Never in my wildest blogger dreams did I think that something could come from me typing a few words down in an attempt to archive my memories. I was stoked to hit 10,000 views in less than a year – but let’s be real, the popular travel blogs have 35,000 subscribers eagerly awaiting their next blog post. I’m just a number in comparison to the thousands out there.
This is why I will treasure this night forever.
Early in November, a fellow American expat in Sydney and blogger-turned-friend was invited to the HostelWorld Harbour Cruise After Party. (Read Kirstie’s amazing travel blog – here) HostelWorld had planned an “Amazing Race” around Sydney to take place among 10 teams. These teams seemed to be young people already staying in hostels around the CBD. After the race, there was to be an awesome after party on a yacht cruising the Harbour at sunset.
After Kirstie was invited to the after party as a VIP guest, she was told she could bring two guests, so long as they are travel bloggers and could prove *worthiness*. Low and behold, she invited me along, and I was deemed worthy enough of a travel blogger to join! 19 months and countless of words written later, I was receiving perks of the job. Who would’ve thought.. Certainly not me.
As we arrived on site at Port Jackson next to the Opera House, I immediately stopped the pep in my step that had been carrying me around all day. Hundreds – and I mean hundreds – of people, who clearly were staying at hostels that were clearly handing out flyers to the event, were lined up, wined up, and ready to hop aboard. There was no way I was getting on board this vessel with this mass of people.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love myself a good hostel with good hostel people and good hostel fun. It’s what got me through majority of Europe – the memories, the three-story bunk beds, the non-shower… But we were under the impression it was going to be a VIP After Party. Damn it – I wanted to be VIP, actually VIP, and not “crammed in elevated box with 20 other college students and one bottle of cheap vodka with dangerously misplaced sparklers coming out of the top” VIP.
But hey, it was a free cruise around the Harbour at sunset in the greatest city in the world – I was going to stop complaining, get in the mile long line for a wristband, find my way to a $10 mini-Corona, and attempt to fist-pump along with three hundred of my closest (and sweatiest) friends. Until…
We decided to skip the line to the front and get down to the bottom of it. Asking ever so politely about the VIP situation, we were granted a beautiful, gold HostelWorld VIP After Party band, and off we went to the yacht. Practically skipping towards the music, we see steep stairs that lead up to the top of the ship. With the crowds pouring in and the music getting louder, we were hoping those stairs were the stairs to heaven (aka VIP).
We asked the security guard about the stairs, and sensing our desperation for something better, he pointed us in the right direction. Up and up and up we go to the top of the yacht overlooking the harbour. A different DJ, a far different crowd – we had made it to the Hospitality/Travel Industry VIP. And it felt GOOOOD.
The drinks and conversations were flowing, music playing and the views just didn’t stop. We made a few friends, and got to know each other better, as well. Open air, feel-good tunes – HostelWorld really outdid themselves with this incredible VIP experience – all prior complaints aside.
It was such a fun night out, and definitely an amazing experience being able to cruise about the Harbour from sunset to dark, watching the lights of the city shine. Looking up at the incredible bridge I’ve come to love and hate depending on the traffic, it really made me proud of where I came from in every sense.
1.) Never giving up on my blog and writing no matter what people had said or made fun of it or never supported it – you’d be surprised at how unsupportive people (even friends) can be when they see others so happy doing what they’re doing.
2.) Moving 10,000 miles away from home for love – again despite what others had said.
3.) Feeling established and grounded in a completely new city on my own. Even though I had a little help from Sam, I was able to build and maintain relationships I made on my own, find a job and learn how to drive on the other side of the road.
Sure, that all might have been a little heavy for a few fleeting hours aboard a ship, but as we pulled into port, and said our goodbyes to our newly created friends, I realised I was proud of myself – not just for being a VIP to HostelWorld, but for being a VIP to myself.