Hello AgainSorry that I haven't updated my blog in awhile but I guess I've just been having too much fun... but here's the low down on what happened since Magnetic Island:
I spent my first week in Cairns with Stephi (from Noosa Everglades/Fraser Island) just chilling by the lagoon, enjoying the shopping center called Cairns Central and gossiping about all the people we both knew along the East Coast. We also met quiet a few new people together, including the 3 Canadians - Mike, Matt and Brendan - who soon became part of our extended group.
Sam, also from the Noosa Everglades trip, came to Cairns for a few nights, including one memorable one where we danced like crazy way into the night... girl you've got some moves! I was sad to see her go, and jealous of her at the same time because she was going to Bali!
I was also sharing a 4 bed dorm in Global Central with Buster and Henry (from Noosa Nomads and various other previous East Coast destinations) - I have to say that they were probably some of my best roommates on my Australian trip as they provided constant entertainment, even if they were not going out and saving money for Buster's upcoming birthday. (Charlie and Guy were in a different room upstairs) My favorite moments were probably Buster performing as our DJ, ending up drawing all over each other instead of going out, Henry just being Henry and making fun of our unfortunate other roommate (we had a new one almost every day).
Brittany from Byron Bay was also there for my first week which was awesome although I didn't get to see all that much of her (she was working) until her last couple of days when we went to the Rainforest together, but I'll talk more about that in a bit.
Super early in the morning of the 10th of June, Nathalie Suski (previously featured in my blog in Munich, Planning Ahead and her Birthday Post) and 2 of her travel buddies (Shenya and Robain) arrived from Perth. I met them in the lounge area of the hostel and after a hugging/screaming-fest with Nathalie, we got breakfast on the balcony.
Nathalie was at least staying until the end of my stay in Cairns (my flight down to Sydney was on the 19th of June) and it was the first time since I left Germany (at age 6) that I had seen her twice in just 6 months! Needless to say we had a lot of fun catching up and enjoying having an old friend to confide in.
I think it makes a real difference to travel with a friend compared to traveling on your own. I think everyone should experience traveling on their own, just to see what you are made of, but for longer periods of time it's really a lot more fun to travel with friends. There would be a lot more arguments for sure but then you also have someones shoulder to cry on when things get unbearable for a minute, someone to put suncream on your back at the beach, or tell you when your outfit looks stupid but what I've missed most is someone who actually knows me, someone who can tell what kind of mood you're in, make you laugh when you are down and just generally be a real friend. Don't get me wrong, I've met so many lovely and wonderful and kind people on my travels and I regret nothing, but I am really looking forward to being surrounded by group of close friends again!
Anyway, Nathalie and I are perfect party partners (I may have mentioned this before) so Cairns was the perfect place for us. (For those of you who don't know, Cairns is considered one of the best places to go out in) We lazed about during the day and made the most of the elaborate night life - from pub crawls to jelly wrestling!
Busters birthday was on the 11th of June, and as was preplanned, we all got up in the morning and went to a Thrift Shop (Thanks Brittany for giving me the directions to a great big one) with $20 in our pockets (Get it yet?). Our mission was to get a ridiculous outfit and then go out in it that night, and I was to film the whole thing and remake the Macklemore - Thrift Shop music video!
With camera ready, the night began on the hostel balcony and it seemed like the whole hostel was up for going out. We wrote song lyrics on each others arms, played drinking games and sung happy birthday to a very merry Buster, before heading to Woolsheds and then to Gilligans before returning to Woolsheds again searching for the missing birthday boy.
I'd forgotten my drink vouchers in my hostel room, so I went to get them, and on my way I realised that Buster's hostel room light was on, so I went in, and there he was, faaaaast asleep! So of course my first reaction was to get a photo:
The night continued without him for awhile until we all slowly took our leave.
The next morning, I had to get up ridiculously early to go on a trip to a Rainforest with Brittany. (She'd won a competition on a previous pub crawl for a 2-4-1 deal and was nice enough to take me along with her, resulting in us only having to pay $54.50 instead of $109!)
The bus came at 7am and drove us to a little stall where we paid our money and then the real tour began. We first drove to a beautiful clear river where you could swim. I was too cold and tired though to go in, it was an overcast day.
Next up, we had a boat tour through the Rainforest including 3 sightings of wild crocodiles and 1 tree snake!
The day ended with a walk through the Rainforest and Tim Tams (Australian chocolate biscuit) and tea.
