Bella in Australia at Melbourne CBD

Three years ago, I took the plunge to go travelling with my closest friends.

Throughout the process of planning this trip, I decided that I wanted to add Australia into the equation as it had been on my bucket list for as long as I could remember. The other girls weren’t as keen on the idea, so I ended up going by myself after our classic South East Asia route.

This was the first solo travel experience I’d ever encountered, I was so enthusiastic to see what this country was all about, and boy did it live up! I travelled the East Coast of Australia with a tour group back in 2016 and loved every second of it. The tour actually ended in Sydney, but I decided to book a week in Melbourne to end my trip – best decision of my life! The week was indescribable, I honestly can’t even begin to explain the feeling you get when walking through this magical city. I vowed to myself once home that I would eventually save all my pennies and take the leap to go and live there eventually, which I just so happened to do this year.

Travelling solo gave me so much more confidence, I was no longer this shy, embarrassed little girl. Having insightful conversations with brand new people and becoming my own person, growing hobbies and understanding more about myself was something I loved/love. I learned that my money management skills needed improving. Moving out was also a huge step for me, having my personal space in a different country definitely made me mature.

Melbourne is undeniably the most liveable city in the world, it has so much to offer. Not to sound lame but the café culture is incredible, and yes, it is true, Melbournian coffee is élite. I honestly will fully admit to being a complete brunch whore, they take that shit seriously. I had originally only planned to stay here for 3/4 months but ended up staying my whole trip. And I absolutely plan to head back as soon as possible.

Sydney, I have mixed views on…spending a long weekend here with friends is always going to be a laugh, but I do kind of view this city as either beach or business. Not very much in between. Also, don’t even get me started on the lock outlaws. It’s not all shade though like I actually wouldn’t mind living here if I was at the height of my career.

The Gold Coast is also really lovely for a holiday if you’re living in Aus. You really can’t beat a city skyline on the beach or a surf trip to Byron Bay. But all in all, I don’t think I’ll ever get over New Zealand. By far one of the most picturesque, beautiful countries I have been and will probably ever go too. I still don’t understand how a country can be so peaceful and full of the kindest humans on earth. Plus that accent, yum.

Bella taking the leap of faith in Queenstown, New Zealand.

In Melbourne, I worked as a Bartender, one of the easiest jobs to get, and funniest. I worked opposite an AFL stadium which meant drunk footy fans galore, actually quite entertaining. The pay was unbelievable, especially on game days so I found myself working hard over the weekends and doing… not so many shifts during the week… oops. Looking back this probably wasn’t great for my bank account, but it’s called a working holiday visa for a reason, right? Emphasis on the holiday.

One of the greatest experiences I had was my bungee jump in New Zealand. It was undoubtedly a euphoric moment for me, I didn’t even know I was doing it until the day before when my friend decided to shock me to death with the surprise. One I’ll never forget. I HIGHLY recommend driving down (or up) the South Island, the views are insane, literally postcard-perfect and will leave you jaw-on-floor probably the whole god damn journey. I think I’d like to retire and stay in New Zealand forever in just utter peace. That would be bliss.

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