I have lived in Sydney for twelve years on and off now.
Though I am not officially Aussie yet, this place feels a little bit like home.
Call it cliche, but the Aussie lifestyle – if you truly choose to live it, is every part it promises to be, especially looking at it through a lost 17 year old’s soul feeling slightly trapped in a cold and snowy Stockholm. I spent my first years in Sydney in Potts Point – a glamorous place “beyond the fountain”, which I quickly learned was another word for “not Kings Cross”, though my studio apartment at $210 a week was everything but. Nevertheless, I knew that this was going to be a place for me to grow in, to learn in, and to make myself at home in.
Australia is the wildchild. The beautiful, the sinful but still full of soul and purpose. I’ve always looked at it as a playground – with so much space and and incredibly history, and though a young culture, a very welcoming and warm one. I have never felt alone in this country, even though I came here not knowing a soul, with one checked in bag, a backpack and a passport (though they took my apple at customs..! Sad face), I have never felt more at home more quickly than here. Now that we are living on the beach, things feel like they make more sense every day.
This summer I’m going to enjoy the reasons my life took me here. Enjoy the little things, walk on the beach like we said we would when we moved here, go swimming in Winter, learn how to surf, dare to wear high waited bikinis, lean to drink beer. It’s all Aussie, and it’s all natural.
Here are my top three tips for you these Christmas holidays, if you’re lucky enough to be living or enjoying Australia:
1. Be a beach bum
Make it the start, the middle or the finish to every day. My life changed when I decided to go for morning runs and a swim before work a couple of years ago. I was in an incredibly stressful job, in a start up that couldn’t afford to pay me. Somehow I lasted eight weeks without getting paid. I was fine with it. I eventually quit, and I walked away from my owing 8K. But I was OK with that. (WTF?)
Australia has an incredible amount to offer. And wether you do it on a budget or go all out, there is always something spectacular on show, and so many people to meet. I haven’t done enough travel in this country – I want to more. So if you have the chance, see as much as you can. From my (limited) experience, I have five things for you: Showbox Coffee for breakfast in Manly, a motorbike ride to Road Warriors in Mount White, wine tasting and lunch in the Hunter Valley, a swim on Mermaid Beach (Gold Coast), and rooftop bar hopping in Melbourne.
3. Dress apropriately
Aussies know how to be “daggy” (this apparently means the poo hanging off a sheep’s bottom = not attractive), but they also know how to dress up. Big time. So choose your weapon. If in doubt, sandals always work. Note the use of the word sandal, and not thong. A thong, as I learned the hard way, is by the way not underwear.