Friday, February 26, 2010

A Breath of New

A breath of new is what I am going to do. I went through about 100 plus entries and deleted them all. No worries, I saved them almost every single one in a safe folder. I have not a clue if I want to keep this blog and if I do what I want to share with the world. Though I know, whatever I put out, whatever kind of energy I put out, I get it back 10 folds.

Please check out another blog I started up. I hope I can hold myself to only posting pictures I photograph on this new journal.

I thought it would be meaningful to keep my first two entries. My Australia study abroad trip three years ago, O DAMN!, started the flood of thought that needed to be defined. I have not stopped since, but maybe sometimes not every detail needs to have a closer look.

Starting my breath of new on this snowy day in February.

Monday, March 5, 2007

On The Waves

Surfing- another thing to cross off on the list to do before I die. And another thing to be happy about, both my shoulders are in tact, for now that is.

I went to Mojo Surfcamp at Crescent Head, about six hours north of Sydney. It is a remote beach perfect for optimistic beginners and surf bums. The bus ride was brutal, but all worth it in the end. Especially when you are in close proximity to hot surfer dudes. There must be an M.O. to become a surfer, because each and everyone was a hottie, even the girls, even the ones that you might think twice about. Just the fact they can work it on the board, they do a little something something within you. I found one of my many loves in my life during this weekend. Ian, a surf instructor, who doesn’t know, actually he might because I am never all that discrete, is my surfer lover. Too bad it will never be, but the hug I got sealed the deal.

The beach house brought me a little closer to the surfing lifestyle. Everything is communal. We ate with every person at surf camp at long tables; the food was amazing, all home cooked. There were many girls at this camp, but my roomie and I were the very few who had shameless heap fulls of mashed potatoes and pasta salad on our flimsy paper plates. Delicious, seconds? Of course. We shared bathrooms; I took my shower in the boy’s stall. Everything is laid back, nakedness, a must. Kimbel, a surf legend as I was told, also known as the harmless perv, loves to streak. Random hammocks are placed up and around the beach house for a much needed siesta after our morning surf run. Swinging back and forth definitely put me into a nice power nap under the soft sun. Above all surfing is a friendly team effort. All the instructors were positive and never made me feel like an idiot each time I smashed my face into a crashing wave or when I had to pull up my bathing suite bottom to cover my cellulite ass that got exposed while jumping onto my board. They were not phased at all. We all cheered for each other when someone made the amazing leap on top of their surf board. I conquered the world when I popped into pro surfer position to take the wave back onto land. I did not stand everytime, it was like 1 out 5 times. I fell and got caught in the water, but the driving attitude pushed me to surge back into another crest. I wanted to end on a succeeding note. I became one with the sea, nothing bothered me, not even my aching knee or arms or the skin tight wet suite that took 10 minutes to put on. Nothing was on my mind, but getting back on that board. I knew I always would become a fan of surfing, but now I know why I would be in love with the sport.

I was beat after every run, looking for refuge on the shore. My hair was a hot mess, but I didn’t care as I mustered the little energy I had left to throw my board down onto the sand. Who cares when I just surfed the fuck out of me?

Not only was the surfing experience amazing, but everything that came along with it was too. The beach alone was enough to take my breath away. As my roommate said, she can understand why people miss this when they leave it, but you never hear a person say they miss busy streets or tall buildings of a city. Very true indeed. The remoteness of the location allows you to get lost in your thoughts; maybe you are trying to uncover the meaning of this trip, the meaning of the people you have met, or the meaning of life. The mini waves that washed away foot prints made on the sand are like new journeys becoming old ones that will be stashed away as memorable times, though new imprints are always waiting to be put down. The beach is even more enjoyable at night. I have never in my life been at the beach when the sun was not on scene. The moon was full allowing a hint of light to shine over the water as they broke onto the sand. Not to be cheesy, but it was a highly romantic setting. Although I am not too fond of the boyfriend situation at the moment, it would have been lovely to have someone holding me. Settling for a good stare into the dark horizon independently was just fine.

Leaving Mojo surf camp was the hardest thing since I have gotten to Australia, but all great things must come to an end. Now all I have are pictures of me falling off the surf board and being a lame poser on the beach to remember this amazing weekend by. Guess what, I am going to share those pictures with the entire world!

Till next time have a good laugh for me.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I Still Can't Believe that I am HERE

Sometimes during the day I have to stop to remind myself that I am in Sydney. It is truly a fortunate experience to be here right now.

Thankfully I came with four awesome people. I was a little skeptical coming into this trip whether we would all be close and whether I would actually hang out with all of them. All four of them have made the first week in Sydney an easier adjustment. I have met some kids who have come to University of Sydney by themselves, and from my own memories of going to University of Miami freshmen year, it can be a bit hard making friends in a new environment.

I get to experience summer twice this year. It is currently a sweet 70s, 80 degree sunny summer weather, and when I get back to Boston it will be an enjoyable July/August climate. We have made our way to a couple beaches in Sydney, Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach. They were both beautiful. The lifestyle here is very similar to California's laid back beach mentality. Our journey to Bondi Beach took a bit of patience, one of the kids that came with us from the NU program loves to walk and refuses to ask for directions, we walked the entire 2 mile something up and down trek to the beach. While there was a cheap $1.70 bus ride that drops beach addicts right in front of the sand. Though I have found that walking does allow a lot more exploration of the town as opposed to other forms of transportation.

This past Friday night I got to enjoy a four hour harbor cruise. I saw the Sydney Bridge, Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Skyline from the boat. This water excursion was provided by the school, which brought together all the international students at the University of Sydney. Saturday morning, three other NU students and I decided to take advantage of a wine and dolphin getaway to Newcastle. We got to visit three wineries. I have never got to go wine tasting or been to a vineyard before. Each winery was unique to themselves. The first one was a more relaxed place where we placed our elbows on sticky wooden tables and chairs sipping on coffee and chocolate liquors. The second a posh winery had terrible acoustics where we could barely hear the wine leader speak of delicious wines with hints of sparkling frizzante. The last winery was a self owned grape processor, the owner was the one telling us about his wine. He kept on making fun of Americans, he didn't seem to enjoy our loud ways. The next day of the weekend trip was a 2 hour boat trip out of Port Stephens to see some dolphins. It was great to see Flipper in its natural habitat, undisturbed by SeaWorld. We attempted to go sand surfing, but the sand was too wet from scattered rain showers. It was still nice to get to run up a steep sand pile, what a workout.

I have been here a week and it seriously feels like a month. I am glad that I still have four more months to explore this amazing country. I have yet to see the bridge, the opera house, or other signature Australian sights up close and personal. I still have to muster up the courage to venture into the city by myself for a nice walk. I was told that you always see something you wouldn't if you were traveling with a group of people.

My friend came to Sydney last semester thought the NU program. I asked her if she found any culture shock, she said that it was very similar to the US. Although there are many things that make the two nations alike, I have found the two countries two separate places from each other, that is why one is called the United States and one is called Australia. Even twins have two distinct personalities. We all have come so close to our death beds from not looking to the right when crossing the streets. Each time a car passes me I am bewildered as to why the "driver" is not steering his or her wheel. The English here alone is something to get use to. They use cutlery for utensils and notes for paper money. Sometimes I have no idea what Australians are saying. I nod my head in agreement, so I will not look like a fool. During orientation there were two sessions dedicated to teaching us international students the basis of the Australian dialect and the Australian slang. I am still working G'day, Cheers Mate, and No Worries into my speech.

Till next time make sure you laugh a little.