This isn’t a post about how to visit Sydney, because I get the feeling that I could go back time and time again and do it differently on each visit. Instead, it will be snippets and bites of one of the most unexpected, exciting trips of my life. My baby brother, Hunter, is studying abroad there this semester and when my dad pitched the idea of visiting him, I knew I’d be ludicrous to say anything but HELL YES! So, we went for 9 days. Here’s what I learned:
- Hotels are for suckers. Airbnb is your BEST FRIEND! Find the right spot, and you’ll not only save major dollars, you could see a different part of town other than the center of the city. And you might just get the view of a lifetime.
- When minimum wage is $17/hour, prices are gonna seem pretty steep. Also keep in mind, tipping is not expected anywhere and sometimes, on weekends and holidays, prices at restaurants will be 10-20% higher. Plan accordingly.
- Sydney’s best by bike. I’m not just saying this because I had an absolute BLAST on our bike tour (but we really did, Bike Buffs if you’re curious). It’s a great way to bop all around the city, on the bridge… That said, go with a guide. I’m not sure it’s as “bikable” as Philly…
- Don’t toss your change. Because sometimes, if it feels like a dime, it’s actually $2. Yeah, my brother has a “change pile” on his desk that could probably buy a fancy dinner for two.
- Summer is winter. Spring is fall. But I didn’t notice a single toilet flushing in any interesting manner. Rats.
- The birds may be beautiful. But they are also incredibly annoying and woke me up every. single. morning.
- Timtams. Eat them all.
- Speaking of eating: Noodles and soup dumplings. When it comes to Pan-Asian cuisine, Australia’s only rival is in Asia. It’s incredible.
- Other than those classless birds… the rest of the wildlife is pretty sweet. Try to mingle with these critters a bit…
- If you roll up to a deep house DJ set and think “Wow, maybe I’m too old for this scene.” chances are… you are WAY too old for this scene. That said, it’s a great way to interact casually with folks 7-10 years your junior.
- If you’re lucky enough to go with people you love, no matter what you do, you’ll have an incredible time.