With Love, From Tasmania

Monday, 6 August 2018
When people ask me why I chose to go Tasmania - out of the many states in Australia - or why I chose to visit this country for the fourth consecutive year, I only have three words why: my best friend.

I shall save you the agony of our back story but let's just say that we go way back - 14 years to be exact. And given our history, I'd circle the world to spend a few days with her. 

Australia, altogether, is an amazing country to seek refuge in if you're looking for a temporary escape from our hectic society. And as for Tasmania, it has exceeded my expectations.

I mean sure, the landscapes aren't like the ones I saw in New Zealand. But given that I've lived 23 years in a concrete jungle, I don't mind settling for low-rise buildings and cool weather for a while. 

It was my first solo flight and to be honest, I did not enjoy the solitude as much as I hoped. I managed to easily spot my luggage and find my way through the transit. And seeing Sabila after travelling for nearly ten hours made my heart glow. 

Throughout my years of living, I've never usually realized how close-minded and easily paranoid I am with certain people with strange personalities. I guess I'm easily quick to judge but I learned to be more accepting towards other people's culture especially when I'm in their country. Nonetheless, the moment I stepped foot into this country, I knew that I would love it. 

I stayed with Sabila and met a couple of her housemates - and she definitely wasn't lying when she said that she had the best housemates. I kid you not, they take care of each other like family. 

Moving on, our first few days were spent exploring the neighbourhood. 

As we were walking along the docks on the first day, I felt a sense of serenity that I haven't felt in a long time. Temperature was roughly 9 degrees that day but the sun was shining. The sound of waves crashing against the docks felt like music to my ears. The wind had been pretty unforgiving but I still prefer it over Singapore's humidity. It reminded me of how hard I worked to get here and how much of a break I needed from work. Of course, once in a while I still get a couple of notifications but all in all, I'm glad to be away. 

Among many places that we visited, Mount Wellington was my favourite. We managed to hire a driver to take us there and I definitely underestimated the climate on the mountain. It was roughly a 30 minute drive from Sandy Bay. I was eager with anticipation as it was my first encounter with snow and as we got out of the car, my hands were numb and I was freezing but my excitement outgrew the cold. Everything was beautiful and finally being able to experience snow gives me a sense of fulfillment. A part of me didn't want to leave but it'd really be silly not to. 

And then there were oysters. Yes, oysters. Throughout my stay, I only had one tray of oysters that I shared with Sab but if it wasn't already obvious enough, I love oysters. They are crazy expensive in Singapore (and well, they aren't that cheap here either) but nothing beats oysters with Tabasco sauce. I'm generally not a seafood person (I love me some lamb and beef) but I promise that you can easily win me over with a tray of oysters. 

If you're not a fan of raw/under cooked sea life, they sell fish and chips almost everywhere here! Sab brought me to Mures because it was one of her go-to spots and I understand why she loves it there. They serve a whole array of seafood! Their fish and chips are crispy, tender and fried just right - unlike the oily ones we have here (eek). 

Considering that many things here were shipped from the other states and that Tasmania is just an island, there weren't much shopping to do here. But still, if there's anything I always look forward to when coming to Australia, it would be Target (or Tar-jayyy) and K-mart. Both of those places are plus-size friendly without having to cause a hole in my pocket. I love that I never have to worry about not finding the right size because there is always something for everyone. (I went crazy and bought two pairs of boots for AUD $15 each). 

If you appreciate historic monuments like me, you'd find Richmond a treasure cove. We paid a visit to the Richmond Bridge and took pleasure admiring ducks paddling along the river and seeing some of the locals feeding them. If you happen to plan a trip there, do drop by the cafe that's situated near the bridge to buy a packet of duck food. I love how there aren't any restrictions in feeding wildlife here. After which, we went to Richmond Gaol. Having a father who works as a prison warden (who is also a history fanatic) means you have your own tour guide to this kind of places - also happened when we went to Melbourne Gaol. 

And for the rest of our time, we were either walking around, binging on friends (and chips) or chilling outdoors. 

I've always loved the idea of travelling, learning about other cultures and meeting new people. But amidst all the mingling, I enjoyed being on my own best because that's when I can truly sharpen my senses and appreciate the little things around me. 

To my surprise, I found myself looking forward to going home - mainly because I miss $5 meals. On the second last day, I got pretty home sick and splurged on a $14 bowl of laksa. Still doesn't beat the one at home. 

I've spent many days thinking how I should end this post. So to simply put it, I honestly don't know what I feel about this trip. 

I started out overwhelmed with excitement and came back feeling unchanged. It was unlike my previous vacations where I felt renewed and right now, I'm just confused. 

If it's any consolation, perhaps there's more that I've yet to discover. Perhaps this trip is gravitated towards learning how to (financially) cope on my own as opposed to self-love and self-discovery. 

Nonetheless, I have many years ahead of me and many more chances to fulfill those motives as well as my wanderlust. 

I'd like to end of by giving a special shout-out to my better-half. Thanks for hosting me and being an awesome roomie. I can't wait for you to graduate and be back here for good! *spams hugs and kisses* 

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