Australia and New Zealand in a Nut Shell: It Changed Me


Inlet Hill Lookout, Australia

I don’t know if its actually possible to put Australia and New Zealand in a nut shell, but I will do my best to summarize my nearly 4 months in Oceania from my perspective, based on the experiences I had, and the places I visited in one blog post. If you have been following my blog then you will have noticed that I have been blogging daily about my journey backpacking through Australia (3 months) and New Zealand (3 weeks). I have been attempting to capture extensively each step of my journey and to explain all of my experiences from the different aspects of the trip.

New Zealand

New Zealand

It has always been my dream to make it to Australia. Finally, at 30 years old I made it to one of my bucket list turquoise destinations. On the way to Australia, I stopped in turquoise Miami and Key West for 2 weeks and on my way home I ended my nearly 5 month trip in mountainous New Zealand for three weeks. The trip was everything I dreamed it would be and more. Everyday I learned something new about the world and about myself. After leaving my home on January 3rd, and not returning home until months and months later, I realized that the traveling life is one worth waiting for. Although I have always traveled throughout the year while in university and during my teaching career, I hadn’t traveled for longer than 6 weeks at a time. After saving up for 6 years and impatiently waiting, my year off finally came. 14 months of exploration was worth the wait.

Blue Mountains, Australia

Blue Mountains, Australia

After 11 destinations in 6 months and nearly halfway through my traveling life, I worked my way to Oceania, with Australia being my first stop. Australia was a place where I completed countless bucket list items including hang gliding over Byron Bay, while visiting some of the world’s most beautiful turquoise destinations like White Haven Beach in the Whitsunday islands. As large as Australia is, I made good ground by spending 6 weeks on the east coast, 10 days on the west coast, and 3 weeks in south east Australia. My hyperactive travel style allowed me to see the best of what Australia had to offer. Not only that, I met new friends in Australia, connected with countless travel bloggers in person and online, discovered new things about myself, and set off for the longest stint of travel I have every experienced.

New Zealand

New Zealand

When I think back about my trip in Australia I instantly get goose bumps reminiscing about all the places I saw and the new experiences I had. I am left wanting to return as if I have left a part of myself in each region I visited. I’ll someday return to regain what I left behind. Leaving part of me behind only means I will gain new parts of myself in the new places I visit. I’ve gained more from my time in Australia than I could have ever left behind. Writing about Australia leaves me speechless; although I have so much to say about my trip I am almost stumped as to where to begin. Writing about each step along the way has made it easier to recap my experiences as a whole, even though I will never truly be able to describe all that I feel. I’ve always tried my best to describe it as I experienced it. Traveling for me is a spiritual experience, connecting me with people, mother nature, wildlife, the ocean, the earth, and beyond what I can see and comprehend. Australia allowed me to be exactly where I needed to be to find out exactly who I am. I have never been so confident. Australia and New Zealand changed me.

Sunset Coast, Australia

Sunset Coast, Australia



35 thoughts on “Australia and New Zealand in a Nut Shell: It Changed Me

  1. What amazing photos. You’re right – it is so hard to put in words how amazing Australia and New Zealand is. Travelling definitely changes you, and for the better. Look forward to reading more posts.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so glad you found me! I’ve gone ahead and followed you so we can stay in touch. I am always excited to connect with other travel bloggers and like minded people. Travel does indeed change you as a person which I guess you probably have experienced. What country changed you the most?
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

      • Hey Jessica, glad I found you too! I love reading posts about wonderful places around the world especially ones which I have experienced as it brings back happy memories! Gosh, that’s a tough question. I think India changed me the most because it completely took me out of my comfort zone, made me very humble and where I met my now husband! 🙂

      • Wow, what a romantic story! I’d love to hear more about it. I’d love to visit India, but for some reason traveling in India alone as a female worries me. Did you did India alone?

      • No I didn’t… I was with 3 other girls. I completely understand what you mean. It can be a very male dominated place and I wouldn’t have been comfortable by myself. You’ll need to persuade a friend to go with you!

  2. Very beautiful images and very beautifully written . The pictures look exquisite , and the way you have expressed your love for traveling juts makes this blog post even more amazing . I am a 22 year old , and one of the biggest dreams is to travel the world someday . I read your blog post and I see those pictures , and it just gives me more strength to hold on to my dreams:)

    • Thank you so much for you well spoken and touching comment. I appreciate the time you took to take a look at my blog and to comment on my recent post. I look forward to future comments.
      Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences! You will get there. No dream is too big. I have always traveled, but it wasn’t until 2013 when I took a year off from my job (after saving up for 5 years) to travel the world full time. The experience has been more than rewarding. When I was 22 I had only visited Canada, Unites States, and the Bahamas. As of today, I have visited 17 countries, and by the end of this summer I will reach 32 countries by my 31st birthday. It’s never too late or too early to start making your dreams a reality. I look forward to hearing more about your journey.
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  3. So much passion in one post! I can even feel all your happiness and feeling of accomplishments… it really makes me even more to visit Australia and NZ. Im sure you will have amazing memories for the rest of your live 🙂

  4. Being a tourist changes nothing, being a traveler changes everything! Thinking your next step could be teaching as an expat in a foreign country … just a thought 😉

      • There are some great options that pay very well. Jajaja, Dominican Republic, well, it’s not one of them. However, if pay isn’t the issue, here, it’s a very worthwhile cause!

      • Something to keep in mind for sure. Although I travel often, my life has ties in Canada since my boyfriend is a pilot for a Canadian company. Canada will always be my home base, but that won’t stop me from traveling long term to beautiful turquoise (and other) destinations.
        Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  5. Loved your post. I came to Australia and New Zealand for my study abroad in college and then came back to NZ ten years later for my dissertation research. I ended up meeting my husband and now live in NZ full time. It’s an amazing place with an amazing landscape! Glad you had such a good time!

    • Thank you so much! Australia and New Zealand are amazing countries aren’t they? Wow, what a romantic story! Do you ever miss your home country or do you feel right at home in New Zealand? Where are you from originally?
      I had the time of my life and I can’t wait to go back!
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  6. Wonderful post on how travel changes us in unimaginably beautiful ways♥

    I felt similarly blessed on a recent trip to Kyoto (Japan) last December.
    Where I would never have imagined travelling to Japan even five years ago, picking up the basics of the language (something I have found I love to do even amidst busy days of teaching work) was a sweet boost to this dream trip.

    I am glad Australia and New Zealand (the latter, a dream destination for me, too) helped you feel blessed, too.
    Thank you for dropping by my craft blog with your warmth and do take good care, too. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the heart-felt and inspiring comment. Traveling changes us and makes us appreciate the world in a way we could have never imagined.

      I haven’t yet explored Asia or that part of the world, but I’d like to make it to that part. How did you enjoy Japan?

      I’m glad that Japan changed you in ways beyond this world the same way that Australia and New Zealand changed me.

      Until our next adventure,
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

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