Still on the adventure of 2013, ok so this one was a little accidental but I am still traveling somewhat never the less. I am now on to country 13 of 50 before 30, so a while to go yet but making the most of this year of being an intrepid.
Quite a few jobs later, a lot of down time and very little money I found myself borrowing some and jumping on a plane to Australia. I have always wanted to come here, it has been somewhere of interest to me for a while from the odd wildlife to endless amounts of back country. I always thought that the photography opportunities would be incredible and something that I would have to experience for myself, not just from other travelers stories or NatGeo documentaries. The only problem was, the timing just wasn’t on my terms. Ok to be fair, I got myself in to this situation in the first place and could have been a little more money savvy but I had other plans for this year and coming to Australia just wasn’t one of them.
I had a great job at the beginning of the year working in South Sudan but sadly this came to a rather dramatic end which led to me working on an overland truck traveling round Africa. I am using ‘round’ in the loosest sense of the word. I made it as far down as Zambia and then back up again. I am no expert in Geography but even I know there is nothing round about that journey, more like up and down. And many ups and downs there were. This epic journey which inspired this travel blog in the first place as well as fueled my thoughts for many more adventures to come actually led me back home to the familiar and some new feathered friends. I landed a job at home! (Thanks again to the most well-connected person I know and to someone who I owe so much for as if it wasn’t for them I probably would have spent the last two years living in the UK burning unpaid bills in a bonfire in the living room of a building not belonging to me to try to keep out the winter snow and chill.) The job was the assistant manager position running a resort attached on to an ostrich farm. My new work mates were quite interesting and working in Kenya which revolves around their own axis and runs on a completely different time zone to the rest of the world was quite an eye opener at the best of times, not to mention infinitely frustrating and full of all the usual politics. As like most of the jobs of this year it sadly didn’t last too long either, very unsurprisingly. Not being a Kenyan and all that forced me yet again to pack my bags and leave the one place that I continue to call home but seem to spend less and less of my time there!
With very little money to my name, no job and no idea what to I borrowed some money packed my bags, had a rather large goodbye party, shed many a tear and left. Ok so it was slightly less glamorous than it sounds. Flights were very last-minute, packing took days, there was more than one goodbye party including a music festival and there were many second thoughts on my part. I think the word I am looking for here is procrastination. Part of me thought that if I never booked my flight or packed then I wouldn’t have to go. You must be thinking I am crazy right, why wouldn’t I want to go, I mean it’s Australia!! Well the truth is, I found my place. I had my friends, a crazy social life (something that is massively important to me), a lot of things to do and finally but most importantly my family near by. Everything I could ever want and more all in one place. For those of you who are lucky enough to know me you will know that this is all I have ever wanted, as cheesy as it sounds, I have to admit that it is true. Anyway this was the situation and I had to realise it so I finally packed, booked everything and made my way to the airport.
Many many hours of traveling later I was back to receiving abuse (the loving kind) from my older brother. For those who have travelled you will all know how great it is to see a familiar face in a foreign place so you can imagine how happy I was to be back with family once again. Not sure how great it was to be heading to Middlemount however but I was here and I was determined to throw myself fully in to living life down under. I think that lasted all of one month. Recently I have found myself liking Middlemount less and less. If any of you have been here you will hopefully understand but for those of you who haven’t I will attempt to paint a picture for you. Or just post a picture.
This is Middlemount. Not much there and it feels even smaller once you are here this would also hopefully explain the middle of nowhere bit too. When people ask me how Middlemount is. My answer is always the same. I relate it to being much like Rumbek, South Sudan. Only less fighting and guns, more people but far more weirdos and with even less to do. Doesn’t sound like somewhere to spend a great deal of time. While I can complain about the small town living I do have to admit that it does have some perks too. Being in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do there is an opportunity to save some money. Your life outside of Middlemount can be adventurous and exciting and this is what makes staying here not so bad. There are also a couple of great people in and amongst the weirdos and the crazies will always make for good stories. I don’t think I could stay here as long as my brother has, but for now at least I have somewhere. My advice is that if you ever want to come here, then plan to not stay for too long and to leave often.
As for Australia, well so far so good. I have been lucky enough to witness a few things in true Aussie style. On my way to Middlemount there were cattle drovers moving their livestock to better pastures, loads of kangaroos (dead ones too sadly), endless amounts of Australian countryside and the odd passing joy of heavy mining machinery. I say passing joy because I have literally never seen anything quite like it. These machines are out of this world, their size just seems abnormal and out of perspective. I will try to get some close up shots when I next see some more just so you can get the real picture of what I am talking about. I look forward to being able to get out there and see more of this endless country but I feel that in a year I will only a see a small fraction. Not to worry, the things I will miss will become the reasons to return.
The rest of this year will see me returning back to New Zealand (couldn’t help it, it’s right next door) and visiting some other local places not far from Middlemount with a couple of days catching up with old friends in Sydney. Even though the timing was all wrong and Middlemount wasn’t the 1st destination of choice I am enjoying Australia. Trying very hard not to pick up the accent and taking the Aussie humor with a pinch of salt. Missing home very much and my bunch of crazies from back there but looking forward to the rest of the adventures of this year and planning yet another exciting, reckless and epic 2014.