Australia – The land down under has always been very high on my travel destination priority list. So it’s not surprising that, when I started making plans for my post-graduation “sabbatical” (very needed!), my decision to finally realize my plan to work in and travel through the fifth continent was made rather quickly. Despite the common doubts and worries, whether it’s the “right thing” to do instead of finding a job in the “real world” right away (overrated right?), my plans had been finalized after I simply walked into a Göttingen travel agency and left about an hour and a half later with my flight reservations in hand, ready to hit the Christmas market and celebrate my decisiveness with a delicious nutella crèpe. After all, finding a job after you graduate is not the easiest thing, especially with a liberal arts background, and, in our globalized wired world, can be done from nearly anywhere in the world. So I packed my bags, stored all my application data on a USB stick, cleared all my SD cards to make room for the thousands of pictures I would most likely take on my journey (yes, I am a picture-taking maniac!), and took of about a month ago.
After an awefully long 22-hour-journey from Frankfurt to Dubai and on to Sydney, I arrived at the centrally located hostel I had booked at about 11:30pm, ready to fall asleep right away and forget about how awful I felt (physically). Don’t get me wrong, flying is amazing and I love it! But there’s just something unnatural about having to sit in an awefully narrow seat for 13 hours, getting up just three times to use the restroom, and watching the sun go up and down within only a couple of hours, because you’re crossing numerous time zones, basically “fast forwarding” half a day in your life. However, I did get to watch “Manchester by the Sea” on the plane and agree that Casey Affleck deserved his Oscar win this year.
Now, almost four weeks later, I have settled into my new life working as an au pair for a lovely family in a quiet Sydney suburb. Despite the sometimes torrential rainfalls during the past three weeks, I love the city and its people. Of course, I am still in “tourist mode”, trying to visit all the must-see sights in and around Sydney during my free time, but I’m also looking forward to getting a better feeling of what’s it’s like to actually live here, as a temporary resident.
The city itself is simply beautiful! I like to describe it as a perfect mixture of wonderful historical Victorian buildings (London-style, just without the bad weather), modern business architecture most likely to be found in Singapore, Shanghai, London, or Frankfurt, beautiful parks and green spaces similar to those in San Francisco, and breathtaking beaches and recreation areas comparable to Santa Monica or Malibu, the beautiful parts of the greater-Los Angeles-area. I could totally imagine living here for a couple of years, even though the horribly-high costs for just about anything, especially food and drinks, definitely make it hard to enjoy yourself. But according to the statements I’ve heard from various people here, that is true for most of Australia – it simply is an expensive country to live in or visit.
Over the next couple of months, I will try to keep you updated regularly with more posts using the hashtag #nicoledownunder (which I use on instagram and facebook as well). There are many – or as we say here in Australia – HEAPS more interesting places I want to visit. But for now, I’ll head out and go for a little “bushwalk”, while you can browse the slideshow. Talk to you later, mate!