I love everything about them and their culture and sport. My trip to Western Australia brought me back to my teenage years when all I wanted was to live by the beach and be in the water everyday….who am I kidding…I still want that.
I have a thing for surfing. Which is weird because I’m from Canada…not the coast where there is a potential for surfing, but from Ontario…the part of Canada no where close to an ocean, or even to waves remotely surf-able. I think my love for it all came from my summers being spent at Sauble Beach….closest thing to an ocean Ontario would get. I had pictures of surfers, beaches and the ocean on my walls of my bedroom at my cottage and imagined having little blonde surfer babies when I grew up.
It’s amazing how some hopes and dreams get bogged down as you get older and how it only takes one moment for all of those past dreams to come flooding back.
The first round of holidays here in Australia have just come and gone and during them I took a trip to Western Australia…in particular to Perth with a few day trips centred from there. We took a trip down to Margaret River and as soon as arriving in the little town I knew I would love it. We explored around a little bit and the eventually found our “resort”…which was actually a little surfers hostel just across the road from the beach. As it turns out Margaret River was hosting a surfing competition for the week/weekend that we were there…unfortunately there was no surfing going on the day we arrived but we could still walk around the venue…and there were a few surfers out in the water. I spent a good amount of time snapping pictures and just enjoying the peace that a beach and ocean give me.
After Margaret River (and a bout of Gastro that Simon had to endure) we drove back to the city and I explored while Simon recovered. The next day we took a ferry to Rottnest Island and explored by bike and rented some snorkel gear. We also signed up for a trip out on a boat to find some off island snorkelling areas. When we got to the destination our guide mentioned that there was an Australian Sea Lion sighted and that we might have a chance to see him in the water…well my animal loving eyes found him straight away and off we went into the water to play and swim with him. Seriously one of the most amazing moments of my life…I could have reached out and touched him, that’s how close I was. Unbelievable.
After our adventure across the island it was back to Perth on the ferry and my turn for Gastro. Awesome. My last day on vacation in Western Australia was spent in our hotel room bed, not being able to move. Oh well…Simon got to explore and he took some pictures to share with me.
All in all it was an amazing trip, regardless of all the vomiting, and I would highly recommend to anyone to take a trip to Western Oz.
I hated being one and then decided to spend my life teaching them and being surrounded by them on a daily basis…a LOT of people ask ‘why’?!
It’s difficult to explain, and I don’t know what it says about me, but, I just get them. Yes they can be gross. Yes they can be rude. But what a lot of people don’t see is that most of them are amazing. I’ve had my run in with some very unpleasant, rude, mean spirited and sly teens (and I’m positive I have had dealings with their future grown up selves) but when you look deep inside, and really get to know them, teenagers are inspiring. They are dealing with an incredible amount of pressure and are still trying to develop emotionally…it is the time in their lives where their adult coping skills are being developed while at the same time having to deal with their still present internal little kid. I have the greatest respect for the struggle they face on a daily basis.
Just over a month ago, I had the pleasure of joining my homeroom year 9 group on their camp. (In Australia each year group goes on a camp for a few days during the year…I LOVE this idea and wish we did this at home but due to numbers it’s near impossible). It was an intense week (16km canoe, 20km hike and a 50km bike ride) and there was whinging and some not-so-shining-stars…but I came away completely inspired by my group of eighteen 14 year olds. They were challenged both physically and mentally but they came together as a group and made it through…and as an outcome, a much stronger group because of it.
I am so incredibly happy that I got to experience Australian camp and even more so because I got to experience it with so many outstanding human beings.
My friend and I packed up and went for a drive Saturday morning and we headed to a small town in central Victoria for some hiking…or ‘bush walking’.
We wanted to get to a place called Hanging Rock but upon arriving the park ranger was turning people away as he was closing up early due to weather conditions…the dry, hot temperatures (at or above 40 for pretty much the entire time I’ve been out here) had cause a total fire ban for the state and was great cause for concern for that particular park. He was helpful though and directed us to another park that was open so off we went…staying cautious of the conditions.
We explored a very nice wooded area (with a very short walk) near Mount Macedon and then had a lovely drive through the town named the same. Still wondering where to get in another hike, we eventually found the Camel’s Hump and proceeded on a short, but very steep, hike up to the top. We were about 1km up and the view was amazing!!
We continued to explore in the park and found Memorial Cross which has a strong history as a monument to a fallen solider in WWI. Very beautiful location with another gorgeous view.
After exploring and cleaning up we headed off to dinner in the tiny town of Macedon and ate at a local restaurant called Olive Jones and had a very entertaining night! When we were getting out of the car we heard live music and decided, even with the heat, we would sit outside in the garden to listen to the music…well it turned out the music was a one man karaoke singer who enjoyed his own jokes and dancing like a fool to his singing. Simon and I made a pact…”no eye contact”!! It was funny and a good night all around….even if it did take 2 hours to order, eat and pay!
It was an excellent start to my adventure here and I am looking forward to many other road trips and trips in general!
I have been getting rides into work since I have started and I am not one to be reliant on others so I figured I best get used to riding and get familiar with where I need to go. It has also been crazy hot here so getting a lift to work has been a blessing.
I set out yesterday to get a handle on the bike that was left for me. Headed into town and stopped by the local bike shop to search for a lock and a basket. YES…a basket. I will be riding to work mainly and my school bag has been incredibly heavy this first week (and I can’t see it getting any better) so I thought I would need a little extra storage…plus…with it being this hot I will need to shower every morning when I get to work!
Anyway…I thought I would take you on a little tour of what my bike ride looked like today…I didn’t video my trip into work but I will do that this week and I will also do a little video of my new work surroundings as well!
It is 3:20pm here and 42 degrees Celsius…when the wind blows it just makes you hotter because the wind is also 42 degrees!! I have honestly never felt heat like this. I am grateful it is a very dry heat…and I am also very grateful for air-conditioning!!!
I’ve talked about it enough but definitely my teaching exchange. More importantly I’m really looking forward to being ready to go. All the packing, cleaning an organizing I’m not looking forward to but having it all done and being relaxed and ready I’m looking forward to the most.
I’m also incredibly looking forward to seeing my friends again and continuing my friendships.
Crazy that it’s only 19 days till I leave!!
What is on your agenda that you’re looking forward to?!