We’ve known each other since the 23rd of January 2013. We met when we both moved into the same share house, in a little suburb in the outskirts of Brisbane. Malika was studying drama, and I was studying engineering. We quickly became close friends, spending the nights sitting on the back deck chatting and listening to music.
After a year of living together, the friendship naturally progressed into a relationship, and we moved to a house closer to Brisbane city. This is when we began our travelling adventures!
We begun by travelling to close locations around Brisbane, within a few hours drive. We did a lot of camping and hiking in nature, as we loved the view, trees, and wildlife. We both love the great outdoors, and continue to find these places close to home that we can explore.
The next thing I knew, I’d graduated from my engineering degree, and was looking for full time work. Malika was about to begin a five year university degree. It seemed as though we would be locked in to a permanent 9-5 life in the suburbs in our early 20s, which was quite daunting!
One night we were driving down to visit family in Byron Bay, and made the snap decision to uproot our lives and move to the UK. It felt wild, scary, and exciting. It felt right.
We had credit card debt, no savings, and so many possessions that weighed us down. This kept us firmly rooted in Brisbane. But we were determined to make it work. We set a date that we wanted to leave by, and worked towards it. We spent the next three months living cheaply, working full time, and saving all our money. We sold our possessions in garage sales, packed everything important into boxes, and arranged our youth mobility visas.
We left our jobs on the 31st of August 2016, and with the car packed to the roof, moved to Malika’s parents house in Byron.
We wanted to say goodbye to our friends and family, so we spent the next month travelling Queensland in my much loved Holden Commodore car. The halfway point was my parents house in the middle of the Australian outback. The scenery change from the coast to the outback is stunning, and we highly recommend doing it in a car, as you get to experience the multiple changes along the way. We drove from the ocean at Byron Bay, to the outback at Mount Isa, then across to the Daintree Rainforest at Port Douglas. On our way back to Byron we stopped in at Airlie Beach, and with a stroke of luck were able to experience the outer Great Barrier Reef!
When we got back to Byron we plotted our road trip in Google Maps, and found that we had driven more than the entire distance of the U.K.!
We spent the next two weeks with Malika’s family, and saying goodbye to our close friends. Come mid October, at 2am in the morning, we left Australia on the adventure of our lives.