Clearly, the lockdown was a unique experience for everyone. The more things return to normal, the more I can see that my experience was exceptionally unique. And now the journey back is also unique in its own way.
After losing my job in early March, the lockdown was official and there was no choice but to stay at home. I watched the news broadcasts daily, sometimes most of the day, in shock as the busy streets of New York, Paris, India, Nepal… became deserted.
Going for a run in the park near my house was a unique experience in itself, with no people around. But most difficult for me was dealing with social isolation, in this new city, I had just arrived a few months before. Perth is known to be geographically isolated but this was nothing like what I expected.
It so happens that just months before this lockdown, in January 2020 I drove from Melbourne, Victoria to Perth, WA. Here is a video of that trip.
Below is the itinerary of the road I took to get here.
My itinerary for the drive: Cranbourne North in Victoria to Perth, Western Australia:
Day 1&2: I spent two nights at the Grampian Mountains (Halls Gap), living in a trailer Airbnb. It was a quiet time and a time to see beautiful views, even in the rain 🙂
Day 3: Adelaide – I stayed in a small room of a fancy hotel called Esplanade. It was right near the beach. There is a reason, it turns out why they call the area Adelaide Hills because there are large hills with narrow lanes just entering the city. Something to consider if you are planning the 700km drive as I did. Also don’t miss the pink lake – it has a perfect stoping area on the way.
Day 4: Streaky Bay – I arrived in the evening and was able to find a lovely hotel near the entrance to the city. It was so comfy, clean, and spacious! They even had ice cream in the freezer for guests! Streaky Bay small town but you can already appreciate the difference in beaches and rock formations from what you see before this. It is also the place where they caught the largest shark in Australia! The museum with the real-size shark imitation is in the gas station upstairs!Day 5: Border village: SA and WA border the town is called: Bordervillage! Cozy restaurant and campground I paid 15$ for a space for my tent next to my car (where hotels are usually around 100$ per night). It was amazing to wake up in the night to see the millions of stars. Just for that is worth the camping struggles. Hot shower for 10 min is 2$ and dinner at a reasonable price too. Very friendly workers there mostly from Europe – met many French and Spanish speakers.
Day 6: Norseman: was not that great. This is where you wish you had a campervan. The town is very small but is the largest in the area and it doesn’t give a good environment as many drunk people there. The only decent place was booked out so I managed to find a hotel run by aboriginal family and stayed there in a room quietly and left early. I was glad to see some familiar faces near the camping area near the hotel, a french family I had met while crossing the desert. You do make friends along the way on trips like this.
Crossing the desert: one of the most impressive things you will ever do in life! Especially if you are a solo traveler. Physical isolation has its own benefits that only the one who experiences this can know about. It was similar to me in Nepal, approaching the Everest Base Camp.
Day 7: Perth. I booked an Airbnb for two nights but it happened to be Australia Day long weekend and with all being closed I thankfully found a decent hotel for my first week and soon after took a 6-month lease here in Claremont.
Long journey, but unforgettable experiences. You will see way more than you can plan for. Best advice to budget finances well and not to fear. The road is long but with good music and a good attitude, anything is achievable!
Do check out my new youtube channel as I will post new videos regularly. It is all about travel experiences as a third culture kid, growing and staying among cultures. Enjoying the beauty of Australia for the last 6 years!