After an epic 6 months I came home to the UK for a month while I processed my visa for Australia. The one place I had been dreaming of visiting since I was young.

Like anything when you are waiting, time goes really slowly and I seem to be holding my breath for an eternity! December 1998 my visa came through, my flight was booked and I was back in Heathrow airport waiting for the longest flight I had ever been on. I cant actually remember where I stopped but I think it was Singapore. This is when the fear set in. No one would be meeting me the other end. I wouldn’t have a job to go too and I didn’t even have accommodation booked! After around 24 hours of flying I finally landed in Sydney. The warmth on my skin should of cheered me up but I had whipped myself into feelings of terror. If I could of turned around and boarded the flight home, I would of. It honestly took all my strength and will power to go through immigration and luggage and customs.

Standing on the pavement not having a clue what to do I had a stern word with myself and asked someone how to get to the only place I had listed…..central Youth Hostel in the middle of Sydney. AS I travelled on the bus, my excitement began to return and I thought all will be ok. I wasn’t prepared for the hostel to say they had no rooms for me! I stood there not knowing what to do and started to cry! Thank heavens the person took pity on me and rang around a few places and found a shared room for me on the beach just north of the city. Directed me to the bus stop and wished me luck. Like most thing, everything happened for a reason. I got there as another girl was checking and would be sharing with me. Geraldine, from Ireland, had never travelled away from home, let alone on her own. We formed an instant bond, and reassured each other , we had made the right decision and all would be ok. After all we had done the hard bit of leaving and arriving on the other side of the planet…….

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