Today marks 2 weeks since I landed “Down Under” in Sydney, Australia, and it feels like just yesterday I was getting on my first flight out of New York and on my way to Honolulu, Hawaii. Despite this leg of the trip being roughly 11 hours, the time passed quickly by entertaining myself with movies, a book I was recommended by Bill Bryson titled “In a Sunburnt Country” (which I highly recommend), and of course by sleeping. The group I was traveling with was fortunate to have a long enough layover in Hawaii where we could get off the plane and explore the city of Waikiki for the night. After spending only limited time there, without a doubt, this is a destination I will be coming back to down the road as it was so relaxing and has some of the Mahi Mahi I have ever eaten. Unfortunately, before I knew it, this mini 20 hour vacation was over in a flash and we were boarding our last flight in Honolulu to our final destination of Sydney, Australia!
By the time we made it to our accommodation in Haymarket, we were all exhausted and went to bed shortly after unpacking. I have to say, it didn’t hit me that I was nearly halfway across the world until I woke up, and was a little confused as to where I was although this may have just been from the previous long days of traveling. Bright and early we had orientation for the program I am here with, CAPA, and after that, my roommate and I spent the day getting to know our apartment mates as well as taking care of all the boring but much needed tasks like grocery shopping. With our apartment all put together and us all finally settled in, it was now my favorite time of the day: time for coffee. We visited a cafe right across the street from our building, and immediately, I was shocked as to how good it was and how much I enjoyed the cafe culture here. After 2 weeks here I am yet to have a bad coffee, and have come to realize I may never be able to go back to drinking coffee in America again!
Upon reflecting on my time here so far, spending time at Manly Beach, a cruise around Darling Harbour, going on runs to the Sydney Opera House, and trying a new cafe nearly every morning, it’s amazing that there is still so much I am yet to see. It truly is hard to compare Sydney to any place I’ve been to before, as it is so different in many aspects. The cultural differences are intriguing in comparison to what I’m used to as what is considered “normal” back in New Hampshire and Pittsburgh is not always the norm here. Whether this be the way individuals act in public, how they communicate with each other, or simply the workplace culture and how business is conducted. Every day I continue to learn and challenge myself towards immersion into my new home for the next 3 months, and I am looking forward to all there is to come.
Till next time!