Not sure how these things are supposed to start off. I had a thought to start a blog a few months ago and just got caught up in life. As you might guess from the site name, I’m a Texan who will be living in Sydney at the turn of the year….Tex in Sydney…get it?? get it?? ok yeah I was quite proud of myself for that one. Anyways, I figured I’d bite the bullet, pay the $3/month and start this damn thing if not for others to read, then for me to journal my experiences and maybe provide myself with a little therapy during the hard times and capture the good times for reflecting upon.
A little bit about me – my name is Matt…was born and raised in Southeast Texas. I’ve lived in Houston, Texas for about 10 years now, and before that Victoria, Texas where I grew up. I was brought up in a Baptist family. Came out to my family in my early 20’s and in the last two years have gotten back into the church (affirming, so no more closets). I’m thankful for my upbringing as I feel it has obviously molded me into who I am today (I’m very polite, well-mannered, always say yes sir/no ma’am…etc.). I had some difficulty as I came to accept myself as a gay man and how that fit/well…didn’t fit with what I was taught growing up. But in the last few years, I’ve found that the more open and honest I am about who I am, stronger relationships have been forged and I can let go of the shame and shift my focus on helping others and continue my faith practice. I’m sure I’ll talk more about all this at some point.
So yeah – I would kinda like to talk a little about the beginning of my passion for traveling. My earliest memory of a big trip was when my family drove all the way down to Orlando from Texas to visit family on my mom’s side. I was probably around 6 or 7, and I find it interesting now of which memories stick out in my head. I remember of course parts of going to Disney World, but just as strong as those memories, are things sprinkled in like my aunt’s television in the guest room that had the ability to set a timer for it to turn on/off, or sitting in my great grandmother’s house…not really remembering the conversations, but just my presence in the room of family members reconnecting. I think reflecting back on this, I’ve noticed the beginnings of my fascination with the random and realizing that not all of it has to make sense, but just appreciating where things are in that moment.
Jump forward to more recently – the last 10 years or so. My first trip to Chicago, and my first major trip outside of Texas as an adult, was an exciting start to my more recent travels. It was exciting to explore such an amazing city (in zero degree weather nonetheless!). The soaring skyscrapers downtown, the “L” trains, the historic buildings, the nightlife of Boystown…it was all just so much to take in. I was so excited to land at O’Hare and make my way to the CTA…my first time on a “subway” train. I can still feel the giddiness as I got on, looking around at the other people. I remember wanting to fit in and not look like a tourist…which I’m sure I failed miserably at especially with a large piece of luggage in my hands. I was just in awe of all the new, unchartered territory for me to explore. I recall my fondest memory was when my friend Zack and I decided to spend a day just walking around Lakeview where we were staying. We stumbled across this toy store called “Uncle Fun’s” (sadly no longer in business) that was an interesting mix of eclectic toys from days past, and a random bin of doll heads. My desire for all things random was definitely satisfied with this store! This trip to Chicago was the start of many trips…Las Vegas, New York City, Sanderson, TX :P, Denver, Portland, Sacramento, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Reno (God, I loved the tacky casinos)…and last Summer, Australia. With every new city, there was the initial obsession and the automatic “I could picture myself living here” that eventually faded away as reality set back in and I would make my way back to Houston.
When I got home from my big Australian trip, I told myself that my desire to move there was just the same thing as all the other trips and eventually I’d settle back into my life in Houston. Well, the feelings obviously never went away. I did a little research…OK, a LOT of google searches, chatting with my American friends in Sydney that made the move, and put a lot of thought/prayer/contemplation about what I should do. I decided that I would try to move to Australia once my major project at work wrapped up. There were a few setbacks in the start of this new journey. The first being the visa type I would have to get to move “down under”. I originally was hoping to get a skilled worker visa, which required you to have a skills assessment and a thorough check which after months of being submitted, I was rejected due to my educational background being considered “not highly relevant” to the industry I’ve worked in for over 6 years…ugh! I decided to explore other options, and came across the Work and Holiday Visa. I found it quite amusing that I waited over 3 months just to get rejected for one visa, and for this one I got approved immediately. IT WAS HAPPENING! This Summer I cashed in my miles and booked my flight for 12/28/16…wait, sorry…28/12/16 😉 I’ll be in Sydney just in time for New Years. I’m beyond excited and so thankful to have most things lined up. The biggest thing I’m still working on is a job (OK yes, I realize that is a pretty big thing, but I have confidence that things will work out). I am truly going to miss my family and friends here in the US. I’m still not sure what this blog is going to focus on, but I figure I’ll let “evolve” or whatever or forget it’s up here and never post…who knows…guess you’ll just have to wait and see! Or feel free to leave a comment on things you’d like to see like travel tips or 100 ways to cry in bed thinking what have I done…But for now, it’s time for bed.
Only 18 days left!…