CUWAM- Earth Bound and Aware

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It is hard to come down to earth  when you have spent the last 4.5 weeks gallivanting in Paris, parts of Denmark, the United Kingdom and the U. S of A….but a trip to my home town, the Gong aka Wollongong, was the perfect way, the only way to return to ground level….to street level anyway (in all honestly it threatened to put me 6 feet under )

Reality you are no friend of mine….

I am on struggle street….struggling to embrace the life I left only one month ago, the lifestyle I loved and the city I called home…Travel has a funny way of doing…A way of turning everything on its head…a way of making you question your life choices, your perceived happiness…question the bus route you take to work and the job you do day in and day out….

The desire to lodge a green card application has never before entered my mind, but I have spent a good part of each day since returning to OZ fantasising about getting Flora the cat a passport and relocating to NYC, so I can be closer to Wholefood Supermarket, the High Line Park and the atrocious Starbucks Coffee houses….

Yet, for better or worse, I am a realist….I understand that the lifestyle I lead whilst overseas was above and beyond that of a normal everyday routine…If I was to relocate to London for example, I could not afford to live by the Thames River in Canary Wharf as do my friend Jo and Yo….My weekend would not be filled with movie screenings in private bars, charity function dinners in Mayfair…If I was to relocate to the Big Apple, I could not afford to swan about, eating cakes and sipping lattes in Soho…chances are I would be serving them!!

Reality you are no friend on mine…Fo my travels now seem but dream….and I am left questioning if it ever happened at all…But travel, you have made me realise how incredibly lucky I am to have had the month of September spent in far-flung places, global hotspots with great friends, fabulous weather and mouth-watering cuisine.

And the crash back to earth, back to work and to routine…..onlycements the belief …I am one lucky girl, for the month of September, the shared experiences, the laughter and the tall tales, will forever be in my memory ( till alzheimers strikes anyway!!)…and that is the beauty of travel…though the adventure may be over…the memories stay with you, become part of your day-to-day and help to shape the type of person you are, person you want to be…curious, inquisitive…a dreamer…

And with a huge thud, the crash landing occured…the return to work, and the ho-hum, high ho 9-5 daily grind…made only slightly more bearable by a morning coffee from my friendly local cafe…Parc cafe…the silent barista not so silent anymore…whilst away, I had sent a postcard, ‘Greeting from Brooklyn’…and it paid off….My Monday morning coffee was delivered with a huge grin ‘Welcome back to Australia…Have a nice day’….Damm the silent barista…Did he really have to talk??..

But by 9.02am..the effects of coffee had worn off, and I was faced with the horrific task of surviving another 7 hours and 58 minutes…desk bound, staring mindlessly at the computer screen, air of some condition being pumped into office cubicles,  surrounded by colleagues who looked as though they could all do with a holiday…there was nothing else I could do but pray….’Dear God…please end this nightmare!’

Not being religious, I did not expect a response and none was given…. dazed and confused, probably still jet lagged and always underwhelmed, minutes rolled into hours, hours into days.

Colleagues took me out to lunch for dumplings, a lunch date at the Opera House complete with beverages, picnics in the park….During the evening I went to the Cinema, and to the Hyde Park Night Noodle markets and outdoor art exhibition ‘Art and About’….and still I felt detached, uninterested even….from the city of Sydney, from myself….

And to the weekend….an early morning departure, with Flora in her travelling capsule…Gong bound for some birthday action of my dear friend Rebecca….A birthday party at the German Club in Port Kembla….celebrating Octoberfest…W0llongong style…..And my crash landing was complete…

Driving to a beer drinking festival is not normally a good idea, but at this particular event, I was happy with my descision…At this particular event the attitude appeared to be drink hard or not at all…Well, I went against the grain and drank in moderation….preferring to spend an entire 5 hours locked in conversation with one person…my friend Jess….It had been 5 weeks since we had talked…really talked……this converstaion was epic…and included almost every topic known to man….martial status…..salt content of food….ear lobes….and whilst the conversation went on and on and on….and a strange feeling came over me….contentment……I was glad to be back…..I finally felt grounded.

And to herald such a feeling, the sun came out..finally…a day of warm weather….Sunshine where the hell have you been this past week?

The much awaited catch up with my brother and his beautiful bride to be….the ring…ah the ring…..Wow wee…A Sunday breakfast date at Fireworks Cafe , Moore Street, Austinmer, possibly my most favourite cafe in the WHOLE world…with travel nomad Brendan Lee, Michael and Tennelle….another special moment….Over coffee, fresh juice and big breakfasts I guess I started to feel at home, but at home more so with those with whose company I shared….location seemed to be irrelevant…xx

And as I brace myself for the drive back to the city….the thought of another working week creeps into my mind… I have come down to earth with a thud…but slowly but surely I will pick myself up….

Steering my mind toward the happy memories of the weekend down south…..the 6.30am garden session with Flora, picking strawberries and mulberries from my parents garden…Rebecca,the birthday girl, enjoying the sun, the beer and the company of her many friends, time with Jess, her partner Wade and the divine Ms Mae…conversation with the loved up Michael and Tennelle….

Enough to get me through another week? Who can say…but it is all that I have…That my current dream of winning the green card lottery, relocating to Manhattan Island, hand in hand with Johnny Depp and Flora….

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mixed Gems
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 13:34:30

    Oh, Kate. Number 1; remember the post-trip reverse culture shock is normal. I wish it never happened but we know it does. (Damn you reality!)

    Next, maybe looking at the trip as one huge birthday present, packaged as it was, might help quarantine the experience and cushion the thud back into reality.

    Otherwise there is always coffee, friends, memories, photographs, EYL, and summer is coming!



  2. Catch Up With A Mate
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 23:57:10

    Thanks Mixed Jems….I am actually feeling really good about being home…and the weather is on the improve, Flora the cat is showing more affection and yes, EYL events to plan…beaches to explore…Bring it on!!


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