It’s fair to say I left Australia under a bit of a dark cloud. Well, gigantic thunderstorm may be more of an accurate term; after walking out on my employers and spending the day as a wreck before flying home, I wasn’t thinking too fondly of Oz. I had four months between coming home and flying back out to get some money together and if I’m honest, there were times when I wondered if it was all even worth it. After a 14 hour shift stacking shelves with the start of the flu, I vividly remember angsty Inner Meg thinking ‘Why am I even bothering!? It’s a few bloody beaches and a stupid opera house that looks like a pile of sliced oranges’. Luckily, Outer Meg somehow persevered, and on the 28th December, I found myself on a plane to the other side of the world (literally).
Flying, for me, is a bit like a diet. You’re all like ‘it’ll be great! I’ll eat healthily and run and it’ll be lovely’ and then within three hours you remember precisely why your diets never last longer than two hours. Being a human sloth who loves to eat, sleep and watch crap films, being on a plane should be great, but Asiana Airlines (.i.e. the airline for skint backpackers like myself) is something else all together. I’m talking cramped seats, hideous meals and hot, sweaty changeovers in hard-to-navigate airports. So much fun. If I’m completely honest, by the time I got to Australia, 2 days after I left England, I was over it. So over it. Until I got here, that is.
I’m not gonna deny that the amazing candy cane frappucino I had in the airport had something to do with getting me out of my funk. But the second I saw that bloody ‘orange slice’ opera house from the window of the train, I knew I was onto something good. Someone once told me you should always arrive in a new city at night, and despite being jetlagged AF as soon as me and Levi saw Sydney glistening in the darkness, I knew that all those hours pulling pints, stacking cans of baked beans, and basically having no fun ever had been totally worth it.
I’m pretty sure Sydney has put a spell on me. I swore down that I was a Melbourne girl at heart the last time I was here, but, as Levi would say, the opera house is ‘bae’. I think this witchcraft of sorts started when those world famous fireworks erupted at midnight taking us into 2017, and even now writing this on a return coach from Melbourne, I’m more than a little bit excited to be returning. Get me back to the town for rich people and selfie stick bearing tourists please!
Oh, and the not so Instagram worthy bits? A (suspected) broken toe, a 10 hour wait for 10 minutes of fireworks, apocalyptic rain for our bridge climb, a near death moment (maybe) involving 5 huntsman spiders, and a dodge experience with an air bnb host who slept in the living room because ‘uhhhh there was a bird in my room like two weeks ago and it shit and I haven’t worked up the energy to clear it up yet’. #keepingitreal