Hello! It has been a while. So as you may or may not have seen I recently wrote a blog for my friends wonderful page regarding mental health while travelling. The positive response from this was really so overwhelming and beautiful that it has inspired me to start incorporating some more personal posts onto my own blog! However in order to do this, I would like you to be up to date with all of my travels first! So alas, let me tell you all about the fabulous reunion that I had with my parents!
When I left my crying parents behind at Heathrow airport almost 22 months ago, I thought I would be gone 8ish months, maybe a year at absolute most. No way did any of us ever expect me to still be living this far across the other side of the world all this time later. So after months of me begging, and the realisation that I would not be returning home any time soon, they packed their own bags and flew to the other side of the globe to see me! The reunion was emotional but within minutes it was like we had never been apart. We ate cheese and drank wine and giggled at how crazy it was to really be talking to one another face to face. It is an absolutely crazy feeling, to be reunited with your most loved and cherished people, after such a long time apart. The build up and excitement that had been leading up to this, and then suddenly they are in your arms. In true Taylor style I surprised them at the airport, complete with a corny home made ‘WELCOME TO THE LAND DOWN UNDER’ sign!
Of course I had a jammed pack itinerary planned for us all. The first few days were spent indulging in everything that Melbourne has to offer, while my parents adjusted to this new upside down time zone! (Actually I don’t think they ever really got over that. At no point during the entire holiday did either have any idea what time, or even what day it was!) I took them to amazing vegetarian restaurants, and we roamed the graffiti laneways. I think Melbourne could possibly be one of the easiest cities to be a vegetarian in. We are absolutely spoilt for choice with all of the quirky, independent cafes and restaurants, and even have our own junk food alternative, Lord of The Fries – An all vegetarian/vegan burger joint! As soon as my parents were starting to feel settled in the city I dragged them away, put them in a car and we headed along The Great Ocean Road! It got off to a rocky start with dad forgetting how to drive an automatic car, and slamming on the breaks and accelerator at the same time and coming to a complete stop in the middle of a busy highway. He soon got the hang of it and we had an amazing few days being top tourists! We stayed in a beautiful lodge in the middle of the Grampians and were awoken by ginormous kangaroos at our windows each morning. We ‘hiked’ hundreds (definitely not hundreds…) of stairs and climbed over rocky beaches to get to secret waterfalls. It was a total adventure and my parents loved it.
We briefly returned to Melbourne and spent the day in the Yarra Valley, on a wine tour! We drank wine – obviously – ate cheese and chutney and other glorious weird and wonderful foods. They spoiled me constantly and bought me the hugest ice cream and an Easter Egg! After 2 years of being almost completely independent it felt really amazing to sit back and let them treat me.
We had an early start the next morning as we headed to the airport and boarded our flight to Hobart, Tasmania. We spent the next eight days driving round the entire island, real Road Trip style! We went from Hobart to Port Arthur, Port Arthur to Bicheno, Bicheno to Freycinet National Park, Freycinet National Park to Launceston, Launceston to Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain to Strahan, and finally Strahan back to Hobart. We were on the move constantly, and never spent more than one night in each place. While it would have been lovely to spend a little longer everywhere, I am so glad that we got to see as much of Tasmania as possible, as it is unlikely I will ever be back there! While we were there we spent many a day soaking in the glorious nature and roaming around wildlife sanctuaries. We visited a Tasmanian Devil ‘un-zoo’, and my parents got to see even more Koala’s and Kangaroos. By this point they were heaps Aussie! My dad called everyone ‘mate’ and mum struck up conversations with all the locals – Especially the Kangaroos!
Throughout our travels we went ‘glamping’ in a safari tent, stayed in a rickety motel at the top of Cradle Mountain during a storm, and even spent a night at the airport. Definitely an interesting experience for my parents… On our final day in Tasmania I took them to The Mona, which is an old and new art museum, and is really pretty damn amazing! We spent the whole day wandering round and taking in all of the art before we said goodbye to Tasmania and headed back to Melbourne for our last few days together.
Our final moments were mostly spent indulging in great food. My mum experienced her first Acai Bowl, and many glasses of Sangria were drunk!
It was so amazing to finally be able to share the love of my life, Melbourne, with my parents. They definitely got more of an insight into why I love my life here so much, and why I have stayed away so long. I definitely don’t think I need to remind anyone how utterly and completely Melbourne has my heart, yet I still somehow find a way to mention it in every blog post! My parents instantly felt the laid-back, non-judgemental vibe that surrounded us, and really could understand the difference between the quality of life over here, compared to in England! (0f course that is just my opinion!) My dad even toyed with the idea of saying goodbye to Mum and coming to live over here for a year (or two…) himself! While it was such an amazing feeling for them to just totally get why I have given this place my heart, it just makes me even more sad to think that this chapter of my life is coming closer and closer to ending. The next time I see my parents will be in rainy England. Although seeing them, along with all of my other much neglected family will be the silver lining, the thought still sort of bums me out.
Nevertheless, my parents had a FAB time in Australia and we definitely made some memories that will last a lifetime! Thanks a bunch for coming, and I will see you both soon!