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Oz- was it really “living the dream”

It was late 2013 my brother was getting my daddy a trip to Oz for March 2014, I automatically wanted to go too. A four week holiday, do the east coast, get away from here, see Sydney and see what all the talk was about? Every question going through my mind. I worked full time in a beauty and hair salon in Dundalk at the time, I was extremely fed up i wanted change but I was too afraid to leave. What if, what if, what if. I had also met a fella that year and had fallen for him him hard it didnt work out.

I asked my manager for four weeks of in the March two weeks holidays & two unpaid, they agreed. I booked Oz for the start of March! The saving was on, the countdown was on. My papa took sick, he wasn’t well for the six months leading up to my trip, the week before he was in hospital & we knew it was days there was nothing more they could do for him. Five days before he died he said to me “how long to you go to Oz” I said “8days papa”. Papa was like my second daddy he lived across the road from me my whole life, I saw him everyday I was extremely close toto him we used to watch the GAA games together and comentate for an hour after. I still miss that hero I’ll tell you more about him another time, he taught me a lot about life he taught me trates I’ll keep forever. He died 5 days later which meant I had his two wake nights and the day of his funeral, I packed for Oz that night and flew the day after leaving my mummy at home alone after her father had died. I broke my heart leaving even though I thought it was just for four weeks.

Arrived in Oz the most amazing, beautiful city I had ever been too. I thought to myself every single day of the first few weeks will I stay, Will i stay, Will I stay. The guilt was killing me, I was leaving my daddy to go home to Ireland alone with his only to children in Sydney. I was worried about mummy back home i broke my heart all over again. But I knew i had to do this for me, I was unhappy, hurt and very low for a few months before Oz, time away would heal me (I thought)

We did all the tourist things in Sydney, we ate in amazing places we drank in roof top bars we did & saw everything, we met amazing people. We did the east coast we flew to Ciarns we hired a camper van & we stopped off at the hot spots, frazer Island, whit Sunday’s etc

We went scuba diving, we laughed a lot, we snorkelled in the most beautiful seas in the world, we ate a lot, we drank cocktails, we enjoyed living life outdoors. I felt free.

Suffers paradise, Brisbane etc we did as much of it as we could. We stayed in some hotels along the way as the camper van was quite tense at times. Australia was so beautiful I took it all in. The east coast trip flew, we were back in Sydney before we knew it. I had my mind made up to stay on & the search for work began. I met loads of friends, the Irish stick together in Oz and everyone makes you feel so welcome. I got lucky with a lovely apartment between bondi junction and bondi beach, New Street was my adress, it was close to my new job, my life was changing I had very good days and also bad days.

I joined the gym Fitness first, I started pt classes with Marco the gorgeous Italian personal trainer, he taught me a lot about fitness & goals and being realistic! He was extremely confident and sure of himself I admired him, he became a good friend. I walked alot in Oz, I loved nothing more than my Monday’s off I used to put my ear phones in & walk bondi to coogee this is were all my thinking and over thinking took place. I used to sit looking at the sea thinking about my grandad, thinking About my parents and thinking about that fella that broke my heart before I left.

I climbed Sydney harbour bridge, I went to see the blue mountains, we went to the zoo, we went to stereo the big outdoor weekend rave. I travelled Melbourne, we went to the Melbourne cup ladies day. I was ticking of my bucket list rightly. The months were going by, I never settled, not one day did I ever feel at home in Oz. As the saying goes “home is not a place it’s a feeling” I felt that, I never once felt at home and I knew it wouldn’t ever be home for me.

I tried to make the most of my time there. I went on the sessions, I went to the tea gardens and the cock and bull (which has since closed) we went to the city, we went to the outdoor concerts etc. I enjoyed myself, we danced and we laughed. I would ring my mummy the day after a night out and every time I said the same thing “I don’t know what it is but I feel everyone else enjoys themselves more than i do on nights out etc! I think there is actually something wrong with me” I wasn’t sheltered growing up but I was innocent. I was naive to situations and time proved this. My first proper experience seeing most around me on drugs was in Oz and it clicked there wasn’t anything wrong with me I was just one of few not taking some kind of drug on nights out and concerts etc. “Each to their own” but that life was not for me. I had never touched a drug, I still haven’t and no one is certain of the future but I think if I was to have tried those it would of been before now and probably in Oz. I didn’t and to this date I still haven’t and I hope I never will.

I hated the hangovers I felt every mile from home when I was hungover it wasn’t a nice feeling. How could they cope coming off drugs I’ll never know. I used to say to myself “no wonder there is so much depression and anxiety when they are putting that rubbish into their bodies” I won’t get onto that topic too much as I know plenty that take drugs and I’ve been in the company of great, intelligent, successful people that do cocanine etc regularly and that isn’t my business that’s theirs. Everyone knew never to offer me it or even suggest that I try it, my feelings were strong and I made them quite clear about how I felt. I would NEVER be encouraged or pressurised into anything I didn’t want to do I was never easily lead even as a child and still to today. I have no regrets what so ever, Oz was both one of the best and one of the hardest things I ever did. If I hadn’t of went to Oz I wouldn’t be writing this blog I’d probably be still standing in that job that (towards the end I really disliked) earning complete basic money doing the same thing day in, day out.

I wouldnt have ever went self employed and I wouldn’t be as happy in my work and career as I am now. I knew my relationship with that fella from before Oz wasn’t over of course my gut was right, it wasn’t over it was far from over. Another story for another time. I was offered a sponsorship to stay, I turned it down. Four more years in Oz? Some people would give an arm for that opportunity I turned down. Do I have any regrets now? No not one, im a firm believer in what’s for you doesn’t pass you and everything happens for a reason.

My advise to you? Go! If you haven’t a mortgage, children or ties here if your young and free GO. I don’t think Oz or anywere is the answer if you are running away from problems here but it sure is a far enough beautiful place to start fresh.

You will meet amazing people, you will see the most beautiful places and I suppose in a way I can say you get to know yourself better, you become stronger. Oz isn’t cheap, save as much as you can before you go. Organise a place to stay before you go, plan out what you want to do eg work straight away or travel straight away but please do not go to Sydney, stay in the Irish pubs with the same people, work all week and get intoxicated every weekend, spend all your money & end up doing no travelling.

Try go to Oz or anywhere travelling with likeminded people to yourself. Wages are good but the cost of living is very expensive. Go with an open mind and an open heart, enjoy every day as it goes very quick. Don’t believe it’s hot 24/7 the winter is cooler than you expect and the houses are not built for their winter. When it rains it pours and I never seen a storm to I got there, let’s just say our thunder and lighting is mild compared to theirs. You will come across the odd big spider but it is not how people make it out. You will come across more animals and larger creatures when travelling but you are well warned of everything.

I found Oz safe, I never felt afraid or vulnerable. It’s an extremely clean city and the beaches are Devine. The food is so beautiful and darling harbour on a Saturday night for food and drinks is a must. The opera bar is a great spot for drinks. There is a lot of drinking takes place in Oz. It is a “healthy” country but they do the whole “balance” thing very well. They have extremely fit people training on the beaches every day, strong, healthy, fit bodies I drooled over on many occasions. My interest in health & fitness proper began in Oz and has not left me since.

The helicopter ride over Sydney is a must it’s just amazing to see the proper city life and beach life all as one. If your afraid of flying or nervous maybe skip that one, I did feel a few times I was in a paper aircraft. It was worth the few heart pulses throughout, It was surreal.

I think I’ve covered most here, if you have any questions feel free to ask me.

Thank you you so much for reading,

love H💋llie Xx

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