Sitting in bed at eight o’clock in the morning I realise that the twenty-three degree heat is definitely not normal. I suppose Australians are used to this kind of weather.
Flashback a month and the clock ticked down to one day left. My bags packed and piled by the door. This was the day I took the big leap across the not-so-small ditch. I remember when I set my countdown and it read sixty-four days to go. This was and still is the most nerve racking thing I have ever done in my life. Leaving behind familiarity and family for a new adventure in a whole new country.
My best friend Ellie would be making the journey with me, which of course is a highlight in itself. I remember the overwhelming feeling of excitement. To be breaking free from the nest. But also a huge feeling of fear. Fear of this big dream not working out. Fear of failing. Fear of disappointing everyone who wanted this to be great. That includes myself.
Sitting at the airport, waiting for our departure call, I could almost see the sadness in the air. The brave faces everyone was wearing so one or the other wouldn’t get upset. It’s heartbreaking. There’s a weird feeling of guilt to be so excited but beside you, your sister is crying because she’ll miss you so much.
The goodbyes were the worst.
Mum told me to “be a butterfly and spread my wings.” It’s cheesy but it’s exactly what I needed. Taking a few extra seconds to cherish the feeling of her hug before I had to break away. Fazakerley gave me a classic rib crusher followed by something along the lines of “I probably wont miss you too much” or “have a great time.” I received a kiss and a dad hug from Brent which is hard when you know it’ll be the last for a long time. Then came Whitney. I felt like every piece of my soul was cracking when I looked at the hundreds of tears coming out of her eyes. How are you supposed to say goodbye to the best friend you see every single day? I hugged her for so long. Trying to reassure her with “I’ll be back” but she wasn’t convinced. If I could’ve done this in a way that was less distressing for her, I would have. But, unfortunately, no such way exists.
Hand in hand, Ellie and I waved to the mixed emotions of our families. Excitement, sadness, worry and love. Knowing that it’ll be the last proper goodbye for a while.
Passports in hand, each others hand in the other, we weaved the crowd of intrepid travellers onto our flight. Still a little apprehensive about how a metal shell could carry one hundred and seventy people up in the air. But worries about aircraft safety aside, we were seated amongst the many holiday makers, businessmen and other big dream chasers. I repeatedly tried to convince myself that this was a good idea as we launched into the sky. Goodbye New Zealand. Goodbye home and family. Goodbye familiarity. Goodbye to the safety of living under my parents roof and not having to pay power bills. But hello Brisbane. Hello adventure. Hello power bills. And hello excitement.
Our first night in the big smoke was spent at X Base back backers in the heart of the city. We stayed in a four share dorm with two other lovely guys. Unfortunately the elevator in the hostel was under repairs so we had to hike four stories every time we wanted a nap, which turns out is about four times a day. On our first night we went to the Down Under Bar which is underneath the hostel and had a pretty great night. Not in the mood to dance, we people watched the couples grooving and sampled the great Australian cider. Not as good as the Kiwi brew, I might add.
Indulging in canned soup and muesli for our meals, we explored the city daily. Finding a Chinese lantern tree and losing our minds in Target were obvious highlights. Seeing the city come alive at night is truly spectacular.As one by one the skyscrapers turns into massive metal Christmas trees. I’m pretty sure it’s worthy of it’s own magical fairytale.
Finding a place was the scariest. Like why the hell did we move countries and didn’t even plan a place to stay?! I was so stressed out about money and having to book extra nights in the hostel that is was about to lose my mind. Thank goodness Ellie has this mystical calming presence going on. We finally managed to secure a place in the beautiful town called New Farm just out of the city. Well we hoped it would be beautiful because we were so desperate we never actually inspected it before we moved in. So it’s either going to be absolutely fabulous or we were going to end up signed into a 2 month lease in a place we really hated. Ten minutes on the bus is all it takes to get there, we dragged our multiple bags off and stared at, what was to be, our new home.
I should probably end this with something smart and catchy like xoxo Gossip Girl or Be Kind To One Another but falling short of a great idea,