From Darkness to Sunsets in Sydney

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Hey guys!

I have finally arrived in Sydney, well I arrived a few weeks ago but the adjusting period took me longer than I had anticipated. As I had mentioned in my “pre-departure” video, the first couple days here in Sydney were filled with feelings I had never encountered. Overwhelmed with a mix of fear, sadness, and excitement I just wanted the shock period to start and finish. I wanted this to end faster than everyone said it was going to take. As I had touched upon, I currently live with 7 other people; 3 females, and 4 males. All from all over the world; Italy, South Korea, the US, and the Netherlands.

Image 1: Manly Beach at sunset with Liz (USA), Joshua (Netherlands), and me (USA).

Unfortunately, I was the last of the group to arrive at our apartment. Therefore, bonds were already being formed within the house, and upon my arrival, all I wanted to do was sleep as there was a 14-hour time difference from home. The first few days here in this new city, alone, with nobody but these 7 new faces, forced me to learn really quick how to adapt to this life, a life I was not used too.

For about a week, I did nothing but lay in my bed, hear the line “do you want to come with us today” and simply respond with “I’m still in my pajamas.” I was asleep by 7 o’clock every night, lost, and ready to book my flight back home. After a long, dreadful week spent in bed, I finally felt that it was time to no longer give my roommates that response. Finally, they asked if I wanted to go to Bondi Beach, only one of the most well-known beaches in the world. From there over to Manly Beach, and instead of the typical pajama response, I threw my comforter off and said: “you know what, sure.” The sun was out, and I was done being sad. I was going to be here for four months and I was not going to spend 130 days laying in my bed. That’s not what I came here to do. That day was the turning point for me. I got up, slapped the biggest smile on my face and was ready to tackle my first real day in Sydney.

Image 2: View of Bondi Beach from the bus station.

Finally Getting Out

Let me tell you, the fresh air, the sun, and getting to laugh with them made all of the difference, I felt like myself again. They showed me how to navigate the public transport, what the best food was over at Bondi, and asked me a bit about myself. At that moment, I knew I was going to love this city, and love my new ‘family’. Upon arriving at the beach, Joshua, from the Netherlands and Liz, from the United States, and I decided to walk the beach for about 2 hours. Within those 2 hours, I honestly think the three of us became best friends. We laughed, splashed each other, and looked at the starfish, rocks and amazing views of Bondi Beach. After 2 hours of walking and exploring Bondi and its surroundings, the whole house grabbed lunch and that is when I found that Asian food is the most common cuisine here in Australia! With all of us coming from different parts of the world, it was pretty fascinating to see the choices of food among us and our reactions, of course, I was the pickiest.

As the day drew out, we went over to Manly Beach where we watched the sun go down. I realized how extremely satisfied I was with myself and grateful for these people. The amount of effort they put in just to make sure I adjusted and got comfortable really showed me a lot about each and every one of them. Living with 7 individuals is honestly the greatest experience ever. Not only do I wake up with the same people every single day, but I wake up with my new best friends every day. When one person is struggling, everyone is. Not a day goes by when we’re not helping each other out and that just shows you how every single one of us came here in the same boat and is willing to support one another. No matter the circumstance despite just meeting.

As time progresses, I can’t begin to explain how excited I am to see what journeys we take and how much we grow as a house, as well as individuals. So, come along for my crazy ride through Sydney from holding, to skydiving in the Great Barrier Reef, and traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast. Let’s get the fun started!

Image 3: View from rocks after walking to the far west of Bondi Beach.

–Katelyn