Today, I have officially lived in Australia for thirty whole months. Wow! It seems like only yesterday I touched down at Perth airport on February 5, 2014, fresh from Britain and full of excitement, anticipation and… Shit, is it always this hot?! Can’t… Breathe…
In the past thirty months, I’ve met some amazing people, been on some incredible adventures and secured some life-long friendships. I found a dreamy job, became a Permanent Resident and got my first ever speeding ticket. I accidentally became a crazy bird lady, fell in (and out) of love (nothing to do with the birds, I promise), swam with dolphins and have seen things so amazing, I still have to pinch myself to believe they were real.
This country is literally the most beautiful place on earth. I fall in love with it a little more each day – and still have so much more to see! There are still moments, even after 2.5 years of living here, where I’ll be driving to work, or having coffee by the beach with friends, and I’ll have a ‘shit, I’m actually living in Australia!’ moment.
I also launched this blog – which has proved to be the most amazing, innovative and fun, although challenging creative outlet for me. It can be demanding at times, editing it in my spare time on top of all my other commitments, but I totally love doing it and wouldn’t change a thing. Other than to have an extra seven hours in the day maybe.
Yes, living in the most isolated city in the world has so far been pretty special. So, I thought it only fitting to celebrate my thirty month anniversary of living on this gorgeous island/country/continent, by sharing my top thirty favourite things about living Down Under.
So, in no particular order (and I know I’ve missed a million things), here goes…
Where do I start? There are so many amazing beaches here! Top three? Ocean Reef, Cottesloe and City/Scarborough just for the vibe… But then I also love Mullaloo for a good run… Argh, too may to choose from!
- The Weather.
Because I’m yet to meet a Perthian who doesn’t have an innate obsession with the weather. Hell, even I know what the weather is forecast to be like a week on Wednesday at 3pm…
Seriously, I’ve never drank so much of the stuff. There’s definitely something in the beans over here – the coffee is amazing. Fave spots? Yelo, Hylin and Repeat Offender.
I love the Instagram-worthiness Perth has – this has to be my most frequently used hashtag ever, alongside other local favourites such as #perthisok, #soperth, #theperthcollecive, #perthgram… I could go on forever! I often think Perth feels the need to stand up and be counted alongside it’s ‘hotter’ siblings, Sydney and Melbourne – Perth has something to prove, and absolutely does on Instagram – well, it is the best way to encourage engagement, influence and, thanks to recent hashtags such as #justanotherdayinWA and #westisbest, tourism too! #loveperthlife
- Smashed Avo.
- Winter in Summer.
Being a November baby in Britain meant my birthday was always too cold, frosty and wet for outdoor activities – even Europe was a no-go in Wintery November. However, in the land Down Under my birthday is officially in the Summertime – which means barbies, beach picnics and pool parties! I am also a huge fan of Aussie ‘Winters’. Coming from chilly Europe makes me a little more hardy than most Aussies, and whilst Winter days here in Perth can get pretty nippy, there’s nothing quite like a brisk walk along the coast or beach run in the peak of Aussie winter. Even scraping ice off your windscreen with a spatula four to five times a year has to make me smile – where the hell can you buy an ice scraper in Aussie, people?!
Living on the West Coast of Australia means the sun rises in the East over the land, setting in the West, over the Indian Ocean. WA is known for having some of the most stunning sunsets in the country – and from my experience travelling most of Europe, Scandinavia and a fair bit of Asia – I’d say in the world. Especially if you throw F&Cs in there for good measure.
- Active Life.
Whether SUPing in the Swan River, practising sunrise/sunset yoga on the beach, getting to grips with the latest Les Mills Combat release, or training for City to Surf (half marathon this year, I have no idea what I was thinking), I have never been so fit in my life than I have this past 2.5 years. Living in a country which has a lifestyle so geared towards the outdoors is incredibly invigorating and refreshing. Even in the peak of summer, where you’ll literally crisp just being in the sun for five minutes, there’s still motivation to be active. Just stay in the shade, yeah?
- The Ocean.
Learning to surf, listening to the waves as you drift off to sleep or practising beach yoga, snorkelling at Rotto, swimming with dolphins in Rockingham – and actually seeing dolphins whilst lounging on Mullaloo beach… I love everything about the deep blue Indian ocean. It’s so strong, and wild, yet incredibly peaceful.
- Move. Nourish. Believe.
The first of several Aussie brands I will list here – Lorna Jane has to be up there. From the story behind Lorna’s success, how every single piece of LJ activewear I own fits me like a glove (and I’m talking, like, 40+ items – mom if you’re reading this I promise they were all on sale and I have of course been saving towards my mortgage…), to the motivational marketing campaigns synonymous with the company – I just love everything about this brand.
- Rottnest Island.
I adore Rotto. Located just off the coast of Perth, 26.9km South-West of Hillary’s Boat Harbour, just a few minutes drive from home, Rottnest is a little patch of paradise, with gorgeous, picturesque scenery and some of the world’s most stunning bays and beaches. I’ve visited the pretty little island six times in thirty months – and was even approached by Rottnest Fast Ferries to write a sponsored blog post on it!
- Matsos Ginger Beer.
Obsessed. SO EXCITED to visit the brewery on a trip up to Broome next month!
- Jacob’s Ladder, Kings Park, West Coast Highway and The Bridges.
Kind of tying in with point 8, these are just a few of my favourite active playgrounds around Perth.
Most of you will know I’m an accidental crazy-bird-lady. Thor, a galah cockatoo and Kenickie, a weiro cockatiel are the two main guys in my life. It all started when I started missing my dog in England… Previous blog: Thor.
