It happens the most when I use public bathrooms. What a random place to miss one of the best times of your life. But I can‘t help it – public toilets remind me of Sydney.
They remind me of going to McDonald‘s on the corner of Park Street and Pitt Street only to use the bathroom. They remind me of the toilets in Star Bar where my boyfriend and I had our first date. And that reminds me of all the other places we‘d go to: The Strand on William Street where we went almost every Sunday for beer and a cheap steak, Domino‘s Pizza on Darlinghurst Road and that place in Manly where we got the best burger I’ve ever tasted.
I‘ll never forget my favorite cafe, Caffe Cherry Beans on the corner of Pitt Street and Liverpool Street, where the staff knew my order of a $4 large latte or pot of peppermint tea. And the chicken caesar salad they kept making just for me even after they changed the menu. They played the best music and I could just sit there for hours and watch the people walking by.
Some of my best memories are of my days working. Cleaning is not my dream job, but the hospital was in a nice area. The walk to and from there was the best. Past Kings Cross and through the cute little streets with the smell of coffee in the morning. Walking down Oxford Street and Crown Street on a sunny afternoon. Wherever you go around the city you can find pretty areas. Taking a stroll down to the Opera House on a day off and visiting Charles Billich’s art gallery by The Rocks never got old either.
My heart crumbles when I see photos of Bondi Beach or the Harbour Bridge on Instagram. It’s a mixed feeling of regret that I’m not still there and warmth and joy for all the memories I have.
Maybe it‘s just because of the good memories. Maybe it‘s because of the sun or the fact that I fell in love there. Whatever the reason, it hurts to know that Sydney is so far away. It‘s the city that has everything – a city center with tall buildings, with shops and cafes, British-styled pubs and Asian restaurants wherever you look – the pretty streets and suburbs surrounding the center – all the beaches with light yellow sand and blue water – and let‘s not forget the lovely weather.
. Don’t get me wrong, I am very excited for the future and what’s to come. I’m closer to my family now and I have a lovely partner who makes everyday better, I’m living in a beautiful part of England and I finally have a place to create art again. I also feel extremely lucky to have experienced this amazing city the way that I did. Not everyone can say they’ve lived in Sydney, Australia. I did live in a hostel, but it was in a great location and I got plenty of time to explore and enjoy my time there. I wouldn’t want to change a thing. But I’m warning everyone who wants to do the same – this city has stolen a piece of me and I don’t know how long it will take to get it back. I might never get it back.
Sydney has set the bar high. I have dreams about having my own little art studio or gallery near the city and living in a house or apartment by one of the beaches. Sketching and writing in a coffee shop and visiting art galleries and book stores, sunbathing on the beach and going for walks along the coast or in the Botanical Garden with a view over the harbour. That’s the life I’d love to have. It doesn’t have to be Sydney, but I know that’s one place where I can get all of that.
For more about my time in Sydney and my travels in Australia: