How far a year can take us. Twelve months ago, I was in a menial job, living in a house I hated with people I didn’t much like and involved long-distance with a wanker banker Aussie who, two weeks into 2014, took a sledgehammer to my heart. It wasn’t all bad. I lived in the most beautiful place on earth, partied harder than I had since I was a teenager and enjoyed an amazing
group of friends. Since then, I have moved house countless times, travelled extensively, dated a couple of ‘interesting’ blokes, lost friends, made new ones, dipped in and out of jobs and amidst the never-ending chaos, managed to feel more like a grown up than ever.
If someone had told me last New Year’s Eve (Queenstown, red wine and a stunning firework display over Lake Wakatipu) that I would see in 2015 at Sydney Harbour, I don’t think I would have believed it. New Year’s Eve in Sydney is something that happens on the telly at around midday in England. I never dreamed I would experience it first hand. I watched the legendary firework display from the Rocks, eyes wide and mouth agape as rainbows of glitter burst over the Opera House, over the Harbour Bridge and off into the distance. The sky lit up with clouds of off-white smoke – daytime at midnight. I looked around me and everyone was smiling, hugging, kissing. A familiar sense of awe and bewilderment crackled through me – how did I get here?
I have been in Sydney for three months now and yet my life here feels as if it is only just beginning. I have met lots of fantastic people, people who have inspired me, encouraged me and kept me sane in the crazy realm of backpacking. Now I am semi-retired from backpacking and live in a lovely flat with a fantastic Aussie couple and their two cats. I am in a relationship. I meet friends for languid days at the beach or we go exploring Sydney’s achingly-cool hipster coffee scene. Nights out on the town are few and far between. I read and write constantly. Something has begun to shift within me. Dreams I had shelved during a very difficult time in my life are surfacing and tugging at my sleeve as if to say, ‘Look at all you have done since you left England. Isn’t it time you achieved X, Y and Z as well?’
I have no idea what 2015 has in store for me, but I’m really, really excited to find out.