Heading Down Under

I’ve decided I’m not cool with a Canadian winter this year, so I’m skipping the cold and spending 6 months in Australia and New Zealand, starting December 24th.

Everything about this trip fell into place really easily, and I’ve come to realize this is the best time for me to travel and see more of the world.  I’ve wanted to head to Australia and New Zealand for as long as I can remember (but especially since I was 12 and The Fellowship of the Ring was released).

Janetta, one of my best travelling friends, is currently doing her Masters in Sydney and that was all the push I needed to finally make some of my dreams happen.

Here we are in Ireland in 2011 shortly after we first met, and in 2015 at a mutual friend’s wedding in Washington State.

My brother surprised my mom with a flight, so she’s going to travel around with me for the first three weeks.  We leave Christmas Eve, so it will be nice to have some company over Christmas and New Years. We’re doing two weeks across New Zealand and spending the rest of the time in Sydney.

Here’s mom and I on our various travels. From left to right: Bath (UK) in 2011, Chicago in 2013, Quebec City in 2014, Niagara Falls in 2014, and Nashville in 2016.

I’m planning to see as much as I possibly can on my (limited) budget.  After my mom leaves, I’m heading down to Melbourne and Tasmania for a couple weeks, then heading back to New Zealand with Janetta for the entire month of February.  Our plan is to rent a car and drive around the country — I think by the end I’ll have driven more on the left side of the road than the right!

There was an earthquake in New Zealand on Monday, but as far as I can tell, it’s not going to affect my plans at all.  And if it does, I’ll make it work.

I figure with a full 6 months of potential travel, I need to leave some time for spontaneity.  I know I want to spend a lot of time along Australia’s coast, and I want to get to Fiji, but I don’t have any concrete plans for the March or April.  I’m going to do my best to live in the moment.

In May the current plan is to start making my way back home.  This is all subject to change, but I’d like to spend a couple weeks in Japan.  From there, I’m hoping to meet a couple friends in Europe and thoroughly explore Greece with Zoe and Austria with Ashley. These are precarious plans, but we’ve talked about it enough that it could actually happen.

Ashley just moved to London this October, so after our week in Austria, I’d like to spend a couple of weeks with her in London.  I haven’t spent nearly as much time there as I’d like, so now’s my chance.  The only thing I know for sure is that I have to be there on June 21st as I have tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

At the end of the day I figure my chances to do a trip like this get slimmer each year; its starting to feel like it is now or never.  It’s not going to be easy to leave my family and friends, and this will be the first time in 10 years that I won’t have a job, but life is short and this is something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time.  So it’s happening. And I’ll be (hopefully) updating this site as I go along if you want to follow along.

If you have any suggestions of places to go or things to see, do let me know! I love personal recommendations, so I’ll do my best to fit them in if I can.

And now the countdown is officially on: 39 days to go!

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