I am writing this post from my apartment in Sydney…I just woke up on the second day and wanted to share my travel process as well as my first day here.
The plane rides were both very long..about 4 hours to LAX and then around 14 to Sydney. Our plane to Sydney was HUGE, and the food on it was pretty good.The flight attendants were all Australian and were very friendly to all of us. Once we landed in Sydney, everyone perked up and we were very excited to begin our adventures.
Going through customs and collecting our bags was pretty hectic…nobody really knew what we were doing so we just kinda had to wing it. Unfortunately, my duffel bag that I had to gate check in Chicago never showed up in Sydney, so I am hoping it comes today. Thankfully it didn’t have anything that can’t be replaced easily in it.
We all cabbed over to our hotel/apartments and immediately went on a walking tour of the surrounding area and learned how to take the bus. At this point we had been traveling for 24 hours so the walking tour was very tiring but beneficial. We have a supermarket and drug store right around the corner from our hotel, as well as a bus stop and some restaurants.
Speaking of our hotel, they are very nice. Its a 2 level apartment with 1 bedroom/bath upstairs, and the 2nd bedroom/bath downstairs with the kitchen (huge by the way) and living room (complete with huge flat screen TV). We have 3 balconies in our unit…1 in each bedroom and a main one in the living room.
After our walking tour, we got settled into our rooms and everyone was anxious to figure out the phone/internet situation. Many of us got our phones through a vendor that came to the hotel, and then some of us set out to downtown Sydney to find a Vodafone store to get internet. It took all 8 of us in our group to figure out where to go, but we eventually found it. We did however get sort of turned around coming home, but it was a good experience.
After we got back, we were all starving so I went to dinner with a group of 8 others. We found some restaurant that apparently you could only go to if you were a member, but we told them we just got here today and they let us eat as guests. It was pretty good food with a live band, but everything here is very expensive!
After dinner a smaller group of us just hung out in my apartment for a couple hours before crashing around 11pm. Today a bunch of us are going to work out in the morning and then find the beach!
There is definitely a culture shock down here, which I was unprepared for. The Australians often have a difficult time understanding us and it’s the same for us…it takes a few times to get your point across to them sometimes. Also, the customer service here is less than excellent. Since they don’t rely on tips, they have no incentive to provide excellent service so it is only average. There are definitely lots of things to get used to but already I am picking up on the differences and way of life. I am very excited to begin my 2 months here and experience Sydney to its fullest.
Here is a link to some pictures that I took during travel and our first day here. Hopefully the link works!