7 Reasons to Love Life in Australia

Last night, my new Colombian roommate asked why I like Australia, and I quickly realized I had no answer prepared for her. Sure, life here is great, but, oddly, I had never given the question much thought. And to be honest, because Australia is so culturally similar to California – and after experiencing so many cultures while living in Spain and traveling everywhere from Peru to Bulgaria – living here almost feels like living in another part of the U.S….but with quirky accents and an insistence on throwing “u”s into every other word.

And, I mean, I clearly fit right in here.

And, I mean, I clearly fit right in here.

I’ve also realized that, although I’ve called this country home for over 9 months, I haven’t dedicated many blog posts to my life down under. It’s about time I pay a little tribute to good ole Straya by highlighting some of the reasons I like living here.

1. Biodiversity

Australia is famous for its beautiful beaches, and after living in a city as far away from the ocean as Madrid, I’ve come to truly appreciate them. But I’m also amazed at how quickly you can get from beaches to dry eucalyptus woods to lush, green forests – and that’s just within Sydney’s outskirts. I still have the vast deserts of the Outback, the tropical rainforests in the north, and much more to explore. Plus, you have to appreciate Australia’s native animals. I mean, what kind of country just has kangaroos casually chilling in backyards and koalas munching away above the highway?

The greenery of the Blue Mountains

The greenery of the Blue Mountains

2. My job

It’s a bit shocking, once you enter the “real world,” how much of your life your work seems to occupy. So it’s pretty darn important to find something you like. Fortunately, I’ve done just that. I came here with a plan to find a job in my field, digital marketing, although loads of naysayers told me it would be next to impossible to find an ideal job as a foreigner on a working holiday visa. But, hey! I did it! And although work is work, and, like most people, some days I wake up wishing I could catch a plane to Maui or stay in bed all day watching The X-Files, I’m doing exactly the kind of work I want to be doing in a really great company with some fantastic coworkers. What more can you ask for?

3. The weather

Everyone around me will tell you I’ve spent the last week and a half since I returned from my visit home whinging about the weather. I mean, seriously, Australia. I get how science and hemispheres work and all, but I still can’t wrap my mind around wearing a coat in July. Where are all the barbecues and short shorts and fireworks? Even still, I can’t complain. Born and raised in California, I’m a wussy when it comes to the cold, so Australia’s moderate temperatures are right up my alley. And though I am no fan of my chilly walks to and from work, I can still spend my lunchtimes lounging on the grass and soaking up the sun, even in the heart of winter. Thanks for that, Sydney.

All the beach weather we can get

All the beach weather we can get

4. Bar trivia

Call me a typical twenty-something, but I simply cannot get enough of bar trivia. I’ve done it in California and became a regular in Madrid, but Australians really seem to love their trivia, and I love them for it. There is no shortage of Sydney pubs offering my favorite weeknight activity, and I’ve formed a new group of friends from joining the world’s best trivia host each Wednesday and frequently scoring ourselves drink vouchers for knowing that the capital of Saint Lucia is Castries or that the World Cup started in 1930.

5. Diversity of food

In the U.S., deciding where to go out for dinner usually involves rattling off a list of ethnic cuisines. “Chinese? Mexican? Italian? Thai?” So living in Spain, where the list of ethnic cuisines is, “Spanish? Spanish? Northern Spanish? Some Asian inspired place that may or may not be Chinese but is mostly Spanish?” took some getting used to. (I should note here that Spanish food is amazing and I miss it dearly, so I can hardly complain about Spanish food previously being 95% of my options.) Perhaps even more so than L.A., Sydney has just about every type of food you could possibly imagine, so my stomach is very pleased very often.

Polish food in the Sydney neighborhood of Glebe

Polish food in the Sydney neighborhood of Glebe

6. Walking everywhere

I think I’ve been taking this for granted the past few years, but having no need for a car is amazing. Goodbye traffic and egregious gas prices. I’m able to walk from my apartment to work in about twenty minutes and can also get just about anywhere I need on foot. And when I need to go a bit farther, although I have to say Madrid’s public transportation is far superior to Sydney’s, the trains and buses here still serve their function more than adequately.

7. My friends

Let’s take a moment to sing Kumbaya as I cheesily praise my friends, but, really, having arrived in Australia knowing absolutely no one, I’m grateful for the people I’ve met here. I’ve had to rebuild my friend group since many of my expat friends moved home over the last few months, but I continue to meet more and more people that truly make this place feel like home.

My first group of friends in Australia, a Frenchie, two Dutchmen, a Kiwi, and me, a Seppo.

My first group of friends in Australia, a Frenchie, two Dutchmen, a Kiwi, and me, a Seppo.

Well played, Australia. Can’t wait to see what else you have to offer.

13 Responses

  1. If Germany had mild climate all year, how in love would I be. Literally wore a sweater today and it’s been raining for three days :’-( normally summers are fabulous but lately it doesn’t feel like it.

    Glad you’re so happy down under!

    • Kirstie says:

      Aw man, that sounds rough. Hopefully summer there just has a bit of catching up to do and the next few months will be nice! The World Cup has to make the sun come out, right?

  2. …I’m glad you’re happy Down Under–Australia is definitely on my hit list!!…May I ask what exactly are you leaning on in that Blue Mountain pic, though???…

  3. Australia sounds awesome! My cousin just got a holiday working visa to go in September and I’m so jealous of her. From your description and what other people said, it seems like it might combine some things I like about California (like the climate!) and some things about Europe (no car), plus a whole lot of amazing Australian stuff.

    Ugh, I just need to buy a ticket right now haha.

    • Kirstie says:

      Yes, that’s a good way to put it! I’ve heard Melbourne has even more of a European feel, so I can’t wait to travel there.

      It’s funny you say you’re jealous of your cousin when you’re living in Spain, but I have moments like that all the time and did while I was in Spain too. I wish I could live everywhere at once!

  4. This makes me even more excited for my upcoming move in August!! How is the weather in Sydney during the winter?

    • Kirstie says:

      For Californians, it can feel a bit cold, but it isn’t actually bad. The highs have been in the 50s and low 60s the past few weeks, which feels really chilly in the mornings and evenings, but I know it’s better than most of the world, and it probably won’t last long. Meanwhile, everyone says Melbourne has 4 seasons in one day, although it has a fantastic reputation in every other way!

  5. After reading this post I now want more than ever to move to Australia. Hope I manage to do it soon (:
    Great post! (:

  6. Lauren says:

    Love this, it’s so true! I’ve just moved to Melbourne on a working holiday visa and instantly fell in love with Oz. I’m hoping to head up to Sydney soon too so I’m glad you’re enjoying it so much 🙂

  1. July 23, 2014

    […] a recent post, I detailed seven of my favorite things about life in Australia, but I’ll give you the plain, […]

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