Australia: Happy You Happened

A little Sunday night post just because a year ago today at this exact time I was in Heathrow airport boarding a plane to Melbourne, Australia and it’s making me smile thinking about it. Holy frickin’ cow. A year ago today. 

Is it lame these days to say ‘frickin”? 

When I started that opening sentence I was on an especially swervy train home and felt so sick I had to shut my laptop and stop writing. So it’s now a bit later on Sunday evening. I’m at home, with a Bounty hot chocolate, and a charcoal facemask on. So I look, if I say so myself, like a pretty dashing piece of cement. I’m also watching The Last Five Years film for the first time. I’m not sure who I fancy more out of Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan, and the piano soundtrack. 

Either way I’m a decent amount of aroused at all the jazz harmonies. This is in stark contrast to this later time a year ago where I would have been two hours into the air having all the palpitations and sat next to a girl who liked the taste of blood.

I know that because she told me. 

Pretty dreadful going that she wasn’t the worst company I had on the 24 hour flight. During my second leg I was arm to arm with  a man who had ticked on his visa form as ‘visited in the last 21 days’ every single country currently hosting the Ebola virus. 

I was so beside myself with terror for the entire duration of the flight I believe I was on the point of having an embolism. Whether it was crashing over Malaysia or contracting Ebola, one way or another I thought I was going to die. 

The fact that I managed to travel there and back and am still alive to tell the tale is my favourite excuse for a little hi-5 to me right here, right now, blog-style.

Australia happened and I’m so happy it did. 

Before I talk some more about Australia, I don’t know why, but I feel the need to justify that I liked The Last 5 Years before it was a film, okay? I’m not just super late to the party. Moving Too Fast was my Myspace theme song. Thanks. 

I could talk a lot about all the sun cream and skin cancer and how good I looked with a rucksack and how Australians say ‘skull it’ instead of ‘down it.’ Which I love by the way. But I’ve promised myself I won’t word-vomit in this post and I’m seriously getting super into Jeremy Jordan and might need to go lie down. 

So all I’m gonna say is this – 

If you get the urge to escape, run away, and find yourself for a little while somewhere else, don’t question it too much, just do it. 

It feels good. 

It works. 

I was thinking today, as I hacked up half a lung on the train, how I didn’t feel ill in Australia the same way I do over here, right now, three hours away from February, with half a voice, snot on my sleeve, likely close to a paracetamol overdose. The sun works for you. (So does the cheap sushi.) It’s good for you. Probably because what comes with Australian lifestyle is a deep desire to look and feel good because everyone who walks around you is so bloody attractive. But either way – your soul is replenished. 

Either that or you quite literally sweat out your woes.

My quality of life quite often gets lost, trapped at the bottom of the escalator in London, so I’m sat here, on the sofa, thinking about what it would be like to be friends with Anna Kendrick remembering the promises I made to myself to bring that healthy ethos home and not forget it. 

What else? Taking yourself on an adventure. Pushing yourself. You grow and your life is a little fuller because of it. Every time I find myself doubting what I’m capable of I remember I was once strapped in on a China Southern aeroplane and I didn’t die. I also survived their attempt at eggs for breakfast. And went on the most vertical train ride in existence, up the side of a mountain, backwards. 

I got this.

Animals. For the highlights of my trip came down to wildlife. Meeting baby kangaroos, witnessing tiny penguins making the beach crossings to safety, the giant panda breeding centre. I still get totes emosh thinking about it and feel lucky that I’ve seen those things, they’re in my heart. This is perspective for me. Finding comfort  in a world that is so out of my reach and understanding sometimes. That exists outside of me, really, and so beautifully. That takes my breath away.

Doing things alone. Seeing things and hearing things by yourself. Only for you. 

The little things that make your memories more tangible. Like overhearing the man in a cafe writing a play about a koala with chlamydia. That was just for me. I won’t forget it. 

Like by the end of it not giving a shit about shaving my legs.

Plaiting and re-plaiting my hair over and over again because humidity.

By the way I found out the other day that one should take care when hugging koalas because they do in fact have chlamydia. 

Running out of money and spending every day in museums looking at Moulin Rouge exhibitions.

When the seal broke my phone.

These tiny pieces make up the parts of a trip that changed me for the better. It sure as hell had its bad moments. But I feel deeply grateful that I left everything behind and went and did something for me. Where I found my way again. 

Because I know I belong here, in London. And that makes me truly happy. But it took stepping away to realise that. A bit like when you give up biscuits for Lent and realise come Easter that your life is absolutely, undoubtedly incomplete without Party Rings. Just like that actually. 

Anyway. What I hope is that with this Sunday night waffle if I can inspire anyone who might feel lost, to bite the bullet, book some flights and reevaluate everything you’re setting out to do in life, it won’t stall your dreams. It might just change your life for the better and set you straight. 

Special shout out to my favourite Aussie friends who made my trip out there so perfect. I love you so very much and I will be back one day. 


  1. Thank you for this post, it reaffirms everything I’ve been thinking recently. Over Christmas I made the decision I would go live in Australia for a bit, it sounds like the perfect adventure for me!


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