In a leap of faith and desire for adventure, I left my job at the NOTA in March to work three months as a Journalist in England .
During my time in the English Midlands working at the Leicester Mercury Newspaper, the locals were surprised I’d left such a picturesque part of the Australia to come to their patch of the world.
I was invited by a Rotary club in the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest to take part in this job exchange.
When I was first told I would be going to Leicester, I couldn’t even pronounce it. My knowledge stretched as far as red Leicester cheese, lots of curry and that Richard III had had his bones dug up in a car park there.
My first view of Leicester was Leicester Cathedral and the Buddhist Mediation Centre. Two religions in one street, I liked the place already.
I think the vibrant Indian culture mixed in with modern-day English culture is what makes Leicester special.
On first arriving I was worried why everyone was asking me if I was all right. Every conversation seemed to start with “You all right?”. At first I thought I must have looked sick, but quickly came to realise Leicester’s “you all right?” is the English equivalent of an Aussie’s “how ya goin’, mate?”
I started replacing my timid “yes” with a slightly more confident, “yeah, good, and you?”.
It was thrilling working in a busy daily newsroom on the other side of the world, but there were plenty of similarities that made me feel right at home.
Just like Australian journalists they’re all hungry for a good lead and a good human angle to make stories relatable for their readers.
One of the most thrilling aspects of my time here has been the opportunity to go on two press trips abroad to write travel features. The first was to Crete and second to Morzine in the French Alps. The entire experience has opened so many new doors for me, strengthening my confidence, knowledge and networks.
Since finishing at the Newspaper I have worked on the Tillerman’s food and wine tour in Bergerac and am about to travel the Croatian coastline on a yacht with my parents.
I am looking to return to Australia by the end of the year. I often think of Tea Gardens which will always hold a precious place in my heart.