(Australia) How I’ve survived during Pandemic last year and my surfing trip before leaving Australia.

Spread the love

Australia Surfing_001

Australia was nearly the last country on my trip after cycling in North America, Central and South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, China, Southeast Asia, New Zealand. But then the pandemic had started. After spending a few months in Sydney, I rode my bike from Sydney to Brisbane via the Gold Coast. When I was in Brisbane, I spent over a month studying app development at the library. Afterwards, I returned to the Gold Coast.

 

The reason I studied app development was I wanted to fill my mind with something and prepare the future after the traveling.

 

 

 

Australia Surfing_003

By coincidence, I rented a room 5 minutes away by bike from my friend Zoe’s house in Palm Beach. Zoe’s family let me stay at their home for a month a year before, and we had been keeping in touch ever since.

The owner of the house was a retired couple. They were friendly, but they asked me to notify them in advance if I wanted to cook so that they kitchen didn’t get busy. I rented it for quite a bit of money, but I felt like I didn’t have enough privacy. So I paid money for a coworking space and stayed there from morning to night. I took a break once a week, went surfing during the day and came back in the afternoon to cook a week’s worth of food at once and freeze them in the freezer.

 

Australia Surfing_002

I had used two different co-working spaces. But it was noisy. Unlike Chiang Mai, Thailand, people here were constantly talking for meeting and calling, so I had to cover my ears by playing a song with earphones. I preferred to work and study without listening to the music. I only listened to music when I lost concentration. So it was inconvenient to listen to it all day at the co working space.

 

Australia Surfing_004

Zoe suggested me to join a $5 yoga class once a week for 6 weeks together. Personally, I had felt that yoga was not my taste. If I keep going, will it become my taste?

 

Australia Surfing_005

It was Louis, the puppy of the Zoe’s family. Since I was close to Zoe’s house, we helped each other when needed. I took care of Louis when Zoe’s family went somewhere. I had seen him since he was 4 months, so he was gotten along quite well with me.

 

Australia Surfing_006

I used to go for a walk with him sometimes. He was a really good boy and I loved him.

 

Australia Surfing_007

Zoe often invited me to her family events such as birthday parties, Easter, and Christmas. She was my Gold Coast family. On that day, Zoe’s 10-year-old daughter was playing at the opera, so I stopped by a second-hand store and bought a dress and shoes at a low price. In Australia, there were chains of second-hand stores in every town, and you could get just about anything at really cheap prices.

 

Australia Surfing_008

During my stay on the Gold Coast, I always surfed once a week.

 

Australia Surfing_009

After changing boards, I surfed 2-3 times a week. I wanted to surf every day. But the problem was that after just an hour of surfing, I felt so tired all day long. I wanted to surf at sunset because I didn’t like sick tiring feeling whole day, but the waves I could surf were mostly in the morning.

 

Australia Surfing_010

I started practicing with the shortboard because I was planning a bike trip with the shortboard. If I wanted to travel with a long board, I needed a trailer. But I didn’t want to buy an expensive trailer to travel just for a month or two.

 

Australia Surfing_011

I’ve tried climbing, skiing, running, mountain biking, surfing, yoga, etc while traveling around the world, but surfing was the hardest sports to improve. If I had attended every week for a year at any sport, I would have changed like an amateur a bit. But I was still a beginner at surfing. The reason I kept surfing was because the feeling of riding the waves was insanely exciting and fun.

 

Australia Surfing_012

After being tied to a pandemic on the Gold Coast for a year, I ended up with multiple boards. The red skateboard was called surf skateboard, so it helped me practice surfing. In fact, I wanted to buy a few more surfboards, but I couldn’t as a temporary resident.

 

Australia Surfing_013

Ever since I switched to a fun board, I’ve had bruises often. After changing the short board, I got bruises very often. What I learned at this time was that I got bruise more easily than other people. I was bitten by sea lice (5th picture), and I got a red line from a jellyfish bite (6th picture) as well. In my experience, surfing was the sports I could get bruise mostly often. The next dangerous sports was mountain biking and skiing to me. The higher the risk of injury, the more fun it seemed. The reason yoga was not my taste was that there was no risk to get injury probably.

