Lifelong lessons for German Julia
LIKE most young adults fresh out of high school, Julia had no idea what she wanted to do, so she thought a gap year in Australia with her best friend sounded like the perfect plan.
She almost decided to go to Canada, but the idea of sunshine and the famous Australian coastline won her over.
Arriving in Sydney at the start of November, the excited 18-year-old fell into the groove, hitting it off with her host family and making lifelong friends at her casual café job.
Julia is looking forward to being reunited with her sister and mum in a couple of weeks, who are travelling to Australia to meet her.
The trio will explore the outback together.
What's your favourite Australian destination so far?
I loved Fraser Island, I have never seen landscapes and nature like it before, it was breathtaking.
What's the weirdest thing about Australian culture?
Everyone in Australia is the complete opposite of people in Germany. Australians are open-minded and friendly. In my first few days here I thought it was weird people would even say thank you to the bus driver, but now I love it, and I do it too.
What's a moment from your travels you'll remember forever?
I worked with a lot of people from India and Asia in the café in Sydney and they took me out for dinner one night to a Chinese restaurant.
It was so amazing. I'd never eaten food like that before - I have eaten Chinese food in Germany in the past, but it still tastes like German food.
I like how Australia is so multi-cultural. I think it's more so than Germany.
How has travel changed you?
I've learnt how to take care of myself.
I don't have my mum here, so I have to manage everything on my own.
What's your top Australian travel tip?
Don't worry about spending all your money, because you can always make more, but that moment might be gone forever.