Friday, 7 December 2018

Catch-ups with Selfie Girl

"You will be exactly as happy as you decide to be"

Oh would you look, Selfie Girl is back in the keyboard! 

Ok, so it's been a little while since I've been on so I thought I would do a little catch-up post, just to give you a little update on where I am, how things have been and all that kind of thing. So, let's get into it.

Where am I?

I'm currently living in Sydney, staying with some family. I moved from Brisbane to Sydney in the middle of November. During my last week or two, I was feeling really bittersweet about leaving Brisbane. As it was the first city I arrived to when I came to Australia, it will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason and it's filled with some many incredible memories with some amazing people I met there. So, is Sydney growing on me? I guess so! I sadly haven't had much luck on the job front (will talk more in a bit) so I'm currently moving from the couch and Netflix to the beach to try and keep the funds low! I've visited a few suburbs and I can see why everyone loves Sydney. It's filled with so much beautiful and easy going people, the culture is so relaxed and calm in comparison to Ireland. My plan is to stay here until around February (if I get a job) and who knows what will happen then?

Am I missing home?

I've been doing pretty well with my homesickness overall because I'm used to being away from home as I was in boarding school and I lived in Dublin for college and work (an hour and a half drive from my home. But, yesterday I wrote my Christmas cards to my family. To be honest, I've never been a big Christmas person, but with this year being my first Christmas from home, I started feeling homesick when I was writing the cards. I kept thinking and wondering what i could possibly write down to express how I feel and how much I miss them all. No words on a card would be enough. It's weird seeing Christmas trees everywhere when it's over 25 degrees everyday, hearing songs about snow and winter wonderland, while wearing a bikini? Yes, it's all a bit strange. It just doesn't feel like Christmas here so I don't feel more homesick as what I should be. Maybe closer to Christmas Day I will, but right now, I'm doing ok. I miss my family and friends every single second of the day and it crosses my mind the odd time that maybe my time is up and I should go home but since being here, I don't miss Ireland itself, just the beautiful souls living there.

Am I working?

Since arriving to Sydney, it's been extremely difficult to find work. I've spent nearly everyday applying for jobs, adjusting my CV, contacting recruitment agencies, event companies etc. Sadly, there has been no luck. One of the main reasons for that is the time of year naturally. A lot of companies aren't hiring because Sydney essentially closes down for Christmas, all offices close during the Christmas holidays for over a week. I'm just remaining positive and hoping something comes up. I've been applying for promotional work and causal work this week so hopefully the odd job will just make a difference. I'm one of those people who likes to be working all the time and having a routine. Sadly I'm just running out of money, being totally honest, and it's crap but this has to happen to every backpacker but it will always get better. So if you're ever in doubt or struggling, just keep powering through.

5 Months gone

It's actually crazy to think that over 5 months ago, I left Ireland with just a backpack and a case. I know to my friends and family it may seem like I've been gone for years. But for me, I felt like I left last week. The time has gone incredibly fast and I just don't want it to end. It's had it up's and downs, not everyday is perfect but I'm making the most of it as best as I can. I've met so many incredible friends here, visited so many cool places and experiences things that never in my wildest dream did I think I would do. I always wanted to travel, explore and see the world, little did I think I'd be here typing a blog post in Australia.

Mental Health

When I arrived, my first week was quite over-whelming. I was struggling with jet-lag, getting used to sleeping in an 8 bed dorm and feeling alone. I constantly thought that coming here was a big mistake, started just watching lots of shows instead of exploring. I ate constant bad food and was feeling awful all the time. I honestly didn't know what to do. I ended up going to Peter Pan's (travelling agent) and booked a 4 week jam-packed East Coast Trip. It was a lot of money but honestly, it was worth every cent. I got to do so many cool things, meet lots of people and created memories. Since then, I've been on a high. Since being here, my mental health as improved. I don't think pessimistically, I'm eating healthier, I'm not putting myself down and I feel more confident than I've ever been. When something doesn't go my way, I just accept it and move on. My whole way of thinking is the opposite of what it was back in Ireland. I'm not perfect or I'm not always happy, I'll always have mental health issues of some sort but being here has helped me be a better version of me.

Ok, I'll leave it there because it was started to get a bit soppy! 

Until next time, Stay tuned for more chaos,

Jess x


Monday, 9 July 2018

Week One in Australia

“Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan!”

