“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle.
Let me first explain the title of this post. I was exploring the botanical gardens with Sean and Adrian – two amazing people from the hostel I was staying in. We were lost and I said “Oh no we’re lost.” Sean turns round and said “We have to be lost to be found.” I loved that phrase so said I will use it for my next blog post, as it fits so well – I’m lost but I am starting to find myself.
I have officially been in Australia for just over 2 months and what a roller-coaster of a journey. It has been so hectic, so I have struggled to keep in contact with people back home. The time difference since I have been here has changed three times. There is now an 11 hour time difference between Australia and England which has made contact a little bit more difficult. My friends and family have been understanding which has helped heaps (A favorite Aussie word).
So as I have already said earlier, the past 4 weeks have been crazy. I have now started working for a security firm as an administrator and landed myself a 6 month contract. I’m telling you I struggled getting up at 6am for work, having not worked for 3 months. The people at this place are lovely and one colleague reminds me of my grandad which makes me really happy.
I officially became a adult – well kinda. I have now moved into a place. To find a place wasn’t easy at all and I was probably being a little bit fussy. At work I was online on my lunch breaks (other colleagues were even looking for me), after work and on the weekend looking for a place to live. I have only lived with my parents and in the last 2 years in my back garden (Not in a shed before you think anything! Ha!). I didn’t realise how hard it was. I was emailing loads of people but many places did not like visitors. By this time I had made some great friends and wanted them over for dinner, come mine before a night out and even stay. I had quite a few viewings but none of them felt good and I honestly believe you should trust your gut feeling. So my mission was on – to find a home and decent house mates.
Luckily the house I am living in now is the one I wanted. It’s in Inner West Sydney which is convenient to get to a lot of places including the city which takes 10 minutes on the train. As soon as I saw this place I knew I wanted it, not only because of the house itself but the house mates were great – Chris and Matt. Both Aussies and the most chilled and laid back guys I’ve met. They really have made me feel like this is home. The day I moved in Chris opened a bottle of wine and in the evening us three chilled and had a drink. I knew I was going to get along with these two just fine.
It was difficult living in a hostel and working full time – many people who I know that have traveled and worked told me this. I do love being in a hostel, I met so many people. Most of which are in the same situation yet all have different stories. Some people I have met in Australia have better intentions for me than friends I’ve had in my life for years!
A lot of people back home have said how can you stay in a hostel? Okay so you don’t get the best sleep but it’s the people you meet. You’ll be surprised what a hostel brings. I stayed in Bounce (Opposite Central Station), which I kept going back to. It is one of the expensive hostels but it was really clean and I didn’t only meet my friends here I met my family. I also stayed in Blue Parrot (King’s cross). The hostel itself was great and again I met some great friends there. The hostel is more like a family home, I loved it. There is quite a lot of long termers but they were welcoming. I have read bad reviews about long termers in a hostel as they tend to be clicky but I didn’t experience that. The area itself was the Soho of Sydney – mental. If I turned left out of the hostel, it was very chic with loads of quirky (AKA expensive) cafes. Yet if I turned right out of the hostel there was loads of strip clubs and drug users. It was surreal, but this is a part of the journey so I embraced it. I didn’t like turning right too often as one day a drug user chased me shouting “girl” and then decided to smack his head on a billboard. Fun times! Another hostel I stayed in was The Village (Redfern) – Not such a good experience. It was one of the cheapest hostels but I woke up with a massive cockroach next to me. There was also mice (mainly lurking in the kitchen area) so I didn’t last long (two nights to be precise). If I wasn’t working I would have embraced the cockroaches and mice and maybe even become friends with them but I went to work feeling dirty so I didn’t stay there long. Unfortunately I lost money, which is upsetting when your backpacking but it’s a lesson learn’t – Read the reviews! The last hostel I stayed in before moving into my place was YHA Central (Central Station), again this place was great and clean. It reminded me of a Travelodge. The staff were really friendly and the facilities were good.
Hostels really are great when your a lone traveler. I was only home sick once when I was in a hostel and that’s when I was ill. However the friends I made really did help me and were so caring. A big shout out to Rob (Who gave me tablets) and Grace (Who bought me some food). So although it wasn’t the best experience staying in a hostel when I was unwell, the friends I made, helped make it easier.
I am really happy and feel like I have already changed for the better. Doing this journey on my own has already made more independent and outgoing. There is still loads I need to learn about myself and I need to explore new cities. I’m still lost and need to be found.
Recently I went out for Halloween and had no idea what to wear. A girl a work with- Elenor (Thank you Elenor!) said I should go to a charity shop near my work to get an outfit. Back home I would not dare go into a charity shop due to the stigma attached to it. I decided to give this a go and I had a field day – It was great! I got my costume (dead school girl) as well as a really cute Zara dress for ten dollars. I felt so proud, not only for going into a charity shop but the fact the money I had spent was going to a good cause. I wish I had done it sooner to be honest.
In 2 months I feel like my life has changed so much, for the better. I’ve had the opportunity to live in another country, met some new people and become a better person. I’ve also realised the type of people I need to surround myself with. People who are uplifting and positive. People who want to make the most out of life. The friends I have made have turned a bad situation good. I know back home I would have dwelled on these situations. I have also learned that I do not need someone to love me to love myself. For years I have always wanted someone to love me and have a boyfriend. I am not here to look for love but to love myself. Before I would love attention but now all I want is to be happy with myself and to laugh with friends. This opportunity has also mean’t I have met people I went to University with (Steph and Carla). Both girls I didn’t speak to much in University however since I have been over here we have met for drinks and I wish I spoke to them more back home. Both have become great friends and it is nice to met friends from back home.
My contract at my current job finishes in April and this is when I plan to travel the East Coast. I am also thinking to travel Asia and be back in time for my mums wedding. Then again who knows as this could change- I love the idea of not knowing what is next. I could decide to do my farm work and stay in Australia another year. If I go back to England and still feel like something is missing, I’m looking at maybe working and traveling Canada for a while. On the other hand I might go home, settle down and go to a different destination every year for a few weeks. At the end of the day London is my home and I love London. Being away from home has definitely made me appreciate it more which is one reasons I felt I had to leave. My sister recently had a beautiful baby girl so I have things to look forward to when I go back. However I need to enjoy and embrace this journey before I go back home.
This blog post has taken me ages to post as I’ve had to do it bit by bit every now and then as I feel like I have not had time to write. Luckily I keep a little journal which I write in everyday. Although it has only been 2 months when I read it back it has made me realise how many people I have met, the memories I have made and how much has changed. Hopefully now I have settled I will have more time to write about my journey. My next post will be about the people I have met along the way and how they have inspired me in different ways.
Today is the Melbourne cup – hopefully I win some money! (Oh by the way- I didnt)