As I was a beginner in surfing, there was almost no risk of drowning since most of the time I surfed where I cloud always stand on the sand. Sometimes when I fell off a surfboard, I got stuck in the waves and spin around like crazy, and I didn’t like it because I felt like I was drowning. In reality, it only took 3 to 5 seconds, but it felt like over 10 minutes. Sometimes I surfed out in a bit deep water, and I got scared to be sucked into the waves even though I knew that the most important thing was to stay calm.

 

Australia Surfing_014a

I had studied app programming hard. I had registered total 16 apps on Google Play which were basic though. Here is the list. However, I was too stuck trying to do it by myself.  Studying programming was close to a luxury as it didn’t help me pay the rent and food right away. So, after 6 months of studying programming, I dropped it and I spent all my time to update YouTube.

 

Australia Surfing_014

At that time, the videos I uploaded to YouTube did a little better. So I hired a designer to sell t-shirts, but in the end, it failed. While traveling around the world, I tried everything to make money online, but creating content and receiving donation helped me the most to finance my travel expenses. At this time, I made a video of how to make money online

 

Australia Surfing_015

Although I had the good Gold Coast family, I tried to make my own friend group with whom I could go to bar to hang out in the night or spend time together on the weekend for climbing or hiking somewhere, but every time I failed. There was a volunteer website, but I saw that non-citizens (temporary residents) were not accepted. Luckily, I got a chance to volunteer one time.

 

Australia Surfing_016

Actually there was nothing to do but standing at the side. Again I failed to make friends.

 

Australia Surfing_017

At the beach on the day of the lunar eclipse.

I liked climbing, so I bought climbing equipment. I posted on the Gold Coast Climbing Facebook group several times asking to go climbing together, but no one responded. One year before when I was in Alice Springs, Australia, I was able to easily find a climbing partner for both indoor and outdoor. So I couldn’t understand how I couldn’t find a climbing partner in such a much larger city.

 

Australia Surfing_018

After traveling to the Gold Coast in August 2020, I was preparing to go back to South Korea. I had long dreamed of entering South Korea through North Korea, but of course the government rejected it as no one could do it by the law. The stress caused hair loss which was called alopecia areata. At that time, for the first time, I felt an emptiness that I could not feel any emotions. It was neither happy nor sad. It felt like I didn’t even know why I was living. I couldn’t go home after giving up on the dream I had for 10 years, so I just stayed in Australia. Since March 2020, I have feeling down often from the feeling of being locked up in Australia due to the Pandemic. In August 2020, it seemed to turn to depression. But I could sleep and eat well so I was not sure I could call it depression.

Looking at this photo now, the range of hair loss in February 2021 is much larger than in September 2020. In other words, hair loss continued to progress in September 2020. When I looked at the photo from May 2021, I could see that the hair was slowly starting to grow around it again. I really often had nightmare of becoming bald at the end of 2020. In 2021, the nightmare of hair loss became less. Now I didn’t dream it often anymore. In May 2022, I noticed that new hair started to appear on the top of my head. It meant that hair loss was progressing in at least two places. (Currently, all hair grew up at alopeica areata area)  So I’ve learned that stress was really bad for the body.

 

Australia Surfing_019

No matter how hard I tried to make friends to go out for climbing, bar and so on, it was impossible on the Gold Coast. It was the first time in my life that I felt deepest loneliness. The emptiness often came to me. Most of all, a foreign bicycle world traveler just like me that I knew took his own life. I was really desperate to hear that the fellow world traveling cyclist I had talked to by email once and had sent me a donation had given up on his life.

And things went for the worst. It was inconvenient to go to a noisy co-working space every day at the time. So I rented an apartment where I could live and work alone with the money I’ve made through YouTube. However, the state border was blocked that I was stuck there. The situation was ten million times more difficult than lockdown. The police were on the road 24 hours a day, and barricades were standing at the road. Being a non-citizen, I couldn’t speak openly about this, online or offline, made it even harder for me. My loneliness and emptiness went to crazy. I couldn’t move to another place because I had signed a contract for a house for a few months.

Above all, my visa status was unstable throughout the last two years of the pandemic. After waiting uncertain 3 months, I finally got 3-month visitor visa. After that, I got an 3-month COVID visa again after uncertain 3 months waiting. After that, I applied for an COVID visa again, but it did not come out for almost a year. I could stay legally in Australia while waiting for my visa. However, I had to leave Australia if my visa was denied, so buying several surfboards and contracting an apartment for a few months was an crazy adventure itself.

