That Time We Lived Down Under – Part 1

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We’re so excited to finally share our experience with you all from when we lived and worked in Australia for 6 months!!! A work opportunity became available for Ty back in 2011 to work at a VFX company and without hesitation, he took the offer and we put all our stuff in storage, left our car in our friends yard and then we were off to Adelaide, South Australia! It will always be one of the best experiences of our lives. We met so many dope people and made life long friends. We have so much information to share, that we will make this blog post into 2 parts. During our 6 month stay, we traveled to Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, Kangaroo Island & Fiji. We didn’t have enough time to get to Perth & Uluru but maybe one day we will return to that side of the world. Check out Part 1 of our podcast about Australia! We talk about our working life style in Adelaide.

In 2011, we took a 4 day trip to Northern Australia, Cairns which is warm all year round to check out the Great Barrier Reef and to learn about native culture in Australia. At Tjapukai Cultural Center(pronounced Jah-Koo-Pie) we participated in a few activities like boomerang throwing. It’s a technique used for hunting. Our boomerangs did not return to us but it was all good though! We also got to paint our own boomerangs and take it home as a souvenir! It was cool to be a participant rather than an observer. Have you ever tossed a boomerang before?

Ty had the opportunity to try out a didgeridoo! He used to play the saxophone and had to use much more lung capacity to play. After a few minutes he got the hang of it and was able to get the rhythm going. It’s not easy and this one was also hella heavy! It was such a cool experience that we ended up buying a small one for ourselves to take home. Have you ever tried to play the didgeridoo? During our day trip to Tjapukai, we spotted one performer who looked like he could be related to Ty. We couldn’t help but stare at him and take second looks whenever we saw him around the facility. So finally we went up to him and told him how much they look alike! He is Australian born and Ty is American born but we all are connected to Africa aka the Motherland in some shape or form. Ty had a DNA test done recently and his dominant genes are Ghanaian. So maybe our aboriginal friend has West African roots too. Have you ever met your doppelgänger while traveling? If so we’d love to know where and if you actually spoke with them!⠀

Have you ever been to a wildlife park with kangaroos? Cleland Wildlife Park just outside of Adelaide had so many Roos, thousands of them! We were scared at first when we walked in to enclosure because the wooden gate was only 3 feet high and kangaroos can jump mad high! But then we realized the Roos just like to chill and be petted and fed. They love to get their belly rubs just like dogs! This mum here wouldn’t let her get to close to her joey but it was cool, we found plenty of other joeys to play with.

This pretty little kangaroo was working the camera at Cleland Wildlife Park. We saw thousands of kangaroos, exotic birds, wombats and koalas. We loved it so much that we visited the park twice during our time in Australia. Shay was slaying in her Aussie inspired outfit but her boots were covered in mud within minutes! So we highly recommend proper outdoor shoes during your visit and be prepare to pet hundreds of kangaroos and fall in love with a new species!⠀

We were excited to have many opportunities to see koalas! Holding a cuddly koala was a dream come true for Shay & we held quite a few throughout our visit in Australia. We learned that you can’t just pick them up and expect them to love you. They have long talons and need to be calm. They do not like louds sounds or sudden movements. So you have to keep your ‘Oohs’ and ‘Awws’ to yourself. Also, they aren’t actually bears, they are marsupials. Cleland Wildlife Park does an amazing job at protecting these adorable animals.

Our visit to the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. will forever be cherished. Its so sad to read articles about how 90% of the reef is destroyed due to global warming. The small increase in the ocean temperature is quite drastic to coral reefs. During our visit, the boat tour provided an extensive amount of facts about the Great Barrier Reef and how it is endangered. We hope that you are able to visit this massive wonder of the worlds while there is still time.

During our 2day trip to Sydney, we took a day tour to see as many sights as we could! Our first stop was the Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains. Since it was really early in the morning, you could really see the blue atmosphere on the mountains! It was a stunning sight to see. During our tour we also stopped to Featherdale Zoo to play with Kangaroos and hold a koala, Ty even held a baby crocodile! The tour ended with a short river sunset boat cruise back to Sydney Harbour.

Out of all the Australian cities we visited, we enjoyed Melbourne the most. There was so much to do and it was very easy to get around on the train. We loved the arts scene and the cool vibes. We spent a short 2 day trip in the city and the highlight was the Eureka Sky Deck. We got the chance to see the city from above and it was so dope! During our stay, we also checked out the Melbourne Museum and the National Gallery of Victoria and the Queen Victoria Market.

During our last few days in Australia, we took a 2 day trip with our co-worker and friend Aaron to Kangaroo Island. To this day, it was the best group tour we have ever experienced. We booked with a company called Groovy Grape. It included a small tour bus, ferry ride and hostel stay with our group. Our guide JR was THE best! During the overnight stay we prepped dinner together with our tour group outside on the barbeque and even took a night stroll to a beach to see the night time penguins. We are still FB friends with a few people from the group. If we ever we went back, we would go in the summer time, that way we would be able to enjoy the warm water in the beach. We went during winter so the water was ice cold! During our next post, we will highlight our wedding anniversary trip to Fiji and check our our podcast where we chat about how we had the opportunity to move to Australia for work and travel. Until next time, Happy Trekking!

-Ty & Shay

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