It’s been a little bit since I’ve given a life update from Australia so without further ado here’s a little roundup of some of my highlights and how things have been going since the big move from New Zealand!
I feel like I hit the ground running as soon as I got here with unforgettable trips to the Sydney Opera House, Luna Park, taking a cruise around the Sydney Harbour, going to see The Post at the St. George Open Cinema, enjoying Bondi Beach, walking from Coogee Beach to Bondi, and ringing in 2018 under the Harbour Bridge with the most fantastic fireworks show I have ever seen!
I have already gotten more under my belt living here than I did in Wellington. Since moving to Australia, I’ve been focusing a lot on living in the moment and soaking in every second of my time here. One of my favorite things about living here is that there’s SO much to do and always a new area to explore! I just made a whirlwind trip back to the northern hemisphere (for a cool project I can't wait to reveal), but now that I’m settled back in Sydney, I’m truly loving it more than ever!
I've been working different temp jobs (accounting and event planning) so far while living here, and it has given me an opportunity to expand my skill set and challenge myself to learn new things quickly!
Overall, I’d say it took about two solid months to make Sydney feel like my true home. That's when we got our stuff that we shipped from New Zealand and ended up BUYING our first couch and dining room set (we used to eat meals on the floor or on the couch in New Zealand because we didn't have room in our old place). We absolutely love our place, our neighbors, our neighborhood and the natural wildlife around our place. I even saw a kangaroo practically in our backyard! And there's this one kookaburra who is always on the fence in our backyard that our master bathroom overlooks who is always staring at me when I need to pee.
The people I work with are super nice, and I'm making May the month I truly branch out -- I'm joining a gym, going to meet-ups, and hope to find some good Groupon deals to take advantage of the city during autumn/winter. A MAJOR highlight of living here is definitely being able to finally share weekends with my husband again, and that we both take the same bus into the city to work! That makes the (almost 2 hour) commute bearable.
When I'm not working (or taking the loooong commute home), I'm obviously working on content for The Fins United Initiative. I'm hoping to take our lessons and curriculums to the next level and into the future (we'll see how that goes... announcements for help may be coming!). So far, it is giving me a lot of opportunity to hone in on and expand my skills, challenge myself past my usual boundaries, and grow as a wildlife educator. As someone who really appreciates learning and has felt a bit under-stimulated in the past, it feels so rewarding to be in a fast paced environment taking note from some of the best of the best! While there are certainly moments of ebb and flow, the business end of things have been progressively picking up! I'm SO excited to introduce a brand new component of TFUI this year, so stay tuned!
Many people have been wondering how the PhD search in Australia is going... and it's at a stand-still. Basically, until I publish an article no scholarship is going to want me. No scholarship means it's pretty hard for an international student to get into these competitive PhD programs. If there is anything I learned from my MSc is that I want to be wholly committed to my PhD and try not to have a full time job. Money was such a big stressor for me during my MSc and I would rather not repeat of that-- so a scholarship is a must! Meaning an article is a must... and as some of you may know, the one I submitted in January got harshly rejected. It knocked me down quite a few pegs, but I'm looking forward to setting the time aside to start from scratch.
All in all, I’m happy to say there have definitely been far more ups than downs since moving here! We've booked our (very belated) honeymoon to the Great Barrier Reef, are looking at booking a trip to the Blue Mountains during the Yule Log festivities here in July, and are figuring out if we can squeeze a trip to Uluru, too! Perhaps maybe a trip to Melbourne and Tassie, as well.
As unknown as this whole path has been, trusting our guts and just going for it has without a doubt been one of the best decisions we have ever made. We feel so genuinely happy to be here and love waking up (even on the coldest of days) knowing we're going into the city every day. We always stop whatever we are doing when our bus goes over the Harbour Bridge to see the Opera House!
It’s certainly a journey, but I’m so thankful to be exactly where I’m at! Now that I know I’m loving Sydney, settled in, and feeling truly at home, my wheels have been turning and my plans have shifted to (hopefully!) stay here much longer than the one year we've been given with our visas. Wish us luck!
This isn't your average blog. THINK OF IT LIKE THE BRITISH LIBRARY, EXCEPT WAY SASSIER.
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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