Within only a couple weeks until my two month anniversary of being here in Australia, just wanted to say a quick hi! Each day I am more and more grateful to have the opportunity to live abroad for a few months. I've admittedly not been great about writing here. I need to employ some tactics I teach customers at HubSpot to keep their blogging consistent ;) - overall I think it's an okay sign that I haven't been cooped up writing on my blog and trying to get out and explore as much as possible outside of work.
During these last one and a half-ish months I've been able to do and see some fantastic things, eat great food, and most importantly meet some incredible people. Here's a quick write up of some of my absolute favorites.
1. Grow with HubSpot Sydney event.
As HubSpot is fairly new to the APAC it was a really incredible experience to be part of the first Grow with HubSpot event in the region. Both customers and non-HubSpot users turned out in droves at The Ivy Sunroom to spend some time learning about how marketing has changed (and gone inbound!) as well as getting the opportunity to mingle with like minded individuals. What was super cool was having the opportunity to run a customer workshop during the event to share some tips and tricks and overall help answer questions face to face.
2. Exploring new Sydney neighborhoods
While I've been loving city living, it's been awesome to hop on a train and go explore a Sydney city suburb and see what life looks like outside of the concrete jungle. Speaking of trains and public transport, in stark comparison to Boston it is actually not a complete nightmare getting around using public transporation here in Sydney. Back to Sydney neighborhoods, having now been to neighborhoods such as Newtown, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Potts Points, Darling Harbour, and Paddington it's been cool to see where local SydneySiders reside outside of their workday in the CBD.
If I were going to move to Sydney I would want to live in either Surry Hills or Darlinghurst. They are both a very short train ride or walk from the city and have an excellent restaurant and bar scene. Newtown is a bit further outside of the CBD (about a 20 minute train ride) but has a really eclcetic music scene. Cool bars, restaurants, an indie movie theater - definitely a cool suburb to hang out in on the weekends.
3. Taronga Zoo & Manly Beach
These two spots I'm lumping together because you have a take a Ferry to get to both of them. If you know me you know I like animals, so obviously I enjoyed the zoo here in Sydney. We got to see koalas, wallabies, lions, bears, bats, mountain goats, elephants, seals, meercats - and more! If you're ever in Sydney, getting a ticket to Taronga is definitely a great day trip. When you arrive on the ferry, you can either walk or bus up the hill to the zoo OR you can take a sweet cable car ride to the zoo entrance. The cable car ride was great because it overlooks the zoo and you get a killer view of the Sydney harbor from the sky!
Manly beach is a complete beach town about a 40 minute ferry ride from Sydney Harbour. It reminded me of a California beach town and the beach itself was really nice. The day we went it was about 70 degrees so not completely beach weather, but we made due. Maybe it was the day we went, but to me Bondi Beach was a bit more picturesque and photogenic compared to Manly but it was still nice to be on a beach and watch surfers tackle some waves. Manly is definitely a town I still need to explore more of.
4. Sufjan Stevens at the Opera House
Right now the Vivid festival has taken over Sydney and it's been phenomal to be here during it. Back in February, one of my Australian customers was telling me about how exciting and unique Vivid is and he was not wrong. Sufjan Stevens was the headliner for the Vivid Live series, which takes place at the Sydney Opera House. I've been dying to go inside the Opera House and figured that seeing an artist like Sufjan Stevens in that venue was a complete once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so I splurged on a ticket.
I went to the Monday show, he played 4 shows in Sydney and Monday was the final night. The Opera House acoustics are seriously out of this world and he sounded amazing. He played his entire new album, Carrie & Lowell and snuck in some oldies but goodies into the mix to "break up the misery" as he so poignently put it. My favorite tracks on the album are The Only Thing, Blue Bucket of Gold, and Drawn to the Blood (which was my favorite live).
As we head into June there are some exciting things coming up! My parents are visiting and will be here from June 4th-14th, I'm beyond excited to see them and have visitors. My Mom's birthday is June 6th and mine is June 9th so we will be celebrating our birthdays (during a long weekend) and will be traveling outside of Sydney. We haven't decided exactly where we're going yet, I need to get on that.
Until next time!