It was time to attempt to face reality again, accept that my travel funds were dwindling and that I needed to settle in one place for a while and crack on with earning some money. I chose for that place to be Sydney, it is a city I have been wanting to visit for years, to me the city seemed perfect. I could have the cosmopolitan city life with the bonus of having one of the most famous beaches on my doorstep, as well as so many other lesser known beaches and gorgeous coastal walks, it was a win-win and I wanted in on this city.
I arrived at Sydney airport and quite easily found my way on the train into the city; I had booked into Wake Up Hostel online, which is just opposite the station, and by far the biggest hostel I have ever stayed in. I think it was 8 floors, with a big bar (Sidebar) beneath in the basement; I went on to spend a lot of time in this basement bar.
Finally, I made it here
My first few days in Sydney were a bit quiet, I checked into my room and made friends with an English girl Shona, who was on her way home after her year in Australia to do her nursing degree, we got on instantly and headed off to Circular Quay so I could get my first glimpse of that famous opera house. After all those years of fantasizing about Australia, to finally be there and see the harbour bridge and the opera house was so exciting, I never realised that the opera house was actually tiled and all different sections until I got up close! Shona loved seeing my excitement, and I guess made it a nice way for her to say goodbye to the country she had fallen in love with over the last 12 months, by seeing it through a newbie’s eyes all over again.
gelato as far as the eye can see
Shona and I had a good few days, we did some souvenir shopping, I experienced my first goon fuelled night out in Sidebar (more on this place and goon later!) I had my first walk around Darling Harbour, a sparkly harbour area full of bars and restaurants; we stopped many times over the few days for cocktails, gelato, and food. It was nice to have anything and everything available to me again, even if
they were at extortionate prices! We walked over the harbour bridge and explored China Town, ticking off the must see tourist attractions. It came to the day for Shona to leave, we said goodbyes and that was that, I was alone in my 8 person dorm. The one problem with Wake Up hostel is that it is almost too big, the pre-planned Oz Experience package holidays use the hostel so there are already pre-made groups of friends together, meaning it can be a bit intimidating and harder to approach a group of people, so that day remained a quiet one. I used the time to search for jobs and create a poster for my mum’s 50th birthday ready to arrange a photo holding it in front of the opera house, it was a shame to miss it, and I had looked into flights back for the party but they were so expensive it just was not an option, sorry mum! It was actually quite a sad few days in that room by myself, I like to think of myself as a fairly strong person but I will admit there were days that I struggled. This involved sitting looking at my mum’s birthday poster, crying about missing my family, listening to the same sad songs over and over again (Westlife, I wanna go home anyone?) wearing my Asia pants, old hoody and drinking copious amounts of tea with nothing to do but listen to my sad thoughts whizzing around my brain about packing it in, going home and getting a job. I attempted to break my funk and sort my life out a bit, I went out and brought a bit of cheap perfume, which I secretly really liked, it was the Britney Spears one, some reasonably smart clothes ready for potential job interviews, which I then went on to refund the majority of as I spent $400 and had failed to get a job, researched local gyms and arranged myself a haircut at the hostel through a poster stuck on the inside of the toilet door. Little did I know that that haircut would go on to shape the rest of my time in Australia, for it was through that little $20 haircut where I met the great people of room 105. Emily was the hairdresser, a girly London girl through and through, in bounced Nina, an Essex girl who straight away seemed my kind of gal, there was Gurps, a funny little thing from Birmingham, and Patsy and Sean who were also a laugh. It took a few days until a bed came available in the room, but eventually I moved into their room, and there we stayed together for a goon and McDonalds fuelled 2 months, acquiring lots of new friends along the way.