When I first moved to Australia a little under eighteen months ago, I knew very little of what was to lie ahead. I knew I’d be completing yoga teacher training with Power Living, and that I’d be living in Bondi, and sure, I had hopes and dreams for what was to come; but while some materialised, others didn’t.
I thought I’d stay for six months, maybe twelve, before packing up my room and returning to my life in London, with a heavy heart, a case full of memories that would last a lifetime, and a rose-tinted hue of nostalgia cloaking my time down under.
But, as the story goes, despite it being a rockier ride than I ever could have anticipated; I’m still here, still standing, still just about sane. And while I have no set plan; nor any idea how long I’ll call Sydney my home; one thing’s for sure – I want to make the most of Australia for as long as I’m here.
At the beginning of the year, I vowed to travel more; and while I was lucky enough to visit Byron Bay five times last year I know there’s more to Australia than this hippy slice of heaven that I so love. And so, when I recently read about the 12 Trip Challenge, over on The Travel Hack, I decided to sign up.
The challenge is thus: take 12 new trips in 2017 – one a month if you wish to be pedantic. Far from being a costly exercise, it encourages partakers to play tourist in their own home, discover pockets of one’s city they otherwise might have missed, and to venture into the great outdoors to experience life beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone.
No stranger to a challenge since finishing the BBC Big Read, there’s little more satisfying than setting oneself a goal for the year and diligently ticking the metaphorical boxes off. While I predominantly write about books, since moving to Australia I’ve ventured into the world of travel writing, and the 12 Trip Challenge will allow me to naturally evolve this into a more travel-focused blog.
I’m yet to plan the 12 places to which I will travel; but I’ll be kicking off the challenge by kayaking on the Hawkesbury River this coming Australia Day with friends. As for the rest; who knows? But one thing’s for sure: here’s hoping for an adventure-filled 2017.
Are you taking part in the 12 Trip Challenge? I’d love to hear about your travel plans for the year ahead over on Facebook or Twitter and any suggestions you might have for must-see places to visit in Australia and beyond.
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