So there I was, on a train from Newcastle to Sydney. Id left my friends and was back on my own. I didn’t plan on spending too long in Sydney as I was keen to head over to Melbourne as I had thoroughly enjoyed that city the last time I was in Oz.
I found myself a hostel and received an email from a school friend who now lived in Sydney. So that first night there I went over to Manly beach to meet up with him. Manly is on the other side of Sydney harbour and is quite a way from the city and involves a ferry to get there. We had a nice night that was unfortunately cut short as I needed to get the last ferry home.
The next day I met up with a friend from Ireland and went to a film festival, we again had an awesome day watching short films and soaking up the atmosphere of Sydney.
Now I love travelling alone, I find you get the very best experiences when you travel alone, your more open to meeting people, your more spontaneous and really you can do what you want when you want. However, travelling alone can be hard, really hard.
Following the fun I had had in Airlie and the great friendships I had made, I was in a bit of a low in Sydney. The amazing time I had had in Airlie had masked some of the news coming from back home. My mum and Dad who had separated before I left, were getting a divorce. Now I know lots of people will have experienced it at different times in their lives, experiencing it as an adult is a very strange experience.
Being old enough to realise it was for the best, for both parties. But also being old enough to wonder if everything from childhood was a scam. Were the memories of a happy family I had real? I felt very very alone at this point.
I withdrew into myself completely, and in hindsight I think I suffered some form of depression at this point. I would go days not leaving my bed except to eat or use the bathrooms. I went days without speaking to anyone, quite a challenge in a 16 bed dorm. I wonder what the other people in that dorm must have though of me. The weird guy who didn’t talk to anyone or leave his bunk.
This went on for nearly a week. I came very very close to packing it all in and just coming home at this point. I wasn’t homesick, I was just sad and lonely and confused as to why I was like this. I mean I was in Australia, I was travelling, I was doing what I loved. But I couldn’t bring myself to interact with anyone. It was bizarre. I decided that maybe Sydney was the problem so I booked myself a ticket away. A coach to Melbourne.
Ah Melbourne, my favourite city the first time I went to Australia. That would make me feel better.
I booked in at an awesome Hostel I had stayed in before and was set….. luck was against me, I was in a 4 bed room on my own. Not what I needed. I fell back into the same cycle that I had in Sydney. Come on Dan, this isn’t you. You are outgoing, adventurous. Your spontaneous and willing to have loads off fun.
I was saved from the cycle by another friend from Ireland, The friend I had previously stayed with when I went to Melbourne. She came, picked me up and gave me a drive around the city, but she and her boyfriend gave me much needed company and a kick up the ass to sort it all out. The next day moved across the city and found myself a job. Door to Door sales again. I hated the job, but it got me up and out and it got me talking to people again. I met some cool people at the hostel and had a few nights out. I was back to myself. I did a couple of tours or the area surrounding Melbourne, went to Phillip island and saw the penguins.
I did the neighbours tour and went to Ramsey street and went onto the neighbours set. I did the infamous neighbours night in St Kilda, the highlight of which was meeting Carl Kennedy and Libby Kennedy from the show..
I was enjoying myself and enjoying back packing. I saw that Frank Turner was supporting Dropkick Murphys in Adelaide in a few weeks and decided to book tickets to that, to meet up with a friend from Airlie and go to see that. So I knew I was going to Adelaide I just had a few weeks to kill before hand. Now I could have continued working and saving before I went, or I could blow almost all my money on a 2 week tour of Tasmania. Well as I said I was back, so the tour it was.
I flew into Hobart and was immediately struck by the temperature difference. Tasmania receives a nice fresh wind that comes uninterrupted from Antarctica. Its bloody cold when that wind blows. I settled into my hostel and got ready for my tour.
The tour took me all around the island and it was great. Tasmania is beautiful, its a totally different landscape to Australia. At points it looks very English, both the arcetecture and the scenery, at others It looks totally wild, another area and it looks like paradise.
There are rainforests, beach’s, mountains and incredible costal scenery. On top of that there’s lot of wildlife like the Tasmanian Devil alongside other Australian Marsupials. There’s always the excitement of trying to find a Tasmanian Tiger. A breed of dog thought to be extinct. But there are many rumours it isn’t.
I got the chance to climb Cradle Mountain while I was here also. This was a great climb and I really enjoyed it. I always get a great sense of achievement whenever I get to the top of a mountain. Surprisingly I was able to tell everyone on Facebook of my achievement while I was there, as I had signal at the top! That was a real surprise. A mad scramble down that took a fraction of the time getting up took followed.
As I said, I really enjoyed the tour and have some amazing photos from it, however I didn’t really click with anyone on my tour. Mainly as most of the spoke no English, so it wasn’t really that memorable. In all the tours I’ve done, the people have made it. The tour could be the most amazing thing you have ever done, however if the other people on it are dicks, you wont have such a great time.
I left Tasmania pleased that I had been, but frustrated that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should.
I took a flight to Adelaide with the plan of staying a week for the gig and moving on, as my last time in Adelaide hadn’t been great. But travelling has a way of throwing up some real surprises and I think Adelaide threw up the biggest of the lot.