Sunday, 22 May 2016

Wollongong & Helensburgh

Long time no talk! I have been absent from my blog for a little while now (I schedule my posts usually) which is quite unlike me. Things have been happening, but I guess that will be more apt in my end of month roundup post.

Over the weekend, I headed down south to Wollongong once again. It feels that I didn't visit the city that long ago however it seems that it was back in March which is crazy! Time is flying by and in fact, my previous visit was almost 3 months ago. Crazy!

The only item on my agenda was to head out of Sydney and I didn't have anything in mind for Wollongong. We took the Grand Pacific Drive and walked on the Sea Cliff which was quite beautiful. It was a warm-ish day but a tad overcast.

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Bald Hill Lookout
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Actually loving this aerial / overhead shot

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In my previous post, I had mentioned that I had wanted to visit Nan Tien Temple which is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. This time I did get around to it but was quite disappointed. It was very underwhelming and I am quite surprised that that is the largest temple on my side of the world.

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On the way back to Sydney, I suggested that we visit the Helensburgh Metropolitan Tunnel. This tunnel (along with a few others) had openened in 1888 and was closed in 1915. It was filled with water up until the past two decades where it was drained and now is accessible by the public. I had visited in November last year but didn't have a good torch and didn't manage to walk into the tunnel. This time I was more prepared, with torch in tow! There has been a lot of backburning in the Sydney region lately which has mean there is this permanent haze / smoke in the air. Interestingly enough, the haze wasn't too evident outside the tunnel but inside it was so hazy! It was a very cool experience especially when I discovered that the tunnel was filled with glow worms! We didn't venture too far into the tunnel as it was very muddy / slippery but this was definitely the highlight of my day.

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This was my sixth trip as part of #take12trips. To see previous trips please click here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Cave Beach & Catherine Hill Bay

For the last day of the long weekend, we woke up early to catch the sunrise. It was a little overcast on the drive to Zenith Beach but thankfully there was a break in the clouds and it was quite a gorgeous sunrise especially as we were the only ones on the beach.

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On the way back to Sydney, we stopped at  Cave Beach. However as it was high tide, we didn't manage to visit the caves.

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There was also a quick stop at Catherine Hill Bay Beach to visit the historic jetty that used to transport coal. Apparently it was damaged considerably in a fire however I didn't believe it was too obvious. Catherine Hill Bay felt like it was a world away from the rest of the central coast. It is a coastal village and it really did feel as though it was in the middle of no where.

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Not entirely sure why there is a noose there.

This was my fifth trip as part of #take12trips. To see previous trips please click here.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Mount Tomaree & Kayaking

Shortly after sunrise, Mr Paella and I headed up Mount Tomaree which was a reasonably easy hike to the lookout. It was a 45min walk up however wasn't as challenging as some other lookouts (namely Barrenjoey Headland in Sydney which is a short 15 minute walk but quite strenuous). It was at the lookout that I truly realised and remembered how beautiful Australia can be. The view was breathtaking. The coolest part was seeing an elderly woman (probably 60+) who was slowly making her way up to the lookout. I want to be her when I am older.

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Friday, 29 April 2016

Work

Ah work. This is another quite personal post. I ended up leaving working 3 hours early just because I mentally couldn't cope with it anymore. I have been quite unhappy / frustrated with work for a while as I have mentioned here and here and here. I still have hope that it can change and that is why I am still around. Actually looking for another job also terrifies me but I think it is something that I need to do at least. What is the harm in applying? None. Last week I had a direct conversation with my line manager about how I feel unchallenged and unengaged and that my work load is super light. This morning at 9am, I had a conversation with the General Manager asking to get a permanent position in the team. She basically spoke a lot about budget and how there wasn't room for me, but I am more than welcome to apply for a role just like anyone else if the role arises. This conversation went on for probably 20 minutes of her talking about the budgeting and how there might be roles in the future, there might not be, she doesn't know.

I was probably crying at my desk for a solid hour after lunch (proud that I lasted that long without a complete breakdown!) and then the woman who sat next to me / mentor / manager asked if I wanted to have a coffee. I said yes and then had a massive cry to her. Basically I just feel defeated. There is so much history with the company and myself and that is something that I don't want to get into at all. I then mentioned in a flippant way, "I may as well go home now. I may not even have a job in 3 months why should I even be here?" and she said it would be a good idea to go home if I wanted. So I left at 2pm!

I am feeling very very lost and have been for a while. I have been feeling so anxious and so stressed for quite a while now. I don't think I've felt like this for a very long time now. Probably three years ago was when I remember feeling this so strongly.

The only thing I could think on the bus was: what is the point of all my suffering?

And the scary thing is: I just don't know. 

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Newcastle & Stockton Sand Dunes

I am very much someone who unconsciously thinks that grass is greener on the other side. Life and the world is more interesting overseas and Australia/Sydney/NSW is boring. However since starting a full time job, my time is quite limited. And in fact, so many people think that Australia is so interesting and would love to visit. So why do I feel this way? It really comes down to the fact that it's familiar and, sadly, I am a little desensitised to the beauty of it. I have been making a conscious effort in 2016 to see more of Australia or the very least, more of NSW outside of Sydney.

Long introduction aside, that is why over the ANZAC long weekend I headed up north to Port Stephens. The furthest north I had ever been was Newcastle many many years ago as a day trip and honestly, I don't remember too much about it. Mr Paella and I headed onto the Pacific Highway which was quite frankly a very very boring drive. It is really the only road up the coast so taking the smaller highways wasn't an option.

Newcastle was the first stop and it was so incredibly windy! The photos don't capture how strong the winds were and I really felt that I was being moved by the wind. As the photos show, it was a beautiful day. We also discovered the Memorial Walk by accident as we were driving by and it was definitely worth walking on! It provided stunning views of the ocean and I believe the best vantage point of Newcastle. Something that I didn't know prior to the trip was that Newcastle has the largest coal exporting harbour in the world. It was insane to see the size of the machinery and equipment at the docks.

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