Having just ended a five-year relationship with university, I was ready for adventure. 

Australia seemed as good a place as any to wait out the recession. Plus, it had something Ireland hadn’t had in two years: sunshine.

The idea was to buy a van and go rollin’ in me home-y around the length and breadth of Oz for the next 12 months. 

After half-a-dozen mechanical checks and a dozen-and-a-half disappointments I found the Holy Grail of Aussie campervans, one with its virginity intact. 

A Toyota Spacia which had never attempted the Big Loop of Oz. A perverse sense of pleasure ran through me.I was going to be the one to break her in. All I needed was a destination…

For no other reason than some Ouija movements over our map, me, my man and
my motor chose the mountainy town of Katoomba as our first base. 

I’ll never forget my first glimpse of the Blue Mountains, a misty veil of indigos and greys shrouded Katoomba’s cafe-lined streets. 

We hiked, drank in magnificent views, showered beneath cascades of cool mountain water (no four-minute limit here!) and joined an eclectic array of international travellers around the campfire under the stars. This, my friends, is living.