Sydney First Impressions

Published On February 7, 2013 | By This World Rocks | Australia, First Impressions, Recent, South Pacific, Travel Journal
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We landed in Sydney this week, and after a few days, here are a few first impressions:

  • The city feels wonderfully tropical. The sun, smells from the many trees and parks, and breeze from the ocean all feel so refreshing for us coming from the frozen tundra of Minnesota.
  • The public transit has been easy: our bus trip from the airport and throughout the city has been fairly straight forward, and bus drivers and ticket booth personal have been friendly.
  • Lots of the people we met so far have been New Zealand transplants. Our Airbnb hosts, Hannah and Brad, and their Kiwi friends, explained that the visa laws between the two countries make it so easy to move here, so it’s very common. We’ve had a great time getting to know them and hearing them make fun of Australians.
  • The prices of everything are higher than that US for the most part, which we knew ahead of time. The biggest surprise is that beer is almost double the price, thanks to high taxes. The good news is local wine is reasonably priced, so we’ll probably save the beer drinking for Bali.
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  • Walking around, a lot of things feel a little “backwards” (as I’ve heard others described). There are so many similarities to the US, that you could forget you are in a different country, until you notice small things, like driving on the other side of the road, different terminology on posted signs and advertisements, and the fast-talking accented locals. Another amusing observation: there are many fast food and other brands that look so similar to something I’m used to from back home, but the name is different, that I do a double take. It feels like I’m on the set of a tv show where they aren’t allowed to use brand names so they change them just slightly.

We have lots of plans to check out the sites and neighborhoods around Sydney in the next few days, so stay tuned for more posts!

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