A year gone by

It's weird to think that I've been away from home for over a year now, and even weirder to think that I've spent it on th...

It's weird to think that I've been away from home for over a year now, and even weirder to think that I've spent it on the opposite side of the world; in Australia. 

I am currently on a working holiday visa in the land down under - this allows me to travel around Australia, but also to be able to work if the need arises to get some more dollar to fund myself. The working holiday visa is initially just for one year, but can be extended to two years (for residences of certain countries) if you partake in 88 days of regional work, which can be but is not limited to, fruit picking or general farm work.

So here I am a few days into my second year, looking back on the year gone by and how much has happened and how much has changed. Prior to my adventures, I'd always looked at pictures of Facebook friends who had gone travelling and been jealous. However, they'd always post statuses about how much they've grown and how much travelling had helped them find themselves, and I'll admit that I used to scoff at these comments. I used to find it extremely cheesy that these people would "find themselves" on the other side of the world but couldn't become who they wanted to back in their homeland. It was only when I started to notice differences in myself that I began to understand.

Now, this is going to be quite hard for me to put into words - travelling, especially solo travelling (of which I am doing), puts you in so many circumstances that you just wouldn't be put in at home. You're by yourself in this foreign land, nobody is there to hold your hand or stick up for you anymore, you just need to learn how to toughen up and deal with life. If you're by yourself and you don't talk to anybody then you don't make friends, and if you don't make friends, you have missed what in my opinion 90% of travelling is all about - the people.

The people are what have made this trip what it has been. You get to meet so many characters from so many different parts of the world that you just become more tolerant, rounded and accepting. You learn not to judge so quickly and that there is good in almost everyone, (I'm not going to say that you're going to get on with everybody as that's just an unrealistic ideal). Friendships whilst travelling are the most condensed friendships you will have; they don't go through the normal phases but normally jump straight to living in the same place if you're in hostels. You're constantly surrounded by your friends 24/7 - you wake up, have breakfast lunch and dinner, socialise, and go to bed in dorms with them. It's crazy! But because of this, you will create some of the most intense relationships and get so close so quickly which is amazing in itself.

Overall, I have just gained so much confidence, self belief and positivity over the past year that I can honestly claim that I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. Coming to Australia has been the best decision that I have ever made and I have no regrets whatsoever. Bring on the next year and whatever it will bring.

Have you ever been travelling or wanted to travel?

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