A flying visit to my new home city

I’ve arrived! Not only that, but I think I’ve managed to adapt to the time difference in record time. Which is a very good thing, because I’m already on my travels again – I’m now in Launceston and tomorrow morning I start six days hiking the Overland Track in the remote centre of Tasmania. Despite my excitement for the Ashes, I think this is the bit of my trip I’ve been looking forward to most – a chance to detox from city life, enjoy scenery that’s stunning by all accounts, and do some proper exercise for the first time in longer than I like to think about. More detail about the trip is here if you’re interested.

The flight to Sydney from Abu Dhabi was uneventful, which I reckon is the way flights should be. 14 hours was never going to be fun, but three seats to myself and a couple of glasses of red wine definitely helped, and I managed a couple of hours’ sleep. Probably for the best that it wasn’t more – arriving in the evening, being tired definitely contributed to the almost complete lack of jetlag that I’ve had since. Sydney Airport was extraordinarily efficient, with me leaving the airport in my cousin’s car 45 minutes after touching down. 90 minutes after my scheduled arrival time, I was tucking into dinner in the far western suburbs. Winner. The weirdest feeling on the journey ticking the “permanent migration” box on the customs form. I’m an Australian resident now – ulp!

After an admin, shopping and cricket-on-TV day with my cousin yesterday, I spent this morning in central Sydney. I met a couple of partners from the company I’m joining in January for a coffee and a chat, which was really positive, especially about the applicability of my UK experience here in Aus. There’s a massive amount of government investment in infrastructure here at the moment, so there’s plenty going on – doesn’t sound like I’m going to be bored when I start work, so I’m going to make the most of the downtime I have now!

After that and before going to the airport for the second time in under 48 hours, I took a ferry ride to Neutral Bay wharf and walked up to the high street with my “would I like to live here?” hat on. The answer is definitely maybe! I’ve been to Sydney more times than I can be bothered to count, but never really looked at it through the eyes of a potential resident. It’s exciting to do so, and I look forward to exploring a few inner suburbs in the new year to help me make up my mind. I’m lucky that my relocation allowance is generous enough to include four weeks of temporary accommodation, so I already have somewhere within walking distance of the office to stay for the start, which ought to give me time to make some decisions.

I expect to be off the grid for the next week and am looking forward to the tech detox… photos to follow in a week!

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