Time has flown by and it’s now less than two weeks till I leave Australia. To be honest I have mixed feelings about my imminent departure. I’ve been living in this country for a year and have had a wonderful time. I’ve made some incredible friends, seen some awesome places, learnt a load of new things and matured greatly as a person. Undoubtedly, choosing to spend a year of my life living in Oz at this age was one of the best decisions I ever made. So naturally part of me is sad to leave. On the other hand, the majority of the year has been spent working and saving up money. Jake and I have been budgeting hard for months, and slowly but surely, our travels funds have grown steadily. We set ourselves a goal of how much money we wanted to leave the country with, and now we’ve reached that goal. With a small fortune in the bank, the two of us are eager to stop our insane budgeting to spend it all on ourselves over our 5 month trip (sensibly of course).
With Jake’s graduation ceremony last week being the prime reason we stayed in the country this long, we’re now pretty impatient to leave on the next adventure. But because my visa is valid till January 7th, and also because Christmas and New Years are coming up, we decided to stay longer in Australia to spend some quality time with Jake’s family and the friends we both have here. The both of us have just a few shifts left at our jobs, which we can’t wait to get over with. The last few weeks have been exhausting – working in restaurants over the Christmas season, doing shifts that often last 11 to 12 hours (I did 14 hours work last Thursday when we were super understaffed) with just 1 or 2 days off a week means that although we have very healthy paychecks, we’re pretty knackered, with sore feet and aching backs.
Another reason I’m impatient to leave is because over the past couple of weeks I’ve had to say goodbyes to some of the most important people to me in Brisbane already, as they themselves left on trips over the Christmas break and are returning after we leave. Our flatmate Courtenay left last weekend for a month trip around Europe, and the night before she left we celebrated her 30th birthday with a lovely party at the Regatta Hotel in Toowong. She’s been a wonderful flatmate, always up for a chat at the end of a long day and often sharing her delicious cooking with us, so it was sad to have to say goodbye to her!
My closest friend in Brisbane, a German backpacker named Pauli, worked her last shift at the Diner last weekend and the following night we had her farewell party with the guys from work, which took us through over 10 different venues in South Bank, West End and Fortitude Valley. Despite my manager and me having work in the morning, we stayed out celebrating till 3:30 in the morning. Pauli has been the loveliest girl to work with, always cheering me up with her radiant smile, and the times we’ve had exploring Brisbane and cuddling koalas have been some of my happiest memories from my time in this city. Working without her now that she’s gone is frankly a bit rubbish, and makes me all the more keen to finish at the Diner.
My friend Bianca, who was one of my regulars at the Colombian Hotel in Sydney ended up moving to Brisbane shortly after I did, and we’ve enjoyed some lovely times hanging out here in Queensland, including when I cat-sat for her in a flat-inspection-related emergency. She herself left the city for Sydney a few days ago, so that leaves me with ever fewer friends here in Brissie.
With it being just 13 days till we depart, Jake and I have been preparing whenever we can. We have our immunisations and medications sorted, we’ve chosen what clothes we’re taking, booked our flights, got our travel cards and are looking into travel insurance. However there are several things left to do like buying Jake a rucksack, and of course packing up Jake’s room and taking all his stuff to his mum’s. All jobs to be getting on with once Christmas is out of the way.
My main pastime the last few weeks has been extensively researching and planning our trip through New Zealand and Asia. I am extremely excited, but am also kind of sick of planning it. I just wanna go and see it for myself now!