The end of an era, the start of an adventure.

Its finally time to say goodbye to Tully. When I arrived in this small town nearly 6 months ago I never could imagine being here for so long, meeting such wonderful people and having such an unusually incredible experience. Coming to Tully was the first part of my solo travelling and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous but we are only ever scared of the things that challenge us, and I am so glad I stuck with my gut and continued travelling.

When I left my Chantelle, all I knew was that I was heading to a hostel in the north of Queensland to work on bananas, I had no idea who I’d meet, what I’d be doing, or where I would end up. From the moment I arrived at Banana Barracks I knew I wouldn’t ever be alone. Everyone was so friendly talking to me as soon as I walked through the door. I moved into the 8-bed boys room as it was the only place left and I’m so glad I did. My roommates were all one of a kind. Marcel was an incredible guy, instantly made me feel at home and gave me the best welcome to Tully I could imagine. In my first week I saw so much, all thanks to him. And then you have Nobu, words cannot describe my love for this guy. He is a pleasure to be around, always smiling, singing and warm not to mention his cooking – you couldn’t fault it! The other roommate that made my time in Tully was Henrik. I’m so happy I was put in the same room as him and having arrived at a similar time it was nice not to be the only new person in the room. Having said that, he made my stay at Banana Barracks worthwhile, always making me smile no matter what. But that wasn’t the end of it, as well as the people in my room I made some great friends from around the hostel and I think it goes without mentioning the impact Alex and Jordan had on my stay in the hostel. These two girls were honestly like sisters to me. I could tell them anything and without a doubt they would laugh at me, listen to me and help me wherever they could. When these two incredible girls left, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy as no one could ever replace them, but I am so glad I got to meet them, and I know it won’t be long till we are united again. Although I had already met Ed when I was in Sydney over the new year, I never really gave myself the chance to get to know him, but looking back now I don’t know why I didn’t. As soon as I arrived in Tully we clicked. He was honestly my best friend and it really does feel empty not having him around anymore. When you’re staying in a hostel, even though you are surrounded by people, you can’t help but feel lonely. You’re friends with everyone, but close to no one, it’s a weird situation to be in, but luckily I had Ed. He was such an inspiration for me, he got me through my hardest times, we shared many a laughs, cries and gossip, he found out more about the old me than anyone else and I wasn’t ashamed to tell him. Talking to him gave me such courage to over come everything from before; I honestly cannot imagine the rest of my life without him. We then have the boys, a mixture of English, Swedish and French, these guys were such amazing people to be around. Always laughing, smiling, there was never a dull moment with them. The place was never the same when they left and I owe so much to them all. From countless drunken nights out in Rafters, to trips to Mission Beach, to drunken chats on the hammock seats, I enjoyed every second of my time with every single one of these boys and I hope to see them all again. There are so many people you meet and connect with at a working hostel, from those in your room, to those on your floor, to those at work, to just those you see on a night out, it’s a great atmosphere to be around to make friends, you are never truly alone. When you’re in a working hostel I came to realise it may feel as though you are alone, but there are always people around you who care and will do all they can to make sure you smile again. I owe a lot to the people I met over my time in Tully, and I cannot begin to thank everyone enough, but it’s safe to say it’s the people who make the experience quite so magical.

After leaving Tully for the cruise and coming back again, nothing felt the same as it did before. So many of the people I was close with had gone so it felt like it was time for me to do the same. After being back for a few weeks I decided to move into a share house and I’m so glad I did. Don’t get me wrong, there are some downsides to being in a house rather than the hostel as you can’t help but feel left out from what is happening, but in a house you get your space, your privacy, normality and a home. It was such a good feeling knowing that every day I was going back to my home rather than just a bunk bed.

As for work, (when I eventually did get work I mean, you know, 6 weeks later) well I can say, hand on my heart I never thought a banana could make me cry, bleed and ache so much. It was a job I’m glad I experience but I honestly couldn’t do it for the rest of my life. From the panic of the belt moving to fast, to the stress of not getting your box to weigh the right amount, to the constant stabbing pain in your back, spasms in your hand, along with the level of crazy it turns you, it’s an experience I won’t ever forget. Most days I hated my life, I wanted to cry, throw bananas, just scream over the level of stress they seemed to bring, but then there were days where I couldn’t help but love my job. It was such a surreal situation every day felt so different, one minute you couldn’t help but laugh at how crazy standing in silence for 8 hours a day while you stare at bananas made you, the next day made you want to cry. From talking to the bananas in my head, to making it my mission to save as many tree frogs I could, to convincing yourself this was all part of a tv show, ‘The Banana Games’ and constantly being on edge waiting for someone to come over and tell you it was all for TV – to say it turns you crazy is an understatement.

My experience in Tully has been one I never could have imagined. It was nothing like I expected it to be, but so much more. I arrived in Tully alone, nervous but excited for what was to come, but I’m not leaving alone. I’ve made so many friends along the way that I know will always be with me. Having said all that, my time in this weird little town wouldn’t have been anywhere near as great if it wasn’t for Mikey. Having met me at the bus stop on my first day to carry my bags for me, making me waffles and ice cream for dinner that very same day, I knew he would be a big part of my time in Tully. We spent every minute we could together and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. He made my time in Tully. Living together was easy, so much easier than I thought it ever would be, our countless adventures around Queensland will be memories to cherish so will the adventures to come. From the many trips to mission beach, days out to Cape tribulation, Cairns, Innisfail, the Tablelands, and many more, Tully wasn’t just a home for six months, it was an adventure, one I’m very glad I shared with him. He’s seen me at my extremes, seen me cry, laugh, drunkenly laid on the toilet floor of rafters, but it’s him that’s got me through it all. I owe a lot to this guy, more than he realises and I can never thank him enough for all he has done for me. I can’t help but smile when I look at him, think of him, or hear from him, and I can’t wait to see what our next adventure brings.

For now though, Townsville is calling and then onto Bali. I’ve got many a photo and videos to upload of Tully and I cannot wait to share the next part of my adventure with you all. The only thing I’d say about Tully is that it’s so unpredictable, it’s almost predictable. It was definitely a love hate relationship and most days I thought I’d never be able to leave the place, but the time has finally come to move on, but Tully will forever be a part of me, and a memory I will forever cherish.

Until next time Tully!

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