Monthly Review

MONTHLY REVIEW / May 2017: Driving around Australia

31 May 2017

Another new item on The Wandering Mind, a monthly review. The Two-week diaries I started with this month are doing a great job, but it’s still fun to look back at the good and the bad of last month, right? So we will start off with the month May.  

This month was just crazy. We saw and did so many things. Maybe a little bit too much to be honest. Nowadays I prefer to travel a bit slower and to stay in one place a bit longer. That was way different before. First I always wanted to see everything, but I taught myself to experience the world without having the annoying feeling to miss out on things. I simply can’t see everything the world has to offer. But slow travel wasn’t really working out for us in May, except of the last days.

Where have we been?

Still in Australia! To be more precisely around the Great Ocean Road, in the Grampians, on Tasmania and in Sydney. Especially Tasmania was amazing and we spent almost the entire month on this stunning island. It’s so different than the rest of Australia and we were sad to leave this place.

Top three favorite places

I tried to write down one favorite place, but then I realized one thing: that would be simply IMPOSSIBLE. Choosing three favorite places is already a tough task, but it gives me a little bit more space to at least try it. I really had to think about it and I am still quite not sure if i do agree with my own top three, but I had to make a decision in the end. Here we go:

Cradle Mountain
Our first destination on Tasmania and also one of the most beautiful places. From dusk to dawn, everything we saw here was simply stunning and we enjoyed the sunshine and the nature so much. A must see!

Cape Hauy
The feeling you just reached the end of the world. That’s how it feels when you’re standing on top of Cape Hauy, watching the waves smash into the cliffs while knowing that the next destination would be Antarctica if you cross the ocean. Amazing how small you can feel while being on such a powerful place.

Teddy’s Lookout
A winding road next to an amazing turquoise sea. The road from Lorne towards the west is one you simply don’t want to miss. We started with the lookout at Teddy’s Lookout before starting the drive on the road. Stunning.

Favorite place to sleep

I straight away have to think back to Bay of Fires. Waking up while the orange light of the rising sun is shining into our car, to put on your shoes to run to the beach to see the sun rise above the horizon. Hearing breaking waves that give nothing but an easeful sound. Seeing thousands of stars shining bright in the night when you leave the car. I can continue on for a while, but I think you get the picture. O, and the Pickled Frog in Hobart. A comfortable bed and a hot shower next to the door can be great sometimes as well.

Kilometers we drove

We drove around 3800 kilometers in May. Oops. That was a lot; on average we drove around 120 kilometers a day. In total we drove already more than 16.000 kilometers with our van. Holy crap. That means that we could have driven the whole country around while I have the feeling we have just seen a little piece of Australia. Fun fact: we could have driven far into Mongolia and back from our hometown in the Netherlands. That’s what I mean.
Monthly review, Bay of Fires, mei

Nicest meal

To be really honest: I don’t really like the Australian food in general. A lot of restaurants, especially when you’re outside the cities, only serve hamburgers, fries and pizza. Ugh. But not at Harvest Trail in Halls Gap. For the first time since a while we visited this really nice and comfortable lunchroom with amazing food. My choice was a steak sandwich. Typical Australian, but made with ciabatta bread, homemade tomato chutney and roasted baby potatoes. Delicious! In Coogee Beach I also had some amazing food: a wood oven pizza with anchovies, capers and olives.

Good to read

The Gifts of Imperfection from Brené Brown. For years I am dragging around an e-reader while I am traveling but I still don’t read as much as I would like to. I haven’t finish this one either yet, but so far I like it. A positive book about embracing your own imperfections.

Not so good this month

I started to write this blog a couple of days before this month finished and the only disadvantage I could think of was camping with -3°C. Yes, if that is the worst thing that can happen to you, there is not much to complain about, right? Too bad. We brought our car to a garage for a general check and we ended up with a bill from around $ 2000,-. Turned out there were a few things to repair. We haven’t fixed it yet, neither paid the bill. We brought the car to another garage for a second opinion. On the same day we found out that the Australian Government silently changed some rules for backpackers and now we suddenly still have to pay $ 3000,- tax when we leave the country. Where could I find that rainbow with a pot of gold again?

Plans for next month

Honestly, no idea! And that’s not a joke. A couple of days ago we arrived in Sydney and FINALLY we are taking a break from driving around. In two days we drove from the harbor in Melbourne to Sydney with the idea of going to some better and especially warmer weather. We were so sick and tired of the cold, haha. Especially when we saw all the pictures of people back home having barbecues in sunny weather. Slightly jealous? A little bit. But however, the most logical decision now would be to travel up the east coast. Logical, yes, but we don’t always like logical, so if we are really going to do that, that’s the question. First we want to have our car back anyway…
Monthly review, Bay of Fires, mei

The Wandering Mind

And how did things work out for my blog and work? Pretty good actually. After a little breakdown in April, May turned out to be so much better. That little breakdown was not because I was out of inspiration or something, but because I barely had internet. Sorry to say it but the internet connection is simply shit in Australia. But in May I had more opportunities to write and more people visited my blog. Awesome! I also took some time to do some work for Dutch publish companies. I had to be a little bit creative to work on some assignments, but it worked out and it’s fun to work on a Dutch book while being on the other side of the world.

What did I publish

This month I started with my two-week diaries and I published two of them. Next to that I wrote an article about bars in Melbourne, the graffiti lanes in Melbourne and five places along the Great Ocean Road. I always try to write my articles in both Dutch and English. This last month didn’t work out that well for the English versions and I could only translate the Great Ocean Road one. But, keep in touch! I will translate the rest soon!

Most populair article

By far the article Five Great Ocean Road Highlights. It was shared by the official Great Ocean Road Tourism Organisation on both Facebook and Twitter and I got so much good response on it. Awesome!

The pictures in this article are taken at Bay of Fires by my boyfriend Daan with his Drone. They look awesome, right?!

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