30 July 2014

Travel Inspiration: Ayesha & The Koala Experience

What seems like a lifetime ago, I used to work in an office. Riveting, I know. Working 9 to 5, I would take my six weeks holiday every year and travel here and there – Greece for a week, Amsterdam for the weekend – a couple of times I freaked my friends out as I hopped over to Bahrain and Beirut.
But when my older sister Ayesha decided to set off on a yearlong wanderlust tour of the Far East, Australia and New Zealand – it made me think how amazing it would be to jet off to the other side of the world, breathe new air and tread new earth. I itched to shake off the dust that seemed to be ever-gathering on my shoulders as I twirled endlessly on my swivel-chair, churning out magazine feature ideas like a machine. I was running nowhere on a treadmill of a career that seemed to only build stamina to ensure I could stand it a bit longer (in other words, too many beauty freebies held me in my job).
I distinctly remember hearing my sister’s story where in Brisbane, Australia, she “cried from cuteness” as she held a furry little koala bear, and felt his squidgy soft arms on her shoulders.
Instant travel inspiration!

When I made my dream come true, and stepped off the plane in Brisbane, I had an action plan in mind with a mere two-point checklist:
1. Hold that koala like he’s never been held before.
2. Get acquainted with a couple of kangaroos.

And so I proceeded to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, in the grassy, beautifully rural suburbs of Brisbane. I caught a bus early in the morning, and sat buzzing with energy inspired by anticipation. I am going to hold an. actual. koala. bear.

On arrival, I beelined it straight to the enclosure which allows weirdos like me to get up close with the bears. Feeling like the female equivalent of David Attenborough, wishing I had my own animal TV show and imagining how ridiculous I might sound on TV, I waited in line to hold my koala.
And then the moment when the squishy little guy was plopped into my arms and my hands disappeared against his furry little bum...
Without the slightest exaggeration, this is something I recommend everyone do at least once in your life. It is a must. Yes, okay, it’s a must that lasts 10 minutes and happens to be located at the other end of the world, but for those able – DO IT. DO IT NOW!

Having completed mission one and successfully stalked one poor bear out of his eucalyptus tree, I then marched into a field full of kangaroos, armed with edibles, and ready to make the acquaintance of an unsuspecting (or rather, totally suspecting, will-take-pictures-for-food type) kangaroo.

I can only thank my amazing sister for inspiring the idea above.

Here’s the evidence that I made it to Oz!

Evidence I’m definitely not stuck in an office any more!

Evidence that free beauty products do not inspire more than real experiences.

And evidence that I love my career change.  It was the best thing I ever did.

Love from Aussie Dolly x

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