I had an absolutely amazing day and I really want to thank Brittany for enabling me to tick off another thing on my bucket list!
My 19th Birthday
On the evening before my 19th birthday, Nathalie and I had been out every night before so we felt a bit weak and decided to stay in watching Gossip Girl instead. Our third episode ended just as it struck midnight. I turned to Nathalie and said, "It's my birthday..." then we started screaming.
We surprised everyone there - handed out our party equipment and celebrated my birthday in the most unusual way so far. There I was, 19 years old, with sunglasses on my head, no underwear on (it had been laundry day) hugging my oldest friend Nathalie, who was just as unwashed as me and still had her bikini on under her clothes, completely sober surrounded by merry people, in a club, in Cairns, in Australia.
We stayed until about 1 am and then headed back to the hostel, chatted in the corridor for awhile about everything and nothing and then went to sleep.
The next morning, after I opened my present from Nathalie (the best top ever created) we bought cake from Woolworth (the soon-to-go-out-of-date-reduced one - classy I know!) and shared it out to those lucky enough to be on the hostel balcony at the time. (But not before the group of French guys staying at the hostel sang happy birthday to me - in french - and I blew out my "1" & "9" candles)
We spent the day playing volleyball before heading out again that night but this time we went out with the 3 Dutch boys in Nathalie's room, Gert-Jan, Jelle and Eelco as well as French Damien. I had a lot of fun, laughed a lot and enjoyed dancing foolishly.
Overall it feels really weird being 19, I've wanted to be 18 for so long, probably since I was 13 and now I'm past that age and really all I can think is... What now?
Last days in Australia
On the day before my flight home, we were chilling at the lagoon when I decided to go souvenir shopping, but instead I ended up surprising everybody by returning to the lagoon with ice cream! I thought I'd say thank you to all of them for making my trip so amazing. Memories are far better than souvenirs anyway!
My Australian trip was almost over! My bags were packed, my sheets were off the bed (by this point I'd changed rooms for the third time - moved from Buster and Henry's room, to a girls dorm and finally into Room 40 with Guy and Charlie) and it was 6 am on the 19th of June.
I went to wake Nathalie up, and found that French Damien had woken up especially to say goodbye to me, which was really sweet so I ate breakfast with him while waiting for the Dutch guys and Nathalie to get out of bed.
Then it was time to go - I got my $30 key deposit back from reception, my backpack was on and I left Global Central for the last time. Gert-Jan, Jello, Eelco, Damien, Nathalie and I walked for about 5 minutes to their car, me and Eelco said goodbye to Damien, who then went back to the hostel and we got into the car.
We drove first to the international terminal of Cairns Airport to drop Eelco off, a sad and weird experience, and then we drove to the domestic terminal and it was my turn. I hugged everyone goodbye and then I was off catching my flight to Sydney.
Turns out I had the same flight as Canadian Matt so we chatted in the queue to board, we didn't have seats together though but it wouldn't have mattered anyway as we both slept right through the flight. We caught the train into the center together before parting for good. I went to the hostel I stayed in during my first week in Sydney (Elephant Backpackers), had an hours nap and then went up to meet Kati. (From previous blog post)
We went to a super cute bar and we caught up on each others lives, it had been exactly 2 months since I met her and it felt strange but also sort of adding closure to my whole Australian Adventure seeing her again.With only 24 hours in Sydney before my international flight to L.A., we parted ways pretty early and I went straight to bed, got up early and got the shuttle to the airport.
I had a load of time, so I was casually looking at all the airport shops, changing my money from AUS$ to US$ before heading to my gate. "Madam, I'm afraid you're at the wrong gate, this isn't an Emirates flight" - OH $#!* - I had to run from Gate 56 to Gate 9! They even called my name - I heard "Emirates flight to Los Angeles, last customer Lucy Cunnington, please come to Gate 9, this is the Final Call" just as I was racing towards the sign that said "Gates 8-10".
I made it. The flight attendants all knew who I was, my name and there were about 20 of them pointing towards my gate, haha, how embarrassing! Then I had to do the walk of shame through the entire plane because the stairs to the second floor where at the back of the first floor. However, somehow I'd managed to score a super spacey seat with no seats in front, next to a young American guy called Kevin.
My United States adventure had began! (Not quiet how I'd imagined it, but hey ho!)
The 14 hour flight gave me a lot of time to get used to the idea that my 2 months of Australia were over, but not only that, but also that I only have 2 months left before my entire Gap Year is over - how crazy is that?!