(Never) Give Up…

Ever since departing, there has been many things that reminded me of days in Australia (it’s not that long ago after all). It is true – you never realize what you have until it is gone.

It started months before I went to Australia. When you are so close to graduation and don’t know what happens next — the uncertainly of the future is so stressful. I knew I had to get out. I knew I needed to go somewhere to broaden my knowledge and step out of my comfort zones. I had some countries in mind, Australia never showed up on the list.

Being the “good girl” all my life, I never had experience in fighting for what I really want. That was the first time I did something significant and I had to fight for it. My parents said I will never find something abroad and I am just dreaming. Lots of my friends don’t understand why I would not settle for a grad job locally. It felt like the whole universe was against me. I will never forget the feeling when I stepped on that flight on route to Sydney.

In Sydney, I met an amazing group of people; they will be people that I never want to lose touch with. We are friends not only because we get along, but each individual also touched me in one way or another. Most prominently, the spirit of never giving up. It sounds cliche — a hollywood movie, a typical heroic protagonist in a classic novel. There is a reason that its been used over and over again in stories — it is inspiring.

Because of this spirit, many things I never thought would have happened — turned out unexpectedly amazingly. It made what I saw in the movies a reality. These friends from all over the world showed me that it can be done! And that going to Australia wasn’t just my luck.

Why the recognition now? Since I left the beloved country, things are not the same — and they never will be. I am accepting that fact. Currently I am in a new place, doing other things. It is bound to be different. In fact, that is exactly what I am looking for. I can talk all day about the negative things that happened ever since I arrived to this land that is so dry. From housing to what happens on the street. It is a different type of learning. What I learned and inspired in Australia, I will take it with me to this new place. There is always a reason to stay positive and look at things from a different angle.

There is not a chance that I am giving up on this new experience.

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Cliché

 

Today I had follow up meetings, shredded some paper, cleaned my desk and walked out of the office that I had known for almost a year for the very last time.

Three months ago, I was still deciding what’s next for me. I didn’t know if I should continue to stay in Australia or to go back home. Now I am struggling to fit what I had for the whole year into 23 kilograms. Perhaps time for a short mental break to reflect my amazing adventure in the land down under.

Now that I’m leaving the country so soon, many people ask me what’s the highlight of my time in Australia/What is the best trip I had in Australia. Thanks to all the wonderful people I met here, I cannot one moment and say that is the highlight. There were so many things that I will remember for a long long time.

As for my favorite trip, it has to be: Mungo National Park. Most Aussies have never heard of this place. It is nothing glamourous and touristy like the Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, I have never felt so close to mother nature. Even the road is unsurfaced; we drove for 2~3 hours on red soil. I have seen kangaroos in the zoo the first month that I came to Sydney, but at Mungo, it was a different world. Kangaroos are jumping freely everywhere. We came close to hitting them with our car a few times. The experience doesn’t stop there. Many wildlifes on the way, many 10,000 years old bones later, it is a trip I will never forget.

There are many take aways from my journey in Australia. While I appreciate these things but it is somewhat cliché. If I am in any foreign country for a year, I might feel this way upon leaving. One sunday morning, I realized Australia’s uniqueness. That Sunday morning on a winter day, I was all by myself with empty stomach. Not feeling like wanting to cook, I went to a cafe to buy some breakfast. It was a sunny day and I was sitting outside. Then it occurred to me, that how many places in the world, that you can sit outside, without feeling cold, and enjoy a nice breakfast and coffee/tea in winter? (maybe there are many countries that this is possible but I am from Vancouver, it is a luxury)

With 3 more sleeps till I fly out, I thought I would post something like this on my blog as a celebration. Hope whoever is reading this are enjoying the photos if I have bored you with my words 🙂

Cheers,

What Makes Your Trip Memorable?

Hello from tropical Cairns! The new year has been so so busy! Aside from work, I have been traveling a lot and some more are still to come. My parents were down for a visit just in time for Chinese New Year. We drove down to Melbourne and went to see Mount Kosciuszko, the highest point in Australia, along the way. The real adventure began right after Mount Kosciuszko. As soon as we passed the town of Thredbo,  the indicator shows the gas tank is nearly empty. Time to fuel, right? It didn’t look like there’s gonna be any petro stations nearby for a long time as we are trying to exit Kosciuszko National Park.

50 kilometres later, we were getting really worried that the car could stop on the road any moment. The winding road is dangerous to drive on its own. In order to save fuel, we stopped using the brake if we are going downhill. We were constantly turning the steering wheel at high speed as a result. After another 30km of crazy driving, we finally spotted a petrol station.

I realized this about myself: I loved this experience. The feeling that we will run out of fuel on the road with no cell phone reception is scary. To be honest, it is so exciting at the same time.There were so many possibilities. What if I have to hitchhike when it didn’t seem like there were gonna be cars passing by all the time? What if the car stop in the middle of the road and it becomes a hazard for all the other cars? It could turn out  to be such an adventure that I will remember for a long time. The adrenalin kicks in and so does all that excitement!

Back to present day, I am currently more than half way through my 6 days holiday in Cairns. Prior to coming, I have heard amazing things about Cairns. One of the must see/do when in Australia is the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns.

Even after overcoming challenges at the beginning of the tour (such as getting sick because it is too hot), I felt something was missing in this trip. It didn’t feel right.

6 months ago, I packed my bags and came to Australia. Why did I choose to go on an internship in Australia for a year instead of merely taking a few weeks to tour the land down under?

When you go on trips, what is your expectation? I am developing a love for photography (You definitely should have figured out by now if you follow my blog). We all love seeing beautiful things. I want to take pictures that capture the moment. When I see a large crowd all trying to take pictures at the same time, it turns me off. It makes nature unnatural.

I see my patience running thin when self-obsessed people trying to take 100 pictures at the same spot so by the end of it, they would have one good shot that becomes their facebook profile and occupying the space so other people cannot have good shots.

When you go on trips, how do you define that you got most out of it? That you went to as many places as possible and take countless pictures to share on social media? If that is the case, what is memorable about the trip? Do you even remember all the places that you went to that correspond to each picture?

Before coming to Cairns, I was stressed out that I didn’t have much time to do research and not sure where I should go other than Great Barrier Reef. Now I think back: it is great if I did my research and know all the key places that I should go, but there is something more important and what makes it memorable —

the connections that I make… The things that I did with my friends; the obstacles we had to overcome; they are all part of the fun! Those are the stories that I want to share with friends and family years to come. (I don’t think I will ever forget to gas up my car again!)This is the missing piece in my jigsaw puzzle. This is why I don’t want to be a tourist in Australia. I want to live here for a while. I’d rather that I am missing some pictures  but have memories that refuse to leave my brain than a trip that felt like I have been traveling on my own when my ‘friends’ are around (the irony)

I promise to get those postcards going! Peace out!

PS Sorry for the lack of updates. I have been getting lots of feedback [some approached me in person :)]  on my blog entry “Where are you from?” Thanks all for reading my blog. Love your feedbacks!

XOXO