Stay tuned for another colourful birdie story coming your way later this month about the latest addition to my menagerie…
Another iconic Aussie brand, built on another (this time British) female success-story. Mecca is my guilty pleasure and regular go-to for iconic beauty essentials sourced from around the globe. LOVE. Previous blog: MECCA Cosmetica. Just Peachy.
- Street Art.
Okay, okay – that should just read ‘Anya Brock’. Because I love her. Visiting London last year to see friends and family and check out some Banksy, it struck me how incredibly respectful people in Perth are of street art in comparison. I’ve followed Banksy for years and could never comprehend why people felt the need to tag and deface his creativity just to create a platform for themselves, and ride on the back of his exposure. It’s not uncommon to see iconic artwork actually covered up with plexiglass around Britain – and even then vandals go to town tagging and defacing it. Whereas here, you can have a Stormie Mills, Invader or Anya Brock thrown up anywhere and people will respect and celebrate their talent rather that try to destroy or capitalize on it. Greens & Co(ck) however, well that was just asking for it. And, c’mon – it is kinda funny…
- Paw Paw.
Australia’s answer to everything.
- Maurice Meade.
Any girl who has moved away from home can appreciate the struggle to find the prefect hairstylist and colourist. It feels superficial to type that, but it’s true. And so, I was delighted to discover and later collaborate with the dreamy team at Maurice Meade. I have a fantastic competition launching on my Instagram and new Facebook page later this month, so stay tuned…
Oh, and check out my Previous blog: Maurice Meade… You Beauty!
- Outdoor Movies.
When two of my favourite things become one. Being outdoors on balmy nights, under the stars and watching movies snuggled under blankets. Bonus points if it’s in a gorgeous park or on top of a multi-storey carpark. I know! Only in Oz…
Erry damn day. Seriously, I can’t function without one of these in the morning. It was amazing to be sent a case of the stuff earlier in the year in excahnge for a cheeky Instagram post!
This was all quite new to me – sure, wineries are big in Europe, and there may be a couple in the south of England, but these are nothing compared to the deliciousness of the Swan Valley and Margaret River. I remember going to Margaret River the first time scouting for venues for my mom’s wedding – and whilst we ended up falling in love with Sittella in the Swan Valley (Previous blog: Love Story), I couldn’t wait to go back to explore the Margaret River region more… I can’t wait to visit again soon! Previous blogs: Margaret River Memoirs 1 | 2 | 3
- Peter Alexander.
I literally do not know how I survived before I owned a pair of snuggly jammies and a drawer full of cute nighties from Peter A. Dreamy.
- Farmers Markets.
There are soooo many amazing markets around Perth – my fave has to be the Freo markets. You can literally pick up half a pound of cherries (at a fraction of the supermarket $$$), stunning pieces of silver jewellery, delicious cupcakes, cool artwork and a chai latte all under one roof.
- Getting ma nails did.
Getting your nails done in England just isn’t a thing really, unless you’re going for acrylics or nail art. For me, whenever I went to the US from England I’d always look forward to getting a super cheap, yet really amazing mani/pedi – that you just couldn’t get at home. Here, every single shopping centre has at least one nail bar/salon – and they’re all sooo cheap! It’s just become a luxurious routine for me to get my nails pampered every couple of weeks.
- Soy Candles.
They’re like, everywhere here in Perth – which is great news for a spiritual little thing like me who likes to keep candles burning around the house! I especially love the Glasshouse and Palm Beach (hello Watermelon) ones, yum.
- KORA Organics.
Miranda Kerr is Aussie’s sweetheart – everyone here adores her, and it’s easy to see why. Hell, I’d hang out with her in a heartbeat. It’s not unusual to see her grace the cover of the Aussie glossies, fronting campaigns for multiple large Aussie brands – and she even has her own skincare range, KORA Organics – which I’m in love with. The Energising Rose Mist, Enriched Body Lotion and Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil are just a few of the staples I’ve introduced to my skin & body care regime.
- Triple J.
I’m quite a fan of Triple J, their Hottest 100 albums are always playing on my iPod. The Hottest 100 (which claims to be the largest music poll in the world) has become something of an institution here in Aussie, and is somewhat synonymous with Australia Day where the public vote for their favourite songs of the previous year. They also (along with a fair few other radio stations) have absolutely no qualms about swearing on the radio – which, as an English girl brought up with the prim and proper broadcasting standards of the BBC, was a real shocker to hear the first few times! Dropping a cheeky ‘shit’ or ‘bastard’ on a brekkie show here is apparently not to be flinched at. Yep, these Aussies are pretty rad.
- The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
Okay, okay – don’t judge me. It’s just the right amount of cringe-worthy-amazing that I simply cannot bear to miss an episode of. Sssh, don’t tell anyone…
- The people.
I have never met so many amazing, friendly and warm people. Every Aussie (and Kiwi) I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with during my time here has been just lovely. Well, unless they’re on the roads – most Perthians are complete wankers on the roads. But overall, they’re the kind of people I can see myself growing old, and raising a family around one day. I’ve never felt more at home, away from ‘home’.
I’ll probably kick myself later when I realise all the things I’ve not listed (fresh local juices, boutiques, tucked-away cafes, stunning sand dunes, secret hideaways, cheeky little bays, local artists and designers – oh the incredible local talent…), but I’ve already thought of a hundered different blogs I can write on the back of this post alone, and this little blog of mine continues to grow and grow… there’s still so much more to come!
So, I’m off to toast my milestone this afternoon with a cheeky glass or two of bubbles. Here’s to the next thirty months…
Psst, did you know I’m now on Facebook? I might have mentioned it a few times… Maybe. Go on, give my page a cheeky Like… xx