Live Spontaneously

In The Art of Travel, 1: Awakenings, Sydney by Sim Tumay1 Comment

At certain points in my life I feel as if everything is pilling up onto me and I begin to loose sense of what I want to do with my life. Living in New York City and being surrounded by a fast pace lifestyle, I easily become fixated on a daily routine. I begin to go day-by-day, limiting myself to the same environments, people, food, surroundings, etc. Next thing I know, weeks have gone by without feeling inspired, excited, and appreciative. I begin to limit myself to the expectations that my parents, peers, and professors anticipate.

Before traveling to Sydney, Australia I felt like I was wasting time and energy by repeating the same day and routine over and over again. I felt as if I didn’t have any leeway to try new things, explore, or test out new passions. I decided to escape the narrow, cold, crowded streets of New York City and bring my open-minded attitude to Sydney, Australia. I knew it was time to step out of my comfort zone, expand my horizons, ignore my fears, and try new things that I would’ve previously been hesitant to do so.

My name is Sim Tumay and I am a Human Rights and Journalism major in Gallatin at NYU. I’ve come to Sydney in order to acquire a more global perspective on the customs and human rights issues in this country. Living in the United States, surrounded by the same news topics, political debates, and internal conflicts can get overused and can limit us to a national perspective rather than a global perspective. I believe that in order to have a solid understanding of the human rights issues that are occurring throughout the world we must travel and be exposed to another nations issues first hand. This generally enlightens me and has always invoked a desire in me to help those who are in need within the countries I visit. This semester is particularly interesting to me because my Australian professors are teaching us about this countries political, social, and economical issues. For once, we are provided with a more global perspective on issues, which we can then compare to the issues that we have been exposed too back in the US. It was truly surprising and ironic to me to learn about how many underlying immigration and environmental issues there truly are in Australia because I have always viewed it as this perfect little distant country in my mind. I hope to learn more about Australia’s history, politics, and current events during my time at NYU Sydney. I agree with Pico Iyer’s statement in “Why We Travel” that “we travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.”

One of the main reasons that I choose NYU Sydney as my study away site is because I was born and raised in Boca Raton, Florida so the beach has always felt like my second home. I find myself to be more lively, passionate, and inspired in the sunshine by salty waters. Growing up ten minutes away from the beach, it became my place to go clear my mind, reflect, forget, or relax. I knew that I could come to Sydney and take advantage of the many different beaches here in order to meet the locals and feel inspired by their different perspectives on life or their day-to-day laid back lifestyles. So far I have visited Bondi Beach and already feel inspired by the carefree, laid back attitude that the locals at the beach were radiating off to me. I’ve done yoga by the sea one morning which was much more inspiring than doing yoga in a small, dark studio. I’ve met locals at a cafe and felt comfortable enough to approach them and ask for song suggestions. I can already feel myself becoming more comfortable and carefree.

My experiences have already been incredible I am more than ready to continue stepping out of my comfort zone. We should never settle for what we know and what we have experienced. We must always seek out new opportunities to see something and feel something that we’ve never witnessed before. My last couple months in NYC I found myself to begin feeling anxious and fearful at times in which I had to slightly step outside my comfort zone. However, in order to make the most of this once in a lifetime experience, I’ve left my fears behind. I’ve added sky diving, scuba diving, and surfing to the top of my bucket list and am ready to experience new things without hesitation. I’ve decided I would limit the amount of times I would say “no” and instead I would just go for it. By the end of this trip I hope to feel inspired and to continue to approach fearful things with a spontaneous attitude.

(Image: A friend and me; Source: Sim)


  1. Hey Sim! I was feeling the same as you felt about the cold streets of New York, and I’m really happy you decided to do this thing and go to Sydney to study abroad! I love that you’re learning from the locals there to pick up some of that good good care-free attitude! And I also love that you are limiting the amount of times you say no to stuff just to try new things in Australia. I’m feeling along the same lines, I want to do as much as I can out here in Berlin and travel. We don’t get this oppurtunity much!

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