It was literally mental breakdown. I felt that some cells in my brain were not working properly, so I called Helpline (Australian mental health service) several times, but I couldn’t reach them. People say to someone with depression, “Tell it around and talk to therapist.” I didn’t have the money to see an expensive counselor, I couldn’t reach a free counselor either, and I told people around me that I was depressed sometimes, but the situation did not change. And actually I should hide it if I want to make a friend. It was a really tough fight alone that could not even be compared with surviving 8 years of cycling the world.  I felt like last two years were being sucked into a black hole deeper and deeper.

 

After the apartment contract was over, I finally became free and decided to go on a bike trip to Sydney with a surf skate and surfboard. I also wanted to find out if the Gold Coast was the best surfing spot.

 

I went wild camping quite often. It had been a long time since I’ve felt freedom. It was quite good for my mental health as well. I could feel the emotions come alive again.

 

Australia Surfing_022

In 2020, I cycled from Sydney to the Gold Coast, and this time from the Gold Coast back to Sydney, there were quite a few occasions where I revisit a city I had already passed by. Byron Bay was a mix of hippie, luxurious and relaxed.

 

Australia Surfing_025

I was planning to stay here for a month, but due to the pandemic, Australians living abroad returned home, which led to a shortage of houses and a surge in house prices. So it was impossible for me as a visitor to find a house to live in for a month.

 

Australia Surfing_023

In Byron Bay, I enjoyed surfing while staying in a hostel. Byron Bay had a point break for surfing like the Gold Coast. Point breaks were much more favorable surfing conditions for beginners than beach breaks.

On my trip, there were times when my eating patterns become fixed. The things I ate often at the time were bagels, fried eggs, canned tuna mixed with various seasonings, and avocados. All together, a meal costed only about $3, and I thought that this would be enough to provide me with nutrients. I ate it with rice that day.

 

Australia Surfing_026

There were so many wonderful places on the east coast of Australia.

 

Australia Surfing_027

As I was driving on the highway, it suddenly rained heavily and I got hit by the rain for a while and rode my bike.

 

Australia Surfing_028

The next morning I dried the wet tent, clothes and plastic bags.

 

Australia Surfing_029

Zoe introduced me to her friend’s family who lived on the beach. The family told me they wouldn’t be home on Christmas, and after giving me the location of the house key, they said to me stay comfortably at their home. When I was looking for their house, the next house helped me and later invited me to dinner on Christmas Eve. The family came back after Christmas and we went surfing together. The family traveled to Oceania and Southeast Asia with their two daughters on a sailing boat, and recently returned home after the pandemic. We traveled in different ways, but the hearts of travelers were always the same, so it was fun to talk about this and that.

 

Australia Surfing_030

After that, I did camping in a village. Last year, after pitching a tent in the forest at a large Australian city, when I was leaving the next day, a local asked me why I was camping there and threatened to report if I didn’t leave quickly. However, in this rural village, a local saw me the next day and said that hope you slept well and wish you a good day. Sometimes the people of a rural village looked much more generous.

 

Australia Surfing_031

On the last night of 2021, I was staying with the host from Warmshowers.org (cycling host website).

 

Australia Surfing_032

2021, which seemed like staying in the dark cave, had passed and 2022 had arrived. The first day of the new year was always refreshing and it felt good.

 

Australia Surfing_033

There was really famous surfing spot around called Crescent Head, but the campsite was already fully booked for next three months. Wild camping seemed impossible because it was a holiday area, so I gave up surfing there and came to the mountain.

 

Australia Surfing_034

I liked the quiet forest where there was no one around, so I enjoyed a cup of coffee the next day.

 

Australia Surfing_035

Passing through the quiet mountains, I return to the paved road.

 

Australia Surfing_036

In Australia, every city had a place called a Showground, which was a large lawn playground where various events take place. Some campgrounds were also operated at Showground. It was cheaper than Caravan park. So, when I want to camp comfortably sometimes, I used the showground.

In fact, when I was traveling before the pandemic, I didn’t use paid campground. But after the pandemic, I couldn’t ask people if I could pitch my tent in their back yard, so I started using the campground often.

 

Australia Surfing_037

At that time, although the corona virus began to spread widely in Australia and it was as difficult to get a rapid antigen test kit, campgrounds were fully booked often. There were times when I wanted stay at a campsite and surf, but the campsite was full and I had to give up.

