I’ve been in Sydney for almost a week now and I have already decided to apply for jobs here when I graduate in 2013. When I got off the plane after the surprisingly decent flight from LAX, I was overwhelmed – I hadn’t showered, I had to go through a million different checkpoints (the guy looking at my passport seemed sketched out at the fact that I now have blonde hair because it’s brown in my photo) and to top it all off, it was pouring.
The staff had the responsibility of ensuring I – and about 90 other students – didn’t fall asleep upon arriving at the dorms, so we had an orientation session and went to a cute little cafe called Julia’s to eat (and drink, obviously). Upon finishing my first glorious $4 beer, I felt as if I had been hit by a truck and went back to sleep with some of my new buds. Hitting the sheets at 7:30 p.m. resulted in my waking up at 4:30 a.m. with my roommate Kirsten, who coincidentally lives in the same apartment complex as me back in Allston!, which made for a miserable day.
Still, I wanted to meet everyone and hit the town – I know that every second of this trip will go by fast. So a brigade of us traveled to the, um, classy club Scubar down the street from our dorm on Regent. Let’s just say I’ll probably be sticking to bars and pubs down here in Sydney. I was confused beyond belief at the dancing etiquette here – apparently the thing is “twirling,” so I was feeling very dizzy and culture shell-shocked by the end of the night.
I got back to my room at 2 a.m. and woke up for class the next morning feeling tired and, once again, overwhelmed. I obviously signed up for this program with the idea that I would be exploring Australia and forgot that I’d be learning how to “travel-write.” I thought my first exercise went pretty well but after reading it aloud and talking to one of my ex-columnists Casey afterward, I realized that what I had written was word-for-word something I would have written for an editorial in The FreeP. Ugh! I guess I have a lot more to learn here (and a lot to forget!).
But by far, the past two or three days have been some of the greatest days I’ve had in a few years. The atmosphere is contagious – no one can stop talking about how lucky they are to be here, how much fun they’re having or all of the things they want to do. As for me? I’ve never been somewhere so beautiful. The Royal Botanic Gardens, the harbor that boasts thousands of Caribbean-esque villas and yachts, the friendly locals who aren’t annoyed to give you directions, the modern lounges and even the adult bookstore on the street with video booths all contribute to the spectacular vibe here. And it’s only day 5.