Storytelling Sunday – Australia ~ Moments That Last

Hello, and welcome.

Every first Sunday of the month many bloggers join Sian at From High in the Sky, to tell tales and read stories. If you’d like to join in then see Storytelling Sunday here, and then dive into a world of enchanting, amusing, and intriguing tales.

As I mentioned in my Month in Numbers post for February, my sister was here for a long visit last month, after returning from her travels in Australia. She was inspired to go on the trip because I did, and she’s wanted to ever since I told her of my adventures there, with my friend Mehalah. It’s been a long time coming – my trip was 11 years ago when I was 18 (she’s 9 years younger than me, so she went at age 20). And since my travels in Oz took place before I began scrapbooking, I thought I’d share a few of my memories today – the moments that have lasted in my mind.

1. The first time I saw an emu ~ my great aunt took us away for a couple of days, and when we arrived at the caravan park, we drove (slowly) past an emu, with me gawping up at this bird that was so much bigger than the car we were in. I snapped this one that was sitting down later. It made me feel small and young, and a little bit scared to be around such a big animal that I’d never seen before. Though these feeling were probably assisted by the fact that I’d not long got off my first ever aeroplane journey, to travel for the first time without parents or a school teacher!

2. Snorkelling at the great barrier reef ~ I had never been snorkelling before and I was immediately hooked by the beautiful underwater scenes. It’s a kind of magic to see so many colours under the water. We had a short ‘test’ dive that day too which I did not enjoy, it made me feel panicked to have to think about my breathing. I’m on the right:

3. This pool ~ was at a hostel in Mission Beach, where we stayed for Christmas. It’s memorable for me because I had such fun with new friends here. And the moment that has stuck with me was from swimming in it at 1.30am, under the stars, and one of my new friends teaching me how to find the Orion constellation. Whenever I see Orion now I think of that moment, when I was shown it on the other side of the world, by a friend who was from Canada. It symbolises for me the vastness of our Earth.

4. New friends ~ I made lots of great friends when travelling, a couple of whom I still talk to on Facebook. I loved it because until then I hadn’t really met many people ouside of my little bubble of school friends. It was amazing to chat to so many people from different countries and of different ages. It definitely helped to bring me out of my shell.

5. Horse riding ~ Our only adventure away from the coast, we spent a few days on a cattle farm. We rode horses, rounded up the cattle, and learnt what life was like for the family there, away from the sunshine coast. Quieter, more basic, but still very stunning.
6. Fraser Island ~ Ah, Fraser Island. I saved the best until last. So many little stories could be told about our few days camping there, like how I lost my only shoes and had to walk with sarongs tied to my feet because the sand was so hot, or about having to take someone with a torch to watch your back if you needed to go ‘use the bushes’ in the night – otherwise a dingo might bite your bum. But the real thing about it all was the impact the place had on me – there was beauty at every turn. Even beauty from off this world – at night we’d sit and watch the amazing sunset, and then, when the stars came out, I could see more of them than I’d ever seen in my whole life, because there was no light pollution there. The view of the milky way blew me away. The awed feeling that I had in my heart that trip has always stayed with me, whenever I’m staring out of my windows at rainy buildings, I can shut my eyes and be back at that beach, with adventure at my fingertips:
There we go, my story of my travels in Australia. Thank you to Mehalah who’s idea it was to go on the trip, and who was brilliant fun to travel with! 
Sorry this was such a long post, wth lots of little stories in one, thank you very much for reading if you’ve made it to here. I’m pleased to say my sister enjoyed her adventure just as much as I did. Obviously her trip was very different, but she has many magical moments to remember like I do. I’ll definietly have to get this into a scrapbook!
Bye for now, x
  • I really enjoyed your anthology of short stories Jennifer…what lovely memories you have…I am always overawed by our world on starry nights!Alison xx

    March 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm
  • Fab memories! We didnt’ get to Fraser Island but managed to make it to the Whitsunday Islands and I know EXACTLY what you mean about the Milky Way. I said “WOAHHHHH where did all those stars come from???” – just amazing what you can see without light pollution. I need to get my Ozzy memories scrapped before I forget them, five years ago since I went aged 23

