It's Sunday, April 26th around 1pm and I am writing to you from Creperie Suzette in The Rocks. I've been living in Sydney since April 8th - the time has absolutely flown! For those of you who may not know me IRL, I'm from Boston and will be based in Sydney for work for the next six months. I work for a software company called HubSpot and I am part of the first wave of Services team members who will be working with our APAC clients.
I left Boston on April 6th, it was a Monday afternoon and after a ~7 hour flight to LA, a ~7 hour layover, and a ~15 hour flight to Sydney - I landed in Australia on April 8th around noon. When I boarded the plane from LA to Sydney, I had been awake for 22 hours so needless to say I was a complete zombie. This worked in my favor. My flight was not full and I had a full row of seats to myself. As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off after takeoff, I immediately layed down and was able to sleep. I slept through the welcome drink and dinner; I have no regrets.
Upon landing, I gathered my luggage (2 large checked suitcases, I tried to pack light) and went through customs. I expected to have to speak with a Customs Officer as I had a visa tied to my passport, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that all I needed to do was scan my passport, and then walk through a gate where a camera verified you were who your passport said you were. For someone who works with technology, I'll admit it did take me longer than I'd care to admit to fully understand how to work the kiosk.
This would be the first of many reminders that I was in a completely foreign place. Even without a language barrier, there are times where I feel that twinge of anxiety because everytime I go to do something, it's a completely new experience. Being an almost life-long Massachusetts resident and also being a person who thrives on change, this has been a welcomed change. Sometimes you need to be the out-of-towner trying to figure out how to order a coffee. And hey, in my experience the more you put yourself in those situations the more comfortable you will be with being new somewhere. You definitely still feel that anxiety, but at the end of the day did I care when I asked for my coffee "to-go" when the Aussie's say "to takeaway" - not at all (Ok, maybe I cared for about 10 minutes after leaving the cafe).
Speaking of coffee, it's absolutely amazing here. There's not a huge selection of drip coffee, it's espresso - and being an Americano lover, I have been in complete heaven. They call an Americano (espresso & water), a Long Black here. A short black is a shot of espresso. There are cafe's all over Sydney and while there is a Starbucks here, I have not been once.
Australians have been very welcoming and friendly. At the airport when I was waiting for my Uber and trying to put my suitcases on a cart, someone stopped and ask if they could help me. My fellow HubSpotters based out of Sydney have also been so helpful with recommending great lunch spots and weekend exploration spots. For the past couple weekends I've explored quite a bit, and still have not run out of places to visit. So far I've been to the Taronga Zoo, the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Surry Hills, and Darlinghurst. Still on my Sydney list are places like Manly Beach, Coogee Beach, Sydney Fish Market, Newtown, Andrew Boy Charlton pool, and more!
I'm living on the border of The Rocks and the CBD (Central Business District) neighborhoods, so I'm a quick 7-10 minute walk from my office at 1 O'Connell St and an even quicker walk to cobblestone streets, open air markets, and delicious cafes. So basically, life is hard ;)
Many museums here are free admission so I've enjoyed The Rocks Discovery Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. There is a great cafe on the 4th floor of the MCA with incredible views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Highly recommend you check it out if you find yourself in Sydney.
This is a delicious bacon & egg breakfast sang & a long black <3
I'll leave you with a few more photos, but I'll be posting frequently to my Instagram. Now that I'm decently happy with my blog template, I will try to post more frequently and continue to document this trip!
View from HubSpot Sydney offices.. again, it's a really tough life.