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<-- my life, by webgoddesscathy -->

:: Saturday, March 20, 2004 ::
The caffeine is draining away. Getting sleepy. VERY sleepy.

Tonight they're showing Seabiscuit at the hostel with free popcorn! Sometimes I really love hostels.

I loathe saying goodbye. I loathe the panic of leaving. I'm glad that I gave myself a whole day to get things sorted.

Now I have time to think about those things that were so cool about my trip.

  • Enjoying/making fun of accents and idioms
  • Learning a lot about Aboriginal culture
  • Seeing some lovely beaches
  • Meeting the most amazing people with different life philosophies
  • Making friends from around the world
  • Gaining enough confidence in myself that I truly believe that I can do anything
  • Finding a happy, loving, smiley Cathy inside the stress-box-Cathy that left Canada a year ago
  • Discovering how I like to travel
  • Enjoying the artistic talents of others
  • Trying so many new things (thanks Jan!)
  • Remembering how young I am
  • Seeing/touching all those beautiful that I've only seen in photos
  • Renewing my faith in the human race and life in general

    I guess that kind of makes it all worthwhile, or not? (see point #1)

    :: Cathy 11:29 PM [+] :: 0 comments

    I'm staying in the Sydney Central YHA for my last night in Australia. It's a lovely hostel, although a bit expensive. I was originally going to stay with my friend Sonal for the evening, but then I got here so early in the morning (3am Perth time, 6am Sydney time) that no one was awake yet. That meant that:

  • I had no where to store my bags
  • I was soooo tired that I just wanted to take a nap right away until the rest of the world woke up.

    So that's what I did.
    I met a woman named Pam from Collingwood, ON, while waiting for the bus. She was going to get a hotel so that she could really sleep well. I suggested a twin room to save a little money. That worked out well because we got off the bus, walked about 20 metres to the YHA, got a twin room straight away, without having to wait for someone to check out. It even has an ensuite bathroom! LUXURY!

    I had a nice 2-hr nap before heading to The Coffee Roaster for a couple flat whites. They seemed happy to see me and wanted to hear about my travels. They marvelled at my tan.

    Once I was sufficiently caffeinated, I headed to my old place in Surry Hills with a dozen croissants to thank them for storing my stuff. There was only a brief moment of panic when I thought that Ander had given the wrong box to the Salvation Army. But no, he'd thoughtfully stored my important boxes in his room. Whew!

    Sonal picked me up from the house and dropped me back at the hostel with the package sent from Melbourne. Of course, then I had to go buy a new piece of luggage for all my extra crap. Easy: $35 got me a massive rolling suitcase.

    Only problem: I'm probably over the luggage allowance. Oops.
    And yet I can't stop buying things. STOP THE INSANITY!!

    Now I'm catching up on email and blogging and trying not to fall asleep. It's a tough order.

    I feel like I should do something fun to commemorate my last day here, but I honestly cannot be assed. Besides, even if I wanted to go to the beach, for example, the weather in Sydney is pretty grey and spotted with light rain. I could have gone to the markets, but then I'd just spend more money. And who needs that, really??

    People keep asking me what it's like to be going home. I keep telling them that I'm just not ready.

    Coming to Sydney has been almost like going home. Everything is so familiar. But I just want to go back to Perth or even Melbourne, where I have friends. Stupid Sydney.

    I feel like I haven't had enough time.

    Don't get me wrong: I wanna go home to see my family and friends. I do. But it's weird to be leaving behind so many great people and such great weather and such a fantastic lifestyle. Let's face it: once home, it's back to REAL life.

    I plan to fight "real life" all the way. I have plans. I don't want to get stuck again. I want to keep being because I've had so much more fun. So I'm going to try to keep things interesting. And remind myself often that there are infinite possibilities in life.

    My day with Dave yesterday was interesting because we talked about that. After being away for a year and getting used to being away, you start to realize that, although home is where your family is, there's nothing HOLDING you to "home" because of the wonders of modern communications. The entire world opens up to you. And suddenly, you can do anything, go anywhere. Doing anything less seems, well, boring.

    So here's a cheer for living life with passion!

    Tomorrow I'm off to Tokyo overnight and then home at 1:30pm EST. Wish I could just close my eyes and BE there already, hugging my parents, sleeping in my fabulous bed with my cat. Sigh...

    :: Cathy 10:37 PM [+] :: 0 comments

    Well, here I am at the Perth airport, waiting for my flight to Sydney.

    I can't believe how difficult it is to leave Perth. I've really had a lovely time here. I realize that I probably didn't blog as much as normal, but that just goes to show how much fun I was having. It's usually a bad sign if I'm blogging too much and answering all my emails; it just means I'm not all that happy.

    Here in Perth I feel like I have friends. Natalie, Mike, Jan, Jaap, Dave (whom I hung out with today and went cycling in King's Park!) and various other people that I hung out with along the way. I have a warm feeling about the place. I feel like I have a family here and the Witch's Hat is like my home.

