I had a booking with “Trainlink” Australia and, based on the name and the website pictures advertising train cars, I thought that I was looking for a train. Apparently I was not. By the time I figured that out and was in the right place to catch my Trainlink bus, I had five minutes to find my ticket confirmation, which had seemingly disapeared among the many booking confirmation emails I’d received in the past few days. This lead to a frustrating phone call with a Trainlink representative to get a new ticket emailed to me so I could catch my bus to a town I couldn’t pronounce. All the while, a very intoxicated homeless man told me an intense story about how he was running from the feds because they’d killed his friend in a Sydney jail, and I’d better run too or they might just kill me.
Solo travel has been a wild ride so far, to say the least.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Somehow, I did end up on my bus and spent the next few days exploring both the rainforest and the beach. I bushwalked through banana, passion fruit, and lemon trees… and ran into a six foot python. I searched for shells and chased seagulls on a beach all to myself, hiked to a lighthouse at sunrise, and kayaked with whales. Despite all these amazing things, I think the people here are my favorite thing about Australia so far.
My first workaway host of the trip was Sally, a glass blower with an 8 acre plot of farm land in the rainforest hinterland (remote area of the country). I’ve just finished my time with her, which was spent digging up roots to trade at the farmers market, making bracelets for her to sell in her glass shop, helping her write a magazine article, and picking avocados (which is a bit of an art form, I’ll just say). I also fought a few huntsman (get a fresh pair of undies on hand and google it).
It’s amazing to me how much I’ve learned and grown already.
Those Aussie Vibes
One of the things I’ve learned is how to translate Aussie slang (also a bit of an art form). Here are a few of my favorites so far…
Straya – Australia
Devils Elbows – switchbacks
Brekky – breakfast
Biccy – biscuit
Lappy – laptop… basically Australians just shorten any word that can be shortened and slap a Y at the end. It’s the best.
Dodgy – suspicious
Avo – avocado
Wombat- a vegetarian… and an adorable local animal.
Ankle biter – a child
Sunnies – sun glasses
Buggered – tired
Billabong – a pond
Stubby – bottle of beer
Shark biccy- inexperienced surfer
Chook – chicken
Tucker time – bed time
Mozzie – mosquito
Thongs – flip flops… what were you thinking? 😉
Reckon – “you reckon?” “I reckon!” I’ve been hearing this one aaaalllll the time.
I’ve also found that Aussie’s are fond of cuss words (the “C” word especially…) and often use them as terms of endearment!
And that’s a wrap! First week and a half in Straya has been a success. More stories too come soon, I’m sure, as I make my way up the east coast.