Category Archives: Life

Opinions about life

Home is where you make it

I grew up in a small town called Berry on the south east coast of NSW. It is not as small now, but at the time the population was 550. Berry, town of trees, two hours drive from Sydney, was so small that no one had ever heard of it. Two blocks, two pubs, a Chinese takeaway and the donut van. Now everyone knows where it is, it is full of coffee shops, gift shops and a couple of fancy restaurants. The Chinese takeaway disappeared with MSG.

It was mostly Anglo Australians, so being from a multicultural background was enough that I  never really fitted in at primary school and through most of high school.

I do appreciate that I did have the kind of childhood that you can only have in a small town- climbing trees, riding bikes, knocking around town by myself and later not having access to drugs, but having drunken bonfire parties instead. We travelled a lot to Sydney to visit relatives and friends of my parents whose kids were deep into the rave scene and sleeping around at the time.

By the time I was at the end of my high school years all I wanted to do was to get out. After my grand tour of Europe, I attempted to live at home in Berry for all of two months before I moved to Sydney to live with my cousins and I have never looked back.

I have lived in eight different suburbs with cousins, friends, boyfriends and my husband. I have been moved 12 times by cousins, my dad and moving companies. I have now been in this city for 16 years and still enjoy it. The harbour, ballet at the Opera House, the Botanical Gardens and fancy degustration menus. I love traveling to other cities, but there’s still nothing quite like flying over Sydney Harbour on the return flight and knowing that you are coming home to one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

I always find it hard to relate to those that have never moved away from a small town and ask me how I can live in such a big city. Big compared to what? London or New York? I don’t think so. In fact I would actually love to make another city my home for a time and having that handy European passport perhaps it will one day happen.

Related posts: I first started travelling

I first started writing…

I first started writing about life when I was quite young. My family friend still raves about my early writing skills on my first book about his daughters first birthday. I used to write and illustrate short stories.

I also won an award in primary school for writing a multicultural story but I always thought at the time that they gave it to me on a sympathy vote.

I had a poem that I wrote about swimming on the beach published in the annual year book in high school.

I also travelled with my parents a lot as a child and kept detailed diaries. I always wanted to be a travel writer, so even though these diaries are out of date, they could be used as some kind of travel retrospective.

At university I studied Journalism as my major and was promptly disillusioned by my lecturers proclaiming I will never be able to write want I want and the pay is terrible- one way to weed out those without real drive and passion for news I guess! I decided I was more of a fiction writer and rebelled in such electives as fictocritical and creative writing. I also found I was distinction worthy in editing and publishing- so maybe I gave up on journalism too easily, but that’s the way it went. I did get published in a Sydney Olympics newsletter while I was there- an interview with a young Perth gymnast that I did over the phone.

A few years out of university I redirected one of my university pieces on my grand tour travel around Europe and wrote a new travel piece on my hometown to apply to write at the Lonely Planet- my dream job- getting paid to travel and write about it and hence everyone else’s dream job too! I did not make the cut and unfortunately did not get much feedback either. I did get published in the Thorn Tree Forum on their website- by blogging the “Top 5 Wildlife to Spot in California.”

In my places of employment I have endeavored to keep the writing going by writing the entire or pieces of the internal newsletters, but even this writing has gone by the wayside of late as I have now been working in events for over seven years so work is all about logistics, checklists and contact sheets.