Betrayal is one of the hardest things to get past. When someone we love and trust betrays us, it changes our perception of our life, and it changes us.
Sydney’s convict history is fascinating. My favorite story was about the ship, The Juliana, which transported female prostitutes. They would go on to become wives, mothers, and respected women.
The weather in Sydney was awful. I wandered into the Maritime Museum and walked through a fascinating exhibit about William Bligh. Each item and story presented the argument that he was a hero and one that showed he was a villain. We even got to vote at the end. Was he a hero or a villain? I also explored the inside of the Sydney Opera House.
I walked along the Sydney Harbor, enjoying the nice weather and beautiful views. As I sat on a concrete block with headphones on, a young man approached and asked me for directions. I ended up getting to know all about him and have stayed in touch with him. Talking with strangers is easier than talking with people we know because they don’t hold our past mistakes against us.
I drove to the beautiful and famous Bondi Beach near Sydney, but was overwhelmed with the amount of people there. Just as I contemplated living as a hermit in the woods, a few people brightened my day.
I finally arrived to Sydney! I spent the day climbing the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge overlooking the Sydney Opera House. That evening, I went on a bar tour, where I met people from around the world.
The fires in Australia started early and it was becoming clearer that this was going to be one of the worst fire seasons on record. I checked into a motel in Newcastle, Australia, and was treated so poorly by the man at the front, he even sent me a nasty email while I watched T.V. in my room.
I drove from the Gold Coast to Byron Bay, stopping at places along the coast. There are lots of quick hikes that provide outstanding views. Byron Bay is a hippy town with an eclectic vibe.
I saw glowworms inside of a cave and then drove to the Gold Coast. I met some fellow travelers in the Australian outback and randomly ran into them a few times in the Northwest. While in the Gold Coast, I met up with them again – at the perfect time!
I had been traveling full-time for nearly 15 months. One thing I didn’t expect was to lose close friends as the distance between us grew each day. Friends who suddenly felt they couldn’t relate to me any longer.
I went on an abseiling tour at Kangaroo Point Cliffs, a bike tour of the city, and a ghost tour at a prison. On the ghost tour, I met a guy who said he used to be possessed when an exorcism went wrong.
After exploring an outdoor market, I went to the Australia Zoo – home of Steve Irwin. The crocodile hunter’s reputation still lives on. I watched a crocodile lunge out of the water to eat some prey in a zookeeper’s hand. The beast was enormous and only inches from the man holding the bird.
I met up with a couple who were house and pet sitting too. They were from London and had completed several sits in the U.K. and Australia. We went on a hike together, and enjoyed the beach town of Noosa.
On the way to Fraser Island, we came across around 20 humpback whales. They were massive and graceful! When four males surrounded our boat, I had the opportunity to jump into the water and use my snorkel to swim with them. The whales were so close, I could almost touch them!
People don’t always realize that traveling is work – and that work was starting to catch up to me. It’s constant research, doing, seeing, experiencing, driving, and in my case, writing. It’s why I’ve gotten so behind in my blog. At least I was able to go on a tour of a rum distillery and met some fellow travelers who also house and pet-sit!
On a sailing tour of the Whitsunday islands, our engine suddenly caught fire! The captain shouted for the fire extinguisher as massive black clouds of smoke filled the sky.
I enjoyed the fancy resort at Airlie Beach and the infinity pool. Then I took a large boat from Airlie Beach to The Great Barrier Reef for some more diving. Airlie Beach is incredible and so is the reef! The underwater current was powerful though and swept me away!
I drove from Cairns to Airlie Beach, stopping at a sugar museum, Cardwell, Townsville (stayed the night) and then on to Airlie Beach. The scenery was beautiful and I instantly wanted to stay in Airlie Beach for a long time! I found a steal at an incredible resort.