Travelling Solo thus Far: Bondi Beach, Climbing Gym Numero Deux, Local Arts Culture, Blue Mountain

I recently had a Skype date with my aunt, uncle and brother. In very Auntie Donna like fashion..she gave me a hard time for not updating my blog. In her terms, my blog was getting “stale”. Thanks Aunt D! So here’s a new post on my travels thus far…you can all thank her for lighting a fire under my ass to get it done. In my defence…getting wifi in the land down under is hard! Not a good enough excuse for her though…anyways. Enjoy the latest post 🙂

The transition from the YHA to Bounce has since been a smooth move. As mentioned in my last post, Bounce is a much more social hostel, geared towards a younger clientele. Upon moving to Bounce, I met Andrea, my roommate from Germany who was leaving the evening after. From there, she introduced me to both Sean and Nicole and it was these three individuals who I travelled with to the infamous Bondi Beach. Bondi was everything I imagined it to be—breathtakingly beautiful, with a gorgeous white sandy beach and ocean for miles on end. We arrived at Bondi Junction and did the Bronte to Bondi walk. I was hoping to try my hand at stand up paddle, however, the water was too rough with a lot of what surfers called ‘white out’. That was no problem, I was still able to get into the water. It was frigid. However, according to Sean, the water was perfect as he was from Melbourne, and over there he was only able to ever get into the water at this time of year in a wet suit. We ended the day off by heading back to the hostel and having a communal dinner to commemorate our time together, as both Sean and Andrea were leaving that evening.

 

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Enroute to Bondi. Bronte to Bondi.

 

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We’re here! Bondi Beach.

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We began as strangers..the four of us and ended up as friends. One last meal before we all departed our separate ways.

The following day was spent attempting to find the climbing gym close to Manly. It was a bit of a trek out and took about an hour by bus. Attempting to find the actual gym was difficult as it was located in a complex in an industrial area. After going a few wrong ways, I found the gym. Compared to the first gym I was at, it was really small. I also happened to get there at the wrong time as the bouldering cave was being reset. I decided to stay and boulder where I could as I had already made the long trek out. In some ways, going when the gym was being reset was a blessing in disguise as I finally got to know a local climber who was a route setter. He was able to give me tips on all things climbing related in Australia. The day was finished off with an evening out in Glebe, checking out the local poetry slam scene.

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Local slam scene in Glebe at a pub called Friend in Hand. Candy Royalle performing. She was amazing.

The trip out to Blue Mountain was next. It was about a 2 hour trip each way and was well worth the travel. It’s been a while since I’ve been close to nature and so it was a welcomed break away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I ended up going on a “medium” hike with Nicole that was much needed. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be out in nature and breathing fresh air.

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Found the Katoomba Falls!

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Of the time that I have been here, I have only been out for food a number of times and last night was one of the few times. I decided to go explore neighbouring Redfern in the evening and thought that it’d be nice to check out the local food scene as well. I ended up checking out the Pitt Street Diner and had their Pitt Street burger. It was amazing.

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Self explanatory: the Pitt Street Diner

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My gourmet $18 burger. Ouch. At least it was delicious!

Yesterday, I was offered a job by one of the hostel staff members. It didn’t sound too bad…16 hours/week in exchange for a room. The catch- I would have to work at minimum of 4 weeks. I already know that my primary focus for the first few months is to travel. I may have been more open to the idea had I fallen in love with Sydney, however, I am not feeling that pull that I expect. Sydney does have a lot to see, but I feel as if something is missing and so I am wondering if maybe it is time to move on.

Travelling solo has been…interesting so far. I came to realize many things that I was and was not willing to put up with. I have also come to see my strengths and as cliché as it sounds—I feel as if I am starting to figure myself out. The one thing that I did not expect was how homesick I would feel. I knew that it would eventually happen but I did not expect it to happen so soon. I find that it comes in waves…sometimes I feel completely fine and Im enjoying what Im doing. However, there are other times when it hits so painfully hard. When this happens, I sometimes wonder if Im in way over my head, if I really will be okay for the next year and I end up losing sight of why Im in Australia.

I’ve been told that what I feel is normal and that the first month is difficult. Speaking to fellow travellers has helped in the knowledge that I am not completely alone in my experiences, but sometimes I can’t help but feel completely alone even in a room full of people. I was asked a couple of times what I would miss most when I left home and I said that I would miss the people. It’s never really about the place, but more so about the people and being so far away from home, with a 17 hour time difference has really highlighted that fact for me.

Prior to leaving home, I had people tell me that they could never do what I was doing when they were informed of my plans. I never understood why. It’s simple really…buy a plane ticket and leave…or so I thought. I understand now what they meant by that. As exciting as travelling solo is, it can become lonely and daunting at times. Even through all of that, I have no regrets and am still glad that I am on this adventure. Some days are just a little bit more difficult than others, but that’s okay. What doesn’t kill you makes you strongr. Besides, if it was easy…everyone would be doing it. I’ve never been one to follow and am attempting to embrace this challenge.

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7 thoughts on “Travelling Solo thus Far: Bondi Beach, Climbing Gym Numero Deux, Local Arts Culture, Blue Mountain

  1. DDG says:

    Good chatting with you (blame your brother – he brought it on) and to see you looking well. Extremely happy for the update! The photos are beautiful!
    Blog when you can (no pressure – or not much), you know we’re just drooling over here.
    xoxox

  2. Anon says:

    Sydney is a beautiful city, but there’s more to Australia you need to see. Do yourself a favour and head to Queensland before it gets too cold. Check out the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy the true coastal area / beach life at the Gold Coast. The theme parks are also there if they’re your kind of thing.

    1. celina says:

      Thanks anon 🙂 After doing a bit of research myself and speaking with fellow backpackers, that was the same conclusion that I arrived at. The plan is to start heading up north at the end of this week. Looking forward to getting away from the coolness of Sydney.

      1. Anon says:

        Melbourne is the food and coffee central, but the city can be done in a week. The great thing about most cafes is that they also roast their own beans. We take our coffee pretty seriously here in Aussie land.

      2. celina says:

        I’ve definitely heard that and am really looking forward to getting to know the coffee culture in Melbourne. Any amazing cafés you’d recommend as a local?

  3. Anon says:

    i live in sydney. youre definitely doing good so far. there’s more to this city so take your time since you have a year. if there’s one thing i would recommend you do – walk across the Harbour Bridge. Get off at circular quay, walk your way towards the rocks (the rocks is a nice part of the city too, old and a lot of history to it) and just walk across the bridge and take in the beautiful sight of our city. it costs to walk along the top of the bridge, but there’s a path on level with cars which is for free. youll be able to see a nice view of the opera house and the city itself. once you’re across the bridge, go to luna park for the iconic face. its free to enter.

    restaurants / cafes in sydney – three williams, paramount coffee project, reuben hills, brewtown newtown,

    cafes in Melbourne – hardware societe, manchester press, proud mary, st ali, auction room

    1. celina says:

      Good to know 🙂 I was contemplating whether or not I should walk across the Bridge…thought I’d be satisfied with just seeing it. I do have another week here…may slot that into one of my days…Also good to know about the face not costing anything. I was unsure of that and so did not look into it. Thanks for the information on that!

      Have checked out the Rocks. Definitely an interesting part of town with lots of history!

      I’ve also checked out Three Williams. It’s a sweet little cafe..perfect for a mid run coffee break. I’ve also been to Paramount and really enjoyed my time there.

      Have heard of some of the cafés mentioned for Melbourne. Excited to check it out!

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