This post is about twenty days too late, but here I go with the obligatory new year slash reflection on 2017 post anyway. It’s no secret last year started horribly for me (verbal abuse at work, anyone?). It somehow managed to get a bit worse before it got better; I honestly made quite a number of terrible decisions when it came to my personal life – decisions that led to people doing terrible things, decisions that led to people hurting people. That’s about as detailed as it’s going to get here, but bottomline is: 2017 was a year of learnings. To be stronger, ultimately.
This year was also pretty awesome, though. It was my first year working as a flight attendant and flying all over the world (well, to where we have flights anyway).
It was the first year I can actually call myself an independent woman, having been living on my own for most of the year. That includes paying my own bills, cleaning my own place, scrubbing my own bathroom floors, doing my own laundry, tracking my own expenses, and cooking my own food (if corned beef and luncheon meat are even considered as food). Everything that comes with living solo, basically.
It was a major lifestyle change. I hadn’t thought about how major until now, really. I went from never having my own room to living completely alone. I’m kind of proud of myself, now that I think about it haha. My brother once visited me and asked, “Di ka ba nalulungkot dito?” But surprisingly, I haven’t really been as sad as one would expect. Perhaps having a lot on my mind and always having a crazy lot (whether that’s managing finances, buying stuff for the rental home, editing photos, designing websites, etcetera!) to do helps. And, well, the physical strain of flying basically means you’re mostly asleep as soon as you get home, so…
Speaking of physical strain: I went on two consecutive sick leaves towards the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. I even had to take myself to the emergency room, which I’ve learned is the most miserable thing to do by your lonesome (I ended up crying once it sunk in that I’d have to, not even because of the pain I was feeling, haha). What a way to kick the new year off, huh? I don’t really do new year’s resolutions, but if I had one, it would be to take care of myself and my health more. This job may seem “easy,” but it’s very demanding when it comes to our physical health, especially for someone like me who’s asthmatic and unfit. Exhausting sometimes feels like an understatement.
One year later, though, despite the unavoidable cons to the job (don’t get me started on the occasional harassment…), I still find myself enjoying the perks. My first layover of the year was in Melbourne, Australia, which is supposedly one of the most livable cities in the world – and it’s not hard to see why! My boyfriend (another first! After twenty three years, I can finally stop saying I’m an NBSB hahaha) and I only had one whole day there, so we skipped on the hassle of commuting or driving this time, since Australians drive on the other side of the road and it would have been confusing and dangerous.
We instead opted to book a tour via Viator that would take us down the Great Ocean Road, one of the most scenic highways in the world, towards the 12 Apostles, a group of limestone formations beautifully positioned along the Port Campbell National Park’s shore. There was unfortunately a thunderstorm that day, so it was difficult to take the sights in comfortably. I stupidly assumed the weather would be like Sydney’s, but nope: the temperature dropped to as low as 13 degrees (seriously, how is this summertime?). And I was in a freaking romper. *facepalm* I ended up buying a pair of pants, the only decent ones I could find in a surf town, OOTD be damned, because I was literally shaking anytime we were outdoors.
As for the view, well, it was definitely called the Great Ocean Road for a reason. We drove through three hours of seemingly endless views of Victoria’s coastline to our left (the road stretches to 243 kilometers), and a lot of little towns and dreamy, minimalist glass houses to our right. I oddly found myself more enamoured with the architecture. Oh to be living in a house on top of a hill overlooking the sea! Such lucky peeps, those homeowners. We’d spot some of them just sitting by their balconies with a book, and some with their telescopes on hand since there was an event called the Pier to Pub Swim (basically a 1.2km swim course where the finish line is towards the pub. So they can all grab a beer after haha) going on that day. Ah. The life.
Not a bad view, huh?
Before arriving at the 12 Apostles, our tour made multiple stops: we walked by a beach in Lorne, where we were treated to sandwiches lovingly baked by our tour guide Kel; we had complimentary lunch at Koala Cafe, where we actually did spot two koalas, although they were very high up the trees so it was hard to get a good view (apprently the leaves taste better up there); and we walked around a rainforest (at this point I was already feeling bummed with the weather and contemplated staying in the bus. It was that bad).
But they really did save the best for last. I mean…
The terrible weather is palpable from the gloomy skies, and I’m looking at these photos really wishing we were blessed with beautiful light, but alas. Still gotta appreciate what we got, and still gotta appreciate the fact that it seemed like the sun was desperately trying to fight the rains somehow – while it was mostly drizzling, there were times when it would just stop exactly when we needed it to. Thanks, mother nature.
After enjoying the 12 Apostles from multiple viewpoints, we had to call it a day and head back (it was going to be another 3 hours back to the city). But not before grabbing ourselves some McNuggets, and then being treated to a stunning double rainbow on the way back.
One day was obviously not enough to get to know Melbourne, but am thankful to have been treated to a relaxing drive along the Great Ocean Road and to have met the 12 Apostles, despite the terrible weather and albeit feeling like I’ve seen similar sceneries in Taipei. In case you’re interested in booking a convenient (there was wifi yaaaas haha), trivia-filled trip there, I highly recommend going on this tour (no, this isn’t sponsored haha). Here’s hoping to see more (we did get a peek on the way to our tour pick-up and drop-off points – my eyes were stunned by the architecture!) of downtown Melbourne next time! ■