I often think back on my travels and wonder how I made them happen. Twentytwo year old Cirrena, who was working fulltime and a full-time graduate student. How did that Cirrena manage to save up enough to get a LAST MINUTE ticket to Melbourne, Australia? I am so proud of that Cirrena for making it happen.
Back in 2016 when my best friend, Gabby, told me she was traveling abroad, the question wasn’t are you going to visit but when are you visiting. I knew I couldn’t go a whole semester without seeing my girl! I also couldn’t miss out on the chance for us to see another part of the world together. First, I checked my school calendar for spring break because I couldn’t miss class #Responsible. Then, I made sure I would have enough PTO saved up and started checking Skyscanner religiously for cheap tickets #FinanciallyResponsible.
When I began looking, tickets were about $900. Since I was in graduate school at the time and wanted to be responsible, I waited until after registration to book my flight. I wanted to make sure I knew when I need to be at school so I could stay in Australia for as long as possible. By the time I registered for classes the price went up to $1300! The smart experienced Cirrena of 2020 wishes I could tell myself to spend the $80 for the refundable ticket that would have ended up working out and save over THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS, but hindsight is 20/20.
I bit the bullet and spent what was probably an entire paycheck on my economy ticket to Melbourne. With a direct flight, and an entire row to myself I arrived in Melbourne ready to heal. This trip’s timing, or should I say God’s timing, was perfect. One month before this trip I lost my
grandmother Big Mama. It was a very difficult time and I’m grateful for the opportunity to get away from the “sorries” I was hearing from everyone and get some feeling of normalcy back.
That week in Melbourne was truly a dream. It was the perfect combination of a solo trip and traveling with friends. While Gabby spent her days studying I had plenty of time to wander and explore alone. I walked for miles, mostly on accident because I couldn’t find a place to reload my bus pass(find a place to top up your Myki pass here) . Time was spent visiting shops and restaurants eating every English Breakfast I found, these are hard to come by in The States. I was drinking Flat Whites like water all week. Together, Gabby and I saw a penguin at St. Kilda Beach, drove the Great Ocean Road to see the Twelve Apostles, and soaked up the sun at Brighton Beach.
This was truly an unforgettable time for friendship, healing, and growth. The time I had alone was the most I’d had in a long time. It was very much needed to remind myself that I could be alone. I can walk down the street, sit and eat lunch, explore a museum, and enjoy my own company. I learned to take advantage of the few hours a day I have to do those things and I’ll never forget it.