Dreaming of Sydney.
Very few of my friends can say that they have traveled across the globe to one of the happiest countries in the world, second only behind Iceland. I’m talking about Australia, and I would have to say that I agree, wholeheartedly with that statement. When I first flew into Sydney, I couldn’t help but notice the picturesque view of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It is such a romantic city, yet it’s so far away from my normal everyday reality of life back in the United States.
As a single twenty (or now thirty) something I have always fantasized about meeting a hunky Aussie man with a thick accent swooning me over as I linger on every last word he says and daydream about how our kids will all have blue eyes and talk just like him. Snap out of it. Ha. No, to answer everyone’s question, I did not meet my prince charming. I did, however meet Mr. Wrong, Mr. Just for Today, Mr. I’m A Professional Athlete and Mr. You Looked Cuter Before You Started Talking!
Let me back up a bit. A girlfriend of mine had studied abroad in Australia, and loved it so much, she chose to go back when her parents said they would pay for any trip she wanted as her college graduation gift. (Must be nice, haha.) She asked if I would go with her and said she wanted to stay for as long as our Visas would allow us to. How could I say no to an opportunity to have a travel companion to Australia, where I’d always dreamed of going!? When we decided to live for three months in Australia, we obviously wanted to live at the beach, but I was pretty much broke. Where do you go when you need a place that’s affordable, but not a total dump? I highly suggest finding a house where you have what most Ozzies would refer to as flat-mates. Not only did it help me and my travel companion to meet friends quickly and save on cash, but living with a bunch of random people makes for loads of interesting experiences. (Sharing a room with a friend for three months will do that too!)
So we lived in a shared house in Bondi Beach for roughly three months. During that time, I shared quarters with my friend from the US and a laundry list of others, including a perverted, 40-year-old English twit who had recently been divorced and was going through a true-to-form mid-life crisis (he wanted to order a mail-order bride from Asia, for crying out loud). After he left, a total of seven Irish natives moved in and out of the house, only two of which remained in the house during our entire stay and whom I still keep in regular contact with. Two others were little Irish twin sisters, we all called them the ‘trouble twins,’ as they literally almost burnt the house down because they forgot to turn off the stove, broke the DVD player, and unplugged the refrigerator on ‘accident.’ Let’s just say they didn’t stay in the house for very long. Ha. The rest were passer-byers or friends of friends. All in all, it kept our little three bedroom duplex on Curlewis St. very entertaining. From group dinners, to nights out on the town, to days laying on the beach or surfing, it was almost always a good time hanging in Bondi Beach.
My home town is in Southern California, where public transportation is not known for its convenience. In Sydney, however the public transportation system actually works really well! As a matter of fact, we rented a car for the first two weeks of our trip and ended up turning it in early due to the plain inconvenience of having a car, paying for parking, gas, lack of spaces and the convenience of having a bus stop right on our street that picked up every five minutes and took you virtually anywhere you needed to go! Not to mention, where we lived in Bondi, almost everything we needed was walking distance anyway, primarily the beach!
Am I going to go back someday? Yes! It’s my home away from home, and event though it’s been roughly ten years now since those three amazing months, I plan to go back again someday soon. If anyone wants to send me a free one-way ticket, by all means I won’t turn it down, haha! I lived there from August to October in 2004, and followed it up with a 30-day backpacking trip to Thailand (a story for another time!) and it was a life changing experience that I will never forget and long to re-create. I would love to explore some other must-see places that I didn’t get the opportunity to visit before such as the Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
Until then, I will just have to #wanderlust about the next time I get the opportunity to go.