During the pandemic, I adjusted my food to strengthen my immunity in case I got sick and would lose money for hospital bills. (Later I’ve learned that Australia and South Korea have a mutual contract, so if I was taken to the hospital due to a pandemic, I will receive 100% free treatment as like Australian will get it in South Korea) I gave up ramen, frozen food, and McDonald’s fast food. I accidentally stopped drinking on January 1, 2020, but I was still sober. Thanks to this, in 2021, I didn’t get a sore throat often, which I used to have frequently. However, while traveling, it was difficult to control a healthy diet, so I occasionally ate fast food. Anyway, the most important thing was that ramen and alcohol had been completely cut off. Most of all, quitting drinking was the most amazing thing in my life.

 

Australia Surfing_038

I saw a lot of dolphins in Port Macquarie a year before, but this time I didn’t see a single dolphin. What I could see in a trip seemed to be depending on the time of year.

 

Australia Surfing_039

I reunited with Rhonda and her partner, who had hosted me a year ago. At the same time, her daughter living in Canada had just visited as Australia reopened the border to their own citizens to come back home.

 

Australia Surfing_040

Rhonda and I sometimes rode bikes together in the morning to go surfing.

 

Australia Surfing_041

When I came here before and didn’t know how to surf, surfing looked great. But when I tried it this time, the water was so cold that it was difficult to breathe, the waves were too rough, and there were seaweed stems, so I gave up right away. There was another beach next to it, and it was a bit better for me.

 

Australia Surfing_042

Next to surfing beach, there was a campground, which was only accessible to the indigenous. I’ve done a lot of cycling in Australia, but it was the first time I’ve seen an Aboriginal-only campground. It seemed much quieter than caravan parks.

 

Australia Surfing_043

I went hiking around falls with Rhonda and her daughter

 

Australia Surfing_044

While Rhonda and her daughter spent time on the beach by walking, I took time lapses.

 

A vlog of cycling along the surf shore

 

Australia Surfing_045

I used to stop at the skate park to enjoy surf skating sometimes during cycling.

 

Australia Surfing_046

The sign which was written in Korean was funny. It said “Recommend swimming”

 

Australia Surfing_047

Australia was a really easy country to travel by bike that there were parks everywhere with toilet, tap water, and the rest area. Wild camping seems to be quite safe as well. Wild life would be only dangerous in the eastern north, where the crocodiles were.

 

Australia Surfing_048

There was a large island bush campground operated by Caravan Park, but it had more noise than main caravan park. In general, the caravan park were noisy with children screaming, adults drinking and screaming, loud radio sounds, TV sounds, dog barking, motor sounds, etc.

 

Australia Surfing_049

At least, the scenery was beautiful.

 

Australia Surfing_050

I did some shopping before leaving the bush campsite. I tried to go wild camping, but failed because the forest was too thick. The campsite was full. It was getting dark and I couldn’t go any further, so I went to a place that looked like a factory or office house and knocked, but no one was coming out. I had to spend the night there. This was literally Stealth Camping but I didn’t have a choice. I thought there was CCTV, so if they checked the camera, they might see me. At 5 am, before sunrise, I left and waited on the road for about 30 minutes, and started riding my bike as the sun began to rise.

 

Australia Surfing_051

This time, I decided to use the national park camping site. There was a huge caravan park with a restaurant around the wharf around. As I had done camping for several days, the biggest challenging was charging. As soon as I arrived at the restaurant, I was busy to charge the phone, GoPro, camera, and battery bank. The laptop was not used at all when riding a bicycle, so there was no need to worry about charging it.

 

Australia Surfing_052

It was called Works Burger with a beef patty, egg, cheese, bacon, and vegetables. Australia and New Zealand put beetroot into their burgers. Pineapple was also often added. At first, I didn’t like beetroot, but now I just ate with thinking it would be good for my health. The taste was  just so amazing. It was the proper food I ate after a long time.

 

Australia Surfing_053

I was worried that it would be a difficult place to go by bike because the website said it was a camping site that could not be accessed by car.  Soon, my worries was gone that it was easy to cycle on a big wide dirt road. I thought they just blocked the car to keep the nature. However, it was accessible by boat. It was a place where seawater and lake water meet, so as you could see in the photo, the beach had a light green sand, smells like a bit rotten eggs, and although the color of the water looks brown, it was safe to swim and above all, the water was not deep. It seemed that I had to walk 1km to get deeper water.