Ahhhhh! Guys, I’m here in Australia! I still can’t believe after months and months of saving money, keeping the secrets & planning, that I’ve made it! It still doesn’t feel real at all! If you’ve been following the journey so far on my social media, thank you, I’m so happy with the feedback and engagement from you all! I’m excited to share all my daily updates about this whole experience. Now, let’s get into it:

The Hostels

When I arrived, I checked into Base Uptown Hostel in the Brisbane city centre. I was here for 6 nights and really enjoyed it. The staff were friendly, I made friends with a few people. There was a bar downstairs that had different activities, so there was opportunities to meet more people. I stayed in an 8 bed dorm room and I got on well with the roommates I had too. It’d really recommend trying here to start off your trip as it’s very easy to meet people here.

Yesterday, I checked into another hostel, in a different part of Brisbane. The hostel is only a year opened so it’s a very new place, everywhere is all clean and brand new! The area is a lot quieter compared to city centre as it’s located in a suburb called Kangaroo Point. It’s really nice here but there is not much of a buzz around the place. To get into the city you have to get a bus which isn’t that bad, it’s around $3 and the bus journey is approx 3-4 minutes. I’m here for another few nights and I’m still deciding on my next hostel/plan of action. I will have a more detailed blog post in a few months regarding all the hostels I stay in Brisbane.

The weather

Well, it’s winter here so the weather isn’t exactly amazing. I knew when coming here it wouldn’t be that hot which I’m glad because I can’t.m hack very hot weather. So I feel like I came at the right time of year to get used to the climate here. At the moment, the climate is approximately 20 degrees which isn’t bad for “winter”. For the first few days I was here I was wearing shorts and everyone would stare at me but now I’m wearing jeans because even though it’s warm, I feel I’m used to it now.


To get to Australia from Ireland, I flew from Dublin to Dubai (7 hours) and then from Dubai to Brisbane (14 hours). With a total of 21 hours on planes, I arrived last Sunday 1st July at approx. 7am (10pm GMT) so my body clock was all over the place. I sadly didn’t sleep on the planes as much as I’d hoped as I watched way too many movies! For the first 2-3 days here, I went for a nap during the day because I was so tired. For the first 7 nights here, I always woke up at 6am which is weird. It was always the same time every morning. I feel it’s a mixture of being in a different surrounding & getting used to the time difference. Last night (Sunday 8th July) was the first night I slept through the whole night


The day I left dublin which extremely tough. Leaving my friends & family was difficult but to be honest, I’m not as homesick as I thought I would be. It just feels like I’m on holidays and I’ll see them in a few weeks. I think it will hit more in a few months time when I miss out on birthdays and special occasions.

Aussie Life

Australian life is so different from Ireland. I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing, but it’s quite a strict country. Little things bugged me at the start that I’ve just got used to but they’re just different from the Irish culture. For example, every time you enter a bar, you have to show your I.D and they take a photo of you and the I.D. So if you’re in the same bar all night, and you head outside and go back in, you’ve to show I.D. This happens in every bar I’ve been to. It’s just a bit weird and it’s only small but just not what I’m used to. Another small thing is you can’t cross the road here unless your at a zebra crossing. There are signs are saying that fines apply if you just randomly decide to walk across the road. They’re just a few things I’ve noticed that are different to Ireland.


As the saying goes, “there’s no place like home”. I have only had ate out twice and both for brunch but nothing beats Irish food for me! In saying that, I’ve only ate out twice,so  I’ve yet to delve into Aussie Cuisine. Eating out here is quite expensive, especially for a backpacker myself. So I’ve most just done grocery shops as the hostels  I’ve been in have well equipped kitchens. But, I’m a lazy cook so I’m usually only making toasted sandwiches!


Although I’m here a week, I’ve spoke to a few Aussies when I’m in situations like getting on a bus, at a cash register and those type of scenarios. I haven’t made any Aussie friends just yet, but as Megan from Love Island would say “it’s still early days!”. I’ve only been out once since I’ve been here at it was messy but fun, backpacker pub crawl. I’ve mostly just been meetings and hanging out with people in the hostel but it’s amazing to meet all the solo travellers from different countries here, getting to know them and see what brought them here to Australia. It also cool getting to know different cultures too even thought we’re in Australia.

So yes, that wraps up my first week in Oz. To be honest, I thought it would be a negative type of post, but I hope it wasn’t too bad! As I said, I’m only here just over 7 days, in a new country, it’s still all very knew & taking a lot to get used to! 

Stay tuned for more chaos,