I arrived in Sydney just over a month ago. It all happened so fast: packing, getting here, arriving at my accommodation, meeting friends and settling into the city. I didn’t even really process that I was halfway around the world until about four days after I got off the plane. Due to jet lag and weird sleeping hours, the last three weeks or so have been when I’ve really gotten to know the city.
Although I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to fully navigate Sydney without GoogleMaps, it’s nice to finally be able to get to class, my favorite coffee shops, etc. and back to my accommodation without relying on technology. For me, that’s when I really start to take in a place. My head is no longer buried in my phone telling me which way to turn, but I see the things and people around me.
One challenge that I have encountered (and tried to overcome) is getting into the habit of doing things. I know my favorite coffee spot, running path, where to get the acai bowl or dumplings – and I usually get in the habit of just going to the same ones. Sydney is a huge city and there are so many places to go. I think one of my biggest challenges while abroad is continuing to push myself outside of my comfort zone. Study abroad is an opportunity that already takes you outside of your comfort zone, and once you arrive the first thing you do is try to settle in. But while settling in I think it’s important not to get too comfortable, to keep pushing yourself, because if you try to stay comfortable you’ll find yourself walking the same route with the same cup of coffee every day. When my family visits at the end of my term I want to be able to show them around the whole city, not only my borough, Redfern. I want to take them to the best acai bowl, dumpling or coffee place (because I’ve tried them all and really know!).