5 ways my life’s different after Australia

It’s happened. Against all odds and expectations I have returned to Denmark. Oceans were no match for me. Vast distances didn’t scare me. I soared through the air like an eagle.

Yes, exactly like an eagle trapped inside a massive metal tube with wings, packed with screaming children, travelling through turbulence at 900 km/h.

I am back.

A compassionate blogger knows to avoid talking at length about his travels, lest others become envious and depressed.

I am not a compassionate blogger.

Behold as I present to you a list of things that have changed in my life after this long vacation in Australia.

Quite a misleading picture, seeing how we never went to Ayers Rock

Misleading Picture Alert! We never actually went to Ayers Rock

5. I have a (sort of) tan

This may sound obvious until you learn that, for me, the standard definition of a tan is “first degree burn”. However, a wondrous combination of generously applied  SPF 30+ sunscreen and Australia’s nuclear sun…and voilà – nice crispy brownish colour. Too bad this applies only to the regularly exposed parts of my body, like arms, legs, face and the big toe of my left foot (I need new shoes). On the whole I’m probably more like a Frankenstein’s monster, assuming that Frankenstein assembled his monster from differently shaded Ken-doll body parts.

4. I’m now an expert on Aussie lingo

“G’day mate, how you going?”. Are you impressed yet? OK, so there’s more to it than that. Here’s a helpful guide to speaking like an Australian:

Pick a word. Any word. Does it have more than two syllables? If yes, shorten it to exactly two syllables. Make sure it sounds like you’re talking to a 5 year old. You’re done. Examples include: “brolly” (umbrella), “lolly” (lollipop), “sunnies” (sunglasses), “mozzie” (mosquito). What can I say? Aussies love their baby talk.

Now, can you guess what “flip-flops” are called there? You said “floppies”, didn’t you?! Cute, but wrong! “Flip flops” are called “thongs” in Australia, because of course. I imagine there once was a hilarious misunderstanding involving an Australian company trying to sell “kids’ thongs” on the US market. Good laughs were had by all, except those who ended up on the sex offender registry.

3. I’ve learned a lot about Australian wildlife

When you’re in Australia you’re inevitably exposed to a whole host of wildlife you’ve never met. For example, do you know what the difference between a kangaroo and a wallaby is? If you’re like me your answer to that question was “Wallawho?!”. Thanks to the Australia trip I’m now a lot wiser. I’ve seen it all: wallabies, platypuses, koalas, kangaroos, wombats, wombaroos, koalabees. You name it!

Koalabee. Courtesy of: your nightmares!

Koalabee. Courtesy of: your nightmares

2. I’m no longer a snorkelling virgin

Yup, Australia’s where I’ve snorkelled for the first time in my life. At the Great Barrier Reef. With fish and turtles. And coral. I even petted a turtle on the back. It was awesome.

What was less awesome is that our guides gave us a long lecture on the dangers of the tiny Irukandji jellyfish, only to immediately drop us into the water full of them. Thanks to my snorkelling mask I could enjoy a crystal clear view of dozens of Irukandji swimming right past my face. Delightful.

1. I don’t have a girlfriend anymore…

…I now have a fiancee!

Yup, some minutes after midnight on the 1st of January 2013, shortly after the Sydney New Year fireworks have died down, I proposed.

The proposal took a form of me pointing into the crowd to our left and saying “Hey look, someone’s proposing!”. While my girlfriend’s confused gaze was temporarily fixed on the crowd I took out the ring, which is what she saw when she finally turned back. Despite this cheap trick having unequivocally proven that my emotional maturity is on par with a toddler, she said yes.

She must really see something in me…maybe it’s my bitching’ tan?!

Incredibly, someone on Clker.com made this uncannily appropriate picture.

Someone on Clker.com made this uncannily fitting picture.

So there you have it – I’m soon to be a married man. Or, as they undoubtedly call it in Australia, a “marmie”.


What have you all been up to? How’s 2013 going? How many thongs do you own?

Leave a comment, get a reply. That's how I roll.

