When people think of Australia, people usually think of sun.
Lots and lots of sun.
They think of beaches and bikinis and lying around and tanning.
They think of paradise.
However, Australia indeed has a winter.
(And, yes, for those of you who are wondering, there is such a thing as winter in Australia. I certainly fell under the myth that this country is warm all year round. It’s not. Sometimes it can get really cold here. Like, really, really cold. I didn’t pack really warm clothes with me because of this myth. Trust me when I say that winter in Australia is a real thing.)
About three months ago I landed at the Sydney International Airport right in the very beginning of autumn. After awhile it started getting colder. I started to get annoyed.
I think it was because of a few different reasons.
1) I just came from a really bad Chicago winter and I was looking forward to nice weather.
2) I, like many people, fell under the myth that Australia is warm all year round. Again, it’s not. Trust me, it’s not.
3) Because of reason #2, I didn’t pack many warm clothes with me. And walking around with the only hoodie you brought with you in freezing cold isn’t the most pleasant way to spend your holiday.
After 5 weeks in Sydney, I decided to move to Brisbane.
Brisbane is one of those bipolar cities that gets really cold in the morning, really hot in the day time, and really cold in the evening. While I enjoyed some of my time in Brisbane, I didn’t need to spend two months of my life there.
After working a really crappy job with a really crappy situation for a few weeks (more on this in a future blog post – promise!), I decided to quit and go somewhere else.
It was somewhere where I’ve wanted to go for a long time, but I was avoiding it because of the cold.
Yes, Melbourne – a beautiful city filled with art, culture, coffee and music.
Melbourne—a city that I could possibly fall in love with.
Melbourne—a city that’s really cold during Australia’s winter.
I knew this but I said: “Screw it, I’m from Chicago,” and bought a jacket and a plane ticket.
Of course, everyone that I told in Brisbane where I was going gave me crazy looks. I even met a guy from a travel agency who gave me his card and told me to call him so he can talk some “sense” into me and not travel to Melbourne during the winter.
I never called him. I had already made up my mind.
You see, normal people travel up north and chase the sun.
Normal people visit Melbourne in the summer.
Normal people do what everyone else does.
But you see, I’ve never considered myself to be normal.
After being in Australia for a little over three months, I’ve learned so much about myself. I’m discovering what kind of travel I like and don’t, what kind of a person I am, and what I really want out of this experience.
Travel isn’t always about chasing the sun.
Travel is about what you make it to be.
Travel is about experiencing a country for all that it is—not just the sunny parts.
And, besides, this is my journey. What good would I be doing myself if I did what everyone else thinks I should do?
Travel the way you want. Not the way others think you should. You don’t have to chase the sun because everyone else is. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do.
Travel isn’t always about chasing the sun. (Though a little sun here and there doesn’t hurt.)
*More blog posts coming your way!
*My journey is just beginning