The loneliness of a new city

I keep meaning to blog weekly but life just keeps getting in the way, you know? They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so maybe if I focus for a month I’ll get into a decent routine.

lonelinessofanewcity

Two weeks ago I wrote about my road trip as I drove from my old home in Adelaide, to my new home in Sydney. I had almost a week to unpack and settle into my new room, and then I was back to my dream job at SWEETNESS The Patisserie.

Whenever anyone moves to a new city, state, or even a new country, there’s always one common feeling: loneliness. It’s such a difficult thing to leave behind your family, friends, and in some cases pets (I miss my fur baby!). I knew this feeling would come, however I thought it may be less painful after having just lived overseas for 6 months. I had a bit of a “been there, done that” attitude.

Let me tell you now, the loneliness you feel when you’re alone in a new place does not get easier.

The past week has been incredible for me job-wise, I have had so much fun and learnt so much in my first week of 2015 as a full time pastry chef. However, working long hours and not having any social outlet really started taking it’s toll on my mental health – and I’ve only been here 2 weeks!

Today I ventured out into the city and met up with some old friends I hadn’t seen or even really spoken to for three whole years. THREE YEARS! To say I was apprehensive would be an understatement. I can be pretty darn shy sometimes so it was a little scary. What would we have to talk about? Would I just be an awkward extra person to the group? Would things be the same as they were the last time I saw them?

I am so grateful to say that I had the most wonderful day with the most wonderful people! The sun was shining, we ate Mary’s Burgers in Hyde Park, then Gelato Messina in Surry Hills and just talked for hours about anything and everything. To be able to get out of the house and interact with people who were not only fun to be around, but also so kind and welcoming – I feel so much better about life already.

The best friends are the ones who you can lose contact with for years, and then pick up exactly where you left off like no time has past at all. For the first time in the past 2 weeks, I feel hopeful about life outside of work. Everything’s coming up Taryn!

So what’s the moral of this story?

Moving to a new city is hard, and getting out and making friends or taking the chance on old ones can be even harder – but it is SO worth it. If you ever find yourself in this situation, it can be so easy to just stay home and get lost in your solitude but please trust me when I tell you to get out and interact with people. Call up that old acquaintance from years prior, join a class and meet new people, just get out and explore, have an adventure, and talk to anyone who looks friendly.

Advice that is certainly easier said than done, but is more than worthwhile!

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Solo Roadtrip: Adelaide to Sydney, Fires, Floods & the Fruit Police

Today I started the long drive from Adelaide to Sydney. My little blue Ford Fiesta is chock-a-block full of my most important possessions (aka a tonne of baking supplies & 50 billion cute dresses) and I am currently sitting about 700km from where I started this morning – halfway to Sydney!

This morning as I drove north out of Adelaide I couldn’t help but think of the devastation caused by the continuing bush fires in South Australia. I had no idea that by the time I got to New South Wales my concerns would be more about flash flooding, as severe thunderstorm warnings are announced. C’mon mother nature – give us a break!

Driving from Adelaide to Sydney is a long drive normally, but when you’re driving solo it feels even longer. On the plus side, it has allowed me to sing along to Taylor Swift at the top of my lungs the whooooooole way without hurting anyones ears. The whole way – seriously. My throat is a little sore.

Another thing about driving interstate from or to South Australia is the fruit regulations. I forget them every time! For those who don’t know, South Australia is a fruit fly free zone so we’re basically quarantined and no fruit is allowed in. What I wasn’t aware was that the Riverland district has it’s own quarantine area. This resulted in me panicking for a good few hours that I would be busted by the “Fruit Police” and arrested for my entirely safe (purchased in SA!), yet illegal zip-lock bag of watermelon.

Don’t you worry though, my smuggling activities went undetected. I’m a master criminal in the making! Hehehe…

 

Eight hours down. Eight and a half to go tomorrow. Then I’ll officially be one of those Sydney-siders!

Now what I want to know is, has anyone ever actually been busted by the “Fruit Police”?

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2014 – and that’s a wrap!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – holy guacamole, what a year!

sugar push 2014 in review

2014 has been an interesting year. Globally, I feel like it’s been a devastating one. I didn’t get to watch the evening news much, but when I did it was terrible. Which is why I feel so bad when I say that for me personally, 2014 has been the best year ever!

Last year I set some goals which included saving the money to attend Bonnie Gordon College (check!), graduate with flying colours (honours – check!), write at least one letter a week (um… I tried…), and improve my photography skills (check!).  Before I set some new goals for 2015, let’s look back on the highlights of 2014.

2014: The highlight reel
  • Closed Sugar Push as a business – sorry, no more cakes for sale!
  • Lived in Toronto, Canada for four months & went to Niagara Falls
  • Attended and graduated from Bonnie Gordon College with honours
  • Spent two months living in California
  • Spent 2 days at Disneyland and wore a peter pan hat the whole time
  • Made so many new and amazing friends in Toronto
  • Made my first 4 tier wedding cake
  • Moved from Adelaide to Sydney, Australia
  • Joined the team at SWEETNESS The Patisserie as a full time Pastry Chef

Looking back on this, I feel really lucky to have had these opportunities. While I worked very hard to achieve everything I did this year, I couldn’t have done it without all the support I had from my family & friends. I can’t say thank you enough!

 

To everyone who has continued to follow my adventures on this blog, thank you very much. I love that I can share my journey with you!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and all the best for 2015!

