When you mention the word ‘Sydney’ to people living outside Australia, for those who have never visited the city, the image of the Opera House undeniably presents itself. Being an international student and having lived here for two years, I’ve grown to be accustomed with iconic landmarks in the city and honestly, I’m not as amazed as how I was back when I first stepped foot here. My honeymoon period is over. I’ve lived in the city all my life and I thought, “Sydney is just like home or any other city with its tall buildings, shopping malls, busy traffic and the hustle and bustle of the crowd.” Obviously, I was wrong.
During summer 14/15, I took a break from constantly sitting in front of the computer, and decided to venture beyond the concrete walls of my bedroom. My Facebook feed was always bombarded with articles on nature walks and beaches (how apt!) and so my friends and I spent most of our holidays hiking and bushwalking to the recommended places. One of the places we went was the Royal National Park. It’s definitely a part of Sydney not many outsiders are aware of. The park is huuuuuge, measuring an area of around 150km2. There are several checkpoints and landmarks throughout the park and along the coast, and to conquer every single one of them may require camping for days.
We only managed to visit three attractions (on different days): Wedding Cake Rock, Karloo Pool and Wattamolla Beach, and all of them didn’t fail to leave my jaws hanging. I was absolutely overcome with admiration, for the scenery from where I stood was beautiful. As I overlooked the horizon from the edge of the WCR, it made me question my existence in this world. We all know the world is huge, but truly how vast it is we don’t really know. People are always so busy accomplishing worldly duties and being so involved in ensuring progress, but we tend to obliterate the importance of appreciating nature and realizing that the Earth is not just filled with technology and skyscrapers – it’s also surrounded by dense greenery and wondrous blue.
It took one summer in Sydney for me to learn to appreciate this city I live in, this world we all live in. Coming to Australia to pursue my education is definitely one thing I would never trade for anything else, unless you’re talking about supplying me with unlimited supply of food, then that’s a different story 🙂
Tirta Andila Swari