Terra Australis / by Rebecca Tillett


I recently returned from a 2-week trip to Australia. Officially, this was my 4th time there but only the 3rd visit I remember (I was too young to remember visit no. 1) . My mom's Australian and I maintain dual citizenship. This is beneficial to me in that if I ever wanted to live in Australia, I could but even better? I get to zip right through Customs lines as a citizen on my way into Australia AND the States! ;) It was a good trip and it was nice to reconnect with family I rarely get the chance to see. Both my husband and my mom traveled with me and in all, we visited Brisbane, Townsville, Ayr (my mom's hometown), The Whitsundays, and Sydney. This was my first time in the big cities as well as the Whitsundays and it was all so spectacular.

Highlights and memorable moments from Australia:

1. Seeing the cutest animals in existence at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary // 2. The beautiful ride on the City Cat down the Brisbane River at sunset // 3. Taking silly stupid photos in one of the strangest photobooths I've ever encountered with my friends // 4. Riding in the car with my husband as he drives on the opposite side of the car and the road for the first time in his life // 5. Not feeling surprised that he pulled it off beautifully (is there anything that boy can't do?) // 6. My grandma's delicious caramel pie (I could have eaten the entire thing) // 7. Dinner and drinks with friends and family at my uncle Scott and aunt Amanda's house // 8. Beautiful warm winter nights // 9. Spending time with cousins I've never known // 10. Cane fires // 11. Being asked by my 16 year-old cousin Stacey to speak to some of her friends "because they've never heard an American accent in person." // 12. Feeling special for the first time in my life for having an American accent // 13. Fish and chips // 14. Pies and Pasties // 15. Snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef // 16. Soaking up the warm sun on Whithaven Island in the Whitsundays and wishing I never had to leave // 17. Laughing to myself as an Australian tourist from Melbourne asks my husband if it's okay to read my back-tattoo // 17. Sunset at Arlie Beach // 18. The most beautiful trees I've ever seen in my life // 19. Spending a Sunday night at McDonald's in the tiniest town ever just trying to snag some WiFi with a bazillion other people // 20. Looking for late-night food in Sydney and accidentally ending up in Chinatown (unfortunately we didn't want korean or chinese and that's all that was open) // 21. No crispy bacon // 22. Seeing the Opera House in person for the first time ever. // 23. Some more of the most beautiful trees I've ever seen (Hills Figs - my new favorite tree) // 24. Sydney street performers // 25. Finding a 24-hour restaurant when everything else was closing down // 26. Learning things about my dad I never knew // 27. Learning things about my mom I never knew // 28. Taking photos from airplanes // 29. Marveling at all the water // 30. Saying goodbye to my second homeland but not for good!