 

Australia Surfing_054

I was the only one on the national park reservation website, but there was a family camping came by kayak. He said he didn’t make a reservation because he didn’t know where to sleep. There was also a family sleeping on the boat. After 8pm it suddenly became extremely quiet. It was nice to be able to spend a quiet night.

 

Australia Surfing_054a

When this fly bit, it hurt a lot. Look at that stinger. When I got bitten by that, I screamed immediately. At dusk for about a week, mainly this kind of fly followed me and bit me. When I left this area, I couldn’t see it anymore. The sound of flying was so loud that it was terribly intimidating.

 

Australia Surfing_055

The family coming by kayak gave me water before leaving the next morning. I really liked the campground here, so I wanted to stay one more day, but when I was about to give up due to lack of water, I was able to stay one more day thanks to water family giving me. In the bush, water cost far more than gold, so the family was a lifesaver for me. I looked through my bag to see if I had something to eat until the next morning, and organized my food.

 

Australia Surfing_056

That evening, I was the only one at the campsite. It was the second night, so there was nothing scary about it. It was hard to believe that such a peaceful and worry-free campsite existed. Wild camping often made me nervous. Paid campgrounds had noise. Although this place was paid, it was quiet and nice because I was the only one.

 

Australia Surfing_057

I spent a quiet night counting the stars in the night sky.

 

Australia Surfing_059

The next morning I was about to leave, but the kickstand broke. It was broken about once every two years. But this was truly one of my favorite bike parts. It was Greenfield kickstand made by the US. There was no other kickstand that will support my heavy bike. The price was only around $20, but I had often spent $30 to $40 for shipping.

 

Australia Surfing_060

This ferry was quite retro. It reminded me of the ferry I took in Egypt that there was only one foreigner and we became a friend. Still we kept in touch sometimes. She was from Russia and she was a unique traveler carrying ukulele.

 

Australia Surfing_061

After sleeping in a tent for over 8 days, I was tired and wanted to find a place to stay under the roof, but hotels were too expensive. After the pandemic, many hostels closed, leaving only expensive hotels in some cities. I had no choice but to go wild camping again. I had a hard time pitching the tent at sunset because there were too many mosquitoes. Later I’ve learned that mosquitoes coil worked way much better than mosquitoes repellent.

 

Australia Surfing_062

The next day, I came to the caravan park, and it was pretty good. My tent was on the left of the photo.

 

Australia Surfing_063

A 10-minute walk from the campsite into the forest resulted in a beautiful beach and sandy desert landscape.

 

Australia Surfing_064

It became quiet after holiday and weekends, so I could stay at a cabin; finally sleeping under the roof. The cabin was around $75 with a weekday discount. Come to think of it, the way I traveled had changed quite a bit compared to 10 years ago. At the beginning of the trip, I tried so hard to save a penny, but now I was sleeping at a bit expensive accommodation sometimes.

After the pandemic, it was much more difficult to get invited to a local’s house than before, so I started to use cabins, campsites, and hostels frequently. To pay for the accommodation, I had to spend a lot of time editing YouTube videos.

 

Australia Surfing_065

After a 10-minute bike ride from the campsite, the surf beach came out. I bumped into someone while surfing, and when I came back to the accommodation, I saw a deep cut on the surfboard. I thought I probably bumped into the other person’s pin, which would have been terrible if the pin hit my body. I had a resin kit, so I applied it to the hole to prevent water from entering.

 

A video of days when I was too tired after camping in a row

 

Australia Surfing_066

It started raining occasionally. While waiting for the rain to stop, I found something strange.

 

Australia Surfing_067

Mosquitoes, flies, ants and other insects often got a free ride on my bike. This time, the spider was having lift for free, and it looked really strange shape.

 

Australia Surfing_068

Australia Surfing_069

When I arrived in Newcastle, it turned out that there was a local surfing competition going on. I would be drown if I surfed out there. It was too big wave for me. So, they looked super awesome.

 

Australia Surfing_070

In Australia, there were two large supermarket chains, Woolworths and Coles, in every town and city. If I went there late in the afternoon or an hour or two before closing, I would find food nearing its expiration date at incredibly cheap prices. Foods that cost between $5 to $20 would be sometimes sold for 50 cents.

