A Piece of the Dream

As my trip Down Under comes to an end and I sit here, reminiscing about the places visited on this 3,500 km journey – it is still baffling to me that the same distance back in Europe could have taken me from London to Ankara, crossing at least nine countries and exploring a plethora of languages, cultural diversity and the history that shaped Europe as it stands today. Travelling from Melbourne to Canberra, Sydney, Byron Bay, Hervey Bay and Fraser Island, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays, Townsville with its beautiful Magnetic Island and finishing the trip in Cairns, this trip has been challenging and exciting in many ways. On some days, the landscape changed from flat plaines to forests, hills and beaches within hours and on others, banana plantations or cattle paddocks as far as the eye could see. An endless stream of the same old same. This country has captured me and equally astounds me. The vibrant cities of Melbourne and Sydney alive and diverse, recognising the Australian and Indigenous heritage in a variety of ways. The beaches of the east coast, boasting holiday homes for the rich and richer, alongside European backpackers on working holiday visas – all wanting a piece of the dream. As this trip takes me to new places and challenges me every day I find myself sharing buses, scooters and cars, ferries, kayaks and yachts, pavements, gravel roads and dirt tracks with many likeminded individuals. All searching for the next beach, the next thrill, the next adventure – and many of us forget – we are right in the midst of it. Snorkelling the Barrier Reef, kayaking with dolphins, trekking in the Koalas’ natural habitat, watching the sun set over the Whitsundays and walking amongst the streets of Australia’s vibrant cities, absorbing the sun as it bounces off the skyscrapers. Making new friends, catching up with old ones and grateful for the ones that inspired me to explore this country. All this is what I will remember Australia for.

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