Flashforward from the last post, where I was retelling tales from my first travelling experience, to the present day where I’m now in Australia because writing nostalgically about travelling just wasn’t enough. I also realised being an adult wasn’t for me either. So here I am, in Bondi Beach, aiming to prolong my adolescence for as long as possible. I like to call it a quarter life crisis because giving it a title legitimises it and is a handy phrase to pull out when a bunch of teenagers in an 8-bed dorm look at you dumbfounded when you declare you’re 27 years old. ‘But don’t you have like a proper job’ one of them said to me once, with a look of genuine confusion in his eyes. ‘Yes I did’ I replied ‘but I quit it to come here’. All I got back was a grunt. I didn’t need to pull out the quarter life crisis line here because he’d lost interest before I finished talking but in other cases it has been pretty useful. In fact, I became quite good friends with this kid later down the line. However, this was the first time I met him and later on that evening he had to be pulled out of the sea wearing just his underwear and carried to bed, therefore I feel his priorities at this time were probably his bottle of Little Fat Lamb and not the events in my life that had led me to quit my job and move to Australia.
That story makes it sound like I think I’m above all of the travelling drinking culture which is absolutely not the case. In fact, I have embraced the ‘travelling lifestyle’ like it was the sole activity I was born to do. My first months here went something like this – Drank boxed wine with roomies, went to the pub, blank space, blank space, blank space, ate sandwich from 7/11, slept in some weird uncomfortable position (often on the floor), ordered Uber Eats, repeat. The idea of what I would get up to on this trip vs the realities of what actually happened were very different. I thought I would spend my mornings siting with a map planning what to do with my day, not waking up on the aforementioned floor with kebab all over my clothes. This was like London 2.0 with added sunburn. Needless to say, my plans of writing more blog posts for my dedicated fan base of Mum, Dad and the dog, went royally out of the window along with any amount of motivation I once had to do anything other than eat, drink and sleep.
At this time, I was frustrated with myself for all the time I seemed to be wasting and money I was splashing. When you set goals for yourself and then miss them, you end up feeling like a failure which is exactly how I’d felt. However, about a month ago for no particular reason and at no particularly significant time, I didn’t feel like drinking anymore nor did I feel much need to socialise with anyone. I found myself craving binge watching Friends and Gavin and Stacey and wanting to go on long walks. It was only as this happened that I suddenly realised how much of a brilliant time I had had over the past few months which I hadn’t fully appreciated whilst immersed in this chaotic and unpredictable lifestyle I’d been living. I was rather sensible and borderline boring at university, I was also pretty mature and grown up in my approach to the first lot of travelling I did so it’s almost like my brain had said ‘Not this time, this time we do it right!’ At the end, I felt exhausted and run down but happy and satisfied, almost like I’d achieved something.
So now five months on since I flew to the other side of the world, my roll in, roll out of hostel bed lifestyle has come to an end. I have a nice little flat in Bondi Beach sharing with two friends and my creativity and motivation has begun to return but this time fuller than before. We’re heading into winter now in Sydney, so it felt right to sit down and write about my whirlwind summer spent in Australia – what a summer it was! There are too many stories to recount, too many people to name and too many emotions to dwell on but I know that each has benefited me in some way, even the negative ones. I know it seems cliché but the impulsive decision to come here really was the best decision I ever made, and I value each and every impulsive and sometimes stupid decision I have made since. Could that be it? Have I come out the other side of my quarter life crisis feeling refreshed and content with what lays ahead? It may well be. It may well not. I’m not any closer to those things that make you a secure and grown-up 27-year-old with everything figured out. I haven’t suddenly had some sort of epiphany or vision and decided what I want for my life and how to get it, but I suppose what I’ve learnt is that I’m okay with that. Maybe I’ve got over my little age-related panic and will remain emotionally steady until the inevitable midlife crisis raises its ugly head. Or considering I’m actually only 2 and a bit years away from the big 3 0 another bump in the road might be a lot closer than I think. Whatever the answer is, I’m going to enjoy peacetime as much as I can for now, safe in the knowledge that what ever does arise in my future I’m more than capable of dealing with it. Even if dealing with it means moving to an entirely new country and being the oldest person to attend a wet t-shirt contest.
P.S Please note the word ”attend” when referring to the wet t-shirt contest, not the phrase ”take part in”. I’m saving that for when I’m 50 and going through a messy divorce.