I’m not going to lie, the first few days were pretty rough. I had gotten off the plane with this new sense of wonder eyes wide open ready for adventure! Then I got lost, twice. First I got on the wrong train. Feeling better about this slight hiccup, I map myself to the address I have on airbnb. I walk there and turns out I had the wrong address… It’s 105 degrees out (not exaggerating), I’m carrying 30 lbs on my back, my hosts aren’t picking up my calls, andddd I have no idea where I am. Fighting back tears (okay full on crying in the streets) I walk back towards the train station. I saw a few cafes on my way out and figured I could go there to get my life situated. I was just so hot and sweaty doubting I could do this trip at all. I have a really bad sense of direction, so I figured I’d get lost. But I decided to focus on the positives like; I’m alive, I have data on my phone – more importantly google maps, etc. I eventually make it to the airbnb. I stayed with the sweetest Japanese family. I hope to be Japanese in another lifetime haha. I just loved listening to them speak Japanese!
^^ I honestly didn’t leave the airbnb the first 2 days. The city was 1 – 1.5 hours away and taking the train just seemed so daunting. Plus I didn’t want to get lost again. On the third day I forced myself to go outside. My Dad recommended I do the Spit to Manly Coastal Walk. I’m happy to report I didn’t get lost, and haven’t gotten lost since the first day! I also met the nicest people in the very beginning and we hiked together. It was nice, they gave me recommendations and great insight on Sydney. Plus I’m not sure if I would have survived on my own. Some parts of the walk you actually had to get waist deep in the water. The hike (or bush walk as Aussies call it) was 6 miles! Thankfully I didn’t know this going in. Naturally, we rewarded ourselves with fish and chips at the end.
^^ Snapshots walking around the city. They have the cutest cafes here!
^^ My first hostel! Lucky to have a bathroom and fridge in the room. So far hostels have been a lot cleaner than I expected. The whole feel reminds me of college dorms.
^^ Sydney is crazy expensive. I paid $22 for a lobster roll at this restaurant. Instant regrets.
My friend Carolyn met up with me in Sydney and is staying for 2 weeks! It’s nice to have a travel partner, as being on my own has been a lot harder than I imagined. On her first day here we ventured off to Blue Mountains National Park. It’s about 2.5 hours away by train. Their public transportation here is fantastic. You can literally go anywhere! Plus the trains/buses are always on time.
^^ Leura Falls.
^^ The Three Sisters.
In Blue Mountains we purchased a hop on hop off bus. Our tour guide Jimmy was one of the friendliest people we’ve met. I feel like tour guides either make or break your experience.
On our way to the Three Sisters we kept walking down these stairs thinking the next stop was at the bottom. We’re all full of energy walking down 900 steps so happy we’re not going up. We make it to the bottom only to realize we had gone down too far. We should have veered off immediately after The Three Sisters to Echo Point. We had 2 choices: hike another 2 hours to the next stop or go back up. We walked back up… I guess you can say we got our exercise in for the day.
^^ Blissfully walking down the Giant Stairs.
We stayed the next night in another hostel to be closer to the beach.
^^ Views walking to the hostel.
^^ Amazing views from the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. The beaches here are beautiful, they’re so clean! Not to mention how nice the sand is and crystal clear waters.
Sydney was cool, but soooo expensive! My savings is dwindling down real quick. I’m not sure if I would settle down here. I hear good things about Melbourne and think that’s eventually where I’ll end up. Overall backpacking has been great. I feel like I’ve packed way too many clothes as the weight of my pack is really starting to take a toll on my lower back. I guess I just need to do more child’s pose haha. I haven’t felt unsafe once and everyone is genuinely really friendly. Also, pedestrians really have the right of way here. It throws me off when I stop at a corner waiting for the car to go by, but they always stop for you!
It takes a ridiculous amount of time to upload photos on here as the wifi in every hostel has been super spotty. That’s all for now, next up – The Gold Coast!