So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye...

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

So today is our last full day in Australia! It is a very strange feeling knowing that this time tomorrow we will be sitting in a plane heading to Singapore. Even though we have only been in Australia for 2 and a half months it feels like we have been here forever and, despite moaning about it at times, now that it comes time to leave we are actually slightly nervous about going. We have got accustomed to how comfortable and easy life over here is; we don't need to worry about any language barriers (unless you count the fact that no-one understands my accent), we can easily book our accommodation in advance and backpacking is so easy here we could have done it with our eyes shut! However, we didn't come away on this trip for an easy ride and I think we need a bit of a kick up the bum because we have become very lazy since we got to Oz; we think nothing of sitting around all day staring at the clouds and generally wasting our days away. It has been nice to have a rest but I think we have become slightly too 'relaxed' lately. We have now got ourselves a hostel booked for Singapore, have got our heads around the underground transport system and have got a list of things we want to do while we are there, but we are already having to look forward to our next destination after Singapore. As we are only in Singapore for 6 days before we head over to Bali, and we will no doubt be arriving there before we know what has hit us, we are also trying to prepare ourselves for Bali and deciding where we will go and what we will do while we are there. We aren't nervous about going to Singapore in the slightest, I think if we can handle Hong Kong we should be fine with Singapore, but I will admit that we are a bit nervous about Bali simply because backpacking there is going to be such a hugely different experience to what we have done so far. But we are starting to come up with a plan for our time there and I'm sure that by the time we arrive we will be ready to tackle it. The only thing that we really hope for Asia, is that we don't get bitten by the bugs quite so much; we have been eaten alive since we got to Cairns, I woke up the other day with 41 bites (yes 41!) just on one leg. 

Saying goodbye to Oz has made us reflect on our time here; we both agree that, if nothing else, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef made it worthwhile coming all this way. We have had plenty of time here to relax and recuperate; I don't think you ever truly realise how much your daily life at home breaks you down until you have a complete break away from it. It is really strange because before we came away I would have said that I was a generally fit and healthy person, but since I have had chance to relax for an extended period of time I have realised that I no longer suffer from the day-to-day ailments which I have at home; I've only had one migraine the entire time we have been away (which is a small miracle for me) and I've not had any of the headaches, tummy pains, sore throats, etc which I seem to regularly suffer from at home. I don't  think I've ever felt this healthy and well balanced before; it's just a shame that it has taken a complete break from my daily life and work at home and over 4 months traveling through foreign countries for me to get to this point. One thing which we have both admired in Australia is that there is a real emphasis here on getting a good balance between your home and work lives and this is something which we will both try to take home with us. Being in Australia has also been our first ever experience of staying in backpacker hostels and this has been a brilliant part of our time here; we have met some really lovely people along the way, made some great friends and (I in particular) have become a lot more confident in meeting and talking to new people (Tom didn't really need to become more confident in that, he'll chat to any old bugger he meets walking down the street :) 

If our time in Australia has taught us one thing it is that you should never enter a country with preconceived ideas of what it is going to be like. Australia completely dumbfounded us because it was so different to what we anticipated it to be, but we have learnt along the way to throw away all our expectations and just see things for what they are. Hopefully we will remember this when we visit the other countries on our trip. Speaking of the other countries we are planning to visit, we have some great news to report... yesterday we were accepted on to a volunteer programme at a children's school and orphanage in Thailand! We learnt about the charity (called ChildTrac, here's their website if you're interested in having a look) through one of the people on our sailing boat back in the Whitsundays and we have been emailing them for the last few weeks trying to get something organised. We will be with them for two weeks in mid-February initially, but to be honest, as long as we both take to it okay and enjoy our time there I think we will probably be there a lot longer than that. One of the great things about our trip is that we are really flexible and have purposefully kept our options open so that we can take advantage of opportunities such as this, hopefully it will come to fruition and will be everything we hope of. Another little adjustment to our original trip-plan that we wanted to tell you about is that we have decided to add in an extra country to our plans! We hadn't originally planned to, but we have decided to spend a week or so exploring Malaysia when we have finished in Bali and flown back to Singapore, as it seems really silly to be right on the Malaysian boarder and not even go into the country for a little visit! At the moment we are only planning to spend a week there traveling between Singapore and Kuala Lumpa and then we will fly into Thailand to start our time volunteering at the orphanage, however we keep changing our plans quite a lot at the moment so who knows how things will actually pan out. We will try our best to keep the blog up to date while we are in Singapore and Bali, however we have heard that the internet connection is pretty rubbish in Bali so don't be worried if you don't hear off us in a while, we will try to keep in touch as much as possible. Right then I am off to pack my backpack for our 10 hour flight tomorrow. Take care everyone and hopefully you will hear from us soon. Bye bye Australia and thanks for the great memories!            
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rach on

hello both x hopefully u should be touching down soon , hope it was a good flight {for hayleys sake !!!! and toms fingers !} speak soon lots a love xx

tomandhayley on

Hello yep the flight was good, 3 hours from Cairns to Darwin, 3 hours waiting at Darwin (not as long as I thought it was gonna be) and 4 hours from Darwin to Singapore. We've just had some breakfast and are heading out for the day. Speak soon, miss u lots xxxx

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