It’s surreal. Sitting on my bed here at Base Backpackers on Kent Street. Surrounded by my 6 roommates, all moving about, whispering in various languages about their plans for the day. It’s still dark in here at 11 a.m. — after all, it’s still a Sunday.
For a taste:
Jennie: Sydneysider pictured earlier; sleeps to my right; loves to put toy snakes in my bed.
Karen: Irish lass who sleeps to my left; cannot decide where and when she wants to travel. But, we think we’ve got it down: January, to Western and Northern Australia. Woohoo!
Alex (I think) and Robert: New Swedes who popped in yesterday. My first non-Commonwealth roomies, yay!
Alice: Shy Asian girl up to the right; I don’t know where she’s from. Haven’t talked to her much, but seems nice. Took a liking to Karen.
Alex: Over in front of me, by the door; pretty girl who texts a lot and likes clubbing — perhaps this is why we haven’t said more than, “Hey.” English accent….don’t know much more than that.
It’s funny, remembering how it felt to walk into this place with Tarina. We looked at each other, basically freaked out about being “alone” and went out with our tour-mates. The thing is, you are never alone here. Never, never, never! Actually, this will probably, at some point, get quite annoying. But for now, it’s great. There are always new friends coming to stay, it’s almost like a game. Every day Jennie will come home from work and go, “Did we get anyone new!?”
Of course the hostel has got nights planned every day of the week, so it’s easy to meet people there in the bar next door, or even down at breakfast. I’ve met Nathan, Jen, Daniel, Nick, Paul, Brian, Cass, Lara, etc. etc. etc. just “having a wander” or a bite around here.
So, I’m sure everyone wants to know, what have you been DOING in Sydney???
Don’t worry folks, I’ve been a good little tourist. I have:
—Walked across the Harbour Bridge (with Brit Tom)
—Been inside the Opera House (with Briyah for a function)
—Gone to exhibits at the Library of New South Wales, NSW Parliament, Hyde Park and the Barracks Museum. (With Karen.)
—Gone for a long run along the harbour in the Botanical Gardens. Gorgeous.
—Seen Joel Madden DJ a club. (With Steve, thanks Em!)
—Attended a day-long music festival in Surry Hills. (With, uh, everyone! Felt like I was at Lolla again!! Fabulous)
—Sat in a café for three hours on just one mocha latte.
—Wandered around the Queen Victoria Building (a huge mall in the center of town, across from my hostel). While inside, attempted to weigh myself on a scale in the bathroom department. No dice — it said I was 22 KG (40 lbs). SIGH.
—Jumped in the waves at Bondi Beach. (Did NOT get sunburned, woohoo!)
All in all, it’s been amazing. I love this city, and have already booked my entire trip out of here because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t leave. Already I’m getting yelled at for missing another big music festival next weekend.
So I’m off, because I have to go, otherwise I never will. Monday and Tuesday I’ll be up in the Blue Mountains (at a gorgeous 5 star YHA hostel, I can’t wait to show you guys), Wednesday back here, then Thursday I’m off to surf camp, then Byron Bay and up, up, up.
I’ve already booked a 3-day camping trip (you sleep on the beach!) in Fraser Island, a sailing trip around the Whitsunday Islands, a four-day scuba course at the idyllic Magnetic Island and a rainforest jaunt up to Cape Tribulation. It sounds like a dream, and I’m sure it pretty much will be.
Now I’m off to book my flight back down to Sydney from Cairns, so I’ll be ready and waiting for my dad to get here so we can do NZ! Even as I’m writing this, it barely seems real. Who gets to do this stuff all at once, really? It’s amazing how many Europeans are here versus Americans. As a people, we really just don’t travel. I think it’s really sad. It’s totally normal to do a career break and go backpacking for the rest of the world. Everyone is in their mid-20s, I’ve even met a few early 30s travelers. It just seems crazy to me that more Americans don’t do it.
Anyway, it’s amazing to be able to just live life doing only what you want to be doing, only focusing on making yourself happy. It’s liberating. No work, no responsibilities, just fun all the time. I highly recommend it 🙂