Lets get up tp date before ileave on monday....I landed in Sydney on June 30th. My first look from the plane left me gasping for air. Possibly because I couldn't believe I had finally arrived after the year I had, in a country I literally obsessed over for months. It was a very different feeling from Italy....My first stop was a cafe where I ordered an espresso and found myself wanting to speak italian, and then sat a pizza shop..my body felt destroyed from the jetlag and I was trying to stay awake. In my 2 hours I located the train, the bus, a map, coffee, they gym, and the large park to run. As well the australian embassy in the hopes to renew my visa...I fell asleep at 2:30 in the afternoon waking up at 3am...finding I felt lost and totally disoriented.
While I have had some awful things happen to me over the past few years...like everyone else, it has been coupled with positive things as well. My next door neighbors where I am a squatter...are the nicest people in the world, and have really taken care of me since my roommate died, looking out for me. The husband Jerry is australian, and his mother lives in sydney....she came to ny and needed a place to stay, so I gave her a room in my apartment, and in return she gave me her comfy 2 bedroom apt in sydney to use. So this is where i am at the moment, a far cry from backpacking....the draw is that its very clean, i can wash my clothes, cook, be comfortable...the downside is I meet noone, no other travelers and as soon as I landed I felt the lonliness creeping in...
For the first 3 days I couldn't really muster myself out of bed, not even to run. I was so tired, depressed, wondering what the hell am I doing here?? I missed my mom, and my dog...but something inside me said "shut up ilyssa...get up, get going, book a tour do something"...I got on line and a friend who did this a year ago gave great advice, she said go to a hostel look on the boards, mingle there, even if your not staying there. So I ventured around and while doing so, my cell phone broke. This was not a good start, after being told I'd have to spend 300 dollars to get another universal phone, my 5th shop plugged in a charger and poof it was working again. I met a guy at the shop who happened to be a runner, he told me about a race that sunday and said to join, he told me about his running group...things were starting to change, i felt it. Then he told me about a tour group that was looking for someone to assist for 21 days up the coast, he said the position was probably taken, but go and check it out...so I did. And while I feel GOD or whoever doesn't love me ALL the time....sometimes he/she does, because I worked my way into getting on this bus tour up the coast for free by helping out with medial work and training, even though my visa is non-existent. Finally...I had a plan. Aug 10th I leave to get up the coast, I felt relaxed that I had a plan...
I swore to myself that regardless of how tired I may have felt, or depressed I was gonna make it to the zoo last sat. I got up early, did my exercise in the park, and fantasized about holding a koala bear...sadly enough this is what got me out of bed. I went to the bus/train station, and of course the first day I had bought the wrong pass. Noone should be allowed to speak to anyone after a 27 hour flight, or be allowed to use credit cards...just my opinion. I went to speak to informationand buy a ticket to get to the zoo because "lonley planet" suggested this day pass. Of course I had the billigerent drunk homeless guy behind me that was in a terrible rush...The indian/aussie guy at the desk kept screaming at him "back off mate!" "wait your turn mate!"....I grew more and more uncomfortable as I felt this guy spitting uncontrolably behind me, "I will just take the bus, thanks"...and I ran away. Determined not to give up, i was tougher then this, for gods sake I live in NY, I went over purchased my own train ticket and hopped on the train. praying...it was the right way.
I believe everything happens for a reason, but I try not to let that be my guide. Meaning...the universe might throw us treats, but we decide and make the final decisions. Sometimes things happen though that are unexplainable, they can be very good or very bad...The next thing that happened to me was very very good. I sat on the train, saw a normal looking girl and asked her where do Iget off for the zoo? This is when I met Jackie. Jackie is an irish girl who came here 4 years ago on a holiday work visa and never left, she is an architect, and has a genuine softness to her. Somehow through talking on the next 4 stops, she invited me to go to Manly beach with her and a friend. A tad skeptical..at first I said no, then I said what the hell...It was one of the best days I have had here. Being chatty Kathy I tolfd her about how when I was in Italy I wanted to teach English as a second language, but I needed to get certified ect ect...I told her about a lot of things, and she shared with me a lot of her experiences, and also told me she had a friend who went through the english certification and she would call him and give me his number.
By chance while we were at Manly beach wondering around, we literally bumped into the english teacher. Fate? I'm not sure as of yet. But we sat got a coffee and he told me about this wonderful program, that within 4 weeks would be certified to teach english anywhere in the world through cambridge univeristy. I had to apply and have a formal interview.
So the past few days while I have been sight seeing and doing the Blue Mountains, and sorting through everything, I have spent time with Jackie, and Chifley the english teacher, and met wonderful people on my tour in the blue mountains. I have been trying to decide my plan, when will I go to the school, as I didn't come here for that, but something deep inside really wants to do it, and feels drawn to it. Possibly because of my experience in Italy at the language school...Either way, I feel I must at least explore it.
So today I will go to the Uni, the university in Sydney, where I will take an english exam. Iam actually very nervous...as i'm not the best test taker, and I haven't studied english since grade school, and even then, i'm not sure where my head was. although I have always considered myself to be a good speaker or writer, my spelling, and grammar...are less then perfect. BUT, this time i'm not holding back, I'm not listening to everyone else who thinks...maybe not a great idea, study forst, take a class first...NO. This time I throw myself in, trust myself and go for it, because my heart says its right. And if it is not, the next thing will present itself.
So wish me luck that i get into the program....what is exciting is as of right now...life could go in a million directions, and I do not have control over it, i am powerless, except for doing well on the exam....