While spending the night on a sailboat wasn’t on my bucket list before I came to Australia, I added it and checked it off anyway. After touring our way around Cairns and making a quick stop in Townsville for one rainy night and morning, Katie and I parked ourselves in Airlie Beach the day before our sailing adventure. Airlie was gorgeous – the hills rolled all the way down to the ocean and beautiful sailboats decorated the marina. We did most of our exploring on foot during an afternoon run to shake off the morning road trip and then hiked most of the way up Mount Whitsunday, an incline not for the faint of heart but with first class views.
This is a hard one to write. Today, I left Australia on a plane bound for Phuket, Thailand. Australia. The place I’d dreamed of since I was 8 years old. I still haven’t processed how amazing this year has been, much less that it’s come to a close. Katie and I spent our last three days in Sydney, exploring the city that never gets old to me. Seeing the Opera House for the last time (this time) was exactly like seeing it for the first time. I was in awe. More than anywhere, standing in Circular Quay reminds me how lucky I am to have had this experience and how everything happens for a reason.
Back in Western Australia, I met Anja, a former-au pair from Germany who worked at a dive shop for part of her time in Australia. We were meant to go snorkeling with whale sharks in Exmouth before our boat was cancelled due to high winds. But out of that unlucky day came a very lucky friendship and just the amount of peer pressure I needed to sign up for a PADI dive course. With a slightly limited schedule for the rest of my travels in Australia, my course schedule was not conventional – but when there’s a will there’s a way. I took the knowledge portion of the course through an e-Learning platform while I was still an au pair on the Sunshine Coast. Then I found the final three days I needed through Deep Sea Divers Den: 1 day of pool training and 2 days of open water dives on a live-aboard dive boat.