Today ten years ago, on 11 February 2011, is set foot in Australia for the first time. I left Belgium on the 10th and arrived a day later. For four weeks, I toured Down Under with stays in Melbourne, Alice Springs for Uluru (Ayers Rock), Brisbane, Townsville, Magnetic Island, Newcastle, Canberra, Sydney in time for Mardi Gras, back to Melbourne, back to Europe.
And as for the clichés. At 29, that solo trip was about finally becoming an adult, was about fulfilling a lifelong dream, was about meeting great people, was about falling for someone (I was still capable of falling in love back then).
Nearly not making it
I nearly didn’t make it. I flew via London and Hong Kong to Melbourne but I made a mistake on my eVisitor application. Qantas spotted it in Heathrow but could arrange things. Ironically, Danny I would experience similar stress in Bangkok in 2020. Oops.
Missing a flight
Australia 2011 also was the only time I missed a flight. I was due to fly to Alice Springs with Tiger Airways, but I was too late. It meant booking a new flight day later and rearrange excursion plans I had made for the Red Center.
In a way it was a good thing. I was supposed to go camping. It’s not my forte.
Ten years ago I earned way less money than I do now so I travelled on a tight budget. It meant I stayed at backpackers. That’s what hostels are called in Oz. But after my first experience in Alice Springs, I decided to each time upgrade to a private room. Way more comfortable.
I has travelled to many places before Australia, but that trip really was a milestone. Afterwards, I decided to travel intercontinentally at least once a year. It didn’t happen in 2012 because I just switched jobs and it will probably won’t happen this year. But who knows? We’re only February.
If you’re interesting, you can read about my 2011 Australia adventures here.