My Australian Journey (day 1)
Updated: Oct 2
A retrospective summary of my 8 month experience in Aussie Land
I was eager to arrive. I'd been sitting on the plane for 11 hours following an overnight stay in Honolulu airport on a not-so-comfortable airport bench.
As the plane touched down, I craned my neck to see out the window. It didn't look much different than the view back home, but I couldn't get over the feeling that I was in a different country. On the other side of the world.
I'd always dreamed about going to Australia but I figured fears and obstacles would get the best of me. (finding a $172 plane ticket definitely gave me the push).
Different stores, different money... accents and new food to try. So many experiences waited just outside the plane doors.
I'd just spent the last 10 months living in Hawaii - the first place I'd ever traveled alone. But something about this experience felt different. My time in Hawaii was more stationary; I had plans. I was still living within my home country.
This time, I had no plans- except a 4 night stay booked at a hostel I'd never even seen or been to. It was nerve wracking and exhilarating all at once.
Me and Jamie (my travel buddy I met in Hawaii) got off the plane and headed to the bathroom to freshen up and take some post-flight mirror selfies. We couldn't stop smiling.
Our flight had just landed us in Sydney but our intended destination was Cairns, a city in Queensland and another 3 hour flight north (We'd planned to start our travels in Cairns because it was a northern point of the eastern coast and we planned to slowly make our way down south to Melbourne.).
The layover seemed like a good time to get our new SIM cards, as we were eager to be able to talk to our family and friends once we left the free WIFI of the airport. We then decided to explore the airport and grab a bite to eat.
This was technically our first introduction to Australian cuisine and "culture". We noticed uncut sushi rolls were popular, extra sauces typically didn't come with the meal, and their money was incredibly colorful! I remember fumbling around with the Australian coins in my purse trying to figure out which ones were which so I could buy my sandwich. Luckily, the kind man next to me threw some coins on the counter and said "Don't worry, I'll take care of it" :')
Our final flight felt like it took forever. The jet lag was already hitting hard and I could barely keep my eyes open. When we got off the plane it was night time. We had been awake for nearly 20 hours.
Our bags looped around the carousel at baggage claim as we called the Uber. We spent the drive staring out the windows at all the new sights and freaking out about the fact that the steering wheel was on the opposite side of the car and that everyone was driving on the opposite side of the road!
Music blared outside as we pulled up to our destination. The neon sign read "Gilligans".
Keep in mind, we had just come from a Hawaiian hostel with 10pm quiet hours and minimal partying- what we were looking at now seemed like a full-on Vegas club. The music could be heard from blocks down the street. A line ran down the sidewalk full of fellow 20-somethings waiting to enter.
Our dorm- of course- was full of fellow travelers having their own party.
We also found packs of earplugs on our beds left there by the hostel. The noise was clearly nothing out of the ordinary.
What had we gotten ourselves into?!
We were invited to join but we couldn't be bothered, we were far too tired. Instead, we got ready for bed, put in our earplugs, and tried our best to catch some sleep before our first day exploring the city.
Click here to read Day 2!
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