Sydney

There was no turning back.  I had already jumped.  There I hung in mid-air, still not quite sure what lay below, or if I had made the right decision.  All I knew was that I could not turn around and put my feet back on solid ground now.

8-hours earlier

It was Monday again.  Another weekend had come and gone like that old friend you only get to see every now and then.  It’s amazing how each week seems to fly by faster than the last.  Life speeds up as it goes on I guess.  Mondays, oh Mondays, no matter how much fun you have on the weekend Monday is always lurking over your shoulder.  

I can’t complain too much, though.  I have a great internship, and my boss is a really cool guy.  Not only am I learning a lot, but I am also doing things of value for the company, instead of just getting coffee and cleaning toilets.  It is a heck of a lot better than sitting in class during the school year.  I swear sometimes I feel like I’m taking classes like “rocks for jocks,” or “clapping for credit.”  Pointless.

Anyways, I usually wake up around 9:00 or 9:30 to get to work by 10:00.  Grab some coffee on the walk to work and I’m good to go.  Australia actually has a bit of a reputation for their coffee.  No matter where you go to get your caffeine fix you can count on some high quality coffee bean; and the Australians aren’t afraid to tell you about it.

I get to the office at 10:15.  An intern in America might not be able to get away with this, but the Australian workplace environment is generally a bit more relaxed.  It’s acceptable to be a few minutes late, dress code is up to your own discretion, and on Fridays you’ll probably find a couple people dipping out early for a beer or even crackin’ one open in the office.

Nonetheless, when it is time to work, people work, but there is always room for a joke or two.  It took me about two or three days of confusion until I figured out that, “giving the piss,” means joking around with someone.  I’m glad that is what it turned out to be instead of some taboo in-office urine sharing culture.  That would be a nightmare for human resources.

I’m lucky in that my internship involves a lot of traveling around Sydney.  Whether it’s going to meetings to pitch a new marketing concept, or taking pictures, my boss and I are usually on the go.

We worked hard all morning and stopped for lunch at the local Haymarket Hotel for some of their famous “chicken schnitzel.” For those of you who are just as confused as I was when I first heard the term, chicken schnitzel is just a fancy way of saying fried chicken.  After a couple of schooners (beers) we decided that the combination of a productive morning and the incredible weather warranted taking the rest of the day off.  You can’t blame us when Australia is having one of the best (warmest) winters in the past decade.

I met up with a couple friends and we trekked out to Shark Bay for some good ole’ fashioned exploring.  We took a trail through the forest, and after a couple scratches from thorns and a run in with a horror movie caliber spider we stumbled across a cliff with a gorgeous view of the city.

Cliff jumping has been on my bucket list for some time now, but while I’ve had the opportunity on a few occasions, I haven’t had the courage.  We peered gingerly over the side of the cliff to see thirty-feet between us and the water below.  Not to mention the handful of massive rocks as well.

However, there was a patch of water that looked deep enough to land safely in… pending a perfect jump.  It seemed wholly dangerous, but after much debate with my friends I decided there was only one way I wanted to leave this rock.  I took my shirt and shoes off, and that’s when it got real, no turning back now.

Sydney
Contemplating…

“One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!”  I jumped, panicked for a second as I hit the frigid water, and surfaced to the cheers of my comrades.  After seeing the guinea pig (me) jump and surface unscathed, everyone else began jumping in too.  

Turns out that patch of deep water looked a lot smaller from thirty feet up and is actually not that difficult to jump to.  It’s actually a great spot to go cliff diving that’s a little off the beaten path.  Just hop on a bus to Nielsen’s Park and walk towards the left most peninsula through the forest, I’d say “you can’t miss it,” but truth be told, you can, so keep your eyes peeled.  

Monday’s get a bad rap but there is always potential for an unexpected adventure.

Sydney
We made it!

Stetson Newman  is a student at the College of Charleston and a TEAN Featured Blogger. Stetson is currently interning abroad in Sydney, Australia through TEAN.