15 March 2010
I Come TO The Land Down Under...
After 14 hours of near bliss (my flight was fairly empty, I slept 8 hours over three seats, and the movie selections were phenomenal) our decent began into Sydney Airport. The sun was just cusping over the horizon, welcoming a new day for Sydneysiders and a new continent for this American.
Having traveled so much the past several years, I was worried that I may not feel the same level of excitement and anticipation that usually goes along with a big flight to a “far away land.” I’d just spent a few months at home with family and friends and nearly felt settled there, Packing didn’t bring the “pump-up the jam” it usually does, the goodbye’s almost felt like “see you in a week’s,” and so on. I feared that traveling may have lost it’s “luster.” Was it time for me to settle down?
Absolutely not. As we banked left over the city and along the coast, I caught my first glimpse of the Opera House and all those butterflies came back to life, only this time they were flying in formation. Having been notoriously bad with big transitions (shocking, I know), it was relief to feel both excitement and ease with the start of this new adventure.
A good friend (and now roommate) welcomed me at the fierce border (they have a weekly TV show based entirely on people trying to bring goods and - often themselves - into Australia illegally), we lugged my bags through the sliding glass doors only to be met by the hot humidity of a tropical summer. It was heavenly.
The ride to the apartment found me in top “inquisitive” shape. “What’s that? Why is it there? When did they build this? Where is downtown from where we are now? Are you there yet? Do you have any candy?” I felt like a kid in a candy store. Fortunately, my friend had the patience necessary to feed my need for information.
After a quick shower we hit the city, making a stop at every landmark you’ve seen on every postcard ever sent from this giant island way far away. What stood out most (other than, you know, the Opera House) was the undeniably unique character of the city that had me thinking of Hong Kong, Cape Town, London and Los Angeles all at once. That and the fact that they spell “curb” as “kerb,” which is just silly.
What this year will bring I do not yet know, but one thing is certain: those butterflies continue to fly, and nothing else really matters.