Life After My Gap 360 Travels...
By Gillian Scholes
Last updated: 2nd December 2011
I STILL CAN’T BELIEVE ITS ALL OVERRRR…Since I ended my amazing travels with Gap360, I have had a chance to reflect on my journey. Apart from missing the weekly emails of where I will be travelling to next, most of all I have missed the excitement in exploring new places and meeting people. However I have come back down to reality and from those experiences I am trying to plan my next move.
After I left cairns I flew to Sydney, knocking on those friends of relatives doors that you send an e-mail to hoping for a place to stay…lucky for me it prevailed and I have stayed in Sydney since I arrived. I used this opportunity to explore the city and I have not been disappointed. There is always something new to discover…from trendy Paddington where we lounged around eating pizza whilst listening to the house DJ, to staying on Bondi beach and getting up early to join in with the morning joggers and yoga keeno’s. Also I couldn’t miss the opportunity to watch Jason Mraz at the Opera House – being able to get dressed up was a change from the usual backpacking I have been doing.
Last week I was excited for the arrival of my mum and big sis in Sydney – showing off the lifestyle and what I felt was now my country. We hired a car and took a road trip down south to Jarvis Bay for some extreme whale watching and sky diving and then back around to the Blue Mountains and Newcastle – seeing the cute little Koalas. Driving around shows just how massive Australia is – there is just too much to see and do, two weeks was not long enough.
So, I decided to stay in Australia for a year before I left the UK so I applied for working holiday visa, allowing me to work up to 6 months with any employer. I have decided that place will be Melbourne. So my next move is to head to Melbourne to settle down for Christmas and get that much needed job – I am not too worried about that part because unlike the UK there are plenty of opportunities for short term and temporary jobs, I just hope the beach doesn’t distract me too much. While I stayed at Bondi Beach I noticed how the work men would head to the beach in their suits on their lunch break with their surf boards for a cheeky surf before heading back to work – A different life all together.
Adapting to the culture has been a new experience as well. I am still to get used to their abbreviations and slang for so many of our everyday items; e.g. Thongs aka flip-flops, Dooner aka Duvet; Bathers aka Bikini; Kipper aka bed; and the fact that everyone is called mate – even the girls and yes they do call ladies Sheila and boys Bruce and every sentence is finished with ‘aye’. However, sand, sea, surf and sunshine –
I can see why so many people come to live the Aussie life. Having given the surfing life ago, living for the morning waves and now having experienced an outback lifestyle I can’t decide where to head next. I want to go back and re-live the whole experience – and why not…aye!? Looking back over my 6-week east coast adventure I realised how much I packed in, and in that time how much I saw and experienced. I would never have thought that just by travelling up the coast I could be horse riding one second then sailing around beautiful remote islands the next. To think that I could be sitting at home in the rain wondering what life would be like down under and what if I hadn’t applied to the Gap 360 intern…Lucky for me I did and I LOVED IT!!!!