 

Australia Surfing_071

I booked a hostel in Newcastle, and it was right near the beach, so if I took a coffee in the morning and walked for 5 minutes, I could watch a wonderful sunrise and surfers. The waves were too high for me to surf. There was a beach where I could surf in 10 minutes by bike.

 

Australia Surfing_073

After leaving a big city, I pitched a tent in the mountain. Since it was near a bicycle track, I set up my tent after dark and left early in the morning.

 

Australia Surfing_074

It was really difficult to load a surfboard if there was no place to lean the bike after the kickstand was broken. If I balanced well with pedal, I  succeeded in putting surfboard.

 

Australia Surfing_075

When I were camping in a place that can be easily seen by others, it was much better to leave early in the morning and have breakfast in a nearby park.

 

Australia Surfing_076

I saw on the map that there was a cave, so I stopped by and looked around.

 

Australia Surfing_077

In the Americas, Christians put a cross after a car accident. Snacks and flowers may also be placed. The same was in Australia, and this place had many dolls. Rest in peace.

 

Australia Surfing_078

I got off the main road and went inside to check the surf spot. The water color looked so pretty and the waves didn’t look too big. Usually, I always got an accommodation first and then go surfing, but this day I just left my bicycle and went surfing. The problem was that there was nowhere to store the red handlebar bag having the phone, camera, passport and wallet. I wrapped it in a plastic bag and left it on the beach to go surfing. Everything was still there after I came back from surfing.

 

Australia Surfing_079

A local found me on Facebook page and told me that I could stay at their house where they were using on the weekend. Thank to them, I could have the rest. It was right in front of the lake, so it reminded me of Canada.

 

Australia Surfing_080

One of the really easy things to cook was steak.

 

Australia Surfing_081

Last night a bug that looked like this got into the tent and was moving on my leg. The way it moves was really interesting. I searched it on my phone to find out what it was, and I realized it was a leech. It suddenly turned into a horror movie late at night. I was worried about what to do if I was sleeping at night and my whole body was covered with leeches.

 

Australia Surfing_082

Fortunately, after I removed a few leeches out of the tent at night, they didn’t come in anymore.

 

Australia Surfing_083

As I was riding my bike in the morning, I felt something cold and found that I was being bitten by a leech. When the leech was removed, it turned out to be quite fat. The characteristic of leeches did not cause any pain when biting. While I was cycling the world, I’ve bitten by ants, mosquitoes, spiders, sand flies, tsetse flies, march flies, bedbugs, fleas, sea lice, jellyfish, and this time leeches.

 

Australia Surfing_084

Again, it was easy to get around by boat. It was a really nice day. The closer I got to Sydney, the more beautiful the colors were.

 

Australia Surfing_085

Sydney was one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The water color of the beach was really pretty and the ports were also beautiful.

 

Australia Surfing_086

At the afternoon, I noticed that my sock and shoe were soaked in blood. Another characteristic of leeches was that once bitten, it bleed continuously. I was shocked to see it and put a band on it

 

Australia Surfing_088

I was staying in Manly, north of Sydney. It had been a while since I left Sydney. The Opera House was still quiet. The strange thing was that before the pandemic, there were so many people day and night. Now that there were no tourists and the Opera House seems to be a place out of interest to locals.

 

Australia Surfing_087

I arrived in Sydney on time to vote the Korean president. I’ve never missed a vote while traveling the world.

List of overseas elections I’ve done
19th Parliamentary Election (Costa Rica)
18th Presidential Election (Paraguay)
20th Parliamentary Election (Hungary)
19th Presidential Election (Vietnam)
21st Parliamentary Election (Australia)
20th Presidential Election (Australia)

 

Australia Surfing_089

During my stay in Sydney, it really rained all month. I’ve never seen it rain like this every day. It was supposed to be sunny, but because of the El Niño, Sydney had turned into a gloomy city like London’s winter. Even there was the flood. It rained every day, so of course the water was dirty and the waves were rough for surfing.

After checking out several surf spots from Gold Coast to Sydney, Gold Coast Surf Beach was the best for me as a beginner. Beach breaks were very strong because the waves were created in the middle of the sea. The point break was perfect for beginners because the power of the wave was weak as the wave crashed against rocks first and rose slowly from one point to other. Sydney had also quite rough surfing beach for me with beach break. Next time if I come back to Australia to surf, I will definitely go to the Gold Coast. Of course, I want to see my mate too.

