Hello from Oz 

Episod Four - Let's go see some sharks!!  

After leaving Adelaide, I was buzzing with nerves and excitement on my way to Port Lincoln. I was about to fulfil a lifelong dream—cage diving with Great White Sharks. 😬 
The anticipation for the day to arrive made the 10-hour bus ride fly by! Port Lincoln welcomed me with its quiet charm, boasting beautiful landscapes and streets lined with boutique shops offering everything imaginable. The town's peaceful serenity was captivating, whether sitting on the beach listening to the ocean or watching the bustling harbour with boats coming and going. 
For this leg of my journey, I stayed in an apartment, and what a find it was! The location couldn't have been better, just a 2-minute walk from where Calypso Star Charters were docked, where I needed to be at 6 am sharp 
The day finally arrived, and with fingers and toes crossed (and having taken four motion sickness tablets), I boarded the boat with sleepy excitement. It was a long 3.5 hour journey to the Neptune Islands, but once we arrived, it was all systems go! The cage was lowered into the water, and we all suited up in our wetsuits. Learning to use the oxygen and breathing equipment was a challenge, forcing your body to breathe through your mouth and trusting the equipment to work underwater. 
Getting into the cage was an eerie feeling. You wanted to see if you could spot the sharks but were also slightly terrified that one might be waiting for you. Once inside, it felt like being in a washing machine, thrown around from side to side while clinging to the cage's side. 🤢 
Unfortunately, luck was not on our side that day. After 5 hours at Neptune Island, we didn't see any sharks. However, we encountered plenty of fish, some of which joined us at the cage (surprisingly slimy!). Despite not seeing the Great Whites, everyone remained in good spirits, sharing stories with fellow enthusiasts and staff who had plenty of tales from their shark tours. 
Purple reflections 
It was an unforgettable experience, and I would jump at the chance to do it again. If you ever get the opportunity, don't overthink it—just say yes.  
Having said that, looking back at it now there are things I would change to make it even better.  
We love the Engagement Ladder at Purple Story. Whether that's for looking at where our team is on the ladder, or for ourselves. If I am going to be completely honest, at the start of the day I would have been at the top - engaged and excited, on top of the world, and ready for everything. But as the day progressed and the travel sickness hit, along with the disappointment of not seeing any sharks, I probably dropped down the ladder without realising, possibly even down to being a mood hoover!  
Through things out of my control I may have pulled the mood and experience down around me, or maybe not. But this is just an example of how our mood affects others even when we don't want or even mean to.  
Could the company I went with have done more or provided me with a better service? Maybe. But this time, I have to hold my own hand up first. Yes, I felt rubbish, but did that have to stop me getting more involved? Or speaking with different people and the team more? No. I had a great day but if I went again I would do more to immerse myself in the experience and keep hold of the engagement and excitement! 

Episode Three - Time to head off to Adelaide  

It is finally time for me to start my solo travelling journey. After staying with family for the first leg of my trip, I was definitely ready to set off on my own and start ticking off my bucket list! 
My journey kicked off with an overnight 12-hour bus journey from Melbourne to Adelaide. The prospect of being on my own in a new place with no one I knew was slightly daunting, but also so exciting! 
I got lucky and met a lovely fellow Brit called Emily before heading off, thanks to the fab app Hostelworld. Can you believe it? We were both on the same bus, seats next to each other, and in the same hostel! I couldn’t have landed on my feet better if I tried. Now the bus journey wasn’t just an opportunity to sleep, but to get to know a new friend and plan the week ahead. 
Arriving in Adelaide on Saturday morning at 6 am, we were in dire need of food and sleep so it was a quick pit stop at McDonald's and on to the hostel to try and sweet talk the receptionist into allowing us to check in early. And luck was on our side once again as we got checked in 7 hours early! Thank you, YHA! After a granny nap, we decided to explore the city to see what was happening. 
What do you do in a new city on a Saturday night? You go and experience what the nightlife has to offer! And 2 became 3 when we met someone else to join us on our travels Welcome Florian, who is at the end of his travels and enjoying his last few days in Adelaide before flying home to Switzerland. 
We tried a few of the local pubs and bars and then stopped for food. It was such a busy night; you couldn’t move for people spilling out onto the streets. There were street performers everywhere, buskers, a comedy show, and a circus, all on for the last weekend of their Fringe Festival. You got swept up in the partying and the hustle and bustle of the evening! 
Also remarkable for such a busy night where every table was full and there were queues to get in everywhere, you never waited more than 5 minutes for a drink or 15 minutes for your food. It was awesome to see how well-prepared they were for the overwhelming number of people who were out this weekend. #Purple! 
When everything is so far away from each other, there is no better way to see the sights than hiring a car! That is just what we did on Sunday. At 6.30am we were on our way to pick up our car for the day. What a day it was; we covered 421 km in total, visiting 8 different places. Some were just lookouts for us to stop and enjoy the never-ending views. 
The day ended with a night on the town to celebrate Emily's 25th Birthday! We found a small club with the best music and good vibes. We stayed there dancing and singing with the locals who definitely knew how to let go and just enjoy themselves, until we all got kicked out at closing. 
It has been such a good few days! I will be sad to say goodbye and see you later to Emily and Florian, but it has just made me that more excited to see who else I can meet and what else I get up to. 
A sneak peek for next week – let’s hopefully say hello to some sharks!!  

