February 4, 2012, Washington, DC: I have a hunch Sydney would appeal to my grown up self even more than it did to my college self. I’m certain one weekend spent in Sydney more than a decade ago was insufficient. I’m convinced it’s a place near perfect for the person I am today.
If today’s me returned to Sydney, I’d trip over a lengthy to-do list. I’d do things I’ve never done before, over and over until I felt like a regular. I’d pretend I lived on Bondi Beach, swimming laps at Bondi Icebergs Club and dining on fresh sushi in the restaurant that once employed my dear friend. I’d wander The Rocks in the early morning. I’d take a quick ferry across Sydney Harbour to Cremorne Point and trek through the neighborhood I’ve long imagined is right up my alley. I’d search for the modern apartment there featured in the book Waterside Living — the penthouse that overlooks Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. I’d stroll by repeatedly in hopes that maybe, one day, it’d be put up for sale. In the Sydney of my dreams, I’d be able to afford it.
On weekends, I’d head west out of town for hikes in the Blue Mountains. Or board a train, then a ferry, to Dangar Island in the Hawkesbury River, again guided by the coffee table book I pored over back at home. I’d return to the places I visited in 2000, like Manly Beach and Olympic Park. Like February’s Mardi Gras.
Sydney would meet my criteria quite well; I’m sure of it. But maybe I should return just to double check. Maybe I should pack my family and friends along for the trip.