I recently wrote a somewhat melancholy post on the agony and ecstasy of leaving London, in which I spoke about all the goodbyes I would be saying over the coming weeks and the colossal sadness that will accompany said farewells. And thus, following on from a comment my Aunty Kate made on the post, in which she spoke about everything that awaits me as I begin my new chapter in Australia, I thought I’d make a list about the series of firsts I’m most looking forward to.
1. Meeting my new housemate: I’m going to be living a short walk from Bondi Beach in a two bedroom flat with a girl called Kate who I met via Air B&B. Her interests were listed as yoga, reading, socialising and relaxing, thus I thought it was safe to assume we’d get on; when she then told me that she was currently reading Shantaram – which is in my top 6 books of all time – I was completely sold.
2. Seeing my Aunty Kate: My Dad is one of seven, and the only one of his siblings living in England; thus time spent with my paternal family has not been as frequent as I would have chosen. My Aunty Kate emigrated to Australia a number of years ago, and after a stint in Melbourne, Dorrigo and Coff’s Harbour, is now happily settled in Mackay with her husband John. I’ll be spending my first weekend in Sydney, before flying to Mackay on the Monday morning to spend some long-awaited quality time with her, which will no doubt abate any homesickness I might feel at having left the UK.
3. My first yoga class on Bondi Beach: The yoga studio I’ll be doing my teacher training at is located on Bondi Beach, and I can only imagine how incredible it’s going to be seeing views of the ocean as I practise my downward-facing dog. Yoga, for me, has been a wonderful escape from the general stresses and strains of life and I can’t wait to fully immerse myself in Bondi’s bustling yoga scene as soon as my feet touch down in Sydney.
4. My trip to Bali: As part of my yoga course we go on a week’s retreat to Ubud in Bali. It’s recommended that phones and laptops are left behind, and having worked in social media for the past two years – a job that involves an almost round-the-clock social presence – I’m looking forward to a total technology detox, morning meditation as the sun rises and getting to know beautiful, beautiful Bali.
5. Showing my friends my new home: Since announcing my move to Australia, I’ve been boring a number of my friends to death, pleading with them to visit me in Sydney; while none have yet booked flights, I’m hoping that two of my best friends Eleanor and Sarah, my sister Jojo and her gorgeous friend KC, my lovely friend Sophie Elwes and my wonderful friends Olivia and Alethea – who I recently holidayed with in Corsica – will all be joining me at some point. I am beyond excited at the thought of showing them all my favourite spots in Sydney; prosecco as the sun sets at Manly Wharf, a 5am sunrise at Watson’s Bay, a coastal walk ending with cocktails at Coogee Pavilion – the list is a long one and I’m sure they’ll all fall in love with Sydney with the severity that I have.
6. The Bondi to Coogee walk: I first did the slightly shorter version of this walk eight years ago on the back of a recommendation from my wonderful friend Dave Rickard, and walked along Sydney’s breath-taking coasts countless times during my three week stay there earlier this year. Living by Bondi Beach will mean the walk is virtually on my doorstep and I’m hoping to schedule it into my diary on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
7. New Years’s in Sydney: one of my friends from London, the very lovely Chloe, had planned a trip to Australia over Christmas and New Years to visit our friend Krish prior to my finalising my move to Sydney, which means I’ll be spending New Year’s Eve with two of my very favourite people. Plans are yet to be decided on but I know that whatever we end up doing, seeing in 2016 with the two of them will certainly be a highlight of my time in Oz.
8. Brunch with Krish: my most gorgeous friend Krish, who’s returning to Australia after two years in London, has just received a job offer in Sydney which brings me untold amounts of joy. As she’s originally from Melbourne, Sydney will be a new adventure for us both and we’ll no doubt be brunching a-plenty in the new city we’ll call home.
9. My first Australian reading challenge: I’m hoping to finish reading the BBC Top 100 Reads by the end of the year, and want to spend 2016 immersing myself in Australian literature. I’m yet to work out the final details of the challenge but am looking forward to reading more of the wide plethora of books that Australia has to offer.
10. My first trip to Melbourne: Having only been to Sydney before, and having heard many great things about Melbourne, it’s one of the first places I hope to visit during my time in Sydney. From the Australian open to the city’s famous coffee culture, I can’t wait to explore everything it has to offer.