After checking out from the caravan park, we had our last breakfast at Continental Cafe and headed to the airport. I am in shock by how relaxed the security is in the domestic Australian airport. You are allowed to bring drinks and other liquids on a domestic flight – enough said! I didn’t realize how deserted Exmouth and the surrounding area was until I saw the aerial view of the region on the plane. Wow, we were lucky to be able to find people to give us lifts when we hitchhiked. The park rangers were not playing around when they said it’s a very remote location. Just imagine no cars came by…I wonder what we would do since we didn’t have cell phone reception there either.
Just like the rest of our journey, getting around was never easy. Once again our bad luck striked again. Our 2AM flight from Perth to Sydney was canceled during to unfavorable weather condition: (invisible) fog. When we received the text informing us about the flight cancellation around 6PM, we just laughed. We laughed because we could barely believe how many hiccups we have encountered during this trip. Since Tigerair would not pick up the phone, we had to go back to the airport to wait until their staff arrived. We managed to hop on the 6AM Virgin Australia flight back to Sydney. At first, I didn’t think it would be that bad to spend a night at the airport. For some reason, the terminal where we were supposed to board closes at 2AM so we had to wait in the international terminal until it’s time to check in and return to the right terminal. The terminals were so far apart, we had to wait for the shuttle buses in the middle of the cold chilly night and take them back and forth. I gave up on the idea of sleeping since it was cold and comfortable on the airport benches. On a positive note, the Virgin flight is probably a lot better than what Tiger would have offered us.
I decided to check into the Big Hostel just to see how other Sydney backpackers are like. Since most of the residents are long-termers, it’s not the most social environment since long-termers have already established their clique and are not as interested in interacting with travelers who would only stay for a few days.
It feels good to be back in Sydney again. I visited Paddy’s Market and chilled at the Tom N Toms on George Street. At the same time, I thought, “It’s time to start all over again.” During the west coast trip, I was with my travelmates the whole time so I didn’t really need to put on the social game to interact with others since I have my little social bubble for the trip. Most of the people I met in Sydney my first week had already left Sydney. I am alone again and I need to start making new connections. However, that feeling didn’t last too long when I started to make plans with the few people who are still in Sydney. After 3 weeks of restless travel and adventure, it feels good to be able to sit back and relax on a real bed and take a nice shower instead of worrying about setting up tents and finding a clean toilet and shower. People say it takes 21 days to form a new habit The activity-packed days turned into a habit that I actually have to readjust after coming back in Sydney; surprisingly the lifestyle is different enough for me to say I have to adapt from the backpacker mentality to a more relaxed urban explorer attitude.