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EXCLUSIVE: Sophie Delezio celebrates turning 21 with her boyfriend and has “so much to look forward to” as an adult

Why the milestone feels so huge for her.
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For Sophie Delezio, turning 21 last week has her in two minds.

On the one hand, Sophie – who was dubbed the “beautiful girl in bandages” in the early 2000s after suffering through two horrific car accidents – is grappling with reaching the milestone.

On the other, it’s just another day in what’s lined up to be the biggest year of her life so far.

“Turning 21 does feel huge,” she tells Woman’s Day. “I had no idea where I was going to be [at this age], mainly because of my journey.

But I’ve tried to not have too many expectations and just live in the moment.

“I had no idea where I was going to be.”

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

“I’ve got a lot ahead this year and I’m excited to get things started,” she adds.

To ring in the milestone, Sophie gathered her nearest and dearest last month at her parents’ home on Sydney’s North Shore, where they shared great food, played prosecco pong – a “classy version of beer pong!” – and sang along to show tunes.

And while her family were emotional as they celebrated their brave girl’s entrance into adulthood, for Sophie, the occasion served more as a farewell to her old life and the beginning of a new chapter – kicking off with a seven-month trip around the world with her boyfriend Joseph Salerno.

“We’re so excited! We’re going to Canada, Alaska, New York, then over to Europe, back to the US and then ending in Japan,” Sophie enthuses.

“People think we’re a little crazy for doing it now [due to COVID-19] but you’ve got to do it at one point, and you can’t stay inside forever.”

“We’re going to have a very special day.”

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

As well as a seven-day road trip around Alaska, seeing “a lot” of musicals – including her favourite, Hamilton, for the 15th time – and watching Joseph’s favourite band, Motley Crue, play live in San Francisco, Sophie says she’s especially excited to celebrate her special day again in her once-adopted home of London, particularly as Joseph has meticulously planned the entire day out for her.

“I’ve planned a nice little breakfast for us at a place called The Ivy,” says Joseph, who is a chef.

“And then we’re off to high tea, and then a gallery that’s showcasing the artist who did all the illustrations for the Harry Potter books, then a few bars, and then we’ll head to a cool restaurant called Sketch.”

“I [would be] happy with a picnic in the park, but he’s gone above and beyond. We’re going to have a very special day,” Sophie adds.

When asked how they think they’ll travel together, they glance quickly at each other before bursting into laughter.

“We’re going to have a very special day.”

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

“Travelling is always bound to test your relationship,” Joseph, 22, says cheekily, before adding, “I reckon we’ll be alright.”

“We’ve lasted seven years being friends, so I don’t think this will be too challenging,” says Sophie.

“And we’ll be seeing a lot of my friends and family along the way, so we’ll have those people joining us – helping us break it up a bit.”

The huge seven-month journey will also serve as a testing ground for the pair, with Sophie revealing they plan to move in with each other once they return to Australia at the end of the year.

“We’ve got a home in Sydney we’ve bought off the plan, and it’ll just be us two,” she reveals.

The couple are going to travel the world together.

(Image: Phillip Castleton)

“It’s a big step but I think if we can get through seven months abroad, then we’ll be OK living together.

“We’re just trying to embrace the moment and we thought why not now? We’ll collect all this memorabilia from our trip and put it in our home.

“It’s nice having something to look forward to when we get back home from travelling,” she says.

With so much on the horizon, Sophie, who works as a carer and writer, admits to feeling a little overwhelmed.

WATCH: Behind the scenes with Sophie DeLezio. Story continues after video.

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However, with so many doors opening up, both figuratively and literally with her new home, Sophie says she’s ready to tackle the coming months, and her remaining 20s, head on.

“The next decade will be all about taking new opportunities, I think,” she tells.

“This is a good time for me to reset and figure out what I want in life, and where I want to go, for my career especially. It could be a turning point there, but I don’t know what will come – I’m just excited for it all.”

Sophie and Joseph are planning to move in together at the end of the year.

The lovebirds will celebrate Sophie’s birthday again in London.

Party props supplied by The Party People

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