Sunday, July 09, 2006

Last weeks in Sydney

A friend recently commented that preparing for living or travelling overseas in your late twenties is very different to doing the same thing in your early twenties. I definately agree. When I was planning a year's working holiday in Britain and travel in Europe at the age of 21, it was the end of an era, and I was out to find myself. I had nothing to lose. Now, as I approach the age of 30, I know what I want from this experience, I am a bit clearer about who I am, and I am leaving much more behind. Quite a few friends have babies that will grow up while I'm gone, my grandfathers are not as young as they once were, and my partner, Pete, has kindly agreed to revolve the next year of his life around Europe and my dream of working for the UN. Being away from him is definately going to be tough.

The past few weeks have been filled with scanning the second hand shops and markets for cheap woollies, driving my flatmates crazy by umming and ahhring about the right size for my new pair of walking boots, booking flights and train trips, packing my life into boxes (again) and taking the opportunity to dispose of even more clothes, books and kitchen utensils! Charlie the visiting cat is sadly missed - he ran under a car a few weeks ago. My tomato plants have also died, signalling the onslaught of winter and coinciding sadly with my departure. I will miss my flatmates and our vegetarian household (see photo). The free yoga classes I get as a volunteer are definately a welcome relief as I begin to stress about those silly little details....including the thesis that won't go away!!

I promised myself that I wouldn't travel overseas again without a purpose. With air travel costing the earth (literally), I wanted to only go overseas if I thought I was contributing something worthwhile, and if I was experiencing a city as a resident or at least a visitor in somebody's home rather than a tourist simply hanging out with other foreigners in hostels or hotels that don't reflect the true "vibe" of the place. So a job at the United Nations working on issues of disarmament fits the bill, I think. I will try to be a bit Swiss for a year. I'm looking forward to swiss chocolate, fondu, cycling to work (can you believe that I have already been offered a bike?), French alps, catching up with old friends in Europe and hopefully even a trip to Morocco, staying with local people and learning a bit about the culture there.

No comments: