Australia still carries an image of a largely untamed landscape and extreme wilderness. In that way it still goes hand in hand with our view of the Arctic regions, much of Africa and the Amazon. Maybe it's an 'A' thing? Anyway, unfortunately Australia hasn't avoided the seemingly relentless march of habitat loss, destruction and the problems caused by changing environment.
Hi! My name is Jojo, I'm a writer and editor, I've just turned 30 and I'm moving to Australia in March 2016. No, I'm not doing it the adult way, I don't have a work visa - Lord, no - I'm grasping my last chance to spend one (hopefully two) years 'bumming around' (technical term) and becoming reacquainted with a long lost friend of mine: Relaxation. Yes, that's right, I have a working holiday visa.
It shows a staggering level of disregard for the indigenous population. We committed genocide. Probably best not to rub it in. Even the deep South of the US have finally admitted that the confederate flag is f*cked up. South Africa celebrates and documents the end of Apartheid, not the day it was invented. It's gross, just so damn gross.
Doing what I do for a living, I spend my waking hours weighing up the potential of misadventure against the likelihood, the steps you need to take to minimize danger against the worst possible outcome. The risk of shark attack in Australia is tiny, but the potential effects are catastrophic, and so I cannot in good faith just tell my Aussie supporters to carry on swimming anytime, anywhere.
As I thought back to the last few days I'd had in Spain, I realised one thing: I didn't want to go back to the UK. I could feel the heat rising up my body and my palms were becoming clammy. What was it that was making my pulse race so much? The thought of returning to work? The weather? The lack of adventure ahead?
Growing up, I had all of the opportunities. Like a good Russian kid, I had piano lessons twice a week and tennis lessons on Sunday mornings. I went to drama school on weekends, as well as writing classes and horse riding lessons. I can't remember a time in my childhood when I wasn't inundated with recreational activities.