Friday, October 3, 2014

Equally divine




































I loved escaping to Yosemite (say like yo-se-mi-tea not like vegemite) after a fun but strange 5 days in San Fran. I definitely didn't sleep much the night before we picked up the car, I was so nervous as we had spontaneously decided to rent a car and drive there as there wasn't any other transport options but we really wanted to make it to the park. In all my time in countries where they drive on the right-hand side of the road I'd only once braved it myself and it was enough to scare me off never driving in Europe again. Anywayy, driving ended up being scary but fine, and it was lovely to stay in a small American town for a change. The park itself was as breathtaking as expected - Noora and I made a friend at the small hostel and spent 3 wonderful days hiking in the heat and then cooling down in waterholes and rivers. I'm currently knee-deep in my honours project that deals with the theme of nature and indulgently reading quotes that almost bring a tear to my eye - John Muir wrote this during his stay around Yosemite:

Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, inciting at once to work and rest! Days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God. Nevermore, however weary, should one faint by the way who gains the blessings of one mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.

and (this is good - imaging writing this is your journal at the end of a day):

Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.

I feel like life is becoming faster and slower at the same time. Months fly past but days seem to go on forever and next thing I know I'm finishing my honours degree in less than a month. I'm still savouring my new lifestyle closer to the city and have loved getting to know Sydney more and seeing a different side to this place. I love that I can quickly dash around the beaches on my bike if I get myself out of bed early enough before uni or work or head down to the park under the Anzac bridge to catch the sunset after a day doing work in front of the computer.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Above










































"The mountains are calling and I must go" - John Muir 
I was craving the feeling of being above the world, looking across and down at snow-covered mountain tops - an addiction I developed in Austria and don't get to satisfy very often in Australia (perhaps briefly in Tassie). Man it was good to get out of cities and into beautiful nature at Whistler. I didn't like some things, like the amount of party-Aussies there (even in summer) or how obviously it was a rich people-only (seemingly) resort town. It was beautiful, bright weather though and up the mountain we didn't come across many people.
I met someone at a shoot I assisted on months prior in Australia, who very kindly organised Noora & I a treehouse cabin in a beautiful, quiet part of Whistler. It was perfect, after having travelled for more than a month at this point, sleeping on strangers' couches, it was nice to be by ourselves again and have some routine. We'd wake up early every morning, take the gondola up one of the mountains, have a coffee at the station and spend most of the day doing hikes, then return to the cabin & listen to the radio or read or just have a beer and talk - those things you do when there's no internet, TV or shops around. :)


I'm quite self-conscious about what I post here which partly explains why it's been sop long between posts - I wrote a long one about Montreal a while ago but it seemed so silly and first world (all about the wonderful cafes and quirky shops and markets) that I didn't post it. So much has been happening in my life this past month! I finally made the move from the suburbs to inner Sydney. It was (still is) a shock to my bank account, but no regrets! I'm loving my new lifestyle - that I can bike ride anywhere I need to be, am so close to the water & am not spending hours every week on a train! There's so many places to still discover in my new area. I also started a new 2 day/ week job for something I actually studied for! How nice it is to be out of hospitality and have my Friday and Saturday evenings again, and a bonus that it's a job to do with things I'm interested anyway. I'm trying to time-manage reallyyy well as the due date of my honours project draws closer (but enjoying the process) and I'm excited for all the possibilities after I finish uni!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The big smoke













































So (obviously) I didn't have the best camera or lenses to take to north America - maybe a good thing since my last few trips have resulted in broken expensive things. Everyone seems to ask with great expectation what I thought of New York; it was like permanently walking through a movie set. I liked it. It was crazy, chaotic, senses-overwhelming, cliche yet unfamiliar. You have to focus on the smaller things because it's impossible to get an overview, a summary, of the city. I don't have any insights that people more eloquent than me haven't said about New York - I had a really fun, humid 9 days there.
(My 2 favourite meals in NYC were from Absolute Bagels (lox bagel YUM) and Shake Shack (duh... that banana peanut butter shake tho)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blue







































I'm not the best at coming back from travelling, but I felt a sense of peace as I landed in Sydney this morning. The crisp winter air, the familiar eucalyptus smell, a welcome note from my mum and jasmine next to my bed, tea and funny stories with my brother. I feel (kind of) ready for what is bound to be the biggest semester of my studies yet and I'm looking forward to having some routine again. Post-travel blues will no doubt come soon but for now, it feels okay to be home.

By the way, the past 6 weeks have been amazing - many stories, so many beautiful places, countless wonderful people. I'll share some of it soon.