The Surreal Life
I woke up this morning with the shocking realization that I'm already 5 days into my new life down unda (!!) and immediately my fingers starting itching for my laptop. The days flew by in such a blur - a trend I imagine is here to stay - so I trekked it to a nearby cafe and fired up my laptop in an attempt to not let my adventure slip away undocumented. The horror!
Some of these photos are from my visit to Sydney in February; fitting because it was my first introduction to this beautiful sun-drenched country and planted the seed in my heart of a life here. I loved it so much, you wouldn't have thought it would take a whopping 5 months for me to get back here but c'est la vie, right?! It takes me a few days to get around to menial tasks and chores, so five months for an across the world move is actually consistent. However, I did intentionally take my time. I did not want it to feel impulsive or crazy. I didn't want to mistake moving for an adrenaline rush. I knew I couldn't do it unless I was 100% sure that my motives were in the right place. I started by spending the better part of the 15 hour plane ride from Sydney back to SFO contemplating if I could really do it. Could I really close the chapter on the beautiful life I put together for myself in San Francisco and start from scratch way down unda? Could I really be far away from my friends and family with whom I'm almost unnaturally obsessed with?
The answer, of course, is yes.
Not because it's easy. But because I was raised to be brave, to be curious about the world, to be capable, and to believe in myself. I have always loved traveling, and loved exploring the world, but come time to go home, there was always a part of me that was excited. Either to see the fam, or to be in familiar surroundings, or even just to eat a good ol' American meal. Even in some of my favorite cities, traveling with my favorite people, despite having to end a vacation, I still found something to be excited to return to. Because home is home and will always beckon you back.
But I didn't have that feeling when I left Sydney in February. I spent the last few days of my trip in denial that I would have to leave. I never even got sad because I refused to let myself think about it. Being at the airport, getting on the plane, landing in SF - It felt like a dream that I would wake up from... in my bed in Sydney.
I realized this is because I felt like I was leaving home rather than returning to it.
And that's the thing - home will always beckon you back. Sydney replaced San Francisco in my heart and what else was there to do but explore that path? Career-wise, I was ready for a change, and was running out of reasons not to do it. The further I got into the discussion with myself, the more staying became the scarier option. Staying was the less scary/ hard/ crazy option, but its complacency would deny my heart what it truly wanted. Those are terms I just couldn't live with. I'd rather take the dare.
Better an "Oops!" than a "What if?"
So here I am, five days in, and not for a second have I regretted it! Any nerves that may have been lurking in the corners of my mind evaporated the second I looked around and found myself back in the city I love. I've spent most (read: all) of my time here so far with the handsome fella pictured below :) (#NoMoreSkype !!) and a few lovely friends.
I had the warmest welcome imaginable my first night - an amazing home cooked meal with the people who made my decision to move easy in the apartment I missed so much!
I even got to have a little mini 4th of July celebration! Aussies are very into American things. SoCal Neutral Bay is a cute little bar whose decor is dedicated to the lower half of California. And on Sunday, they served up the best of American goodies: buckets of Budweiser (hats included), apple pie (it's winter in Sydney, remember!), burgers, and spicy wings! We cheersed to 'MURICA and closed out the weekend...
The cliche is that you learn something new every day. Never more true than when you move to a new country, so I'm starting a series where I recount what I've learned about Australia...
Lessons from Down Unda
- People who live in Sydney are called Sydneysiders - cute, right?!
- Voting is compulsory in Oz! If you don't vote, you get fined $50!! Crazy
- It DOES get cold. I knew I'd be arriving in the middle of winter, but refused to believe it would actually be cold. Big mistake. HUGE. I bought a heater. Actually.
- Aussies really do abbreviate EVERYTHING. For the first time, the funny things I say actually make me fit in! :)
Will be bringing my camera out again to better provide a play-by-play :) Cheers!