Musings in nostalgia and the love of climbing


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Penrith, Australia

I have never thought of myself as one who could be afflicted with homesickness.

Long before I discovered I could be so incredulously wrong, I was adamant I would never feel this way. In Brisbane, I dreamed of making a great escape and traipse the streets of foreign lands. Once I had finally made it, the grass looked ever greener on the other side and I soon accepted that I did lead a rather privileged life and upbringing in my home town. Public transport, while mostly infuriating, was at least limited to at most 45 minute trips. The bus picked me up directly across the road from the climbing gym and dropped me at my door step. My beloved, scenic, picturesque, idyllic areas  of Teneriffe and New Farm were the epicenters of all my dining maintees. So spoiled was I in my choice of cafes and cuisines of my whimsical choosing that I never could have predicted a world of opposites when I moved to Sydney.

Our need to be close to the Blue Mountains and subsequent job search in the Western suburbs has drifted us far away from the frugal lifestyle that was. To simply put, a bigger city equals a great deal more effort to go places. The Western suburbs are far removed from the windswept, tree lined wonderland that is Teneriffe. The cost of living is considerably higher in return of far less luxuries; especially pertinent when you must consider two. It’s not enjoyable having to travel between three supermarkets to do your groceries because the things you need are not situated in the one place.

I yearn for the unconditional love of a pet but rentals here render that dream impossible, but only for now.

The decision to relocate was spontaneous, but rather than lament I remind myself that these are, at best, minor grievances.

Because the weekend comes. And the freedom we’ve assigned ourselves to trample through the wilderness, hanging off rocks and swinging out of cliff faces engulfs us. It is hard to imagine life without climbing. It is scintillating, all consuming and above anything, essential. The endless pursuit of improved skill, the waging of war with your mental and physical capabilities; never before have I encountered an experience to reveal such a new existence and lifestyle as this. Of course, I hadn’t done any form of sport or exercise in ten years prior to this, so I may be slightly biased.

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I have quite enjoyed growing up these last few years. I don’t believe one can truly begin to form a solid awareness of themselves whilst they are still young, or at least such has been the case for me. Evenings were spent following what every other 18 year old was doing with no individual thought or action.

Only from lessons in love and loss, my short stints in solo travel, random wanderings, sojourns in nature and the serendipitous discovery of climbing have I really come to realise these true matters of the heart. The things that bring the most sunshine to my life for now. How incredibly exciting it is to continue discovering.

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