….but we are all fabulous.

Travel musings – 2

Does it really count as travel if you are staying in one place for a few weeks? I am going to assume it does since you are still essentially a visitor – not quite a tourist but not part of the fabric of the place either.

So, we have been away from the UK for 5 weeks now and the last 4 have been in Sydney. We are here for work – we are both academics. My partner has a desk at the university and I have been using our apartment as my base to write papers and a book chapter. I am very aware that we are incredibly fortunate. I am hoping this is not a once in a lifetime opportunity since we hope to repeat it in the future, but it very well may be.

So that sets the scene. We are in Sydney, mainly for work and I am very aware of how lucky we are.

I have read many times that no matter how far you travel you cannot run away from yourself. I have understood this intellectually but it is only now that I am starting to grasp what this really means. I had this vague notion before I left the UK that whilst in Sydney, I would, just by virtue of being here, become a juice-drinking, salad-eating, meditating, running goddess who lost a few pounds and effortlessly wrote eloquent academic words from morning to night with no negative feelings or worries…

Not so much!!

I have certainly run more than at home and I am eating plump delicious avocados almost daily, along with amazing apples and figs and rocket that you scoop up with tongs into bags rather than those overpriced meagre pre-washed bagged versions we get back home. I am also working away as usual with 2 papers submitted and a start made on my chapter. But transformed goddess I am not! Turns out that working somewhere marvellous sets up a tension between feeling you should be doing more exploring and sightseeing and feeling you should be doing more work. Furthermore, when the usual grumbles or dips or negative emotions strike, they seem worse somehow because of the amazing place we’re in – almost as though I have no right to feel fed up about anything because it’s sunny and beautiful and we’re so lucky to be here. Oh, and while the running is keeping the pounds at bay, discovering Tim Tams has not helped…

Tim tams

However, I have lots of things I have learnt for the next phase of our trip, for future work adventures that we may be lucky enough to have and for life back home:

  1. If you are working from home, make sure you leave the house during the day – go for a midday run or swim or walk.
  2. A daily routine and clear idea of what you’re working on is vital. Social media is not!
  3. You can’t be working or sightseeing all the time – you need down-time too.
  4. You can eat salad, juices, delicious brunches anywhere – if they aren’t available, make them yourself!
  5. Feeling fed up is normal from time to time. Don’t feel like it’s worse because you ‘should’ be enjoying yourself every second of the day – that just makes you feel bad about yourself and is utterly unrealistic.
  6. If you worry about something (substitute your own concern here) at home, you will worry about it when you are away. Probably even more so!
  7. You cannot see everything, try everything, do everything. Accept this and enjoy the things you do choose to see and try and do without regretting the rest.
  8. Dukkah is delicious. So is smashed avocado (fancy avocado on toast).
  9. Tim Tams are nice but not so nice they should be eaten on a daily basis…
  10. You are already a goddess 🙂



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