Name: Julia Kruk
Time on the Road (this trip or general outline):
I’m on a one year working holiday visa.
I have saved enough to travel for five months and then plan to work throughout the rest of the trip.
What initially inspired you to travel?
I started meeting people from all over the world when I lived in Banff (a tiny mountain town in Canada) and found it interesting to hear so many stories from the visitors about their different ways of life and languages and cultures. I was really keen to see what it was all about! It turns out I very much enjoy the company of Germans, and I can’t wait to visit!
How have your inspirations to explore the world changed since you began travelling?
I would definitely say that meeting people from other parts of the world and listening to them talk about their home land has inspired me more than anything. I had never thought twice about visiting England before, but during my time in Australia I have met so many amazing English peers. It gets me very excited. I would love to visit and learn more about the culture there.
What has been your most memorable experience abroad?
The Fraser Island tour. This departs from Rainbow Beach, north of the Sunshine Coast. It was hard to initially spend all that money up front (Australia is not cheap!) but it was totally worth it in the end. While I was there, a baby whale had somehow beached itself and died. The locals said that they don’t always know why this happens. It was a sad thing to see but also something I would probably never see again, and it was quite amazing to look at.
I also have so many more things to look forward to; I will soon be living and working in Melbourne for a few months. It will be a completely different experience and a chance to really get to know the place better, rather than always travelling and moving around at a pace, as I have been lately.
What would you say has been your most difficult or testing experience whilst travelling?
I originally came travelling alone, and have never taken myself out of my comfort zone so much before. There is so much more pressure to rely only on myself and to assume a lot more in the way of responsibilities. It can sometimes be quite hard when you have a bad day and you don’t have your close friends and family to hand for support. In order to make friends and meet new people it takes a lot of energy; always needing to smile and be at my best, when sometimes I don’t feel up to it. Sometimes I feel it gets tiring, but learning new ways to socialise freely with the people I meet has made me a lot stronger and more independent. I have so much more confidence now than I’ve ever had before. It’s very rewarding.
Where are you right now?
Airlie beach, Queensland (going to the lagoon right away…)
Do you have any survival advice for new travellers in this country?
If you’re ever travelling solo and feeling alone, never get down! There are always many other travellers in your exact position. Sometimes you just have to get out there and make the initial gesture, in a hostel or on a tour or at an event. Everybody is open to making new friends! I find Australia a very friendly country on the whole.
If you had to recommend one place in the world to visit, where would it be?
Where do you plan to visit next?
After Australia I will go to new Zealand before going home. Next summer – Germany!
Having just completed the East Coast travellers route, Julia is currently preparing to move to Melbourne, Victoria, where she will settle and work throughout the remainder of her trip.