As a previous blog may have alluded to, I did in fact have a couple of rough weeks upon first arriving here in Melbourne. As the height of homesickness kicked in, and the yearning for a place I could call home was in full force, I started to question what I was doing and why I was even here.
In the moments as I lay in my bed with my head buried in my baby blankie, I thought of all of the words of wisdom and previous conversations I had had with other well traveled souls who had been there and done that. When it came to homesickness, I was advised early on that the first couple of months would seem like a paradise-like vacation. Come the third or fourth month would be when the stresses, realities, and the yearning for home would set in. And though mine was a bit delayed, the realities of it all surely set in strong. And even though it is a “normal” part of travel it certainly didn’t make it any easier.
And though I wasn’t ashamed or trying to hide the fact that I was missing my family, friends, and Border Collie bestie back in Chicago, I certainly wasn’t motivated to yell it from the roof tops. Which is why one particular conversation I had with a new travel mate who is on a journey of his own, gave me the necessary kick in the ass I needed. He had asked me if I had a mission statement/ statement of purpose that I adhere to when editing what goes in and stays out of my trusty blogs. And though at that point I didn’t have anything formally written down, I gave him the answer as follows:
“To Incorporate good photographs with coherent writing inorder to report back to family, friends, strangers, and myself reading this in the future, on all of the ups as well as the downs of traveling solo. To Always keep it real.”
If that was my mission, than James Bond would certainly be disappointed in me for not choosing to accept when things got heated.
And so to play a bit of catch up to my avid readers who may have missed a blog or two (what? I’m flabbergasted!), here is a brief synopsis of everything leading up to what was so far the hardest part of my travels. Upon flying from the states I had this game plan that I would do a few months of work exchange in Queensland, then take a few weeks to travel up North to the ever so famous Great Barrier Reef. Then I was to travel to Melbourne for several months where I would “settle down”, find an apartment, and recharge my ever shrinking bank account.
Upon arriving to the good ol’ Melbs, I was in high spirits, as I have heard countless positives about the city, other then the unpredictably changing weather, of course. And in all honesty, everything I was told proved to be completely true. Well, most of it.
Right from the get go, I told myself that I just had to find a job and everything else would fall into place. Easy, easy.
Well before long, it turned into one of those chicken or the egg conundrums, where I didn’t know if I should focus on finding a place and then a job that was nearby, or look for work first and then a place in the surrounding area. Or maybe scratch both of those ideas and just try and get out there and meet people. Seeing as I am a complete novice to this whole ‘picking up and moving to a new city’ thing, I tried to do everything at once.
And I got overwhelmed. And the closest shoulder I had to cry on was approximately 9,670 miles away. Which made me even more overwhelmed. And lonely. And at that moment, the only answer I could think of was getting on the next plane home. Which may have been a legit thought for 37 minutes. But I wasn’t ready to give up.
And I’m still not.
Liz, author of the travel blog, Young Adventuress, just wrote a post that was so relevant to what I had been experiencing and was exactly what I needed to hear. In her post titled ‘Ups and downs, highs and lows and the importance of finding balance’ she writes that she would “Rather ride a roller coaster through life than drive on a flat highway in cruise control”.
Ditto Liz. Ditto!
And as I have now been in Melbourne for almost two months, I feel as if I am about to get off that roller coaster for the time being.
Well I hope so at least, as I have postponed my return flight until July, and have started attempting to make a place for myself here.
Wish me luck!
*** Stay tuned for blogs about the job and apartment. Because although it would certainly add to the adventure, rest assured that I am not spending each night on the park bench.***