It was late afternoon when we arrived in Perth. We were making our way to my cousin and his wife’s house east of the CBD. I hadn’t seen Josh in probably close to 15 years and had never met Heather. But when I first mentioned to Josh’s uncle Scott that my partner and I would be traveling to Australia, he was quick to suggest that we connect with Josh.

Josh and Heather have been living in Perth for about nine years. When I learned that my long lost cousin was in Oz, I messaged him to ask his advice for two hippy-type backpackers looking to explore this continent. He gave us some great preliminary advice and hot spots to check out. He was also extremely generous in offering us space with him and Heather in Perth if we needed it. They had played host to other friends and family in the past and seemed genuinely happy to have us if we ended up in their area.

After about a month and a half to two months in Australia, we decided to take Josh and Heather up on their offer of a temporary home base. This would allow us to be stationary for a while, get to know Perth more intimately, and find work. We also offered to house- and dog-sit for them for six weeks while they traveled through the UK.

On the day we arrived, we were greeted happily by Heather and their dog, Leland (best dog ever). We immediately felt the weight of travel fall off our shoulders as we were welcomed into their beautiful home. We had our own bedroom and use of the bathroom on the second floor which we were SO grateful for, having spent the majority of the last month truly on the road. A hot, free shower?! YES PLEASE. We still talk about how great that first shower was.

We cleaned up and had a reunion with cousin Josh! We spent a lot of time talking about our travels and future plans, and figuring out just exactly how we are related (lol).

Most importantly, we were beyond-words-grateful for their generosity and hospitality. We would share slowly over the few months here with Josh and Heather how backpacking had engaged, excited and challenged us. By the time we leave Perth and their home, I hope they will understand just how much it meant to us to have a place to land, with people from home who cared enough to accept two dirty travelers into their home.

Read on for more on our adventures in Perth!

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