I lived in Australia on and off for about a year and a half between 2008 and 2010.

I started out volunteering in trade for free accommodation about 1.5 hours NE of Melbourne, in a rural area between Marysville and Alexandra. As a wildlife sanctuary, I became intimately acquainted with Australian critters during that time; I even had a kangaroo that followed me everywhere I went! (It was cute, and also a bit creepy).

Then, my boyfriend (at the time) and I decided we’d stick around for a while longer, and rented a place. Shortly thereafter, we were hit by Australia’s worst-ever natural disaster: The Victorian Bushfires in February 2009. My diary account of the event was archived by the National Library of Australia as a piece of history.

Although I had a home base near Melbourne, I covered a TON of territory in Australia, including all of the epic train rides like The Ghan and the Indian Pacific – which ended up forming a big part of my book about trains.

In 2018, I returned to Melbourne for a month, to stay with some friends of mine who were helping me with some physical ailments.

Arts and (ahem) Culture in Nimbin

Here’s how Lonely Planet primed us for the town of Nimbin: Landing in Nimbin can be like entering a social experiment, particularly at noon, when Byron day-trippers arrive en masse and find themselves hectored by dreadlocked, tie-dyed pot dealers on the main street. This is the stereotype, of course (not … Read More

Springbrook National Park

This post about Springbrook National Park was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. While walking through a dense sub-tropical rainforest in Springbrook National Park: Nora: I wonder how many snakes are in this park. Kelly: Don’t be silly. It’s winter. They’re … Read More