I’ve declared it already: 2016 was the best year ever. Since 2011, I’ve summarized my travel-filled years (see my posts from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015), but no year has ever come close to 2016 in terms of the amount of travel I’ve been able to fit in. Brace yourselves: this may be a long one!
So I’ve done it. I submitted my resignation, I booked my flights, I outlined my itinerary. Today, I hopped on a flight from Sydney, Australia to Christchurch, New Zealand, and I’ll be taking the rest of the year to travel the world. Who wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a career break and hop around the globe, right? The thing is, I’m leaving a seemingly perfect life behind.
In September 2013, after two years of teaching English in Spain and with the future wide open, I made the massive decision to move to Sydney. It was originally intended to be a three to six month working holiday, during which I would pad up my resume with a contract role, see Australia, travel nearby regions, and then head home to the U.S. to start the rest of my life.
But things didn’t go exactly according to plan. I found myself gradually settling into Sydney life and loving my job, and soon my company was asking me to stay long term and sponsoring me for a visa. Next thing I knew, “three months” in Australia had turned into over two years, with no plan to leave.
Another year in the books already! Just a few days into 2016, I’m going to make a bold prediction: this will be one of the best years of my life, on account of a big travel announcement I’ll save for an upcoming post. That said, 2015 was also quite the year. Though it didn’t take me to as many destinations as other years have (see my recaps of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014), I marked my second anniversary of moving to Australia and continued exploring the country and beyond. Here are my travel highlights from 2015.
Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, soaring over the rainforest, and stopping in what is, quite possibly, the most picturesque town I’ve seen in all of Australia. Could Tropical North Queensland be any cooler? You may remember my recent adventure on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Its terminus is the “village in the rainforest”, Kuranda, population 3000 but sights and activities aplenty.
Today’s Travel Talk star is Kim-Ling of Travel-Ling, a native of Brisbane, Australia who spent last year teaching as an auxiliar de conversación in the small village of Pozoblanco in the Córdoba, Andalucía region. She has returned to Australia since, and today she shares her experiences in Spain, her travels around the world, and what she has planned for the future.
Hi Kim-Ling! Where are you from? Where do you live now? What are you doing there?
I am a self-confessed hispanophile who absolutely loves all things Spain! I’m from Australia but was living in Pozoblanco, a small pueblo north of Córdoba, as an auxiliar de conversación (language assistant) last year. Sadly, I didn’t get to renew this year, so I am back in Canberra, Australia. I teach part-time and run a travel blog, Travel-Ling, where I am still writing about all of the adventures we had whilst living in Spain. I dream of Spain every day, though, and am already working on getting back there!
They say that Halloween is the time of year in which the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. A city with as much history as Sydney is undoubtedly home to a ghost or two, and when better to investigate than the week leading up to Halloween? This past weekend, we headed to a historical Sydney neighborhood for a spooky experience with The Rocks Ghost Tours.
One of my very favorite holidays is just around the corner once again. Halloween hits town this Saturday, and my preparations are well under way. While Australia isn’t nearly as festive as the U.S. when it comes to this holiday, it’s grown in popularity even in just the two years I’ve lived here, and there’s plenty to do this Halloween weekend. Here is my guide to some of the best events and ideas for a spooky Sydney celebration.