    March 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm
  • i too loved my brief trip to Australia Jennifer. I did Sydney, Melbourne, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. It was amazing,Jo xxxx

    March 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm
  • Oh how I love your stories Jennifer – brings back many memories. Like you we visited Aus when we were young and before scrapbooking days. Snorkeling on the reef is amazing – we suba dived too…have to say i must preferred the snorkeling x

    March 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm
  • What a great post, Jennifer! Your trip to Australia certainly sounds special – how lovely that your sister was able to experience it for herself. My first trip away was also at 18. I went to Scandinavia, with a friend, for 3 weeks of travelling around by rail and camping at some amazing places. It is something I still remember now, with many happy memories. I also went to Shetland, when in my 20’s. You mentioned all the stars you could see, on Fraser Island. We stayed on Foula, which is a tiny island in the Atlantic, West of Mainland Shetland. It’s so isolated and has no street lighting and very few inhabitants. I had never seen “real darkness” until we stayed there. The sky on a clear night was breathtaking. Like you, I still remember this, when I’m gazing up at the stars on a clear night – and I remember that there are so, so many more of them out there… A great post, lovely memories – and you have nudged a few memories of my own – thank you!

    March 4, 2012 at 2:57 pm
  • Wonderful set of stories

    March 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm
  • I loved this Jennifer – not too long at all! I felt like I was there with you, especially on Fraser Island. I can relate to the feeling of being away from home and meeting new people, too! Thanks for sharing,Rinda (who really, really wants to visit Australia)

    March 4, 2012 at 5:44 pm
  • It sounds like an amazing trip, and it’s great that you can remember it in so much detail. No doubt your experience inspired your sister to go too. I hope I can visit Australia one day too.

    March 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm
  • Oh it all sounds wonderful and makes me want to visit Australia. 🙂

    March 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm
  • Please, please don’t apologise – your collection of stories (“anthology” is a perfect word!) is wonderful. I just love it when I find out about an adventure in someone’s past and this certainly was an adventure. Love it.

    March 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm
  • Hi Jennifer!I would highly recommend that you do give Dante’s works a read if you get the chance. I’m studying it as an Italian student so am lucky(?) enough to get to wade through the original but if you are looking for a translation then can I suggest either Kirkpatrick/Hollander? Robert Durling has a brilliant edition full of explanatory notes but may be less of a leisurely read IYKWIM! I loved your entry for SS, I am pining to go to Australia myself in the near future. Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with several little stories in one post 🙂

    March 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm
  • I am glad you enjoyed your trip down here to Australia, I love hearing the experiences of people who visit us – we take for granted our own country sometimes!

    March 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm
  • I loved reading about the memories of your travels in Australia – a place I have wanted to visit for a very long time!!! Some day…Thank you for your thoughtful comment on my blog today, Jennifer. I’m glad you have such a sweet relationship with your grandfather, and it’s interesting that he and my grandpa have a similar history.

    March 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm
  • I love all your stories about your special trip, it sounds like it was amazing x

    March 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm
  • Thanks for sharing your memories. I’d love to visit that country someday.Cheers from France

    March 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm
  • your adventures sound amazing thanks so much for painting such a wonderful picture xxx

    March 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm
  • Its a beautiful way of remembering the wonderful trip you made, Jennifer. Those memories are so awesome. Such wonderful experiences.Thank you for sharing, visiting my blog and commenting.

    March 5, 2012 at 4:12 am
  • I love all the photographs you have shown about your exciting visit to Australia. What an adventure for you and your friend. Thank you for sharing the experience.

    March 5, 2012 at 1:14 pm
  • Australia is truly amazing, isn’t it? I’ve been to different parts of Oz than you, so it was lovely to read about the other bits!

    March 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm
  • Oh, so many great memories all associated with one place – thanks for sharing with us and giving us a flavor for Australia.

    March 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm
  • What an adventure! Lovely photos.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:22 am
  • That brought back some fond memories for me too. I spent my birthday on Fraser Island. The cattle ranch you mention there, wasn’t Myella by any chance was it?

    March 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm

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