A Girl Named Sophie

Saturday, 21 July 2018

It's a few months before I embark on my first solo traveling adventure, A one-way flight to Melbourne has been booked, and the excitement and anxiety for this new chapter of my life to begin is growing.

As a new traveler, I had the same worry as everyone else. "How will I make friends?" "Will I have no one to hang out with?"
So, I scoured the internet in search of answers. This led me to Lonely Planet. You may recognize the name - they are the people who write the travel guidebooks. They also have a forum on their website for 'Lonely Travellers'.

I decided to write my own post on there, In search of anyone else who may be going to Australia on the same dates as me. I had a few replies to this - mainly from strange men...Not quite the travel companion I was seeking. 
I searched the other recent posts and that was when I found her. "19-year-old girl from Manchester traveling Australia in September!" This was perfect! A girl who was my age, from the UK and traveling to the same place at the same time as me! I messaged her on the forum and she got back to me then added me on Facebook. We chatted a little bit but that was it.

Fast forward a few months and I've already been in Australia for a couple of weeks. Traveling down the east coast of Australia having the time of my life. Sophie had recently arrived in Australia and was coming to the end of her prebooked accommodation. 
I had just got back from a few days on Fraser Island and I remember sitting at the free computer at the hostel and messaging her on Facebook. We planned to meet in Brisbane, my next destination. I remember sending her flights on Skyscanner that she could book and she did!

Fast forward a few days and I'm in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. I went to the hostel desk and booked Sophie a bed in my dorm room and eagerly awaited her arrival. 
My first impressions of Sophie was her huge blue eyes! (That everyone comments on, but they're one of a kind!) and how smiley and giggly she always is. I also remember how she had a big Primark leopard print suitcase with these cute little-knitted gloves tied onto the handle. I commented on what a good idea it was to bring a suitcase because I hated my backpack! 

As we got to know each other that day lots of random things happened (remember the Australian football team coming to visit our dorm LOL?) which then turned into our first (messy) night out.

This is where our friendship was truly sealed and from this night onwards we were together every day for the rest of our amazing adventure.

Our adventure took us to extreme heights when we skydived together in Sydney. The most insane experience ever!

To spending Christmas Day together on Bondi Beach in Sydney.

To going to a dance music festival only a couple minutes walk away from our new apartment together.

To our many beach days. Having fun in the ocean as the massive waves at Bondi wipe us out and surviving the 40-degree heat!

Every day filled with silliness and laughs.

To both of us never being able to pack light and accumulating far too much stuff while living in our new place.

To being spontaneous and booking one-way flights to Thailand together.

To us both thinking somehow that backpacks were a good idea when they really are not!

To exploring the beautiful sights Thailand has to offer.

On our many day trips experiencing new things. Like a floating market while terribly hangover (never again LOL).

To the crazy nights and shenanigans, we got up too.

Looking after these elephants for the day together.

Learning how to cook Thai food together. (I still need to try out these recipes!) 

Finally going to the famous Maya Bay and both falling in love with Phi Phi. <3

We may now live on opposite sides of the world and only get to visit each other once a year and stay in contact by text and facetime, but Sophie, you are my best friend. We have experienced such amazing things together and have formed a wonderful friendship through all the good and bad. 

I am so lucky to have met you and traveled with you. I can't wait for our next adventure.


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