Traveling Vs. Living

by brokenrecordbaby

So, I’ve been in Sydney since Tuesday morning now. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday exploring on my own as I was staying with a family that had saved my, what I thought was, abandoned ass. On my first day I walked through the whole city down to Darling Harbour, through China Town, financial district, got on a random bus where I was told to get off at beautiful beach, was driven around King’s Cross (Syndey’s backpacker and red light district) by a guy and his mom I met while strolling the beach, had dinner with my Syndey family and slept for 14 hours.

Next day I walked the town again, got to the Opera House where I spotted Susie Bubble, a well-known London fashion blogger, I was only mildly impressed by this coincidence as they seem to happen all the time, got on a random ferry only to get off on a random, what I thought was an island. Learnt that I was in Balmain, traditionally a working class residential area that has gotten more affluent these past years. I walked the whole of Darling St., its main shopping street, and then got on a bus that took me back to Sydney where I learnt that I couldn’t have been on an island after all.

This to me was traveling. Exploring a city on my own. When I met my CouchSurfer Tim and his flatmate Tas I began living. There is a huge difference. Traveling means seeing things out of your perspective, taking in for taking-ins sake, exploring. Living, especially made possible through CouchSurfing, is treating the place like real life. Getting immersed in another person’s life, perhaps even following them around like puppy dog hence getting a real feel of the city. Grabbing a slice of someone else’s life.

For me this has meant hanging out at Tim’s work (a used book store with a tapas/cafe/bar courtyard out back), going to a warehouse party with an Aussie hip hop drum’n’bass band, getting up at 12am to go to a Chinese poetry session the boys have to record and document for a project. I’m still wandering on my own but instead of traveling through Sydney I feel like I’m living here even if it’s just for 8 days.

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