ve seen or done
- Kalbarri Nature Park at sunrise.
- Swimming with the whale shark.
- Lucky Bay and its blue water like never before.
- Swim with a turtle in Exmouth Nature Park
- Karijini, climb Mount Bruce.
- Tour Rottnest Island by bike
- Swim with otaries
- Explore the Great Barrier Reef in the Whitsundays
- Drive through the forests of Margaret River
- Touch a stingray at Hamelin Bay
- Sydney, wandering around, wearing out my shoes.
- Watching the sunset between the sea and the river in Noosa
What I remember about Australia
Human relationships are by far the most important thing in my life. So there you have it, the conclusion of my journey.
No, I don’t like everyone, and I don’t care if I’m liked by everyone. However, I do like to be around a small group of people that I like. I’m not a loner, I’m definitely a small social animal, who lives in a pack!
It’s okay, I think my personality is grounded. I now know who I am, and I’m living it straight and with humor!
This trip was first of all for me full of encounters, beautiful friendships, lasting or ephemeral, but where I always knew how to be myself! Thanks to all the beautiful people I met there. And thank you to the less beautiful ones too, confronting hatred, it also makes you grow!
This is it, I think I love myself. And now you’re thinking, this is it, she’s got the melon!
Please note, I don’t look in the mirror and smile every morning, I don’t pat myself on the back for being exceptional every night before bed. No, I know that I am neither the most beautiful (I see it as you do my big nose and pointy chin), nor the smartest, but I love myself despite that. That’s it!
It’s been a long road, and the last step was probably Australia. I accepted my flaws, my imperfections, gave up trying to look like someone else, and finally loved myself!
Okay, that won’t stop me from having relapses from time to time, and sniffing on your shoulder and sobbing that I’m not beautiful, or that I have big arms… Australia isn’t a land of miracles, either.
Eh… Am I any further along than I was before Australia?
Can we stop there?
I still have this plan to become a school teacher in my head, but it’s not without its flaws. The competitive exam isn’t until April 2022, and I’ll probably go back to work in the meantime.
I know I’m going to be choking you with text for several more years. Because while Australia is over, my blog is just getting started!
So… This year of professional reflection hasn’t gotten me very far. The only conclusion I’ve come to is that if I have to choose between beach and city, I’d choose the city….