Although our Virgin Australia flight to Melbourne had been delayed from leaving Los Angeles the night before, our flight was pretty uneventful.

The Virgin Australia crew were all really helpful. It is always refreshing to hear the Aussie accents as you board the plane after a long stint in the US. The only downside was the seats felt a little small and uncomfortable on the buttocks for a long flight. That said, after trying to stay awake and watch the Hobbit, I dozed off pretty quickly. This past 30 days of travel had left me tired I guess (first world problems).

Related Post: What It’s Like Flying Virgin Australia from Los Angeles to Melbourne

Arrival into Melbourne

We landed in Melbourne at around 8am. We got through customs really quick as it is pretty much all electronic these days. Even for Danielle who was coming in on a working holiday visa, she just walked right on through. On our entry card we had declared that we’d been in wilderness areas (the Grand Canyon). We let the customs guy know we had washed everything so we just went right on through. The most painful part of it all, was just waiting for bags at the luggage carousel while you’re still feeling drowsy.

On the other side of customs, our family was waiting for us. It was great to see them after more than 6 months for me, and a couple of years for Danielle. We loaded our luggage into two cars and headed to my brothers house. The rest of the family were waiting to surprise us there with breakfast!

A delicious breakfast waiting for us in Australia
A delicious breakfast waiting for us in Australia

What a treat. Here we are in Australia!

Picking the right Phone Plan for Australia

Once the rest of the family had left, Danielle took a nap. Meanwhile, my brother and I headed to The shopping center to pick up ALDImobile SIM cards and of course some pies for lunch!

I had been expecting phone plans back in Australia that didn’t give you much. When I left you used to have an allocated number of texts, calls and data. Now on an Aldi $25 prepaid plan you can get unlimited calls and texts anywhere in Australia as well as to 15 countries (including the US). It also gives you 18 Gig of data which we don’t come close to using. Aldi uses the Telstra network so coverage is great. The only thing I’d add is that their customer service isn’t great. 

In the afternoon, I set up our phones, then we caught a train. We headed out to Croydon Hills to watch some Christmas Carols with family.

Danielle under a Jacaranda on our way to the station
Danielle under a Jacaranda on our way to the station

We had come a long way in the last 30 days. Although our Farewell Tour, Ameristralia2019 was officially over, our travels have not ended. Who knows what the next few months of celebrations, reunions with old friends and searching for jobs will look like?

Highlights of our Road Trip Across the USA

But for now, it’s the perfect point to look back over this past month. I asked Danielle about what she liked about our month of traveling across the US.

“Seeing Family and Las Vegas including Ka, Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. I feel like at the Hoover Dam we got the most value out of any of the tourist activities we did during our trip. I am still a bit bummed that we didn’t make it to Roswell when we were in New Mexico, but maybe next time.”

Memorial Bridge near Hoover Dam
Memorial Bridge near Hoover Dam

For me, I liked listening to Jazz in New Orleans, Hiking down into the Grand Canyon and our jam packed day around Alamogordo, at White Sands, Eating BBQ and the Space museum. Oh and the Aquarium in Atlanta, standing there watching Whale Sharks swim by.

What about you? If you’ve been on a trip across the US, what was your highlight? If you haven’t been yet, what are you excited to see?