 

Now, I need to go think about my goals for next year. Have you set any goals or resolutions yet?

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Northern California Seaside Adventures

Did you know that I’m back in California?
If you didn’t… well, I am! The day after I finished up at Bonnie Gordon College I hopped on a plane and flew straight back to Northern California.  I’ve been soaking up the blue skies and warm weather, and just unwinding after a very full on and stressful four months of study. 
The good thing about being back here is the time to relax. The bad thing? Minimal internet access again! It’s really not good for maintaining regular blog posts – gosh darn it!
I’ve been here for 2 weeks now, and while I admit I’ve spent a lot of it reading books and obsessively playing Roller Coaster Tycoon, I have been on a few small adventures.
A week and a half ago we spent a weekend doing ‘beachy’ things. I’m definitely not your typical ‘Aussie Beach Bum’, but I must admit I have been missing the beach during my time away from home. Once upon a time back in my Tumblr blogging days, I’d seen a post about a place called “Glass Beach” where instead of sand, the beach was covered in smooth glass pebbles. I wanted to see it desperately! 
I have someone who follows me around and takes photos when I’m not looking – true story!
We packed some snacks and headed North in an old pick up truck, with me bouncing excitedly in my seat. Four hours later the excitement had lessened slightly… I didn’t realise it was such a long drive!
The drive itself was beautiful though, with so many trees giving us a much needed break from the heat of the sun. 
Eventually we made it and… well, I guess I was a little disappointed. It was nice, and there was some glass… but I think my imagination had built it up to be something it really wasn’t. Oh well – we still had loads of fun climbing rocks!
The glass pebbles at Glass Beach – much smaller than expected!
On Sunday to continue with our ‘beach vibes’, we took a much shorter drive to Half Moon Bay. What a cute little tourist town!
On the way back we stopped to take in the sights, and get some fish & chips for lunch! As always, the wind around these parts makes it a bit chilly but thankfully the California sun was shining down on us kindly! 
Fish & Chips at Half Moon Bay
My beach cravings haven’t quite been solved, but this will get me by until I get home in October and can go walking on the beach every day if I want to! Although, I’ll probably not want to the second that I have the ability to. You know how it is… you always want what you can’t have! 

Toronto Tourist Travels – A recap!

I’ve been out of Toronto for over a fortnight now. Do I miss it? Absolutely.  
It’s definitely difficult to leave a place when you’ve just grown accustomed to it. The strange unpredictable weather. The amazing public transport. The college. The friends. 
I think it is definitely a city that will hold a place in my heart. I don’t think I’d be able to live there permanently (I never even experienced winter!), but what I did experience was incredible.
During the last few weeks of my Diploma Programme at Bonnie Gordon College, I realised that I’d been so busy studying that I’d hardly seen the usual “tourist spots” of the city. I quickly purchased a “CityPASS” and off I went, adventuring around the city on buses, subways and street cars to reach each destination. 
The first stop on my list was the zoo. I ventured to the Toronto Zoo on a Monday public holiday and spent most of the day there. It was definitely my favourite of all the sights, and I couldn’t wait to see a Polar Bear! Unfortunately, neither could anyone else so I wasn’t able to get any photos. 
Unsurprisingly, the flamingos were one of my favourites. There were just so many of them! 

Flamingos at the Toronto Zoo
I had a lot of fun that day, even though it took me two buses, the subway & almost 2 hours to travel each way!
The following weekend I came down rather ill, but I pushed through to visit the CN Tower and Casa Loma!

The base of the CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

The CN Tower was very busy, despite my getting there rather early in the morning! I think this must have been a ‘slow’ time however, since the trip to the top was a rather quick process. The amount of security before going to the top was slightly alarming, although I suppose when I thought about it, I probably felt safer having it there. I guess this ‘small town gal’ isn’t used to such heavy security as what they have in North America. 
CN Tower, Toronto, Canada

The trip back down to the bottom of the tower was surprisingly the part that took the longest! It was an attraction that I rather enjoyed, but not one you can spend a lot of time at.

Casa Loma on the other hand – you could spend hours there! I wish I hadn’t been so ill so that I could have spent more time exploring through this old castle, and then through the beautiful gardens.

At Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada

My favourite part was definitely the stunning grounds, which I wish I’d had more time to explore. Coming in a close second however, was the underground tunnel. Dark, creepy, and so full of history!

Underground Tunnel at Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada

With only 2 locations left on my “CityPASS”, my next point of interest was the Royal Ontario Museum, or ‘ROM’ as it’s called by the locals. I rushed down there after college and spent a couple of hours in the museum before it closed for the evening.

This is another tourist attraction that I wish I’d had more time to spend at. I admit I was surprised by the high entry fee, having been used to the museum back home in Adelaide being free, but when I discovered the size of the museum it made a bit more sense.

At the Royal Ontario Museum

There was actually so many exhibits, with so much to learn, that I could really only skim the surface of it all. If I’d had the time, I would have loved to return and spend a whole day there.

My favourite part though? Definitely the dinosaurs!

Rawr! T-Rex at the Royal Ontario Museum

The last tourist attraction on my “CityPASS” was the Ontario Science Centre. I’m sure it is probably a great place to see but I felt like science centres are the sort of thing you need to do with friends. Interacting with displays alone? Probably not so much fun…

I gave it a miss and called it a day for my Toronto tourist adventures!