“I am thankful for all those who said no to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself.” Albert Einstein
Crazy to believe this time last year, I was sitting in a room with two judges, a murderer and his family, determining whether he should be released from prison and now my feet are in the sand, the waves are crashing and the sun is hitting down on my face. The breeze is running through my hair, I have my favorite tunes playing whilst watching the surfers. This is the life I always dreamt of but never thought it would be reality. In my mind travelling was for the rich and I was far from that. I didn’t know many people in my area who have done the whole backpacking thing, it was actually a girl from University who put this in my head.
I always thought I would need lots of money to see the world. Living in London is not exactly cheap and prices for everything seem to be going up. Look at Freddo’s- They are now 30P!! I mean what the heck, you can’t even buy a Freddo without getting ripped off. To save to travel was hard and admittedly I couldn’t save the amount I wanted to. Yet this was my dream and so I had to travel differently. I had to work and travel at the same time, but I still managed to do what I wanted to do and that gave me life.
The first prison I went to was around 3 hours from London, the excitement going to my first prison visit was so exciting. I was to meet a high risk murderer, yet that didn’t scare me. The first thing I asked the prison officer was:
“Can I go into a cell?”
I was so excited but as soon as I walked in this tiny little cell it scared me, it was daunting and the thought of being locked up was overwhelming… But I was a prisoner myself. Yet I wasn’t trapped between four walls, even worse I was trapped in my own mind and for the crime of not being free. I would often have doubts of doing things and like a prisoner I felt trapped. I remember going into a prison and the thought of not having any freedom scared me yet I wasn’t free myself. I always wanted to do things but felt I couldn’t, worrying I would be judged. I wouldn’t wear certain things; worried people will say something. I wouldn’t go out without make up on because I felt like I needed a mask. There is always that element that you never want to look bad, you don’t want to say the wrong thing as you don’t want to upset someone so you might not say anything. Sometimes good. Sometimes not.
OK so I haven’t had the experience to be in prison for a crime, but having over 50 cases and each of them saying about their time in prison was fascinating. Each of them would say
“Rach I never want to go back to prison.”
One of the people I was looking after was stabbed whilst in prison, but this wasn’t the reason he didn’t want to go back, it was because he did not have his freedom. Yet even on the outside world he wasn’t free. We all knew he was a wanted gang member, always watching his back. A majority of us feel trapped and wish we could do certain things but feel we can’t which is one of the most saddest realities. Most of us are watching our backs one way or another.
I didn’t want to be a prisoner anymore and set myself a goal, that at the age of 25 I will travel and find myself, I will be free and become the person I want to be. Seven months later and I am still learning so much about myself and what I want to become. There is no one I have not met who hasn’t been important. Everyone I have met in my 25 years have taught me new things. I remember when people didn’t believe me when I said I am leaving for a year but hey I did it and it feels fantastic. The number one question everyone keeps asking is:
“What’s your plan when you go back home?”
“I will no longer be a prisoner.”
6 Months Later
I still cannot believe how quick time is going, it’s actually pretty scary. To believe over 6 months ago I was saying bye to my English family and hello to my Australian Family. Now because time is ticking, I have been trying to pack in my weekends yet trying to save money. Well let’s face it, that’s been the biggest challenge so far. Money and myself have a love/ hate relationship. God I love money and buying new things, going out (Well eating out because I love food) but flipping hell I hate it as well. So what has been happening the last month….
Old Friends in New Places
Although I am on the other side of the world it’s crazy how many people you bump into from back home, or you meet someone who knows someone you know. I have not seen an old school friend for around 13 years and where do we both end up… Australia! We decided we needed to go on a night out and I honestly had such a great night with Hayley. I met her in her hostel (How I miss the hostel life), and we met a guy there who has a mutual friend with the both of us. Such a small world! We went to a club called The Club, how ironic but it was so much fun.
New Friends in New Places
Along the way I have met the most beautiful people in Australia, including my work wife – Mel. We are always laughing and joking and recently went into the city. She bought her friend along – Nenah. Mel knew us 3 would get on well. She was right! All we done was laugh and joke. We found a great bar called Laughing Buddha in the city. I have never laughed so much in my life and was quite embarrassing drinking a slippery nipple (Name of a shot).
Recently I have been partying probably a bit too much. Every weekend I seem to just want to let my hair down and have fun… Not good for the bank, but you know what you only live once. The weekends go so quick as well. Next thing you open your eyes and it’s Monday again. What’s that about? Here are a few drunk times over the last few weekends…
Bye Andy and Jo
In previous posts I mentioned, the hardest part about travelling is saying bye. Whilst in Australia we have our own little family and two of them have left to do their farm work. As time goes on the more people are leaving including myself. I only have 4 weeks left in Sydney and the thought of saying bye scares me.
Andy and Jo have kept me entertained from day one and will always have a place in my heart. They are both great guys and I wish them well on doing their farm work.
This isn’t a goodbye. This is a see you later.
One thing I love about living in Australia is the beaches. My favorite so far has been Hyams Beach. I recently went to Avalon Beach with my cousin where we found a really cute cave which means PHOTOSHOOT! I do love a picture! In my personal opinion – I prefer the northern beaches; they aren’t as busy!
Facing my fear – Spiders
What does a girl do when the weather is rubbish, her friends are busy and knows she only has a month left in Sydney. She goes to face her fear – Spiders. Prior to Australia I was never really scared of spiders but since I have been here, whether the spider is big or small I am scared, knowing what these little furry creatures can do to you. At the Australian Museum there was a spider exhibition, and there was a hell of a lot of spiders. Big and Small. Was it fascinating – Of course. Am I still scared of spiders – Most definitely.
There was something quite peaceful walking around a museum with my mocha, reading the history behind Australia. I was in my own world. I’ve realised sometimes I enjoy my own space and like to be in my own thoughts. For me this was a perfect morning and loved it. I never used to enjoy my own company and would constantly want to be around friends, but moving to another country on your own makes you that bit more independent.
After the museum my aunt and cousin were at the Opera Bar, so I met them. I was high on life after the museum. One place I love to go to is the Opera Bar for drinks, I would say this is on the pricey side however when I’m there I always think:
“Wow I am in Australia.”
This is due to all the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge in my view.
A bit late but Happy Valentine’s Day! In my life I have never received a present from a secret admirer and would always admire people that did. Well this year I was in luck and received a beautiful gift, and for days tried to work out who it was yet the mystery was never solved. I asked everyone at work and thought this was some kind of sick joke but no one came forward.
4 more weeks and counting…
I have four weeks left and it’s getting emotional. I am sad to leave Sydney as this has been my home for the last 7 months, however I know I need to see more. Luckily I have some of my favorite people coming to visit me whilst I travel the East Coast and South East Asia which will be amazing, so although I am sad I am really excited that I will get to see other parts of the world. From April I will be travelling 7 different countries in 2 months, I am already praying for my liver!
Next week is my birthday ! AHHHHHH! I’m getting old!
The next 4 weeks are going to be pretty full on so will try and write as soon as I can… Again it has taken me almost 2 weeks to try and write this one! Where does the time go? I am really looking forward to sharing my experiences in all these different countries I am visiting and tips on what are the best places the go.
My next post will be about my last final weeks in Australia.