Sian and I were the front-line of the CAA for three months. When we weren’t saving people from aviation ignorance, we discussed sloths, diluted left-over coffee really slowly and tried to be less shit at crosswords. Sian is interesting and hilarious and an excellent rapper, but most importantly she’s an actual Kiwi. That’s right, I finally befriended a native. We’re both leaving New Zealand though: me to London, her to Perth. I do very sincerely hope that we’ll stay good friends. In the meantime, it falls to Sian to have the great honour of writing my penultimate blog. And not only is this a beautiful, poignant, poetic piece, it touches upon great themes of travel that fit perfectly into my own thoughts. Melancholy; nostalgia; uncertainty. As I reach the end of my time in New Zealand, I feel all of this acutely. We can love travel and still find truth in its sadness.
I sit in my little sister’s room in Sydney.
Her walls are covered with photos of us as children, landscapes that caught her keen eye and a letter I wrote her when I was 10, promising to protect her.
‘If you get hurt I promise I will come help you’
She is 19 years old, in a city where she knows no one.
Two days into my stay in NSW, I have been greeted with turquoise waters and a heat that gently brushes your skin like the fingertips on your back in the night.
Tree lined veins of the city contrast the grey confines of Melbourne city, where I spent a week prior revisiting the streets that stole me for two years.
A freshness permeates this place.
Arriving in Melbourne after a painful goodbye with my family felt like a step back to when I first left for the city four years ago. A cocktail of excitement and deep sadness sat in my stomach as stepped off the plane, churning away as I flipped through emotional states. The bottom of my eyes glittered with tears, yet to break as I walked through the airport with my life in two bags, making my way to my other half who had been waiting for hours. Breaking through security I see him standing there, and his kiss is warmer than last one I had three weeks ago.
Entering Melbourne City, I am a different woman to the girl who left two years ago. A thousand lives lived. The air tasted the same and the light had the same dull glow that lit the ways in I had been carved into a new person.
These streets broke me and I had reassembled myself into a new configuration, edges still needing to be polished. Zig-zagging through alleyways I remembered the weight I once had hanging from my lungs; fear of the unknown and heartbreak. I have carried a heaviness with me my whole life, but remember it sagging within me more than ever living here. The scent of spring had once been punctured by loneliness but this time it unfolded around me. I retraced the thousands of steps I had taken down streets, where I had longed for a second pair of footprints to be left alongside mine. Sadness remained in my mouth because I did not have the kind of love I do now, when I was so desperately seeking it in this city before. I wore myself to the bone to fight for something that was born dead. I didn’t need love when I found it, it annoyed me when I did because I was determined to remain alone.
In the air, staring at the blinding cumulus clouds, I am wondering what I am doing.
I left my sister walking through the nooks of Sydney.
Her skin is my skin.
A magnetic pull is dragging me West. I close my eyes and see myself floating backwards face to the sky.
An aching no twisted its way through my body this morning, yet I still fell into the current.