Due to a bit of lack of imagination on my part lately, and my love of lists (mostly the lists), I have decided to take part in the A-Z blogging challenge, starting, ahem, now. The idea is to blog each day in April with each post beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, excluding Sundays. You can read all about it here, but as it’s already well into the 1st of the month I’ll get started!
I spent a month in Australia last February in a bid to escape the English winter. No, really. I also went to visit relatives but my overall three month trip’s primary reason was to exchange the subzero conditions of the British Isles for the tropics of the ones furthest away. Despite the Australian summer being unseasonably cold for them, it was still beautifully warm compared to what friends at home were experiencing.
I had designed the trip around the coldest months, planning to return as England warmed up at the beginning of April. Needless to say, it didn’t work. I flew into Heathrow wearing a hoodie and leggings (the warmest clothes I had with me) to be greeted by rain and a temperature of 3°C. If planes did roundtrips I’d have been straight back in my seat.
The similarly awful ‘Spring’ weather this year has got my thinking about Australia again. I miss the beaches, the BBQs, the beers in the sun, the bike rides, finding wild penguins on the beach, hikes in the mountains and sleeping in a campervan, and who wouldn’t? Australia is an increasingly popular destination for us English lot to migrate to, and although I can’t see myself wanting to live there, the need for a bit of warm weather is not lost on me.
Migration is something I’m sure we all think of at some point, but few take the idea seriously. If I were to hop overseas I’d settle in Chiang Mai in Thailand. I love it there so much I would probably go tomorrow if I had the chance, but I’m getting off topic now.
So many people migrate to Australia without ever having been, and undoubtedly the weather and similar culture is the attraction. Being able to dive straight into a new life is easy when you speak the same language, but I think for these reasons, too many people see it as their first choice of location without thinking of other options.
For me, Australia was a great holiday, but I didn’t really like the amount of English culture that was over there – it tended to be the things that I don’t like about the UK that had migrated – but it seemed a bit of a shame just how English it felt. If I were to move abroad I would hope to feel like the cultural minority, and I think I expected the Indigenous aspect of Australia to feel more everyday rather than something only really seen in museums.
Travelling across Australia felt very similar to travelling the short height of England. I landed in Sydney and found a huge mix of opinions. Talking to people travelling there, Sydney seems to be the Marmite of Australia. Like it and you’ll want to stay forever, don’t and you’ll want to head out quickly. I liked the smaller areas outside of the city, and the main attractions are fantastic, but the general atmosphere is much like that of London – busy office workers and too many designer shoes for my liking.
In England, they say the country gets friendlier the further north you go, and in Australia the same rule applies for travelling west. I stopped at Melbourne and then Adelaide, and with each stop I felt more at home, with the last offering bike rides to the beach and so many arts festivals it was hard to know what to see first. The people there are amazing too. I met some people I’m still in touch with now and plan to see again. Oh, and there’s a 24/7 pancake café next door to a second hand bookshop too. That part was a bit heavenly.
So there’s my quick round up of Australia! Now if we could only convince the sun to move here instead of everyone moving there…