From London to Australia, A Journey

It’s been weeks, months and years of planning, hoping, wishing and dreaming, but I finally did it. I finally boarded that plane and moved to Australia! And what a crazy journey it’s been. This all began way back in December 2011 when, pretty much just days after arriving in this gloriously sunny country, I’d decided that I was absolute, definitively coming back to Australia. Getting a Working Holiday Visa and coming over to the other side of the world to live here for a year was always something I thought I might do, one day. But now one day is today. And I am loving it.

Contemplating life on Santa Monica Pier
Contemplating life on Santa Monica Pier

So the plan was in the works. It was pretty much set. Myself and two friends (Rosa & Tash – if you’re a regular reader then I’m sure you’ve already heard a bit about them) decided we would go back to Camp Sloane for a 3rd summer working the best job in the world, then fly over to Oz from the States, thus cutting our journey time (and flight costs) practically in half compared to if we’d flown from the UK. Then I spent 3 months living and working in France for the winter and the Australia plan went on the back-burner for a while. I knew it was still going to happen, but it kind of got pushed to the back of my mind while I spent my days playing in the snow.

Fun in the Sun in Hyde Park, Sydney
Fun in the Sun in Hyde Park, Sydney

But in April 2013, after I’d returned back to London, we finally bit the bullet and booked our flights. LDN-NYC-LAX-SYD. And there it was. Those flight confirmations staring right back at me from my computer screen, screaming ‘let the adventure begin!’. It was finally becoming a reality.

So on May 26th, after some hectic packing, visa applications and panicking about all the usual travel stresses off we flew to the USA, where we spent a few spectacular days in NYC before heading up to Camp, where we’d be living and working for the next 4 months. And what a summer it was. Spring Camp was spent getting the place ready for the onslaught of kids and staff, as well as running a few programs with schools and colleges. Then came summer, during which we had kids on camp consistently for 56 crazy days of teaching, playing, sweating, stressing, laughing, joking, loving, crying and much more. Working at a summer camp is possibly one of the best ways there is to spend your summer, but it’s also one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever do – you are on call for these kids 24 hours a day, 6 days a week and it can be tough, but it can also be oh-so rewarding. I’d recommend it to anyone. Once summer was over and the last kids had gone home, a select few of us stayed for Fall Camp, which is basically 3 awesome weeks of cleaning, tidying, wood-piling, leading initiatives, cleaning, high ropes, family camp, cleaning, school weekends, a bit more high ropes, more wood deliveries, fires, games, fun, putting mattresses away, stacking bunks and finally, taking the tents down. It’s pretty excellent, especially as it was the same group of people putting everything away in Fall who’d been there to get everything out in Spring. From start to finish.

Here we go!
Passports at the ready. Here we go!

Once camp was over, we all sort of went our separate ways, with some heading straight back home, some much further afield (like my friend over at GallivantinGreg who is currently in Mexico), and the rest of us headed back to NYC. We rented an apartment in Brooklyn (so much cheaper and nicer than staying in a hostel with 10 other randoms) and spent our days relaxing and wandering around one of my all time favourite cities. But soon enough it was time to say our goodbyes and fly across the country to Los Angeles, another of my favourite places in the world! For our 4 days in Santa Monica we chilled out to the max – shopping and tanning were our only desires. Money was spent, food was eaten, coffees were drunk, and a fun time was had by all. Oh LA, you treat me so well.

Loving life by the rooftop pool of our apartment in Sydney
Loving life by the rooftop pool of our apartment in Sydney

And then, as suddenly as the summer had begun, it was over, and a 19 hour journey to Sydney loomed ahead of us (via Fiji). We boarded that plane full of anticipation and excitement, not really knowing what was to come in the next 12 months, heck, not really knowing what was to come in the next week! But as soon as we arrived and our friend Bulmer picked us up at the airport, we knew we needn’t have worried about anything at all. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and Sydney was ready to welcome us with open arms.

Blue skies aplenty
Blue skies aplenty

And now it’s almost 3 weeks since we touched down on Australian soil and I feel like we’ve been living here forever. We’ve just finished working at a Day Camp in North Sydney called Camp Blue (it only runs for 2 weeks in the school holidays) which was awesome. It was great to have something to jump straight into as soon as we arrived, and we met so many great people, some of whom I think will become firm friends pretty quickly. We’ve been busy with job applications and interviews (Tash already has a job and a trial for another) and have also found ourselves a nice little 2 bedroom apartment in a great location in Darlinghurst, just a 15 minute walk from Hyde Park. Everything is working out pretty great so far and i can’t wait to see what the rest of this year has in store for us!

Some of my favs at Camp Blue!
Some of my favs at Camp Blue!
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