Monthly Archives: March 2013

Questions, Conversations, and Cliffs

At about my age it’s pretty common to get the question “What do you want to do with your life?” Most of us don’t really have an answer, most people don’t know for the majority of their life. When people pose this question to me I’m not really sure how to answer. It’s not that I don’t have a direction, I think I’ve got that decently figured, it’s an issue of explanation. See, when people talk about traveling they tend to talk about seeing the world, that’s awesome and all, but I want to meet the world. I want to know as much of it as I possibly can, because you can’t change the world without knowing it first. And I may come to find that the world has no need of my somewhat grandiose plans and expectations of myself, and I’d be perfectly happy to find that to be true, but it sure seems unlikely. So for now, I’ll continue on meeting the world and getting to know it as best I can, I know that I’ll never be able to understand or meet all of it, but that’s not what’s important really. What’s important is that I better myself as a person, and better the world as a place to live, to learn, and to thrive in for those that come after me. I’ve been given so much in life already that it’s important for me to return the favor.

I’ve been down under a month now, and I can actually say my feet have hit the ground now. And that’s certainly a good thing as freefall gets pretty exhausting. Besides, you can’t get to know the nooks and crannies of the world from way up high, you need your feet for that. I’ve had some moments of genuine inspiration in the last week or so regarding different aspects of life. It’s incredible how much more you begin to appreciate what you have back home while your abroad. I’ve always loved my family and they’ve always been one of the most important things in my life but being out here makes me realize just how blessed I am to have such a family. There’s an idea brewing in my head regarding what I may want to do to make an impact that I think is incredible, though I am biased, but we’ll see where that goes later. It didn’t really hit me until about a week ago that my first experience living alone and taking care of all aspects of my life was actually happening across the world in a foreign country. Pretty damn cool if you ask me, and something that I really feel is invaluable life experience. It hasn’t been all sunshine though, both literally and figuratively. It’s nice to have it cool down so I can sleep without sweating. Coming to realize that some of my old habits still resurface, being somewhat too quick to judge, regarding my classes and other things out here, and I’m glad that this is bringing all those fixable things to light. That’s a big reason I’m out here after all.

Though I say I’m settling in, I can’t say I’m not still throwing myself off cliffs, figuratively of course. I’ve tried eel, octopus, and prawns among other things. Went to a footy match, to Moomba Festival, saw a bagpipe band in Flagstaff Gardens, and went to bars down back alleys themed as insane asylums with drinks served in syringes. I had a talk with a self professed philosopher from Sri Lanka in the park the other day, certainly interesting. When I titled this blog Gone Walkabout I didn’t realize how relevant the title would be. I average about 5 miles a day walking out here, either around the city or out on Philip Island during a storm this last weekend when we went camping and saw the penguin parade and the Nobbies (look it up). I’ve done more dancing at places like Club Retro (80’s & 90’s music) and Future Music Festival than ever before, and I’m probably still terrible at it.

As the first month ends, the next looks to take on a different structure, more school oriented during the week and travel oriented on the weekend. Semester break is already next week and there’s only 9 weeks of class left before finals in June. Hoping mine are early in the month so I can take off and travel up to Bali, Malaysia, Bangkok, Singapore and whatever I have time and money for. Heading out on a camping trip and going kayaking, bushwalking and rock climbing this weekend. Myself and a buddy are heading to Sydney for 4 days and then road tripping the South Island of New Zealand over break so definitely looking forward to that.

As always, more grateful than I can say to my family and friends and those who’ve given me so much. Love you guys.

Still Walking,

Rug

Fireworks over the city at Moomba Festival

Fireworks over the city at Moomba Festival

Octopus at Queen Victoria Night Market

Octopus at Queen Victoria Night Market

Footy match - NAB Cup Final between Brisbane Lions and Carlton Blues

Footy match – NAB Cup Final between Brisbane Lions and Carlton Blues

Nobbies

Nobbies

Nobbies again

Nobbies again

The ends of the Earth

The ends of the Earth

Tagged , , , , , ,

Breathe

I swear sometimes I fabricate reasons to get wound up and stressed.

