21 hours later I’ve travelled over half way round the world and hit Cairns, the coast of the great barrier reef. Early in the morning the pilot tells the passengers the heat is 32 degrees outside. When I walked off the plane and made my way towards passport control I thought of the problems I would get for being yet another backpacker making my way into their country. Minutes later I was through with not a single question asked, not even my visa number. I guess most travellers come through Sydney first. At least my Waitrose chocolate shortbread biscuits were saved!

I couldn’t say where my first choice would be in Australia as I’ve never really considered it a country that I’ve longed to visit, however with such great opportunities out here, amazing weather, cool lifestyle and my brother who I hadn’t seen in six years I couldn’t not take the offer. I’d say Cairns is a pretty amazing first place to start.

The first time seeing my brother Ben for a very long time was surreal. Having not had him around whilst in my teen years to him suddenly there standing in front of me in Australia was the weirdest feeling. In his head I was still a 13 year old girl on her way to school, to suddenly see me aged 22 was a shock.

The preparation and departure to Cairns was a lot easier this time round, in comparison to SA, knowing I had a home to go to, the comfort and safety of my brother. We arrived at his house, surrounded by palm trees, vines, cane toads and the kookaburra squawking. It’s tropical paradise here. On the edge of rainforests, sugar cane fields, mountains and rivers I can really understand why Ben has stayed out here. The freedom to go off fishing in the river, or hunting for pigs in the bush, walking along the beach, swimming in his pool really is a completely different lifestyle to what he would have in England.

After two days with no sleep I spent most of my first day relaxing at my brothers.



For the next five weeks Ben has training in town rather than travelling to the mines for two weeks, which is great for me as it allows me time to get to know him again and spend the weekends exploring Cairns with him.

After work he showed me the sugar cane fields that surround the area. Here we took his two dogs, Izzy and Milly for a walk. This place is so beautiful. Everything is so vibrant and green from it being wet season. Not that I have experienced the rain yet. Its been perfect weather so far, the heat is bearable but extremely humid.

I feel like I’m on holiday. Well I guess I am.

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