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In The Art of Travel, 12. Strangers, Sydney by Brennan1 Comment

The feeling of waking up in a strange city, not knowing a soul, is unsettling. And relieving. You feel alive, senses heightened to cognitively evaluate the unfamiliar sounds, smells, and landscape. For a while it feels as if you are in some kind of virtual stimulation, or that this is not reality. You are just a player, anonymous, in the …

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The Great Escape

In The Art of Travel, 9. Troubles, Sydney by Brennan2 Comments

Beads of sweat dripped from my brow as I jammed my debit card in the ATM yet again. There was a moment of hope as the machine processed my request…only to emit an aggressively loud beeping sound as the screen flashed with Thai script. I read, Just your luck. Fuck off. Another failed attempt. This was the fifth machine I’d …

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Turning Fences into Freedom

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Sydney by Brennan1 Comment

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, a novel by Doris Pilkington Garimara, is an extremely important story to read for anyone attempting to understand Australian history, culture, and identity. Based on true events, the book highlights the colonial oppression that permeated Australia in the 1900s, specifically detailing the case of a mixed-race girl named Molly––a child of the Stolen Generation. Although Aboriginal …

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City Spirits

In The Art of Travel, 5. The Spirit of Place, Sydney by Brennan1 Comment

The spirit of Sydney still hasn’t come to me. It does not seem to fit the rest of Australia, with its tall buildings, large business district, and disorganized traffic. I walk outside of my dorm into a neighborhood called Haymarket, which feels slightly isolated from the parts of the city where I spend most of my time. Haymarket is in …

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind

In The Art of Travel, 4. Politics, Sydney by Brennan1 Comment

Refugees landing on Australian soil only to be thrown in offshore detention centers. Heads of state promoting their mistresses to highly paid positions behind the public eye. An indigenous history, forgotten. Australian politics claim to be moderate, democratic, and most remarkably, “better than America.” However, within the first few days of arriving on Australian land, I realized that there are …

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Comfortably Uncomfortable

In The Art of Travel, 3. Communicating, Sydney by Brennan1 Comment

The greatest disappointment I’ve faced in Sydney thus far has been the lack of exoticity. The city is so similar to metropolitan areas that I’ve lived in before––the wide expanse of Los Angeles, the tropical breeze of Hawaii, the bustling streets of New York––but something always feels off. The city is foreign, but not quite different enough from places that …