Tortoise on the Move

July 2, 2015

Surfing in Byron Bay

Byron Bay Surf School

*from June 17, 2015

Me, like an awkward baby giraffe, but significantly less cute

Me, like an awkward baby giraffe, but significantly less cute

You guys didn’t think I’d spend a year in Australia and not try surfing, did you? OK, maybe those of you who know how scared of sharks I am might have thought that, but I did it anyway! Katie had heard from a friend that Byron Bay was a really cool town, and since I hadn’t been yet, it was the perfect place to end the “road trip” portion of our East Coast adventure before flying to Sydney. Facing another poor weather forecast, we took our chances and booked a morning class with Byron Bay Surf School. Against the odds, we lucked out and had a cloudy morning with no rain. Our instructor’s name was Simon. He was from Victoria and had THE BEST Australian accent I’ve heard this entire year. We wiggled into our wetsuits and hit the beach.


June 20, 2015

Until Next Time, Australia

Last breakfast at Bondi

Last breakfast at Bondi

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.


January 5, 2015

Gallery: New Year’s Eve in Sydney

New Year Sydney
If Paris is a city of lights, Sydney is the city of fireworks. – Baz Luhrmann
I spent New Year’s Eve in Sydney on a boat with a view of the Harbor Bridge. I’m still questioning whether it really happened or not, but here’s a few photos that tell me it did. Happy 2015!


January 3, 2015

Celebrating Christmas and the New Year in Sydney

New Years Eve

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve just arrived in Adelaide for ten days in South Australia – I’m currently camped out at a coffee shop because my Barossa host family is evacuating their horses due to the bushfires. It’s also apparently 40o C outside so I’m opting for the air-conditioned airport. While I wait, I figured I’d catch up on a bit of writing. I didn’t write much during the holidays, but I wanted to recap a few of the places I visited while I stayed with my Canberra host family in Sydney.


November 4, 2014

Weekend Series: A Weekend Well Spent in Sydney

North Sydney Olympic Pool
Breakfast in Double Bay

Breakfast in Double Bay

On Friday night, I boarded a Murray’s bus for the third time in nearly a week to head back to Sydney. Stacey and I had a busy weekend planned – she hadn’t yet spent a weekend in the greatest city in Australia, and there were still some major sites for me to check off from the ol’ bucket list. Over the weekend, we were fortunate enough to find accommodations in Double Bay, courtesy of a friend’s aunt. We originally planned on using the Couchsurfing app to find a place to stay, but we were unable to find a host in time over Halloween weekend. Having breakfast on a balcony that overlooked Double Bay more than made up for it though.


October 28, 2014

The Weekend Series: Blue Mountains

Three Sisters

Fun Fact: The Blue Mountains are not technically mountains, but rather an uplifted plateau divided up by a number of rivers.


September 19, 2014

The Weekend Series: Batemans Bay

Bridge over the Clyde River

Clyde River Bridge

If Gold Coast was the love child of Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, then Batemans Bay is Naples (Florida, that is). A sleepy town on the south coast of New South Wales, Batemans is a popular destination both for Canberrans escaping the city and retirees seeking warm weather in a quiet environment. According to my host dad, Canberra all but clears out on summer weekends as residents head for the coast, so two of my au pair friends and I decided to check it out last week.


September 6, 2014

Newcastle: A Break in the Action


IMG_4609Quick Hits

Where I went: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

How I went: Family car!

When I went: August 29 – September 1, 2014

Why I went: Road trip to see Host Mum’s dad