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Reisverslag Big city life
29 juli 2014
Big city life
Big city life, here my heart have no base...
Sydney, a complete different stop in my journey, a break of travelling actually, and yet the most challenging part of my trip so far.
I came here with no plan, ideas or expectations, but that is something I became pretty good at along the way.
Waiting for me at the airport was Frouke, my second grade aunt whom I never had met before, but who was so welcoming to let me stay and helping me out as much as she could, with work as well. Within 2 days she set me up with my first job, as a painter. Within 3 more days I found my second job, as a waitress.
So there I was, with a place to stay and two jobs, all that in my first 5 days in Sydney. I think by that time I didn't even realize where I was yet.
It was exactly what I needed though, as I ran completely out of budget in Asia and landed with barely anything left in my pocket.
The cultureshock was big though, so big.
After months spent in rural places, local villages surrounded by mountains, rivers, sunsets, people living in bamboo huts, cooking on fire... To the fucking skyscrapers of Sydney. It took me a while to realize this sudden change, one of the biggest contrasts you can think of.
The period here was great, but also a big challenge. Not because I had to work again. People tend to think that that is the problem after having 'just' travelled for a while. But that wasn't the difficulty at all. I liked to be in that rhythm again and being busy all day, trying to get as many hours as I could.
The problem was more to adapt again in a society that is.. or should be? More close to the type of society I used to live in, in for example in Holland. It was hard and it brought up things in me which I struggled with, sides of me which I thought I had let go of, or even thought I didn't have.
One day I realized I was stressed, running again from my bus to my train, after I made my quick stop in my 'favourite' coffee place to get my soy cappuccino to go before running off to my bus to make it in time to work. And that i was doing exactly the same every morning. Just like ten thousands of other people rushing through the streets of Sydney.
Fortunately there was a friendly old man playing immensely beautiful guitar music every morning at the corner of my bus stop making everyday my morning much better.
One day I realized I found myself buying new clothes, not just because it's winter here but because I couldn't walk around in my travellers Thai clothes in a city like Sydney. Not fashionable enough. That's how I felt at least.
One day I found myself going on a diet to get rid of the extra pounds I gained after all the rice and noodles in Asia.
But in Asia I often didn't even have a mirror and after a while I didn't even realize anymore.
It's when I'm surrounded by it that I'm letting myself be influenced by it, and start to act on it.
I keep on surprising myself and not always it's pleasant surprises.
I soon started to miss adventure. Challenges. Amazement. Encounters. Cause what I was doing here was pretty much the same as I was doing back home, working jobs just for the money, not for my own development. But here I'm doing it without a great family and friends network around me - except of course the great involvement of Frouke and also Moran, who is living in Sydney as well. I spent great times with them and I'm really happy for that :)
Fortunately there are also websites as couchsurfing.org, which make it all much easier to connect with other people. And so I did and saw some pretty awesome things, because Sydney is a pretty amazing city and there are many things I really enjoyed.
I love how I can get lost in the central station. Taking the wrong stairs down will lead you to a labyrinth of corridors, some of them completely empty, making you wonder where they'll take you, and which I found pretty amazing in a city with millions of people.
Some of them are filled with colours and sounds and music. It's the buskers who all take a little space here and make it theirs. With their music, art or conviction that there is a God where we should all believe in.
You let yourself to with the stream of rushing people through the corridor and you get surprised every time again. It's like a different genre every 15 steps. Indie, rap, acrylic modern art, jewellery, opera, belief and guitar. Definitely the kind of start of the day that puts a smile on your face.
I love the view I had every morning and every afternoon, before and after work. Working close to Coogee beach gave me the privilege of making numerous walks along the beach and coast and watch sunsets and see sometimes a perfectly calm ocean, like a mirror, and sometimes a rough one, with gigantic waves crashing themselves against the chalk rocks of the Sydney coastline.
I loved the Vivid light festival the week I arrived in Sydney, with light arts, projections on buildings and crazy constellation which made the views over the harbours and skyline even more amazing.
The Blue Mountains, incredible breathtaking immense national park with indeed blue coloured mountains, thanks to the many eucalyptus trees which, because if their oil dispensing in the air, makes that the light gets reflected in a way that it seems blue.
