I arrived to Sydney and it was hot and sunny, just what the doctor ordered! I was only there for two and a half days so after I checked into my hostel I was on a mission to see the town. The downtown area of Sydney reminded me of Chicago, it was clean, right on the water and had beautiful architecture. The most iconic building, the famous Sydney Opera House was glistening in the sun on the shore of Sydney Harbor with Harbor Bridge to its left. From there I took a stroll through
the lush Botanical Gardens and watched the locals cut through on their way home from work.
The end of my day was spent walking in the famous “Rocks” neighborhood, the site of Sydney’s first European settlement full of stories detailing drunken sailor and whaler brawls amongst the harborside pubs, brothels and opium dens back in the day.
It felt good to be amongst the hustle and bustle of a big city again. It’s been almost 4 months since I left NYC and this was my first time being back in a big “westernized” city. Within a few hours my big city habits immediately came back. I found my pace slowly picking up and before I knew it I was zig-zagging down George Street in between the crowds and jaywalking like a real local. I guess I am a true city-girl at heart and as the saying goes, “you can take the girl out of the city but you can’t take the city out of the girl”. There is something about big cities that gives me a rush; the big crowds, the busy streets and the high energy that only a big city can possess. Being in a city is like “survival of the fittest”; if you want to go somewhere, it’s up to you to figure it out, whether it’s looking at a map or asking someone. When taking public transportation it’s up to you to to find out where the bus or subway stops are, where to buy tickets and where to get on and off, no one can do this for you. You really feel like you can do anything when you get to your final destination, especially when doing it WITHOUT a cellphone and google maps! I was told that my cellphone wouldn’t work abroad and figured that these 6 months would be a good time to detox from my iphone since it was becoming a real addiction. My first month on the road I went through withdrawals as if I was coming off of a drug. All of the sudden I had nothing to do when I waited in lines, when I was lying in bed, chilling in a park or just plain bored. The first week all I could think was, “what am I going to do with myself if I couldn’t check facebook, instagram and my email every 10 minutes?” It’s been two and a half months without a phone and I”ve noticed even more how much people are addicted to their phones (since I don’t have one and have the time to look around). It’s been a good thing for me, I’m finally getting used to doing things and getting information the old fashion way and in the process I’ve had a lot of great conversations with strangers that never would’ve happened had my head been down looking at a cellphone screen.
On the end of my first day, I decided to pick up some fish’n chips and eat at Sydney Harbor and people watch (since I didn’t have a cellphone to occupy my time). I noticed girls around my age walking home from work in their summer dresses and flats and it reminded me of my time in New York. I wondered where I would be and what I would be doing the next time I was walking home from work on a summer evening in a sundress and flats. Fortunately I still have some time to figure it out and thank goodness because I am absolutely loving this whole “not-working thing”. It’s amazing to see how different your mind works when it doesn’t have a job to think about. It takes a while to finally calm the mind and not think about schedules, emails, deadlines and appointments; but once it does, you find yourself thinking about things that that you’ve never thought about before. It’s comparable to feeling like a kid again, without a care in the world. I know this can’t last forever but I”m happy that I still have a chance to be a kid for a little bit longer.