Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sydney, Australia: Ticket to Ride

My Ticket to Ride...
March 18th was an unusual day.  Unusual in the sense that for the first time in about 2.5 months we returned to a place we had already been (Sydney, Australia).  Although this might not seem all that strange, it really is when your lifestyle is accustomed to hopping around from place to place, never staying in one spot for more than a few hours (except for the occasional over night port).  And so the repetition raises a good question…would I be board in a place that I have already explored?  Fortunately, the answer was a resounding no.  For one, Sydney is filled with far too many things to do for a person to get bored after just one visit.  Despite there being plenty to do within the city, I set my sights on Glenbrook, a suburb that lies quite a ways from the city center. 

But why visit a suburb when I could explore Sydney?  The answer is simple, Glenbrook marks the start of the Blue Mountains, and I wanted to see what they had to offer.  For a short while I considered not going.  Not because I didn't want to see the blue mountains, but because the guy at the train station seemed so skeptical of my decision.  "Glenbrook?…It's just a Suburb" he told me.  And so I paused, do I really want to go?  Will it just be a waste of time?  It's a bit of a risk.  I could ride a train for an hour to find nothing more than a residential area.  BUT, I might find something good, it might turn out to be something really great.  Besides, if I don't go, I'll never know, and I don't want to live my life wondering "what if?"  And with that I decided to go.  I would take the risk.  I would buy a ticket and go to Glenbrook.

As the train rolled across the Australian landscape I sat back and took it all in.  I watched the houses and towns flash by.  It was a great way to see Australia, to get a feel for the place beyond just what Sydney had to offer.  Before too long we were in Glenbrook.  A short walk across the train tracks lead me to a sign indicating that there was a national park a little more than a half mile down the road.  This is perfect I thought, all I have to do is run down the street and I'm there.  So I took off.  I tightened the straps on my hiking pack and set off in search of the park.  A few minutes later I was greeted by a sign that said Blue Mountains National Park.  After taking a few pictures of the trail map posted at the visitors center (a picture of a map can be very useful when your in a strange place), I hid my pack in the "bush" and set off for a run on the trails.  For the next couple of hours I had a great time running all over the place. 

Before too long, however, it was time to catch the train back to Sydney.  After digging my pack out of the bush I strapped it to my back and ran back to the train station.  At approximately 4:20pm I hopped on the train and by approximately 5:45 pm I stepped off the train in Sydney, just a few hundred meters from the ship.  Extremely pleased with how my day turned out I walked around Sydney for a few minutes and boarded the ship at 6:30pm.  And so my risk proved to be worthwhile.  Had it turned out to be a bust that would have been ok too, for you can't live life with too much caution, or you'll fail to live at all.

"Sometimes the biggest risk of all is not taking one" - ?

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