My Favorite Memories from Living in Australia

This week was rough and some emotional issues came up that reminded me life has challenges. The world needs balance. Without the evil in the world, we may never understand the better side of life. Luckily happy memories are there to remind us of the good times and that happiness is possible in the future.

The adversaries life throws at each of us unexpectedly seems so unfair sometimes. Despite feeling cheated or angry when life doesn’t make sense, we as humans are still capable of remembering the happiest moments even in our darkest times. I know life can happen to any one of us at any time, so I want to share a specific set of memories with all my readers. I’ve had so many requests for the next Australia feature and I thank you all for waiting as long as you have. So out of respect, I’ve recreated the mental bucket list I had set while prepping for my trip to Australia. Before I reminisce, I encourage you to share happy memories of traveling in the comment section below. Tell me your most memorable travel story. Is it about your first time on a plane? The experience of drinking from a real coconut? Or perhaps you enjoyed a beautiful sunset. I want to hear them all, so please share your memories below for me to read and I’ll paint a picture for each memory which I have so boldly given titles to each.

Oak

The jitters took a hold of my feet as I waited in line behind my friends. I kept looking at the rock wall where my picture was about to be taken. I didn’t know if holding a koala was going to be as soft as I imagined. I watched my friends’ expressions grow into dazzled smiles as they each took hold of their new found furry friends. Finally, it was my turn. I was trying so hard not to seem too eager. Almost like a child receiving a treat from the candy shop. I figured playing it cool and making casual conversation with the zookeeper was the best route to contain my childish excitement.

As I stood in front of the adorable gray tree lover, I was told to hold my hands clasped in front of me. The keeper set the adorable creature in my hands that now acted as a seat. It immediately went to grab both of my arms and tending to its natural instinct it decided to dig its claws into the tree it was now hugging: aka me. Already in shock, I had expected this iconic animal to feel like an oversized chinchilla in my palms.

As it turns out, the fur reminded me of bristles from a broom. Taking in reality, the keeper moved my hand to the back of the koala which now leaning against me was clinging to my arms with ease through its long nails. Before I knew it, the picture was taken and I was left caught in a daze. As the keeper took back the precious tree climber, I asked for his name: Oak. I thanked Oak and the keeper for letting me take time from his busy sleep schedule for letting me hold him.

Selfie Time

I walked through the Australia Zoo, or as we Americans say the Steve Irwin zoo, ignorant to all its charms. I didn’t expect to see Terri, Bindi, and Robert Irwin demonstrate the power of a crocodile in the Crocoseum but after the show, other surprises awaited me. Little did I know, that walking through a set of gates would take me to a haven of kangaroos.

I and one of my dear friends were ecstatic to see kangaroos roaming freely. As we made our way along the path and over a bridge, my friend and I just watched as people approached the sunbathing roos without a care in the world. The long tails didn’t seem to have a care either and after digesting what we were seeing, we made our way to a very chill kangaroo off to the side. My brave friend approached first and the roo bonded with her quickly. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to scare the kangaroo with my big clopping feet so I softly talked as I approached and took photos of them together.

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Now looking back, that was really silly of me because these kangaroos were very used to people and if anything they just wanted to be pet and fed. I finally made my way over to touch him with a slightly shaky hand. After feeling Oak’s fur I wasn’t about to get my hopes up for a soft welcome from the kangaroo’s fur.

My fingers relaxed as the sleek and delicate fur flowed under my hand as I stroked the roo’s back. Confident than ever after breaking my kangaroo petting virginity, I walked around petting several more kangaroos. It wasn’t until I went to a muddy area that we found kangaroos contently sitting in the sun minding their own business. Of course, we had to disturb them. The kangaroo I forwardly introduced myself to didn’t seem interested in me but rather what I may be carrying. He wanted food and I was fresh out. Or was I?

I plucked a few grass strands and held it up for the roo to sniff. He took it gladly and from there we became best pals. I fed him and he let me pet him. This carried on for a while until we started to be recorded by my by-standing friend.

As I went to pet him, he turned to look at me as if I hadn’t paid the toll to cross the bridge. I immediately retracted my hand and showed him that he was the boss in our relationship. My friend and I shortly left after that and I said goodbye to my little red pal with an attitude.

 My New Found Hobby

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The second month of my stay, one of my friends suggested the three of us housemates attend a yoga class occurring near work. I wanted to attend a yoga class while in Australia so I was immediately down. The catch to this class, however, wasn’t the $15 fee but rather that we received a free beer as motivation to work out. Yes, my friends, I went to Beer Yoga. 37570566_2135016053432686_2683701428618264576_o

I am not a fan of beer and am most defo a wine drinker. This little factor did not stop me from going and trying a Mountain Goat beer though, which is now one of the only types of beer I drink. The class was in a club/bar with low lights and a rustic nautical vibe to it.

Our instructor started the class by clearing our minds with a simple meditation. From there on comical comments were made while he instructed us through sun salutation. For most poses thereafter we held a beer in our hand and convinced ourselves to risk taking a rewarding sip no matter how bad our legs were shaking in the current pose. Long story short, I fell once but admittedly the bottle was empty by that point and the class was almost over.

It was fun, the class was energetic, and the instructor was incredibly funny. If anyone has a chance to attend a beer yoga class, I one-hundred percent recommend it.

Morning Person For A Day

My ultimate number one thing that I had to do regardless of the other items on this list was to watch a sunrise. I wanted to do this from the moment I found out I was going to Australia and I cannot stress enough how happy it made me that I was able to experience a sunrise on the easternmost tip of Australia. Translation: Cape Byron Lighthouse is the first place to see the sunrise in all of Australia. How cool!

Pictures will speak louder than words for this one, so enjoy the below pictures.

The Drop Off

As part of my internship, I was able to kayak in the ocean with my California friend for campaign purposes. I realize now that I had the best “Never Have I Ever” statement because I hadn’t been on the open ocean before my trip to Byron Bay.  The Californian entrusted me to take charge in the back of the kayak, however, I also was not experienced in a two-person kayak on top of being slightly terrified of the ocean. She, on the other hand, was very comfortable in both the open ocean and kayak. It was a fun journey, to say the least.

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On our guided ocean tour, we saw beach houses worth millions, a sea turtle, but sadly no dolphins. As life has it though, a pod of humpback whales migrated past us and that was worth every possible anxious moment I had prior to seeing the whales spout.

I sadly do not have a shark tale to share with you, but I am very grateful for that as well, fortunately. Surfing into the shoreline was my task as the back kayaker and seeing as I was in charge of not letting us flip, my friend was left completely helpless to my inexperienced hands. The first set of waves almost tipped us as I struggled to steer us straight but we made it basically to the shore sideways. After a moment of relief I felt victorious and then another wave came crashing in which tipped us onto the beach. I felt so bad for tipping us but luckily my friend is a champ and didn’t hold it against me since I was a novice.

American Adventure Aussie Style

As an additional perk to the campaign content I was collecting for my internship I was able to stay in a camper van for four days. As the weeks rolled on and my internship continued, I learned a lot about camper vans and that my previous opinion of them wasn’t as hipster as it seems. The camper van was extremely practical and with two of us living in it, it made more sense to have a camper van rather than stay in a hostel for three nights.

I enjoyed my experience in a camper van for several reasons. You always had everything with you, we didn’t have to move our luggage around a lot, and it was nice not having to rent a car and pay for a room. We stayed on a campsite with accessible showers and toilets. We drove in and out of the campsite as we pleased and it wasn’t an issue, except for having to memorize a gate code to enter the site. It was a fun experience that I would be willing to do again.

As always,

Be bright and be you

– Kat Xxx

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