Monday, 18 January 2016

How a Trip to Australia Changed My Life

Everyone says when you visit Australia it will "change your life", but I always figured that yeah, it'll be incredible, maybe the best holiday ever, but life changing is a little cheesy and over-used. I've wanted to visit Australia since I was a child. Even just before I left, I cracked open a full Terramundi Money Pot that I'd been saving in for since 2011. And what was on the wish I put in at the beginning? Australia!

We headed for Oz in December 2015 for a three and a half week holiday with my godfather. I won't bore you with every single detail about every single place we went and every little thing we did - there's links in this article to other posts if you're interested. I was ridiculously excited - partly because I was heading on holiday (who doesn't love a holiday?!), partly because I was seeing my godfather and his family again for the first time in many years, partly because I'd never visited Australia before. But a large part of my excitement was simply the escape. An escape from everyday life that had been dragging me down for a good while. An escape I feel I needed for my sanity.

I live a good life. I have a secure job. I have a roof over my head that I pay decent rent for. I have a wonderful, supportive family, including my amazing partner, all of whom are there for me whenever I need them, and vice versa. So I don't like to complain - I'm an optimistic, glass-half-full kind of girl who is grateful for what I have. But everyone has their down moments. Lately has been one of those (rather long) down moments. Career choices, money problems, unhappy in the city, you name it. It’s just one of those times where there a lot of little things niggling at me and it’s a bit of a bummer.

But Australia was the getaway I needed. The surfing, the kayaking, the beaches, the parks, the wildlife, the lifestyle, the damn-hot sunshine and the people. Everything was amazing. The break from normality itself was fantastic, but add on 40-degree heat, the people I love and a lifestyle I can picture myself in, and you have a very happy and very inspired individual! My mood instantly rose due to the holiday factor, but as the trip went on I realised I have never felt more suited for a place in my entire life. The pivotal moment for me was sitting watching the sunset on the 1st of January 2016, with Ryan (boyfriend), John (brother) and my Dad. I remember thinking that this is exactly what I want. I felt so completely relaxed for the first time in months, and I felt I could just stay there for the rest of time, watching the sun rise and fall. I took a wander down to the ocean to dip my feet in on my own and thought to myself: "I need to move here".

Not "I should move here" or "Maybe it’s an option" or "It would be great to start a life for us here". Something deep inside of me yearned to stay. Enough so that on arrival back to Edinburgh, I teared up when we landed at the rainy airport in Scotland. I was just that unmotivated to get back into life in general. Back to the city I’m bored with, the tiny flat and most importantly back to stress. Which yes, everyone feels after a vacation, but it felt different this time. Something I definitely did miss? My Mum, who was back in Scotland. I hope to take her out there one day :)

So now I'm back in Scotland, still in my grumpy, post-holiday mood and thinking about the New Year and what 2016 will bring. The major goal this year? Saving to reach Australia. It will take a lot of time, and I will in no way be leaving any time soon, nor am I doing it on my own. My partner Ryan is willing to give it a shot, and I can't wait to try life down under with him. He enjoyed the holiday more than he thought he would, and as a man who is a home-boy, Edinburgh born and bred, I am so happy he's willing to try this lifestyle with me. I know that living abroad is different to a holiday, and we will still be working and will have times of stress, and not every day will be a beach day. But the fact that surfing on the beach or watching the sunset do down over the ocean is even an option when we're bored or stressed is incredible.

I feel the entire experience has brought me back to my usual motivated, determined and positive self. It just shows you the influence and change that a simple holiday, getaway or adventure can bring you. Happy New Year everyone: I hope 2016 brings you plenty of adventures and getaways to keep you all sane too J


  1. Couldn't have put it more beautiful myself, and i wasn't even there,... just following the fabulous pictures and comments on facebook, seeing you look so happy and contented and hearing all about your travels and experiences there made me feel a part of it. I will back you 100% Iona - live your life to the full, aim high and never let go of your dreams Mum x

  2. Aw thanks Mum :) Once I get out there you can visit all the time :D x

  3. Wow, it sounds like you had such a great experience in Australia! I am French, living in Ireland with my Irish husband and four kids, and I also long for a lifestyle that will allow us to split our time more evenly between our two countries, and who knows, fit in a bit of travelling too? Best of luck!

  4. When the heart wants something, it will find away to work it in somehow! I hope you manage to travel with your family! :)


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