Friday, 4 April 2014

Guest Post: Expat Travels in Australia - the Good & the Bad

Today I am travelling back to London. Yes the day has come to hop on board another plane and head back to my other home. Right now my stomach is full of butterflies and I have an overwhelming mix emotions ranging from anxiety to excitement all mixed with a bit of fear. As you can understand, I would be in not state to write a proper, cohesive post which is why this is scheduled and the lovely Kayleigh from The Way I Wanderlust is taking over for me. She is a great lady and we have become fast blogging friends. See, this little blogosphere throws so much at you including new friends. 

Hello lovely readers, my name is Kayleigh and I blog over at The Way I Wanderlust. I write about wanderlust, having a gypsy soul and trying to make my mark on this world. I am so excited to take over Mimi's blog for a day while she travels back to London and settles in to her new adventure. I have been a long time reader of Love and Life in. I feel like Mimi and I would become fast friends if we lived in the same place and it is my goal one day, to actually meet this lovely lady. Today I would like to talk to you about my adventures in Australia.

Packing up, leaving everything and moving half way across the world is a big decision and can be extremely overwhelming. I honestly don't plan to much ahead of time other then the necessary visa requirements, passport and making sure I have enough money for the adventure. I do a little bit of research about the country, ask fellow travellers about their experiences, but other then that I usually dive in head first and see where things take me. We chose to fly into Sydney and work our way up NSW to the Sunshine coast. Its pretty easy to get a working visa for Australia. We applied about three months before we left and received it back within a month. This allowed us to be there for a year to travel around and work, if you wish to stay longer then you can work on a farm or do some fruit picking for three months to qualify for another year.

We new that we wanted to travel around for a couple of months before finding a home base so we decided to rent a camper van. For us this was the best option. Compared to paying for flights, hostels or bus tickets it was an option that allowed us to drive ourselves as well as have our own little hotel where we could pull over anywhere and sleep when we needed. Do your research on the rental companies before choosing, there are so many options and some companies have really great deals for longer term rentals. We found lots of pull over stops for campers to stay the night and there are beautiful campgrounds with amenities in the National Parks. Most of these options were free because we were travelling around in the off season so this also allowed us to save money.

Of course living and driving in one vehicle can be stressful and isolating sometimes. We did find it a bit hard to make friends and interact with other people because we weren't staying in hostels like most people do. This lifestyle is not for everyone, I would really be certain that you can deal with the quirks and habits of the person you are choosing to travel with. For us this was fine, we loved the peace and quiet it offered us. We didn't want the loud and crazy environment of a hostel. We usually introduced ourselves to the other campers and ended up making some great contacts this way. We also joined a few tours in different places which allowed us to make friends with locals and travellers alike. This way we were able to get advice and tips on places to visit and places to avoid.

When we did decide to settle down we choose Brisbane for its proximity to lots of places along the coast. I searched Kijji for a place for us, deciding on renting a room from some one. The reason I chose this was because it seemed like the perfect way to make a friend and have someone that could be our guide around the city. We ended up renting a room from fellow Canadians who had been living in Brisbane for a few years. We became really good friends and are still in contact with them.

It can be easy to get home sick for friends, family and familiar comforts. Instead of focusing on the things we missed, we decided early on that we would try not to compare, instead immersing ourselves in the culture and lifestyle. I was able to find a great job in a spa in a trendy area of Brisbane. Working really made it easy to meet people and make friends. We also visited the local pub a few nights a week making friends with the employees and joining in on the trivia nights. I always tried to say yes to everything, even if it was out of my comfort zone. In Queensland the weather is usually really nice so we spent a lot of time outside. My favourite thing to do was going for an early breakfast at a local cafe, they have the most amazing coffee in Australia. Then we would head down to the beach, swim for a bit and relax under the palm trees reading a book. I found Australians to have an laid back lifestyle. It was exactly what we were looking for in our escape from our hectic life in Canada.

One tip that I think is important for everyone to know before they decide to travel here is whatever you think is a good budget, double it just to make sure. Things are pricey here and even though we had saved up a substantial amount and were pretty smart about spending, we had to get jobs sooner then we had originally planned. Every adventure has its ups and downs but I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my adventure, you can also read more about Australia as well as other places head on over to my blog.

"Tis' better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else's perfectly." ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love


  1. That Kuala is just the cutest!! What an amazing adventure :)
    xo TJ

    1. I know right, Kayleigh has had some great adventures. Would much rather have the koala than a snake around my neck


comments are greatly appreciated!!