I’m currently sitting in the library at Bond Uni. People are in and out of here every day and for most of them it’s nothing. For me it’s nearly a life long dream come true. I’m finally in Australia!
It’s pretty unbelievable for me, I can remember researching Bond University while I was still in high school in The States. I wanted to go there for school. I don’t remember how I heard of it, or how I got the crazy idea of going across the world for college, but that’s what I wanted.
Although it didn’t really happen that way, I’m finally here and I still can’t believe it.
Since I got to Australia about two weeks ago I haven’t yet felt like I’m in a different country, never mind a different Hemisphere. A lot of that has to do with the similarities between Australia and the U.S.
It’s much more similar than I would have thought, the cultural difference take some looking for and I’m slowly starting to see more and more every day, which is always interesting for me because I’ve always been obsessed with learning about different cultures.
Anyways, this particular post is to talk about my two day journey from The States to Australia and my amazing week Sydney.
Wifi here has been much harder to access than at home, and I’ve been so wrapped up in the experience of traveling that I hadn’t taken nearly as many photos in Sydney as I would have liked.
In a way I think that’s how traveling should be.
If you’re so enraptured in a city that you forget to take pictures of everything you see and you’re too exhausted at the end of the day to blog about everything as it happens, then I’d say you’re doing something right.
First thing’s first: Travel
I’m talking about the two days that it took just to get to Sydney from Boston. It honestly was agonizing, but from day one in Sydney it’s already been 100% worth it.
I’ve never really disliked traveling or flying, but that’s because I’d never had to travel for two days without showering, with a bunch of other people who also were not able to shower for an extended period of time.
Travel time included a flight from Boston to Chicago, Chicago to San Francisco an 8 hour lay over plus a 6 hour delay, a 14 hour flight from San Francisco to Sydney and then an hour Bus ride to where I was staying in Manly.
Needless to say, there are many reasons I don’t want to leave Australia and travel is a big one.
For anyone making the journey from The States to Australia, I would definitely recommend carrying on at least one change of clothes and any travel size toiletries you can use to freshen up while traveling. A toothbrush is a mus and by the end I was deeply regretting not bringing a mini dry shampoo with me!
Like I said, Sydney was totally worth it. During my week in Sydney I stayed in a dorm at The International College of Managment Sydney (ICMS) Which was often reffered to in Manly as “The Castle.” It was beautiful on the outside, and looked familiar, since it was used as the set for parts of Gatsby’s mansion in the remake.
Now I can finally be sure that I’ve walked on the same ground as Leonardo Decaprio!
I had expected it to be about 15 degrease warmer than it actually was. It’s summer here right now, but there were many times when sweaters and rain jackets were necessary.
While exploring the City within the first couple day’s I quickly learned just how rapidly the weather in Sydney can change. I think I must have taken my rain jacket on and off at least eight times and reapplied sunscreen just as many through out the day.
This again was worth it, thanks to the views. Manly was only about a twenty minute ferry ride away from Sydney. I took the ferry, the busses and train in Sydney countless times in the short week I was there so the Opal card, which is their ticket to pretty much all public transportation, was definitely necessary.
The City was clean, and beautiful, the transportation was much cleaner and reliable than most cities I’ve been too, and I did’t have any problem taking it to get around the city. Still, I did a ton of walking while in Sydney and had already lost weight in the first week!
Sydney was full of free things to do while I was there. We stopped in the Sydney Art Museum and waited in a huge line to get into the Sydney Festival which was a really cool experience.
I didn’t stay late enough to see The Flaming Lips perform but I was there for part of Royal Headache’s set and Icelandic DJ, Hermigervill’s, set. I’m always down to discover new music so The Sydney Fest was an experience I was lucky to be able to check out.
I also visited a Wildlife sanctuary, where you could take pictures with and pet Koalas, although in NSW you’re not allowed to hold them.
To be completely honest after my experience with them, I’m not sure that I want to hold them anymore. They seemed pretty stressed out just from the attention they were getting from the photos and I could only imagine what being held by hundreds of tourists a day would do to them. They also aren’t the best smelling things out there.
The wild life sanctuary was also full of little kangaroo’s which you could feed. I fed some Kangaroos and the next day while dining out at The Black Bird Cafe I ate Kangaroo meat.
I know that sounds harsh and while at first I had my reservations on trying it, in the end I stand by my decision to try it and I would eat it again.
I’ll probably do a post on the subject at some point but from research I’ve done on the subject so far I believe that kangaroo meat is a very environmentally friendly choice as far as meat eating goes.
“Say yes,” is something I’ve heard a lot while traveling, especially in Australia. Australia has proved to be a bigger difference than anywhere I’ve traveled so far, so there are a lot of new and even scary experiences coming at me that I’ve wanted to say no to but knew I had to try.
Kangaroo meat was one, surfing has been another, but in the end I’m glad I said yes.
Another food I tried while in Sydney was a Meat Pie. I have to say it was different than I expected it to be, with a seasoning inside that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but it had mashed potatoes in
I’m a fan. I got it from Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, which has become famous in Sydney after locals loved it so much, they put bricks around the trailer to ensure it would stick around.
I’ve only had a brief encounter with the infamous vegemite and even though it struck me as tasting like gasoline, I’ll undoubtably have to give it a more in depth analysis while in Australia.
I tasted the Wine while in Sydney, many times, mostly because beer and wine is more affordable than other liquor when you’re going out. Especially while eating out at restaurants, drinks can seem very pricey compared to the U.S.
The best thing to do when going out is looking for places where you can split a jug of beer with friends. Back packer bars can get a little trashy, but they have cheaper drinks and they are of course a ton of fun. At The Scary Canary in Sydney, I split some jugs of XXXX Gold with friends, and then ordered a couple more of their signature “Scary Jars” than I should have with the amount of cash I had on hand.
In the end we had a great night dancing to throw backs, which you will hear played often when going out in Australian bars and clubs. “Jessie’s Girl,” and “Fresh Prince” are ones I’ve heard over and over again.
After that we spent twenty minutes running through the City, making it just in time to catch the last ferry back to Manly. Avoiding a $100 Uber ride.
My last full day in Sydney was a toss up between The Blue Mountains and The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. I went with the latter only because The Blue Mountains took much more time to get to and to get through and I had a sunset cruise to get to on my last night there.
I definitely want to go back with time to explore the Blue Mountains but I don’t regret going for the coastal walk.
It was absolutely beautiful and have you really been to Sydney if you haven’t at least seen Bondi?
I’ll always remember Sydney as my first glimpse of Australia. I did so much in my week there but it wasn’t nearly enough.
So far time has been moving way to fast in Australia and I’m already sad that I ever have to leave!
It’s almost hard to enjoy my time here when I know it won’t last forever!
Overall I had an amazing first week in Sydney. I met so many new people and with that came many toasts to a great semester at Bond!
As I learn more I’ll do more posts on traveling tips and living abroad for anyone who’s planning to study abroad or visit Australia for the first time!
I’ve already learned so much, mainly by trial and error.
As always, thanks for reading!
Feel free to comment, ask questions or let me know of places to check out in Gold Coast!