Living Spree

When life gives you lemons…

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This year has been full of triumphs and setbacks. I have been blessed beyond measure but I have to admit this last month has been full of challenges which have at times left me feeling hopeless and confused. However, due to unforeseen circumstances I was able to make one of my lifelong dreams come true. Last month, when I was hit with troubling news regarding my career, I returned to my original plan which was to visit Australia and New Zealand. For the last few years, Australia and New Zealand have been on the top of my list of places to visit. I hadn’t been able to make it happen sooner because both countries are not the cheapest places to get to. Earlier this year I made plans to go in November. However, after I started a new job I had to cancel the trip which was a huge disappointment. I eventually got over it but there were times when it was still a nagging thought. This year my eldest sister celebrated her 40th birthday and to celebrate she and her husband were also going to Australia and New Zealand along with her closest friends and another one of my sisters.  I knew it was extremely unlikely that I would ever have this opportunity to share this experience with my sisters so I threw caution to the wind and decided to go after all. Let’s not talk about how much it cost to plan this trip at the last minute but it was worth every penny.

Sydney

I arrived in Sydney after a long 15 ½ hour flight. It’s the longest flight I’ve been on but it wasn’t too bad. I slept on and off and watched a few movies. Once I finally arrived in Sydney, my sister and I hit the ground running, stopping at all of the major sites like the Sydney Opera House, Manly and Bondi Beach, Toronga Zoo, Newtown, Circular Quay, Paddington Market, etc. Getting around Sydney is super easy because their public transportation is super efficient. The train is extremely clean and quiet.

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Toronga Zoo

Because Sydney is a multicultural city, there are several different types of cuisine to choose from. Food and drinks can be pricey depending on where you go. Portion sizes are smaller in comparison to the behemoth portions available in the good ole USA, lol. Average meal is about 25AUD which is equivalent to $20.

Overall I really liked Sydney. It’s definitely a beautiful city and the weather was nice the whole time I was there. However, I can’t say it felt hugely different from other major cities I’ve visited.

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Brisbane

At the end of my trip, I spent a day in Brisbane. Australia is a huge country/continent so I wanted to make sure I was able to see more than one city. I arrived in Brisbane around 2pm and left the following day at 11:30am. I stayed in a dope airbnb not far from the airport, in the Banyo neighborhood. After I got settled, I headed to grab dinner near the Victoria Bridge. I then headed to Queen Street where you can find lots of shops, restaurants, bars, etc. Brisbane is not as crowded and hectic like Sydney. It has more of a chill vibe. Overall I had a great time in Australia and would love to go back one day. 

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Subtle differences noted in Australia:

No tipping

In restaurants, you order food at the bar

Smaller portion sizes

Fish and Chips are the American burger and fries equivalent

Condiments like ketchup aren’t free

Businesses close super early at like 5pm- It’s obvious in Australia work-life balance is very important.

Not many people of color

Have you been to Australia? Did it live up to your expectations?

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