tasmania + sydney

as predicted, a sandwich solved all of my problems. i brought a book to a hipster outdoor craft beer place (of course i did) and resolved to challenge myself and find a travel buddy. my first plan of attack was an aggressive one: sit in the hostel lobby and look as cool as possible and wait for someone to ask if i want to travel with them. for some reason this plan didn’t work, so i spent the rest of the night debating if it was because my t-shirt has a hole in it. i thought holes were in style these days? my second plan of attack: google “how to find travelmates in tasmania.” this actually worked. i found a post from a guy who wanted to rent a car and drive around the island, and after i verified that he was probably not a murderer, that’s exactly what we did. 

i got really lucky. although no amanda nipper, he was a perfect travelmate, mainly because he laughed at all of my jokes but also because we have the same life values: spend lots of money on food and only food, stop the car whenever you see something even remotely photogenic (so like every 10 minutes), set an alarm to wake up early but snooze for another hour, and have dessert after lunch AND dinner. we spent the entire five days speaking in different accents. our preferred accent for the trip was old-disgruntled-married-couple-from-new-york. “FRAN! HOLD DA DOAH OPEN! CAN’ YOU SEE I’M FREEZIN’ OUT HEAH?!” door slams. we also did lots of hikes, one of which i labeled the climb of death. on the climb of death you have two choices: cling to a chain for dear life to get to the top of the mountain, or plunge to your death. pretty easy trail. we saw empty white beaches, mountains, hills, waterfalls, sheep, and rocks (my personal favorite) all on one island. this place is stunning, probably has some of the most impressive sights i’ve seen in australia.

now i’m in sydney. i went to dinner with my friend min and then decided to check out a bar afterwards when she went to a work event. it’s very important that i tell you first that i DID go to dinner with my FRIEND who is REAL. this bar is a very hipster bar (of course), disguised as a butcher shop from the exterior, where people go to hang out with their bearded friends and wear hawaiian shirts ironically and talk about art or the lack thereof. i sat down at the bar and ordered a drink. the bartender gave me my drink and asked what the plan was for the night. i was confused. i informed him that, clearly, the plan is to have a drink at this bar. “oh okay right on.” but he obviously didn’t understand because the next time he came back he asked, “so are you meeting anyone here or something?” nope. “oh right. so what did you do today?” i told him. “so you’re ACTUALLY here by yourself?” OH MY GOD! i have friends! really! i just wanted to enjoy myself at a bar! is there something wrong with that? then i remembered that i was wearing my tevas. and that i was sitting alone at a bar with no book, no working phone, no journal to write artsy hipster poems in, so i was literally just drinking and watching people like a bonafide creep. but i had to prove myself to this bartender, so i stood my ground for TWO hours. in my TEVAS. after a while, my mean bartender said, “you must be so bored!” thus commenced the free shots. so i got really drunk at a bar alone in my tevas. fun times in sydney!!!!!!! the sad thing is, this isn’t the first time that i’ve been shamed for being a solo. you should see the looks on their faces when i say table for one. “i’m sorry, for how many?” ONE, OKAY? once in melbourne i asked the guy next to me for the time. when he looked surprised, i explained that i didn’t have a watch or a phone. he actually replied, “you don’t have a watch, phone, or a friend?! you poor girl!” i THINK he was joking. either way, i’ve been inspired to start a movement. solos are people too!! although, to be fair, the tevas were a poor choice. a very poor choice.

i’ve been in australia for over a month now, and it feels like i’ve been here for years. traveling around all the time and sleeping in hostels and on couches takes its toll after a while. i miss the feeling of home. i’m ready to go to one place to stay for some time, but i don’t know where. and it looks like my best option right now is a 3-week camping road trip up the coast with a bunch of strangers. literally the opposite of home. anti-home. fantastic!

until then, i’ll just be wandering around sydney with my camera, taking pictures of old people and random things that no one else cares about, and drinking and eating alone (yep, it’s just me; yep, table for one; no, no one else will be joining me). i’m wearing my adidas tonight, so maybe i’ll have better luck.

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