 

Australia Surfing_091

Finally leaving Australia after 2 years of the pandemic. The next country was Fiji. Since I’ve already visited all six continents, I didn’t want to travel by bike to the continent I’ve been to again, so I was going to the neighboring island country, Fiji. I got the box from the bike shop and carried it to my accommodation.

A total of 5 documents were required: insurance, PCR certificate, return ticket, copy of accommodation reservation, and corona test reservation after arrival in Fiji. This was the first time I have prepared so many documents. I used Jetstar Airlines, but the counter refused to give me a ticket because I didn’t have an Australian visa to return. Previously, when I went to New Zealand with New Zealand Airlines, I showed my return ticket to Sydney without an Australian visa to return. At that time, there was no problem at all. But this time Jetstar refused it and I was so frustrated. It was impossible to apply for Australian tourist visa while in Australia.

In the end, I blew up all the money for the Fiji flight, accommodation reservation, and PCR certificate, corona test in Fiji. What a waste of money and time.

 

Australia Surfing_092

When I told Zoe about it, she suddenly offered me to fly to her house on the Gold Coast. I had already packed everything, so I wanted to get out of Sydney having gloomy weather. I saw a ticket for Bali, Indonesia, but I couldn’t buy it because I couldn’t find insurance to cover the corona, which was a mandatory document. Due to the corona virus, many borders were closed at the time, so there was nowhere to go. In such a frustrating situation, my friend asked me to come to her house, so I was very grateful.

 

Australia Surfing_093

In the end, I boarded a plane and returned to the Gold Coast at the same day I was denied boarding to Fiji. After staying at a friend’s house for a week, I went surfing, going for a walk with the dog, playing with the kids, and drinking tea with Zoe’s Grandma. It was really relaxing that I could get over my frustration about being denied to go to Fiji.

As a result of several searches, Singapore was able to enter without a visa and the border was opened, so I decided to go to Fiji with a Singapore return ticket. Also, I paid for the return ticket as 100% refundable.

 

Australia Surfing_094

I paid for my ticket with Fiji Airways and reserved a window seat, but at the last minute the staff changed my seat to the hallway without a word. It was disappointing because it was the waste of money if I can’t have a window seat on the plane that I did love window seat crazily. But fortunately, unlike Jetstar, the Fiji Airway counter was really friendly. Jetstar seemed to deny customers boarding if they didn’t like it even a little. Fiji Airways seemed to have a goal of helping passengers as much as possible to get them on board. At that time, some passengers were standing at the Fiji Airway counter for a very long time, but when I arrived at the gate to board, all the customers having problems at the counter were in as well. I was disappointed with my seat change, but I liked the friendly service of Fiji Airways to help all customers as much as possible to get them on board.

I was excited about moving to a new place after surviving two years of the pandemic in Australia. Actually, I didn’t know any single thing about Fiji. So I didn’t know how the trip would go and what to expect. But for now, I was just happy to start my cycling trip again in a new country.

======================================================

❤️ Thank you for reading my journey.
Your support will motivate me to keep updating YouTube and Blog. Thanks 🙂
PayPal Support –
https://www.paypal.com/donate/?business=FX8ZGJV3NVJEA&currency_code=USD
(If the link doesn’t work, please use this https://paypal.me/universewithme7jin )

Bank Account Support –
Westpac
BSB : 733-083
Account : 691-852
xxxxxx Jeong


Spread the love
4 Comments
  1. Great blog! Really enjoy reading about your trip. It must have been hard during lockdown but great you got through it and got to Fiji and now Vanuatu! Hope you’re well and having a great time!!

  2. i’ve also travelled through AU, NZ, and Fiji, starting surfing at almost later in life. Fiji is the best for beginners like yourself, its so safe and the water is deeper than gold coast even though its coral. The safest wave is called swimming pools. If you come Fiji again, you can check with me.

  3. That was a long post! You have experienced so much more than many of us will. Hope you enjoy your future trips and keep us posted.

  4. Two years in one post! Glad you got over your depression and eventually managed to continue on to Fiji and then Vanuatu. Any plans to come back to Australia?

Leave a reply

Cycling Around The World
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general