The first time I visited Australia, I was 19 years old, just finished a very messy first year of University, and had a very meager budget. My housemate and I painfully rationed, scrimped and sacrificed every day amenities such as food and sleepable beds n order to experience a camping tour of Uluru, a sailing trip on the infamous Whitsundays, White Water Rafting down the East Coast… etc. All the usual things. We had a fantastic time, came back very broke, but very happy… but didn’t really understand the raving reviews of the country every other person on the planet seemed to uphold.
Because of this opinion, I didn’t ever imagine myself coming back to Australia. Ever. I wasn’t sold. So when Australia popped up on the itinerary for the SPAR world trip, I wasn’t particularly enthused. Not just for the fact that I wasn’t Australia’s biggest fan, but because it seems almost a waste to return to a country you’ve already travelled when there’s so many more to explore.
I’m currently sat typing this in a beautiful campsite in Apollo Bay in the South West of Australia. There are cows 20 meters ahead of me, parrots all around, a river full of fish next to the van, and I can hear the sound of the ocean on the beautiful beach behind me. I’ve just drove the Great Ocean Road, seen incredible rain forests and coast lines, and am about to spend Halloween in Melbourne.
Last time I was here, I travelled from Perth, to Alice Springs, and then did the infamous route down the East Coast from Cairns to Sydney. There were beaches… but they’re not the same. There were also rainforests, but again, not the same. Why I thought this huge country had nothing else to offer is beyond me.
I guess coming back to a country after a few more months of backpacking under your belt is always going to be a different experience. No longer as naive, mind a little it broader… and of course it also definitely helps that my budget has expanded substantially. But I’ve learned that almost every country is worth a return. You never know, your perspective might change and you’ll end up falling in love with a place you previously couldn’t of cared less for.