Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I've Got A Feeling


365 days.

When you're young, it seems like a long time. However, once you get out of college, the days just fly by. Why is this? I think it's because once you get in the real world and start working, most days are essentially the same unless you travel frequently or place mental footnotes to remember events. In school you have welcome week, midterms and finals, winter break, spring break, summer vacation and so on. With the real world...you have work and maybe some conferences. But a lot can happen in 365 days.

It's been a little over a year since I visited Australia and impulsively made the decision to pack up my life and move here. 

I can safely say it's been the best decision of my life and I don't plan on moving back.

Sup homie

People have asked me what led me to move, and as corny as it may sound the best I can come up with is that I was simply compelled to. It was just a feeling I had. It's one of those feelings you see in movies or read about, but don't really believe is possible.

Love at first sight? Maybe...but with a city.

I remember the exact moment I made the decision I had to move to Sydney like it just happened.

Jon, Alice, Jeff and I were picked up by the shuttle to our hostel Westend Backpackers (which is coincidentally two blocks from where I live now) and we immediately met a backpacker from Germany who was at the end of her working holiday visa and didn't want to leave, and two backpackers from France who were just starting their holiday. Just steps outside the airport and we already met some foreigners. You'd expect this at any airport...but they're everywhere here.

In the shuttle tossin' up them deuces

I didn't know what to expect from Sydney...I really didn't know anything about the city at all besides what I've seen about the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. We had plans with Jon's cousins to eat dinner and had some time to kill before they met up with us, so we dropped by the 7-11 next door and saw that they sold drinks like Aloe and Milk Tea and had snacks you typically find in Asian grocery stores.

Cool points +1.

We walked around a little and saw how lively the city was in the middle of the winter, noticed all the different restaurants and shops in our particular area, and simply how diverse it was. On top of all the Australians and different backpackers from all over the world, there were Asians everywhere. I mean, EVERYWHERE.


Don't get me wrong, I've been around Asians plenty in my life but not in this context...the US doesn't have a city that's as packed with Asians walking about in a city (SF is the closest, but pales in comparison.) I grew up in the Midwest where there are no Asians so it's kind of a culture shock since it's a large westernized city. I've been to some of the most famous cities in the world: NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo, and LA to name a few but Sydney just has this really cool vibe I haven't felt anywhere else...it's hard to explain until you experience it for yourself.

After we walked a little, Jon's cousin Jeff showed up and we stopped in front of our hostel to wait for his other cousin Kevin. It was here that I started to watch a couple walking down the street from afar (sounds creepy, I know) and it was something about seeing how they were just enjoying themselves, the air of calmness and pleasure of being in each others' company in the bustling city that caused me to turn to Alice and say "I want to move here." She promptly responded "So do I."

3 months later, I did.

Where are you?!?

Life's improved by nearly every possible metric for me here...and its bittersweet to say I'm not moving back to America.

I have different reasons for not going back though...but that's for another time.

This is where I want to be.

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