Episode Two - Time to start exploring  

I am a week in now and I am loving it!! It’s been a busier week and I’ve managed to explore some new places! 
Let’s start with the trip to the beach. I was so looking forward to going somewhere new and finally dipping my feet into the ocean, a rite of passage I think after setting foot in a new country. 
I was expecting somewhere I had never heard of before but can you believe we went to... Torquay! 😂 But it was so worth it! The beach that stretched for miles, sand that was so soft beneath your feet, and that refreshingly cool ocean water lapping at your feet. What more can a girl ask for! 
My Mini Break  
Next, it was time to jump in the car and head off on a mini break for the Australian bank holiday. We were off to a small – a VERY small - town called Trentham, with that slow-paced, time-has –come-to –a-stop feel. You felt like you were in a Western at times 😂. 
The only place that was in walking distance was a perfectly placed Irish pub. And boy did they have it down to a T! A beer garden that you never wanted to leave, with sun, shade, and an ice cold drink to quench your thirst. The food aromas made your mouth water as they went past so you couldn’t help but order some. 
here was not a drop of food left on my plate – I didn’t want to leave a single bit behind. For a small family-run venue they had it right. The staff that took the time to get to know you, (even when it got them in trouble with the boss, or should I say their dad), and they made you feel like you were part of their community. #PurpleApproved! 
There was not a drop of food left on my plate – I didn’t want to leave a single bit behind. For a small family-run venue they had it right. The staff that took the time to get to know you, (even when it got them in trouble with the boss, or should I say their dad), and they made you feel like you were part of their community. #PurpleApproved! 
The next town over Dayleford, was slightly bigger with a more lively vibe and a nice little surprise for us when we arrived! We had picked the weekend of their Chill Out Festival, celebrating Pride. What an atmosphere. You could feel the joy and happiness in the air. For a relatively small town, they sure knew how to put on a do, from different parties on every corner to a parade that not only included the whole town, but the businesses and local authorities joined in too. Everyone who came out for the festival had a great day. 
These two experiences really over delivered and show how easily you can create a memorable experience. The Pick Your Own Sunflower farm we visited on the way home should take note. 
Advertised as a mini market of artisan stalls, food, and even shade to get out of the heat, we turned up to find a huge field, no shade, 1 food stall, about 5 produce stalls and very little else. After paying $15 a ticket, we expected more. On top of the ticket, paying $4 for each sunflower you picked and $5 to rent the cutter, there needed to be more available. 
The fields filled with sunflowers were beautiful -I even found one taller than me! - so it was an experience I will remember, but it could have been so much more! They didn’t even have anything to wrap your sunflowers in to keep them hydrated. I can now tick it off my list as something I’ve done, but won’t be in a hurry to repeat again – or to recommend it to my fellow travellers. 
We filled our few days away with exploring in the cooler mornings and spending the 39-degree (!) afternoons with a cool drink in the garden. Good food, good company and a morning view that even got me up to watch the sunrise. 
(A little something to know about me is I LOVE sleep and seeing me before 7am is a very rare occurrence. So me getting up at the crack of dawn to climb in the back of the truck and see the sunrise, it must have been special! But I will let you decide from the pictures.) 
See you all next week! Sara 💜 

Episode One - Arriving in Australia  

I’ve taken the amazing opportunity to travel Australia for 3 months, so for the duration of my travels I will be sharing what I get up to and my #purple experiences. Keep your eyes peeled every week to see what I have gotten up to. 
First stop, Manchester Airport! ✈️🌏 
Time to get that flight (who else dreads the thought of long-haul flights?). Expecting the seats to be like tinned sardines, we had treated ourselves to an upgrade in premier economy - worth every penny for slightly more room and to get served first! 
Flying with Qatar was an experience - and a luxury I wasn’t used to after only having flown budget before. From impressive service and friendly staff, I couldn’t fault the service we received! A real Purple bunch. 
I can even rate the food! From a delicious chicken curry to a melt in your mouth fish served HOT, I was shocked. Given the reputation of airline food as being bland, plain, and not so great, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Even if my chicken sandwich turned out to be a pasty 😂. 
It was a quick pitstop at Doha airport going straight from one plane, onto a buggy (my travel companion needs assistance) and onto the next plane! No time to stop and look! Thank goodness for the buggy, what an enormous airport! I’d have missed my connection if it wasn’t for that ride. 😬 
Even though the service was great I have to say, I’m glad I have 11 weeks before the return flight! 
Time now to settle into Melbourne life, before the adventures continue… 
See you all next week, Sara! 💜 
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