I’m sitting in a beautiful park in the middle of a vibrant city as the sun sets. And my dumb ass was creating reasons to freak out and decide that this whole thing sucked not even an hour ago. Joke’s on me, by me. It likely comes down to being a bit tired and worn after over two weeks of going non stop…it’s only been 16 days…it feels like a year. That along with classes starting up this past Monday; which is both good and bad. I love to learn and to think, but all I want to do now is travel, explore and thrive. My subjects seem interesting and engaging, though I don’t initially like the large lecture hall classes and the feeling that I could simply not show up and no one would know the difference. It’s just too tempting here, and I know the classes won’t be easy, or maybe I’m just stressing too much about them.

It’s strange, I’ve always been a homebody, and certainly still am, but since being here if I’m not constantly doing something new, walking about, exploring, going to see Blink 182 (okay we sat on a hill behind the venue, but we heard it perfect and it was pretty damn cool) with the city in the background, going out to Brunswick for a warehouse sale, to Fitzroy for a rooftop bar with amazing views of the skyline, walking down to Southbank past Fed Square and Flinders St. Station and into Queen Victoria Gardens and along the Yarra I get ancy. I feel like I’m missing opportunities.

Went for a wander through the city to calm myself and ended up at a Catholic Church of all places. It’s a beautiful one and I plan on making it to mass there as it’s not all that far from where I live. Just wandering in brought me a great sense of calm and familiarity.

There’s just so many places to explore in this city it’s gonna take all the time I’ve got. Despite the CBD (downtown) area being so engaging, the suburbs are certainly full of more personality and hold a fonder place in heart. Fitzroy looks straight out of the turn of the century ans has about as high of a hipster level as you will find anywhere (in a good way) it also has some great eats and delicious noodle places. Brunswick is similar architecturally but much tamer and classically suburban. Down in St. Kilda and Elwood has been my favorite so far. It’s a beautiful beach town complete with an old amusement park. It’s also got some beautifully clear water and sand. The best part of everything is that it’s not more than 30 min by tram from one to the other. I’ve been to the Melbourne Museum as well which certainly is going to require multiple more visits. The street music and art is unbelievably good here, actually bought a CD from one of the bands during White Night called Pludo who are very good.

During orientation we were fortunate enough to have Pete Wheeler, founder of The Lonely Planet travel writing company come and speak to us about his travels. And he’s got some hell of a travel log. I wouldn’t mind doing travel writing for a few years or so if I could. Gotta be thankful for the people I’m out here with, having good friends always makes life easier and this is true a hundredfold when you’re across the world.

Who knows what the next few weeks hold, Future Music Festival on Sunday, applied for a spot at TEDx Sydney in the Sydney Opera House to see Bill Gates speak. New Zealand trip is being planned for semester break, possibly a roadtrip down the Great Ocean Road with some swedes we met up in Cairns the other week. Definitely looking to get into the sports scene here as well as Footy is starting up now.

Read a fellow student abroad’s blog about life in London and now I’m already stoked for that next year. Getting ahead of myself, I know. But like my fellow blogger, I also had a moment today where I was literally walking though the city and started laughing I was so euphoric. It’s just that incredible to have this experience. If you have the opportunity to study abroad please do, or at least travel and experience this.

Unbelievably grateful as always to everyone who’s helped me make this happen, especially my family. Love you guys. Still not sharkbait.

The walkabout rolls on.

Tapestry at the Melbourne Museuem

Tapestry at the Melbourne Museuem

Blink-182 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Blink-182 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl

Warehouse Sale in Brunswick

Warehouse Sale in Brunswick

View from rooftop bar in Fitzroy

View from rooftop bar in Fitzroy

Campus

Campus

IMAG0843

South Lawn on campus

South Lawn on campus

Old Quad

Old Quad

More Campus

More Campus

The Spot building where I have most of my courses

The Spot building where I have most of my courses

Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church

Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church

Tagged , , , , ,