On Wednesday, I boarded a twelve hour coach to Melbourne and waved goodbye to the city I had come to call home. Sydney has a way of making you stay regardless of your intentions; keeping you in its bubble of buzzing office workers, flourishing parks and constant network of public transport weaving around busy construction workers, ferry wharfs and darevevil cyclists. Sydney is not a place for cyclists, if you’d like to live, and it feels good to have left.
This trip wasn’t as easy as simply hopping on a coach and starting over. I left my job and spent the previous couple of days exploring the area north of Sydney while I had the chance. This included two towns with the same names as those I’d lived in back home; for the sake of nostalgia and sending photos of railway station signs back home to friends and family. This trip was originally supposed to be a solo venture; traveling alone is ironically social and I would have welcomed the space and quiet of a lonely hotel room in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, there isn’t much to do in the small towns in the middle of New South Wales and the escape from the FOMO so present in the city was refreshing.
Instead I ended up taking Todd with me; not a regrettable decision but the purpose of the experience shifted as a result, and the last few days felt uniform and structured in an attempt to be active and interesting. I’m not sure I allowed myself the space to take what I wanted from those last moments, but all ll the same, I went, I saw, I messaged home and returned safe and sound ready for the next step. That step being 12 hours on a coach to sleep, reflect and listen to whatever music I had chosen to add to Spotify that week. Music is a problem right now; I think people underestimate the importance of filling your life with positivity and cutting out those “guilty pleasures” which are really just who you are. I go by the ‘You are what you eat’ idea, and all that Eminem and easy club music sure can’t be good for me. And twelve hours of pure thinking didn’t feel that great for me either.
Honestly I had a good time in Sydney, but I am happy to have moved on. The vibe here in Melbourne is warmer, more creative, and represents a clear plane to build myself up from, assuming I find the means to do so. As usual money is tight and I am unable to do all the tourist-y things I want to right now, and while it’s still more creative than Sydney, I am still shrouded with the label of Backpacker and it’s hard to break into the authentic Australian bubble, but I’m working on it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is a lot of chaos in the leadup to a lasting change, and this time the stakes are higher and it could be overwhelming, but I’m trying to be stronger. And I’m excited to see what Melbourne has to offer me, and what I can do with my time here.