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Saturday, 30 June 2007

Living and working in Oz - Page 2

Written by Megan Manni
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By most people’s standards, I had made it. I had a good job - glamorous even to some - great benefits and off-the-chart raises every year. By no means was I rich, but I paid all my bills and made it work. I had my own apartment in New York City, my life all planned out according to subway line, volunteer work, and a vibrant social life. I was living in the largest and arguably the most exciting city in the world, but something was still missing.

australiaI had always wanted to visit Australia – ever since I’d seen it on a map. Even though the flight was almost a day long, the idea of vast unspoiled land, unique animals and thousands of miles of pristine coastline made my eyes dilate. Just the thought that a country about as big as the U.S. in area could have one-tenth the population helped me shift into high gear! I quit my job, said the necessary goodbyes, and tried to explain my decision to people whose eyes popped out at the mention of the word Australia. Some people even said things like, “why Australia?” or “what made you decide to do this?” and my personal favorite, “you’re going ALONE??”

I didn’t have even one ounce of hesitation or worry. My anticipation was like having a constant flow of adrenaline… the packing and the flight meant nothing except for a new start and the achievement of a dream. Every country we flew over was another joy for me – just knowing I was flying over someplace like Romania or India was exciting.

australiaMy goal in doing this was to live my dream life, so I knew there was one place to live for me: the beach. I researched all Australian cities, but knew that I felt a calling to Sydney for an as yet unknown reason. From what I read, Sydney’s residents were the kind of people who’d work hard all day, but at 5:01 p.m. would shed their business suits for wet suits and surfboards and head to the waves. Australians love the outdoors and value life over work, which was exactly the vibe I felt was lacking at home. I had planned to do the Eastern Beaches Coastal Walk the first day I got to Australia to find out which town was for me. The sooner I found my beach haven, the sooner I could start my life there.

As is often with international arrivals, the plane arrived with the dawn. The stopover in Singapore’s shopping mall of an airport provided the opportunity to adjust somewhat to the time difference, and amazingly I had been able to sleep for most of the plane ride. I was wide awake and ready to get my stamp, collect my baggage and find my hostel’s shuttle. My eyes took in everything on the road from Kingsford-Smith Airport to downtown Sydney, and all I needed to see was palm trees in January to have a huge smile on my face. After the realization of the small fact that I’d forgotten to pack a towel, I dropped my bags and left the hostel to explore the streets for some kind of option. I came upon a Woolworth’s, tried to be as natural as I could with my brightly-colored money, and hurried back to Footprints Backpackers on Pitt Street to shower. I really wanted to get going immediately, but knew I’d be flat on my face later if I didn’t take some sort of nap.

In every new city I’ve explored, one of the first orders of business is to get a map and familiarize myself with the transport system to have some idea beforehand of how I was to get from major attraction to major attraction. Part of my research, after deciding on the region of Sydney I was interested in, was learning the bus routes as I knew having a car wouldn’t be an option day-to-day. It took me awhile to figure out where to access each bus route, but that day I made it out on bus 380 to Bondi. I knew the Walk would take approximately 3 hours, and I had sneakers, sunscreen and camera ready.

(Page 2 of 6)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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