What goes up must come down, or so they say. When you’re trying to make it on your own in a foreign country, those highs and lows tend to feel amplified.
I’ve now been in Australia for over two months, though it seems much longer. I know my time here is limited, so it’s been a whirlwind of trying to do and see as much as possible while I have the chance. Along with Melbourne’s amazing food and music scene, there are beautiful gardens to explore, markets, art exhibitions, and various outdoor events. Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open, and even though I’ve never watched tennis in my life, I was lucky enough to attend and learn a little about the sport. This weekend, St. Kilda will present Australia’s largest free music festival, which I can’t wait to experience.
Even with all of the fun things to focus on, my time here has not come without its fair share of challenges. I didn’t move to Australia anticipating it to be easy, but each time I seem to be getting things under control, a new obstacle arises. You try not to let them get you down, but with no real support system, you end up bearing the load of your stress alone. Even here where backpacking travelers are common, things still really aren’t designed to make it easy to support yourself. Prices are high and jobs are hard to come by, as is accommodation; that is, if you don’t want to be gouged by rising hostel prices. You make a lot of new friends, but they move on quickly, and even with the ones that stay, it can be hard to tell who really has your best interests at heart. Sometimes your “friends” just become poised to take advantage of you.
I’m fairly level-headed, or so I’d like to believe. I’ve never really been one for emotional roller coasters. But that’s the best metaphor I can use to describe my experience thus far- one hell of a roller coaster ride. It’s been a lot of good times, interspersed with those drops that can take you by surprise and leave a pit in your stomach. They don’t last too long, though, before you start to climb out of it and feel better. For every bad day I’ve had here, I’ve had many more good ones.
Even on the bad days, or should I say especially on them, I have to remind myself where I am. Now that I’ve settled into more of a routine, I tend to forget. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe that I’m living in Australia, and all things considered, it’s going very well. Regardless of what happens, I know how fortunate I am to be here and experience this wonderful country. I know when I look back, I will only focus on the good. After all, when the roller coaster ride is over, all you feel is the exhilaration, right?