The cheerfulness from these words still echo in my ears as I’m greeted with smiles here and there in Australia. Quite possibly (with a high probability) that this could in fact be my favorite place in the world, it has its reasons. I had never had such a great ambition of saving money to go to a place that I never dreamed I would be able to go, but this past summer, with the need to fly to Hong Kong came the opportunity to spend 9 more hours on a flight over to the great down under.
Australia is BIG. Going there and trying to see as many places as you can is like trying to see the entire United States in two weeks – impossible. So my friend and I chose the two main cities to live in, and then a couple of day trips outside to explore in. Sydney and Melbourne. Just like I inquired as I researched the trip, I tried to find out which one was “better,” and there really was never really a good answer. Now I know why.
Sydney and Melbourne have completely different vibes. If you ask me, I would compare Sydney to NYC (very busy, train system, crowds, condensed city center, beautiful urban parks, all kinds of cuisines), and Melbourne to San Francisco (trams, quieter, more space, less crowds, laid back, gorgeous fields and wineries outside of the city, cooler temperatures). I loved them both and would move there any day… any day now. 🙂
Going backwards from my last stop to the first, here’s Sydney! Some of my favorite highlights included the following:
1) Drinking hot chocolates and espresso (’cause Starbucks just won’t do over there! Flat white and lattes are solid. I can drink them in my dreams… okay, maybe not but I would love to.)
Hot chocolate at Koko Black
Latte from Cross Eatery
Earl grey latte and green tea latte from Coffee Pitt
2) Viewing the Opera House / Harbour Bridge from all different angles and times. It’s hard to not get enough of the sight – there’s no wonder why it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Opera House is almost golden in the sunset!
From the top of the Harbor Bridge
On the boat to Taronga Zoo
From the Opera House
From the Royal Botanic Gardens
3) Visiting the markets – the Rocks, Paddington Market, Paddy’s Market, and Manly Beach. There’s tons of handmade items but also a bunch of souvenir things that are fun to look at and compare. Some, such as the Rocks, includes some unique food vendors!
4) Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and pylon. No photos allowed on top, but it was worth the experience. An absolutely beautiful view, wind blowing against you, and water flowing underneath your feet. Will Smith and Matt Damon did it too 🙂
5) Strolling through the beaches. Yes, even in the winter.
6) Admiring the arts. There’s a reason why Australia has some of the best street art in the world. Even the street musicians are incredible. There was not one musician that played on the streets during my 2 weeks there that failed to sing or play well. We even bought this artist’s album for $10.
Jack Dawson <3
This place was an absolute inspiration, and I look forward to using these memories and experiences to build my everyday. Most of all, I can’t wait to share these unique sights with my students, whom last year had no idea what Australia even was! If you have something you’d love to share, please shoot me an email – I just love reading and responding to them!
As always, thanks for reading! xoxo