Sydney as a Stranger

It’s been a long time since I set eyes upon the familiar looming sails of the Opera House and our well esteemed Harbour Bridge, and flying in over a wintery sunset was both exciting and daunting. My entire year so far has been on my own terms, meeting new people and essentially making myself up as I went along. Walking into Sydney Airport arrivals meant I was returning to a world where I was already known, friends, family and not being able to go 15 minutes in public without running into someone familiar. I sat on in my window seat overlooking the Gong when it hit…

I was going home.

Did I say I was worried? Yeah a little, I was coming back for a funeral and really was not looking forward to having the same conversation 105 times. It was quickly put at ease by my Grandpa sitting at the arrivals gate, and furthermore by the enormous joy of coming home to your two favourite Labradors (Mr Harris, I stand by my statement, we need a house dog!). Percy and Mabel jumped and barked as we played for a most of the evening, and later that night the rest of my family joined the household as we all tried to settle in for a night of sleep.

First moments are always either very awkward or immensely emotional when seeing someone after a long while, and the next day was spent seeing all my family again, and shaking hands with a myriad of elderly people who haven’t seen me since I was “this big”. It was a great service for Poppy Neville, and truly honoured a man who dedicated his life to service of all kinds, alongside an opportunity to slowly understand a bit more of my complex family tree.

The next two weeks were spent mostly having coffee (and/or beers) with mates, and I spent more time at the local café than I did at home! If I had any worries at that point that everything would be different, 9 months was not long enough for people to forget I exist! I felt right at home, fitting back into the world I left behind. It was almost weird, that everything was the same, and I felt the same, but time away made it feel a tad different. Other than the uncharacteristic cold snap, it was brilliant!

Rocking up to my Church again was a positive memory, I walked in fairly nervous, considering the size of the place and the fact that my year group ‘click’ now seemed far more integrated within the rest of the Church and I had not spent much time getting to know the others around. One of the greater points of my experience was the acceptance of the Church to meeting everyone possible, and I swear within 1 night of Church I knew more names than I had from 3 years of youth group! It was also really refreshing after spending the last 9 months spending my Sundays in the school doing Sunday school level teaching!

I ended the final week with a few more catch ups, a night out with mates and a day on high ropes for my brother’s birthday before a final lunch at Grandma’s to fill up before going back to budget traveller food! Overall I found the break fantastic (other than waking up to Mum vacuuming every morning!) It was a good test to see how fitting back into the world I left behind would go, and I’m excited about the prospect of returning next year for Uni and beyond!

#Jongmasjourney has ended its home hiatus and resumes with Greece! I’m writing this post while on the plane to Athens and I look forward to the next step in the adventure! I may have stolen Dad’s camera so look forward to some slightly better quality photos than iPhone 4!

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions, queries, comments or advice leave them in the reply box below! I can also be contacted through varied social media platforms found on my about page.

As always, and as Grandma’s friend Laurie always says…

“Love all around”

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