Well this is actually goodbye. Where did the time go? Sitting on the train to Sydney and saying bye to newy (newcastle). This place has been a safe haven. Where can you have a sleepover with your best friends every night. Where people you didn't even know existed 6 months ago have become your family. Newcastle is one of my favorite places. Between the cute little main drag near our apartment or the fact that there are 3 beaches near our apartment. Saying bye to everyone and our crappy apartment has been one of the saddest and heartbreaking things ever. Saying bye to the boys and all my Aussie friends. I'm going to miss everything so much. Trying to explain this experience and how life changing it was is impossible. I feel like apart of me is in newy and how different everything is after four months down under.
Don't get me wrong I love America and the cheap food and well cheap everything. But I wish I had more time. I feel like I'm not done being here. Getting on the flight and heading to lax is just weird to think about.
In the past 6 months I've been to 4 different continents( including America), been to 6 different countries (including America), I've rode 2 elephants, cuddled a koala, kicked it with some kangaroos, ATVed on the beach, hiked a volcanic mountain, visited some temples.. That's just some of my adventures. But it's not about the places I've been it's the people and experiences those adventures brought.
Well I guess this is goodbye Australia.... For now at least!
we have officially returned from our travels through asia! Man was it an experience since none of us spoke or speak thai. Also we have learnt there are no rules in Bangkok. Especially when it comes to driving. Tuk Tuk drives drove like mad man through traffic. if you wanted to get somewhere fast tuk tuks were the way to go. We stayed in Bangkok and saw the temples and grand palace decorated with jules and shiny gems! But after being in Austral
So Jason and Rayna and the kids took us to a dolphin cruise on Nelson bay. It was beautiful weather and a cool street market venders along the bay! it was so much fun and we saw dolphins in crystal beautiful water! there were 2 pods and they came right up to the boat! they were so majestic and reminded me of children. They were so playful and happy. I mean if I lived in Australia and had no worries I would be pretty happy too. I also get some great photos!! After we took a quick trip down a toboggan run! which totally fed my need for speed dare devil addiction!
After that we headed to a football game (soccer) I was so keen to go that my roommate and I got New Castle Jets t-shirt! We went with our new Aussie friends. It made me realize how much I missed soccer. The game was heaps fun and the Jets scored the first 2 goals of the season against Central Coast! but they ended in a draw which was a bit of a bummer! But the game and the crowd is so different over here! There was an entire section that didn't sit all game and all they chanted and they had a megaphone! they were very serious fans! they had a big flag and celery. The celery represented a ration often received...other than that I'm not too sure why. regardless it was heaps funny!
Later we met Joe who is a decedent of the Aboriginal tribe of the Awabakal people! he was very interesting to talk to and the boys got to try playing he didgeridoo...which was kinda upsetting since i was so keen to try playing it, but its tabboo for women to play the didgeridoo! NOT COOL! but I respect their culture and traditions i got to play the clap sticks.... Plus the spear and boomerang throwing made up for not playing the didgeridoo. Over all it was a great thing to be exposed to! Ive learnt some much too! to learn more I have included a link ( http://www.miromaa.org.au/Culture/Awabakal-Dreaming.html )
As for halloween, Im so thankful I live with americans because its not a huge holiday over here. the houses don`t put out decorations and old a few neighborhoods actually trick or treat. which is very sad. However we dressed like minions from despicable me and the 7 dwarfs and snow white (I was happy). We had a great time being different and bring a little bit of America to Australia. We even had our new Australia friends dress up, they were packman, bananas in Pajamas and various other costumes). Which made abbey wood a great halloween destination!
This weekend we went into Sydney to see the more natural wonders Sydney has to offer! We went to the aquarium to see some big sharks and manatees and sea horses! After went to our hostel in coogee beach. A lovely town with beach side property and more importantly a McDonalds next door!
The next day we headed to the infamous Taronga Zoo and saw some native Australian wildlife and world wild life. We especially loved the sugar glider ,red panda, penguin, wombat and platypus exhibits! The whole place was so much fun it felt like we were like 6 years old! It was so much fun! I've learnt that I'm obsessed with sugar gliders, wombats and Quokkas! From the zoo we went whale watching and saw 3 pods and dolphins! It was so much fun! They didn't jump but we saw some tails and blowhole air! It was still a lot of fun and they are huge! Even at a distance! So we did some major hanging out with a lot of animals!
This weekend I volunteered and ran tough mudder in Sydney! It was amazing! Volunteering we met some other Americans but befriended Ethan from Queensland who helped build the course and was in charge of our station. We spent the whole day volunteering at arctic enema which can best be described as a big tub of ice and water that you have to jump into and swim under and get out and continue the course! Just because I'm not loud enough Ethan gave me the mega phone!
The next day we took the tough mudder pledge and was sent on the toughest course built by tough mudder yet! A intense mix of electricity and water obstacles with some running thrown in. To be honest I loved every second of it and can't wait to do it again! Team 'MERICA kicked some major butt and didn't skip a single obstacle and completed it in under the average allotted time! We got shocked and faced some fears! The whole weekend was a huge success and we got our orange headbands to prove we made it!
Which means hello in mauri. After spending 9 days in New Zealand I've come to a couple of conclusions. it's beautiful even in the winter. It's a country that posseses unique and natural qualities. And if you like adventure and the whole granola vibe. You should seriously think about going to nz. While I was there I traveled from hahei to Hamilton to rotarua to waitomo to taupo to Auckland. From experiencing geothermic beaches and creating my own hot tub and kayaking a the very scenic and history rich cathedral cove in hahei. To visiting he glow worm caves of waitomo. To going to hobbiton when lord of the rings was filmed in rotorua. And the crazy beautiful and limit testing tongariro alpine national park in taupo.
Each location brought something unique and beautiful to the table. That pictures unfortunately can't even begin to capture. Most of New Zealand looks like it's right out if a painting or extremely edited photograph. The untouched land even driving from place to place was breath taking. From the window we could see rolling hills or mountain sides.
In hahei we was saw a fur seal and fairy penguin ( like on Phillips island) while we kayaked. We saw cathedral cove and learn about the first people to claim the land and why places are called what and how the kiwis protected their wildlife.
While in New Zealand we saw the hobbiton movie set and I learnt I could be a hobbit in the movies because I was small enough!
The. We traveled to taupo and rode a sailboat out to see rock carvings and from there our adventure took is to hiking the tongiorio alpine crossing which was 15 miles of climbing mountains volcanos and see the emerald and blue lakes! Honestly pictures can do it no justice and it was like being placed in a post card or painting. You could see for miles and around every bend was a new obstacle and new beautiful sight! New Zealand was an amazing place and so different from their neighbors over in Australia. Kiwis defiantly brought some new perspective to the table!
After New Zealand I traveled with Brittany, Caroline to cairns where the Great Barrier Reef is located and slowly shrinking. We snorkeled on a boat called to compass and saw sea turtles and sea cucumbers! We made friends with one of the crew members named Sebastian from Sweeden! And also made friends with Larissa from the uk from our hostel! Under the water in the Great Barrier Reef was like seeing a whole new world and I often found myself fallowing fish and free diving. Which was amazing. On our last day in cairns we held a koala named buster who was quiet sleepy and a pretty mellow mate! But he is extremely photogenic ( look on Facebook to see my photo with him).
From cairns we traveled to bondi and got some rainy weather but the weather lucked out for me as I separated from the other so go see international fleet review in Sydney! I made tons of new friends!
I've got to say wearing an American scarf lead me to meeting more people then I could have imagined. Especially when I went on a cruise to see all the warships coming in. I met the most amazing unique and beautiful family ever! All because we were both wearing matching scarves. I met Levi and Caitlin rose and mr. & mrs. Summerfield! Honestly it was so nice spending time with such a lovely family! And Caitlin and I have the same middle name and initials minus the face she spells with a c instead of a k. But I got Levi and Caitlin to throw the alpha chi omega sign! But the cruise was amazing! I loved every second of it! It also helps that I had amazing company. The next day I watched the helicopters and roulette fly. After that Sydney harbor was lit up by fireworks and the opera house was like a giant screen! It was amazing and so touching! After I met up with Amanda and we toured the battle ships in the naval based on garden island! Honestly the history lover in me was going crazy! I also made friends with the Nigerian crew and got a picture with them ( because I was wearing my American scarf) but it was such an amazing experience since it was the 100th anniversary of the first fleet review! It was an amazing weekend!
Needless to say my spring break was crazy and very adventure packed!!!
Today was probably one of the coolest things I have done in Australia so far. We went to this place called quad bike king, which is in Port Stephens (where Oakvale farm was). Basically we went there to drive ATVs on the sand dunes of Australia. Pinch me am I dreaming?? So i signed my life away and proceeded to drive out to the dunes. We were given fashionable hairnets and helmets. Then I picked the last red ATV in the line and waited for Dean (our tour guide) to give us instructions and explain the hand signals. After a 5 minute breakdown we were off. oh yeah and since I got the last ATV that meant I would be first in line right behind Dean! WOAH talk about going right into it! But honestly Im so glad I got the last ATV because being First was amazing!
We did some trails as we made our way to the shipwreck! I loved the factors of speed and jumps. It was like flying over sand! at one point it was just James, Nick and I fallowing Dean. Some how the other half of the group fell behind! But the hour and a half was possibly one of the best feelings ever! Once we got to the ship wreck he gave us some history about the storm that hit and was the catalyst of the ship wreck. The Ship was the Sygna (Norwegian freighter) which was hit with a cyclone in 1974. The crazier thing is in 10 years it will be completely overtaken by the sea.
The ride back Dean took us on a trail that had more twists and turns and jumps and hills then the last. I didn't thing it could get any better, but I was gladly mistaken! Driving on that ATV was the most freeing and adrenal pumping experience. I was very sad to see it end so soon. But earlier in the tip Melissa, Brittany and I were joking about how we wanted to go on a date to Sydney and go to the zoo and Darling harbor at night... But Ive come to the conclusion that I want to go on a date there! Needless to say I will find some excuse to go back to the dunes. Dean said that I was pretty good and Im not gonna lie, it TOTALLY went to my head!
But if you want to see more here is the link:
all geared up and ready to go!!!!