20 Things That Will Surprise You About Moving to Australia

20 Things That Will Surprise You About Moving to Australia

I’ve been living in Australia for a year, and I think it’s the best country on Earth. It’s BEAUTIFUL. The coastlines are beautiful, the men are beautiful, the food is beautiful. The entire culture is super laid-back, work-life balance is high-priority, and everyone just seems a lot happier and more relaxed than back home in the US.

But moving there was not the smooth transition that I expected. I assumed, since it was an English-speaking, similarly-developed country, that I would just fit right in. I was wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

Pretty much every day when I first moved, I encountered something that totally baffled me. Random animals kept falling from trees or flying at me. Someone would say a word I didn’t understand, I’d try to order something and receive something completely different, or I’d wildly misinterpret some local custom. Australia is the best, but it’s also a unique and weird place that takes some getting used to! Here are the 20 things that surprised me most.

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Tongariro Alpine Crossing: The Best and Most Terrifying Hike Of My Life

Tongariro Alpine Crossing: The Best and Most Terrifying Hike Of My Life

Have you ever climbed a mountain during 40+ mph winds in zero visibility, pretty confident you were about to die? I have, and it turns out that it’s… kind of fun? I never would have guessed I was the kind of girl who enjoyed battling the elements, but it turns out I loved adventure way before I realized I loved adventure.

New Zealand’s Tongariro Crossing is an alpine hike, which means that conditions can be extreme. The weather turned from calm to terrifying in just over an hour. Not only was the wind strong enough to literally blow me off the path, I could barely see through the fog. The scenery I could see was amazing, but I was too focused on surviving to enjoy it for long.

When all the tour groups gathered at the trailhead after the hike, EVERYONE had a crazy story to share. Some people who went further up had to crawl back down on all fours, and one person actually fell and rolled down part of the descent.  At one point I legitimately thought I was going to blow off the mountain to my death. Needless to say, this was the best I’ve hike ever done.

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Singapore, the Coolest Place I’ll Never Visit Again

Singapore, the Coolest Place I’ll Never Visit Again

Singapore has been on my must-visit list for a long time. We’ve all seen the photos of the famous Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool, and booking a short visit was an easy decision. The Supertree Grove was an absolute masterpiece. The Marina Bay Sands, though bougie and swarming with irritating nouveaux-riche, is by far the coolest hotel I’ve ever stayed at.

But Singapore as a whole confused the hell out of me. It somehow managed to simultaneously fascinate and bore me; I thought it was visually stunning, but otherwise pretty bland. I expected a place with so much creativity and innovation to have an equally cool vibe, and instead the city felt kind of sterile and artificial.

I did enjoy my time there. I loved exploring Singapore and ticking off my bucket list items, I loved everything I saw, but I was also ready to leave and never return lol. In summary: worth a visit, but maybe just one visit. Maybe I’ll return one day to give it another chance.

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Traditional Balinese Cooking Class: A Foodie Must-Do!

Traditional Balinese Cooking Class: A Foodie Must-Do!

The cooking class I took in Ubud was one of the highlights of my trip to Indonesia, and a great way to familiarise myself with traditional Balinese cuisine. It was also a great way to ensure I would be well-fed and entertained for an evening, which is a serious perk when traveling solo. With over three thousand 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor, Paon Bali Cooking Class was the easy choice, and it more than lived up to expectations.

It was the most well-organised class I’ve ever taken (out of a sample size of one, lol, but trust me, they know what they’re doing).The food was easy to prepare, delicious, and full of fresh, flavorful local ingredients. Pretty much everyone taking the class was a young, fun traveler. Puspa, the owner, was truly the cutest human ever and someone who I can only assume is the Ina Garten of Indonesia. And we got a recipe book to take home. 10/10, would def take again. 

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Christmas In New York – The Perfect 4-Day Itinerary

Christmas In New York – The Perfect 4-Day Itinerary

The assholes at Australian immigration (just kidding, please let me in) still haven’t approved my second year working holiday visa, so I’ve been trapped in the US for close to two months. I haven’t been able to make any travel plans yet, since I’m not sure where I’ll be based. So I’m in limbo. I’ve had a nice extended period of time with friends and family, but tbh I am over it and itching to get back out there.

I’ve gotten so used to jetsetting and living abroad that being back home has been… underwhelming, to say the least. So I’ve stayed one (small) step ahead of boredom & depression by jetting around the States, avoiding all my responsibilities, and blowing all my money on food and fancy cocktails. Rough life, hey?

My most recent trip was a spontaneous visit to NYC, which me and one of my best friends planned with less than a week’s notice. Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you excitedly throw together last-minute. Winter in New York is magical, and we packed a lot of sightseeing and a ton of food into our four days. I’ve compiled all my favorite activities and restaurants here, for a fun-filled holiday that will leave you as happy (and full!) as I am!

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