June 2009 - Sydney, Australia
I signed up to study abroad for a summer in Australia and Fiji during my sophomore year at Arizona State University. This was my first time out of North America…and I was going for 6 weeks- how cool!!! I had to jump at the opportunity! I’m going to try to recap everything in this post. I went there in 2009 and it’s 2014- so I may have forgot about a few things, bare with me.
So- we boarded US Airways in Phoenix to Los Angeles to connect to Qantas Airways for a 14 hr. journey to Sydney! I was nervous as hell because: 1. The movie taken had just came out and 2. I never flew over an ENTIRE ocean before. The Qantas plane was an A380 and I believe it was one of the first made- so that was pretty cool. The flight was soooo smooth- believe it or not- I sleep like 3 hours out of that 14 because I had never been on a plane that had hella stuff to do at your seat before- I watched SOOOO many movies and listened to a few albums too- Let me tell you- this plane was AMAZING!!!!
Fourteen hours later we arrive in Sydney. We went in June so it was their wintertime… that was cool for us coming from the EXTREME DESERT HEAT of Phoenix. Anyway, so as soon as I got off the plane I went to exchange money (bad- never exchange money at the airport- wayyy to expense- however nobody told me this- so I did.) and get a phone so I could call home to let everyone know I ARRIVED! The stupid Blackberry, Verizon lent me didn’t work at all in Sydney and that was horrid. SOOOOOO, I remember this like it was yesterday- I’m at the phone place in the airport and a few of my classmates were too- I’m checking out- look around- EVERYONE IS GONE- like ghost gone! Like who doesn’t wait for their classmate?!!? SO I had a bit of a panic at that moment, I walked out of the store and no one is to be found- I’m like oh crap I got left, my teacher is going to be pissed, etc., etc. I walk out this door to the left and don’t see anyone- at this point my eyes are getting watery and I’m fareal panicking! Go back into the airport and go out the right door and Lord and behold THERE IS EVERYONE BOARDING THIS COACH… wow. Thanks for the heads up guys.
So, after I got out of that fiasco, I board the coach and we ride until we get to the hotel. I forget where we stayed and the area LOL (it’s 2014 remember- this happened in 2009), but the hotel was nice. As soon as we got to the hotel- we had to leave our bags and get back on the coach to go on this boat tour- I wasn’t feeling that- 1. I wanted to freshen up (HELLLLO we just got off a 14 hr flight!) and 2. It was cold. But, actually the boat tour ended up being cool, I got to see an up close and personal view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney bay area, Bondi Beach, and McDonalds (lol).
I think the area where we took the boat tour was called circular quay. I don’t quite remember what happened after the tour- maybe we went back to the hotel –not sure.
Okay- so we went to class in one of the ballrooms at the hotel… fast forward. LOL.. We went on a tour of the blue mountains (that was like an hour out of Sydney and this rainforest where it had Australia’s longest cable cart ride-cool).
OMG Australia’s nightlife was ah-mazzinggg! When I did go out we had thee best time EVER! I remember us going to a club that was completely made of ICE! We had to drink to keep warm (I was 19 at the time but yay me because that was legal in Aussie!). So fun! We also went to a few other nightclubs and they played some good ol up to date American music and it was just fun!
I also remember going to the Sydney wildlife park. I saw a koala, a kangaroo, an emu, and a dingo! Anyone who knows me knows, I loooveeee zoo’s and wildlife parks so this place was right up my alley! I think a couple of days passed and I went to the Sydney aquarium- which was awesome as well.
EEEK I wish I remembered the name of the area these places were at- maybe I’ll Google and add that in, during the end of this post.
Any who- that’s all I really remember from Sydney- I know I loved it here and I thought it was amazing how in real life the area looked like 2009- but when I snapped a photo- looked like I went there in 1970 LOL. The people are super nice in Sydney and I remember it not being that diverse aka- where are all the people of color?!?! I would definitely like to go back and do more and redo things I already did lol… I don’t think I did much shopping there so that would be a must when I go back (it’s weird everyone wears black there though). The food was great (I did NOT try vegemite or Kangaroo). Seeing the opera house in real life was soooo great! I actually remember having dinner at this place down the walkway from the opera house with a few classmates and that was cool.
Australia was one place I always said I wanted to go to even as a child and it was so surreal that this opportunity came up and I was able to go to Sydney!!! I can’t quite remember how long we spent there I think 2 weeks and we headed to Cairns, Australia next…