Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Arrival!!

Dean - Sydney Australia

So to start all this off, I want to say that I have never blogged before, I am not even that great of a writer. So I don't know how good I'll be at this, but hopefully it will bring family/friends a little closer when Nancy and I are so far away. And to any new found Australian friends who may read this, I mean only the best when I poke fun :-)

I have been here in Sydney just a week now. It all started with a really, really long trip. Two flights, 3 meals, 6 glasses of wine, 6 movies, 16 time zones, a little broken sleep, and 22 hours later I was here.  Now I have never relocated out of Canada in my life, but Nancy and I have done quite a bit of travel, so I felt I was quite prepared. The last two months in Toronto were crazy, selling property, giving away stuff, good-byes, and a list of other to-dos that was way too long. So when I arrived here, all that done, it was a bit of relief, but a bit of fear at the same time. For those of you who will undoubtedly ask, yes I did have that "what the hell did I do!?!?" moment. Fortunately, that quickly passed with the prospect of living in this awesome city. So here is home for the next month, the Fraser Suites in downtown Sydney, 488 Kent Street to be exact. It's a bit odd living in a hotel, but kind of nice at the same time.
So what are the initial impressions? Sydney is a large, diverse, and unbelievably picturesque city by the ocean. Probably a cross between Vancouver, San Francisco, with a sprinkle of London thrown in. The weather has been spectacular, mid 20's with lot's of humidity, my kind of weather. The people seem generally friendly and kind and live a great quality of life. I miss a fair bit of what the locals say, this makes for some interesting conversations or good fun when trying to order something (future post idea).

So what were the first things I did? Well I had to see the beach, so off to Bondi I went. Bondi is probably one of the most famous surf beaches around. It is a beautiful spot, I walked the beach, put my feet in the water, and enjoyed the view from a patio.
I also had to get a run in this city, so I put on my new shoes and headed to Hyde Park and the Botanical gardens. What I am liking here is that there are so many similarities to Canada that make it feel comfortable, yet it is different enough to make it an adventure. The first thing I noticed different on my run was I needed to pass on the left. Of course it made sense when I thought of it as they drive on the left here. I stopped in an area called Farm Cove where I could see the opera house, the bridge and the harbour, that run made me realize yet again why I came here.

It soon became apparent that eating out every day was not a great option, so I made my first grocery store trip. First I had to figure out what the grocery stores were called here. I found a Coles (not books) just around the corner. Like any grocery store in a foreign country there were the subtle differences.... Like the wall of Vegemite!!
For those of you who don't know, Vegemite is an Australian "delicacy." A yeast based spread, used like peanut butter I guess, but kinda gross (sorry Iain). 

My next task was to find a place to live, I had 28 days and counting to do so, not a lot when you think about it. As you have seen from Nancy's post, it looks like I may have been successful fairly quickly, but I will save that for the next post when all is worked out. One thing I can say, it's a lot different than looking for a place back in Toronto.

I miss all my family/friend's back home, Mac and Maddie, and am counting the days until Nancy gets here. Until next week...

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