I have mixed feelings about today…
Having been a Sydney local for quite a long time, I felt relatively comfortable with finding my way from where I am situated in the Northern Beaches, to the City this morning. It was just one bus and then the ferry – and an hour later, I was there. Easy.
Anybody who knows me, will know that it’s not just as easy for me to do this as a ‘regular’ person… I have a bit of a fear of buses. Goes back many years, still affects me to this day! Anyway, I felt fine and did it easily. It was nice to drive through some nearby towns, and get my bearings for where I am, and what’s around. I took the Manly Fast Ferry from Manly Wharf to Circular Quay – which was absolutely awesome! I used to take the ferry to work when I lived here, but it’s safe to say that it was back to being a novelty again.
That iconic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House when you turn around into Sydney Harbour still takes my breath away. I’ll always remember dreaming about it as a kid, desperate to see it some day, and here I am, back in Sydney for the third time.
I decided to walk around the Opera House first of all, sit on the steps (personal thing), walk around and take some photos. From there, I headed straight for ‘The Rocks’ district of Sydney – it is my favourite part. There was a little market on which was cool, so I stopped in one of the healthy cafes there and had an almond and coconut cake and a coffee – which was so strong that I couldn’t drink all of it! Seriously. Having mooched around the market for a little while, I headed towards Kent Street, to take a sneaky peak at the hotel where I used to work… and this is where I started to feel a little bit uneasy.
Now, I can’t exactly put my finger on what it was that was making me feel uneasy, but as I walked that familiar walk towards The Langham (formerly known as The Observatory Hotel), I started to get so many flashbacks of when I lived here. Little things like passing restaurants and pubs that had once been my ‘local’, and seeing days and nights play out in my head like movies… it was really weird! Walking past my old place of work, I decided to take a little detour down towards King Street Wharf, and past my old apartment on Shelley Street – which looked out over Darling Harbour. Looking up at the balcony of my old apartment made me feel even more uneasy, I’m not sure if it’s because that is where I spent a lot of time with my ex in Sydney, or just because it seems like a different life altogether. It was strange, and not as good a feeling as I thought it was going to be… The flashbacks continued as I walked past more bars and restaurants that I spent a lot of my time in (yes, hard to believe, me – socialising). They were good flashbacks though, lots and lots of happy times with some brilliant friends, who have now all moved on from Sydney too. Scattered across the world now I believe.
It was hot. REALLY hot. I love the sunshine and the heat but holy crap I was beginning to keel over – so I decided it was time for some food. After a lovely big chicken and avocado salad – I was feeling tonnes better! I made my way in to the main shopping area of Sydney – Market Street.
By then, my anxiety was telling me that that was enough for today – so I headed back towards Circular Quay for the ferry. I made a stop off in a town called Dee Why on my way back to the apartment and found lots of really nice fresh food markets so I picked up some delicious fresh Barramundi fish and some fruit and veg on my way home. When I got back, I devoured another lunch of barramundi with pak choi, sourdough with avocado, followed by fresh pineapple, peach and almonds. I needed the extra fuel today!
My body is still getting used to the time zone changes, I still feel very out of sync. I’m getting really tired at random times of the day, and my digestive system is struggling too! I have found that it is easier on my anxiety to do things in small chunks, and to listen to my gut instinct when it tells me to slow down or stop and take a break. I’ve realised that I am going to need regular ‘chill out’ breaks whilst I’m on this journey, and that I can’t keep going for as long as I used to. But I’m happy with that. So long as I can hide for a few hours to re-charge, I’ll be good to again.
Time to get ready for my first Australian Crossfit experience at Crossfit Strenue. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…
Just before I go… here’s a ‘before and after’ photo of me at the Opera House, 10 years apart…