I grew up watching this silly movie about a talking dog floating away on balloon baskets into the Australian outback. Somehow that pup, Napoleon, made me think I would live in OZ one day.
Upon recently visiting Sydney, I can confirm I would totally live there. The city has this buzz, love the water taxis, and even the birds are colorful. Spent the week wondering about the city, doing all the tourist things with my fella and his family.
In fact, when I was researching work visas for after college, Australia was my first choice. I only stumbled upon New Zealand because of the Rugby World Cup, which I knew absolutely nothing about. I could not have been more happy about my choice there.
Anyways, my first introduction to Australia off the train was TRANSPORTATION WAS ON ANOTHER LEVEL. There were subways, above ground buses/trams and water taxis everywhere. The people in Sydney were dressed in suits and pencil skirts, and there was this buzz about that I couldn’t quite explain.
We explored the suburbs, visiting coffee shop after coffee shop. It was an absolute dream, and perhaps how my love for coffee continued to morph into a fantasy. I’ll never forget getting my first Australian flat white and wondering if the red candy jeffer ball would taste better here than in New Zealand. It didn’t.
Matt and I greeted everyone at his mums’ townhouse – I was a little nervous and intimidated to impress this forever family. Hugs and smiles exchanged, had a quick tea, and then dropped our suitcases in the guestroom. Just as he went out to grab something from the store I swear this woman turned a switch. She immediately started bossing me into cleaning the floors. I would say I cleaned with her, but I recall her just pottering about in the kitchen as she had me earn my keep. It was a very strange introduction to the woman who raised him that is for sure. Matt returned and I didn’t bother bringing it up.
The next few days were spent exploring the city and playing tourist. The best part, of possibly the entire trip, was when I awoke to morning tea on the back patio. To my surprise and astonishment, there were dozens of colors parrots in the trees all around me. I was by myself and in pure bliss. Birds have always been my favourite and it was then and there that I knew I would live in this country some day.
It was heart-warming watching Matt catch up with his sister and mum. They had an interesting bond, but none-the-less there was love. We checked out the Sydney Opera house, constantly stopping for amazing restaurants, and even took a fairy to the first prison where all the rotten English lads were shipped off to many centuries ago.
While this trip was exciting, it was also a bit overwhelming to meet his family so quickly. He insisted his mom meet the woman he was going to marry, and naturally I was so caught up in the fairytale of it all, that I went along.
I was so blinded by what I thought I wanted, that I couldn’t even sort out what I needed. Spoiler. It wasn’t him. After Australia he would insist that I stay in New Zealand another year. He offers to sponsor me on my second visa, something in which I had not even given thought to yet, and thus begins my second year in this glorious side of globe. Months later we will holiday in Fiji, where I will begin to doubt this relationship.
Until then here are my thoughts on appreciation while living almost two years in New Zealand.
So let’s recap. Birds in lawn = awesome.