The holiday blog is dead! Long live the blog! After a fantastic 6 months on the road, Jodie and I have gone firm for the moment in sunny Sydney. We have both accepted project managers positions in the centre of Sydney; Jodie will be working for a bank, and I will be working for a large defence company.
We have had an amazing time since leaving UK, have seen some incredible things, visited diverse and fascinating countries, but best of all, have met some lovely and interesting people, many of whom we remain in touch with. We've met some complete freaks as well, but the good outweigh the bad by a huge margin. We feel incredibly lucky to have had such an opportunity to get away and I cannot recommend taking the plunge highly enough, though I understand it is a big step and not everyone is as foot loose and fancy free as Jodie and I. As the economy crashed and world wide recession bit, many friends asked if we were sure that we were doing the right thing. I had a few phone calls from military men asking me if I was really sure I wanted to leave right then and was assured I would be looked after if I changed my mind. I must admit to feeling some trepidation as our plans came to a head. When it came to the crunch, we decided 'sod it, let's back ourselves; it'll all work out'. So far it has. I don't say this to brag or to suggest that everyone must ditch everything and w*** off, but rather to say that if you are seriously thinking of heading off for a bit of an adventure, for god sake, go for it. You will not regret it. Unless you get swine flu. Or mugged. Or sold into the white slave trade. But if none of that happens, you will not regret it.
I have really enjoyed writing the blog, have loved the feedback and am so glad to have a record of what we got up to; already, sitting in the lounge at Heathrow seems like a lifetime away. In many ways I want to keep it going as a blog rather than a travel blog to help bridge the gap between UK and Australia, but it may become a very dull 'what I did at work today'. May be a once a month update will do.
Anyway, you will be happy to know our transition from backpackers to grown-ups has been reasonably messy, optimised by the sight of Jodie, Melinda and I dancing on Melinda's table at 2 am after a night celebrating my job offer. I was so happy to be the man who could come down stairs at 7.30am, look at 'the ladies' looking slightly worse for wear, laugh, then go back to bed!
This celebration, combined with the bucks night, a heavy night at the Marrs and a couple of drinks on Saturday night meant that my body was not eager to run the Sydney Half Marathon on Sunday 17 May. I've done two big 'event' type runs in the past; the London Marathon and Sydney's City to Surf and both of which were great fun. I even managed to smile for the first 18 miles of the marathon. I had hoped that the SHM would be the same. If I had noticed the note on the website that mentioned that anyone who failed to make the halfway point in 75 minutes would be pulled off the course, I may have realised that this was a 'runners' run. There were no bands playing, no nutters dressed as rhinos, waiters complete with trays of glasses or pantomime horses, the cheering crowds were thin on the ground and the banter between competitors was non existent. Instead there was 10,000 fit people warming up at the start line. The only noise to be heard was heavy breathing, grunts of pain and the annoying tst tst from ipods. I barely raised a smile for the 1hr 48 mins it took me to waddle round, and any attempts at humour was met with stony faced silence. Not sure I will do that one again.
Real life began for me three weeks ago and Jodie started a few weeks before that. My real life involves an office on a spit of land that sticks out into Sydney Harbour and has views to the bridge and the Opera House, it will involve a walk to work and (hopefully) the chance to run around the Sydney Domain and Botanical Gardens, or swim in the Boy Charlton open air pool at lunch time, so it is not all bad. Not having a post lunch nap may be an issue.
I wrote this a few weeks ago and have not posted it, so I will try to post an update on the past few weeks soon.