    Dave was quite surprised by the vibe in the hostel. He couldn't get over how all these random people stayed in a place together and that people TALKED to him while he was waiting for me. And you do that when you travel: you become each other's family because your life is just so transient. We need each other and we're really THERE for each other because we've all experienced the homesickness, the great adventures, the really bad tour guides, the horrible food, the sunburn, the stolen money, the forgotten items of clothing, the hangovers, the tricky holiday romances.

    And when at last you feel close to these amazing people that you've met and done all these crazy things together and had a good laugh, you just have to say goodbye again and start all over somewhere else.

    Thanks to all the amazing people who served as my family in WA. You made the end of my trip into such a warm fuzzy memory, that I smile even now just to think of it.

    :: Cathy 5:40 AM [+] :: 0 comments

    :: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 ::
    In Margaret River at the moment. Stayed at the beautiful Surpoint Resort last night. What a TREAT!!

    Yesterday we were at the most south-westerly point of Australia near Augusta. It was beautiful. Sigh!

    Today, off to see some caves, wine tasting and a chocolate factory before staying in Bunbury for the night. Then it's back to Perth tomorrow night (friday).

    I have decided I don't want to leave. :(

    :: Cathy 7:34 PM [+] :: 0 comments

    :: Monday, March 15, 2004 ::
    Forgot to tell you about the dinner that the guys made us.

    They told me that it was ready and I should go sit down outside. I asked "what table?" and they said, "you'll figure it out."

    Well, I did. It was the only table covered with mini tealights, and all set for dinner. Very impressive. I contributed my bottle of Goundreys Unwooded Chardonnay to the affair. And then came the first course of soup and then a lovely meal of yummy marinated chicken, smiley potatoes, pasta salad and green beans. And ice cream for dessert!

    I was astounded. It was one of the best meals I've had while travelling. Certainly the most romantic setting, anyway. Congrats, guys.

    :: Cathy 6:03 PM [+] :: 0 comments

    The weather in Albany could be better: it's overcast and quite less than 20 degrees (OK, but that's COLD for Australia right now!). And it promises to be pretty cloudy here in the southwest for the rest of the week. SAD! But they say it's much like Melbourne here: 4 seasons in a day.

    However, we did manage to get out to the BlowHoles at Torndirrup National Park, which were not doing any blowing today since the seas were not that rough. We also saw The Gap and Natural Bridge. It kind of reminded me of my Great Ocean Road trip.

    We drove to the wind farm, which was really quite cool. I've never seen a wind farm before, so Jan, Mike and I did the loop walk while Nat stayed in the car, hiding from the cold wind.

    At Mt. Clarence, we got a cool 360-view of Albany, Jan as a statue and the surrounding bays.

    I've set Jan up to post on my blog now. I'm hoping he doesn't mess it up too badly. Please email him to let him know if he does, though. He's still young and is just learning English, poor dear. He's going to wait to post cause he's really gotta think up something cool to say so that he can be as famous as me. Ha. Good luck.

    :: Cathy 2:00 AM [+] :: 0 comments

    :: Sunday, March 14, 2004 ::
    I'm now in Albany.

    Yesterday, we stayed out at Wave Rock, about a 4-hour drive southeast from Perth. Ya. Wave Rock? It's a rock. And it looks like a wave. Pretty exciting. If you like rocks that look like waves. Not exactly hours of fun.

    However, we did get a nice cabin there at the rock for the 4 of us and had a lovely dinner and watched Coyote Ugly, cause it was the only thing on TV. And I taught Jan some new words... "craving" (as in "chocolate craving") and "gag" (as in, certain things make you gag when they touch the back of your throat... um, it was in a magazine we were reading) and "elaborate" (as in, "hey, that was a very elaborate pick-up line"). I also taught him the value of sloughing the dead skin off one's heels. Mike didn't like that lesson so much.

    Today, we drove out through the Stirling Range and Porongurup National Park and did a walk there to Castle Rock, which gave us a beautiful view of the surrounding area.

    We're staying at a cute hostel here called, appropriately, Albany Backpackers. We just had a lovely free coffee-and-cake social and now Jan and Mike are making Nat and I that beautiful dinner they promised to make us in Perth. I'll let you know how it turns out if they don't kill me with it.

    Tonight should be an early night (for once) so that we can get up in time to drive out to Torndirrup National Park and do some walks there, even though the weather is supposed to be a little overcast.

    Of course, one never knows what will happen when we give Cathy a little wine... I met up for dinner with Jaap last night and it was so nice to see him again (and really sad to say goodbye, as I won't see him until I visit him in Holland in Spring 2005).

    Jaap and I went back to his hostel so that I could see his photos and then we went back to the Witch's Hat to have a few drinks. When they kicked us all out of the common area, the whole hostel staggered over to the local pub for more drinks and some drunken games of pool. They had to kick us out of the pub, too... But not before some local man with a SERIOUS moustache told me he'd been watching my belly button all night and he suggested that I take up belly dancing.

    Then, clearly not sure if I understand Australian, he demonstrated what he meant by "belly dancing." Good, thank God. Because if I wasn't sure that I didn't wanna take up belly dancing before, then I'm sure now.

    :: Cathy 3:36 AM [+] :: 0 comments

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