This study abroad journey has taught me that goodbyes don’t actually have to be sad or tear-filled. They can be quite sweet. Even though I feel my time in Australia to have been entirely too short, I am so grateful that I even got to spend time here at all.
While words can paint the picture of my experiences, this video brings my words to life. Check out my favorite highlights of living, learning, and loving in Australia. From school days to road trips, catching flights to new cities, eating the freshest and cheapest seafood I’ve ever tasted, trying fairy bread and Caramello Koalas for the first time, to celebrating my 23rd birthday at the beautiful Cronulla Beach, with ice cream cake, hand-crafted by my flat mates!
Before I sign off from this blog of mine, I want to thank you for following along on this journey with me. I’m going to leave you with a little something in replace of our quick trivia. Here are a list of what I loved, found a bit confusing, and disliked during my time in Australia! Enjoy!
- A friend from Australia gave me some pretty solid advice prior to leaving America. “Go out for brekkie at cafes. We do it really well”. No lies there! I don’t really think Australia has a specific cuisine—Asian, Italian, and seafood were all my personal favorites here. The barbie is common too, but breakfast—I would totally consider breakfast Australia’s cuisine. Not only is it the most important meal of the day, but here in Oz, it’s one I wake up looking forward to!
- Kmart. Just go. I love the create and print department. You can do so many handy projects, and print pictures for the low…if you’re into that kind of thing. Kmart is for the creative.
- Currency Exchange—much of the time, I used my credit card to earn rewards points, and the currency exchange made purchasing everything much cheaper…not paying the USD for the past four months has been amazing!
- Nature walks and backyard beaches
- WESTFIELD PARRAMATTA –there are plenty Westfield shopping centers, but the one in CBD #2 is huge and beautiful!
- ALEXANDRIA SEAFOOD—my first meal was consumed at this small seafood spot. It’s an award-winning restaurant, where you can take away fresh seafood to cook at home, or dine in. The owners were so personable, and it’s such a local spot. Many of the customers are known, including the kids and the pets! I became a regular and got to know my Greek and Cuban chefs well.
- Doing homework on the Opera House steps
- Music as a common language
- Ferry rides just for fun and to ride along the harbor
- Opal Card
- Trains and their cleanliness
- Not having to tip at restaurants
- The hanger attached to the trolley so purses and backpacks can hang freely outside the trolley instead of the area meant for groceries
I found great value in simplicity…walking around, forever wearing my swimmers underneath my regular clothes, just because there was always a chance that a portion of my day would be spent at some beach. I also enjoyed the freshness that came with drying my clothes outside on a laundry line, rather than throwing them into a dryer like I do back home. I also found myself practicing delayed gratification, and enjoying decreased accessibility.
- Driving on the opposite side of the road
- The passenger seat on the left-hand side
- Often confusing my left and right while providing directions to the driver of the car I’m riding in
- The restaurant system and purpose of servers. I can’t quite figure out the extent of their role. Server run the food to tables, but the won’t come to the table to take orders or check-in. Often, orders are taken at the counter and paid for in advance. The confusion comes when I don’t want to order everything at one time, but in courses
- Aussie manners and being polite. I often hear people thank the bus driver (so sweet), but if someone sneezes, very rarely is it followed with a “bless you”
- Rent…it’s caller bond here and it’s paid typically by the week. Still don’t know why
- Waiting at lights for the green man to indicate that I can cross the street without being hit by five lanes of oncoming traffic. It feels like five minutes of just standing sometimes
- Too many times, I’ve witnessed and personally experienced bus drivers passing a stop where I or others needed to board
- The intensity of the sun…experienced my first sunburn in October
- The Opal Transit Authority boarding public transport to scan whether or not people have tapped on/off. They just feel so intimidating, and the hefty fine associated with not tapping on/off can be daunting. Even when I know I’ve tapped on, I find myself getting nervous that I’ll be fined.
If you’d like to follow my travels throughout the world, infused with journalism and nursing, be sure to follow my Instagram page—@outboundinspiration. Next stop…Auckland, New Zealand! See you there 😊