2014 // in a nutshell.

2014. What. A. Year. I'm not saying it was all roses but it was probably one of the most life changing years of my life. In summary:

  • I travelled across to the other side of the world November 2013. By the start of 2014 I was drinking on Fremantle's beach, singing Auld Lang Syne with my new friends, having a dance at a little beach rave, before heading back to Pirates Backpackers (my home away from home) and welcoming in 2014 with a hangover. A bad one. 

  • I jumped off a cliff. Okay, it was only 8m high and I wouldn't have done it if some little Australian douchebag didn't call me a "pussy" for wanting to bail out. Incidentally, I can't jump off a cliff without contorting myself and landing flat on my arse. I spent the next month + in agony, on very strong painkillers with a suspected broken coccyx amongst other things. Well done Rachel. This meant I couldn't work because of a back injury, I was confused, high every hour of the day for 2 weeks until we switched over to a different painkiller, and I wasn't enjoying life. Bad move.

  • I hopped (literally) over to Bali. I spent the days drinking, eating mystery food, discovering mushrooms a la Bridget Jones' style, had a baby monkey on my shoulder, and came home. All of us ill. Hm. Maybe 5 days of over indulgence wasn't the best idea.

  • I travelled over 3000 km in a car with some amazing people from Perth to Adelaide - we conquered the Nullarbor and saw some awesome things along the way.

  • Then over to Melbourne on my first Greyhound bus. Melbourne, I loved you. You provided excellent urban art and sublime coffee.

  • We had a little trip down the Great Ocean Road where we saw the Twelve Apostles and my face got eaten by a dingo.

  • I travelled independently about 2300 km up the east coast BY BUS.
Need I say...? Sydney!

Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains

  • I ended up on a tropical island (Magnetic Island) where I was literally stuck in paradise for two months. I lost my dignity, but what happens on Maggie stays on Maggie apparently. My dignity is back by my side. For now. Unfortunately I'll have to live with my scarred legs from falling over and my bruised ego after getting headbutted by a psycho local. Thanks mate! 

  • Cairns and Gilligans. Oops, my dignity left me again. Come back you little thing... 

  • Rainforests, reefs, and waterfalls. The Atherton Tablelands and Cape Trib were out of this world. I did the infamous hair flick at Milla Milla and got scared of crocodiles on the beaches up north.

  • I picked watermelons for the creepiest farmer in the world. He quoted Wolf Creek, suggested he could kill people, and liked my shorts. I left after a week. 

  • I worked my arse off to secure the last few months of my Second Year Visa after the horror show with farmer... Then returned back to Cairns where I got stuck for longer than anticipated. I met friends and partied like there was no tomorrow... 

  • I also jumped out of a plane. At 15,000 ft. I loved every second even if my photos suggest otherwise.

  • … and... I dived the Great Barrier Reef and found Nemo, hey buddy. 

  • I hunted for jobs and took the opportunity to head to the Lodge of Dundee, a couple of hours from Darwin. My first night I got so blind drunk I'm pretty sure my dignity left me again. I spent an amazing couple of months working, drinking, fishing (occasionally), sunbathing, and loving life on the beach. Winning!  

  • I travelled from Darwin down to Alice Springs, had the most amazing experience at Uluru, Kata-Tjuta, and Kings Canyon. I slept in swags beneath the stars and on the last night drank "fucking good port" before a 7.2km hike in VERY HOT conditions. Not my smartest move, but the port lived up to its name.

  • I flew to Melbourne, caught up with my beautiful Australian friend, and welcomed the mothership to the land down under before we flew to Tasmania for a 2000+km trip around the island. We ate too much food, saw amazing things (including a Tasmanian devil, yay yay yay!) and pushed old Gertie to her limits. Well done Gertie.

  • Then... It was suddenly all over. I was flying home. Piss poor, 2 stone heavier, lump in my throat, and experiences and stories that I'll hold onto for a lifetime (just some not suitable to tell the future grandchildren... haha) I might still be poor, still be jobless, and feel a little lonely and down at times (post-travel blues set in about a week after my return) but I wouldn't change it for the world.

I've learnt so much about myself, so much about other people, so much about the world. I've learnt I don't NEED makeup, I don't NEED money, that it's OK to cry and overreact at times, that it's OK to need help. I've learnt I can keep my calm when someone is in my face and threatening me and my colleagues (okay, I wanted to punch her), and I've learnt that drinking to the point where you no longer get hangovers is BAD. I've learnt that I do not need a man to be happy. I've learnt that no one can MAKE me happy. But the most important thing I've learnt is that I am me. Just me. I'm perfectly imperfect. I have my good points and bad points like everyone else. And it's OK.



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