Went to international dinners with travellers from all over.. have been watching some world cup games at ridiculous times early in the morning, going out in some fancy clubs, exploring Sydney's different suburbs, all of them with their own style, making it such a diverse city, a suburb for everyone to feel good in.. making walks along the coastline or discovering some of the hundreds parks here.. Sydney is an amazing city.
But still I felt I was missing something. My intuition, my inner voice which had developed and got louder and louder during my travels before, started to quieten down, got harder to listen to. I got a bit stuck and lost the flow. Felt more distanced from myself. Was doing less things to develop, to learn from, less challenges, less happenings, less connections.
That doesn't make this part of my trip less important though. I needed a break. I needed to land. And writing this I realized that all this ís actually a development as well, a learning, and a challenge.
Cause now I realize how hard it will, can be to go back to a more normal life. To land somewhere. The biggest challenge isn't travelling anymore. The biggest challenge is yet to come.
And yet the thoughts of going back home, the need for my family and friends, are coming around more and more often.
It teaches me that when I go back home, I want to do that with a goal, a clear idea of what I want to do then with my life at that point.
I don't like planning at all anymore, but I feel so clearly that I need a focus to give things meaning and to not loose myself in a routine, I need to know what I'll be after before I go back, to be able to put my energy in the right things. To feel good and be happy.
Because the last thing I want is to end up in the same endless routine I have been in before leaving.
The last thing I want is to loose all I learned from this journey, to not be able to hear that inner voice anymore, and to get stuck in routine and society and what it wants, expects from you. I want to take all the great lessons from it and put them in to practice.
And that, is a big lesson itself.
Thank you Sydney. After working my ass of, experiencing your awesomeness and your lessons, now it's time to lean back, relax, and...
Run to the airport tomorrow morning! Not to catch my plane, but to go and get Bart, my great great friend from Nijmegen who is crazy enough to fly to the other side of the world, to visit me and travel around with me for the coming 4 weeks! Whoooohoooo! Sydney, Alice springs, Uluru, Darwin, Cairns.... Here we come! :)
Love to all!
1 augustus 2014 10:30 | Door: Andre
Mooi. heel mooi en ontroerend. Ik heb veel bewondering voor je kijk op je omgeving en de beelden van je spiegels. Je bent de 'Stapper' (je weet wel, legendarisch uit Tolkiens 'In de ban van de ring') uit de familie. Met je open blik en tolerantie naar anderen zul je nooit alleen gaan.
Vaarwel nichtje, een goede reis en een behouden vaart.
2 augustus 2014 13:23 | Door: tante elly
prachtig proces dat je doormaakt, en je beschrijft het zo voelbaar.
het is al weer 30 jaar geleden (ik vierde op 28-8-1984 mijn 29-e verjaardag bovenop Uluru
(toen kon je nog wild kamperen aan de voet vd formatie, en er gewoon opklimmen en uithangen.
ik heb ook in Katatjuta geslapen(the Olga's werden ze genoemd, toen Uluru nog Ayer's Rock heette voor de blanken, de meer vrouwelijike rotsformatie wat verder op in die prachtig-rode woestijn.
in die tijd liftte ik een paar dagen mee met Burnum-Burnum, een Aboriginal die daar ook rondzwierf met zijjn auto.
hij vertelde dat Uluru de plek en t energieveld was voor de 'men's business' en Katatjuta voor Women's business' en liet me de plekken van samenkomsten en rituelen zien en voelen.
toen ik maanden later in Sydney arriveerde, stond hij me op te wachten (verbazend, want ik had aan niemand verteld wanneer ik daar zou arriveren, ik wist dat zelf pas een paar dagen tevoren).
je beschrijving van Sydney vind ik ook herkenbaar.
ik wens je helderheid van hart en geest toe bij het vinden van je richting in het leven, waarop je je keuzes kunt baseren.
dat is van wezenlijk belang, juist als de 'wereld' weer haar eisen, lawaai, gewoontes aan je opdringt.
ik heb er alle vertrouwen in dat je die richting al aanvoelt en ingeslagen bent.
kus van Elly