1. Wherever you go, you can meet people easily. It's surprising how easy it actually is. I guess since being out here I have realised how independent I actually am. I talk to everyone, literally everyone. You never know who you're going to meet or what contacts they have. It's nice to talk to all walks of life as I have experienced either on the train, walking down a street, talking to people in a shop. I feel absorbed in their life as we chat although I always get the same question from absolutely everyone "where have you been in Australia". If we had all day, I would tell you all of the stories and things I have seen and done. But we have ten mins until my chai latte is ready so I'll just name the states I have visited.
2. I have learned that nothing is guaranteed in life. I was 99% guaranteed a job back home and I didn't get it, so the same day I booked a one way flight to Australia. Everything happens for a reason. I've experienced loss since being on the other side of the world, and I had to deal with that my own way. But I feel that is another hurdle I have overcome and made me a stronger person. Other things not guaranteed would be plane/train and buses turning up. Meeting other travellers and never seeing them again but you keep in contact with them at least once a week and you get to share their experiences through social media. Like minded people stay in contact whatever the circumstances.
3. I've learned that you really have to make an effort with friends from back home. I make sure I talk to my friends and family in the UK at least every day, whether it's a quick text to say good morning or how's your day, it's nice to keep in touch as you never know when you may have to go home. You don't want to be all alone after you've travelled and returned to your proper home.
4. Following on from 3 - I have realised who my truest friends are. The ones that bug me by sending messages constantly (haha) I appreciate it and for some people that haven't made an effort, or haven't replied to messages, well I know now that maybe we weren't as great of friends as I thought but everything is a learning curve!
5. I have broadened my knowledge about Australia as a country. I know more about the history and goings on here than I do the UK. I go to museums, walking tours, watch documentaries about Australia and get involved with whatever I can.
6. I have pushed myself to the limits. I applied for a job as a waitress at a high end restaurant, I got the job. I was very truthful to them and said I had never been a waitress before but having a decade in the customer service industry is good enough experience. My boss said I had the perfect personality to become a great waitress and she was happy to train me up to be one! I love it, I've done over a handful of shifts there and I am so happy to have been brave enough to apply for the job as I feel at home when I work there. We are just one cute little family.
7. Working on a farm is hard. I'm on a livestock farm that only raises animals as pasture bred. It's amazing and I'm learning every day. One of my first jobs here was to hand raise some lambs, I mean... 6 was enough! We now have around 60 to raise. They're cute. Some die, most don't. But that's life, I have named a few cute ones and give them cuddles every day. I help out in the garden, I lift stuff, I clean stuff, I run errands, I pack meat... Everything you can think of I have probably done and it's all new experiences.
8. Falling for a guy - now this is a tough one. I really liked one over here, we even put it as official on Facebook. But I guess me being too much of a free spirit and me having to leave Adelaide to head up North for my farm work (to attain my 2nd year visa) was too much of hard work. Being a backpacker, it isn't the greatest of ideas to fall for someone; being me, I've realised I am quite a flighty person. In the sense that if there's an opportunity for something awesome, I'll just do it and book a plane or whatever for the very next day! That obviously scares guys away and so I just have the spiders in my room to keep me company every night! But it's okay, I'm used to it. I'm too independent for them anyway 😉
9. I've learned how to be greater with money. I've always been pretty good with my earnings but being a backpacker I am even more stingey with it. I don't eat out a lot, I turned vego for a couple months as meat is so expensive. That's when I lost heaps of weight and it was great. I can live only on the bare necessities easily - I look like a tramp in the meantime but I'm happy to not have to worry about much.
10. And for the last one and possibly the biggest thing I've learned over 7 months of being away from the UK.. I've learned to just do things my way. In the UK if someone said I should've done it a different way I would have apologised and thought badly on myself. I've had people tell me that some decisions I've made are wrong/not ethical/waste of time. But those are my decisions and I will be sticking by whatever goes through my head. I obviously chose that choice for a reason.
So that's just a few points of what I can think of right now and there's heaps more but I won't bore you too much.
I love travelling, it's broadened my horizons so far and I still have a very very long time to go!
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