If you know me from my Tralisty days, you’ll know that I spent an amazing 7 months in Sydney on a Working Holiday visa. I lived next to Bondi Beach, had a job that looked at sponsoring me to stay (until the visa rules changed), and ate my body weight in White Mud Cake.
I’ve now been back on British soil for 2 years (I can’t even believe it…) and I still miss it. I sometimes catch myself thinking “oh I’ll just pop to Target in Westfields on my way home” or “gotta get to Coles before it shuts!”. The most common recurring thought is “I’ll head down to Bondi Beach at the weekend” and it makes me sad that that isn’t an option anymore.
I think that I took it for granted a little bit. I expected to have 12 months of living the dream; learning to surf, becoming a veggie and rocking my natural hair. None of those things happened because I was escaping the life I had here in England, but now I’m older and I’m starting to think about my future, my mind keeps going back to Sydney and the glorious months that I spent there.
There were several small reasons why I wanted to come home; I kept getting abscesses that were incredibly painful and the doctors had no idea why they were so frequent (turns out, my blood sugar was too high), I missed seeing my nieces and nephew and hearing their ridiculous babble about school, I really missed my sister (but don’t tell her that!)… But the biggest reason that made me leave Bondi Beach and a life that I was settling in to was health.
I found a lump in my right breast about 3 weeks after I landed in Sydney. I’d had one removed when I was 17 and made sure to routinely check for any abnormalities. I shrugged it off, saying it was probably stress or tiredness or getting used to a new climate. But it got so big that I had to go to the doctors. I was sent for ultrasounds and they found 5 lumps in total, 3 on one side and 2 on the other. I went through the biopsy process alone and chose to come home to have the largest lump removed.
My goodness, it was a bloody difficult time. My housemate Lucy was away trying to sort out her visa woes and I had come to the end of my contract at work (bloody visa restrictions!) so it made sense to come home. I booked a flight and was home within a couple of weeks, surgery booked for a few weeks after that.
The Urge To REturn
The urge to return has never faded. I still wake up and imagine that I’m in my little flat in Bondi, about to walk out to see the sea to my left. I pine for a life that I feel that I took for granted. I really didn’t look after myself when I was there, but I was having such an amazing time that it didn’t matter.
I’ve been back in England for 2 years now and I’m feeling such a strong urge to head back. Yes, I know that I said that I’d never go back because it’s too far from everything, but what about everything else? The lifestyle, the fact that the beach is beautiful, the coastal walks, the fact that you can get fruit all year round, the cute double-decker trains… (yes you read that correctly.) How could I push all of that good stuff away just because it’s an island? Ok, I could only shop in Target and H&M for my clothes, but that’s not really a big deal. There is online shopping, and I was eating a massive chocolate cake to myself…
Planning The Trip
So here’s the deal. I’m going to start planning a trip back to Sydney in April and I’ll let you in on what I’m doing and what I’ll plan to do while I’m there. 10 days should be plenty of time.
I don’t have a lot of money to save (more than most because I live at home and pay around £300 housekeeping), so I’m going to be as frugal as I can. I might also do a monthly money diary (gotta keep myself accountable!) so you can see where I scrimp and save
If you have any recommendations for Sydney, drop them down below because I want to be a proper tourist this time!