A Year Down Under

Having decided to spend the next year Down Under in Australia, it was easy to reminisce about the first time I left home and headed for those distant shores. It seemed like yesterday and déjà vu struck me as I waited at my gate to leave. This time I had a bit more experience under my belt and was more excited than nervous about what the future held.

With a yearlong visa in hand, my general plan was to visit Western Australia, Tasmania and Melbourne as these were the areas I missed the last time I visited. I also wanted to focus on working with native animals at an animal sanctuary where they rehabilitated orphaned or injured animals.

So before leaving home I contacted friends seeking advice on whether they knew of any opportunities and emailed a few places I found online. I got a hit with Peta, one of the owners at Absolute Backpackers in Mission Beach, Queensland. She put me in touch with Tanya, who ran Cassowary Coast Wildlife Shelter in South Mission Beach. After emailing Tanya to explain what type of experience I was looking for, she said to text her when I arrived in Australia and we’d work something out.

With this in mind, my only tasks on arrival in Sydney were to check into my hostel and pick up a SIM card so I could contact Tanya. I could figure the rest of my life out when I got there.

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