31 thoughts on “5 ways my life’s different after Australia

    • Daniel Nest Post author

      Girlfriend / wife-to-be very supportive of my writing, so I doubt the blogger-me would lose out!

      Surprisingly…not a single snake, apart from those we saw in zoos/sanctuaries. They have plenty of deadly stuff but it must have all been hibernating!

  • Ken

    Congratulations on the proposal, I strongly recommend marriage. But that’s just my view.

    Australia frightens me a little bit. It’s like every crazy assed animal that it the most dangerous thing in the world, got dumped down under. That being said, it’s still on my list of places to visit.

  • The Six-Fingered Monkey

    First of all, congratulations.

    Australia is on my bucket list. I have friends there and it sounds beautiful and wonderful. Here’s something I recently learned about Australia. Fewer and fewer women are going topless over there because of “body issues.”

    And there you go… great post. Especially the baby talk – so true.

    • Daniel Nest Post author

      Thanks for the congrats man!

      As for your bucket list – I can definitely recommend Australia wholeheartedly, even with the new discovered “body issues” factoid 😀

  • Bryan Jones

    Great news Daniel – I wish you and your lady a contented future.

    I’ve yet to go to Australia, although it is on my and Mrs Jones’ list of future destinations. I’m taking early retirement this September so there should be more opportunities to reach these far-off destinations. Sounds like you had a memorable time there.

  • Kianwi

    Wow, congratulations! What a lovely thing to do, to propose on an epic trip like that. Happy for you!

    The trip sounds so amazing. I had a friend that went with her husband to be and they also snorkeled in the reef. It’s on my bucket list, for sure.

    I would love the wildlife. I’m particularly interested in what a wombaroo is, cause that just sounds darn cute :)

    Great wrap up post. I love the image of the different-toned Ken doll parts :)

    • Daniel Nest Post author

      Thanks a lot, exciting times ahead. Wedding planning, budget projections, practicalities…fascinating 😛

      Yeah it was definitely an awesome trip. I shall send you a picture of a wombaroo as soon as we go through our archives 😉

    • Daniel Nest Post author

      Ha, actually I think I’ll hold a virtual “blog-only” wedding for the blogging crowd. It will take place on Twitter and reception’s on Facebook 😉

      Thanks a lot, we did have an awesome time! Hope 2013 is treating you well so far, will be visiting your blog soon!

  • Nina Eliseo (Aussie friend of Katka's)

    You’re a lucky bloke to have found such a nice sheila. If you had your wedding in Oz, you could cook up a nice barbie. I hope you didn’t meet too many bogans out of all the Aussies you met. It’s a shame you two didn’t make it to Radelaide, but I hope one day I shall see you in Denmark :-)

    • Daniel Nest Post author

      Indeed, it was been fun to be there for Chrissie and run around in our cozzies! For sure, visit in DK – we’ve got chokkies. OK so I had to Google most of that slang, there’s no need to be such a ratbag about it.

  • Carrie Rubin

    Go to Australia and come back engaged. I suppose if you go to China, you’ll come back pregnant…

    Big congrats on the engagement! Very exciting stuff. Especially when one considers the presents coming your way. And I’m glad you had some relaxation time Down Under. Wish I had a little sun in my neck of the woods. Today there was no need for my “sunnies,” only my “brolly.”

    • Daniel Nest Post author

      Thanks a lot, exciting stuff indeed. Lots of planning ahead, but that’s how it is! Yeah being back in DK after Australia is a bit of a weather shock too…no brollies will help.

  • Martin Bannon Beaudet

    Congratulations, from someone who has endured 19.625 years of marriage, but who’s counting? Oh, and when I was growing up in California half a century ago (I never finished) we also called those things on your feet “thongs.” I have no idea when they crawled up someone’s backside to hide from the sun.

    • Daniel Nest Post author

      Thanks man, and congrats on the upcoming anniversary!

      So “thongs” have a long and rich history of being a confusing term? Thanks for enlightening me…I am a wiser man yet again.

  • raeme67

    Well, congratulations Daniel! All the best to the both of you! May you have many happy years!
    Oh, and the post wasn’t half bad either.