A Month in Australia

Yesterday marked one month since I arrived in Australia, and time has flown by like mad. Here’s a taste of what I’ve done since arriving in Sydney:

  • Found, after grueling hours of apartment hunting, a beautiful apartment with a stunning view.
  • Gotten used to walking on the left side of the sidewalk (or footpath, as they would say here), standing on the left side of the escalator, and getting into the left side of cars. Silly Australia.
  • Survived a few days of ridiculous smoke in Sydney as over one hundred bushfires (ahem, brush fires, as we would say) burned across New South Wales.
Quite a different view from my apartment with Sydney flooded with smoke.

Quite a different view from my apartment with Sydney flooded with smoke.

  • Started saying bond instead of deposit, uni instead of college, and Hungry Jack’s instead of Burger King.
  • Dealt with virtually no bureaucracy, as obtaining an Australian working holiday visa is a cinch, particularly compared to Spanish visas and NIEs (I never have to see Madrid’s former fascist prison extranjería, breathtaking Aluche, again!).
  • Completed (and gotten paid for!) a few days of temp work.
  • Basically become a pro at navigating Sydney’s public transportation.
  • Joined a weekly bowling/laser tag tradition, where we get free games with the purchase of a drink.
Y'all better watch out, because I play a mean game of laser tag.

Y’all better watch out, because I play a mean game of laser tag.

  • Seen stunning fireworks over Sydney’s harbour (yikes, Australian spelling is getting to me) for the International Fleet Review.
  • Embraced spending a few weeks straight in the same bed for the first time in I don’t know how long, thanks to all the travel I’ve done.
  • Attended a silly American-themed toga/frat party.
  • Had lots of pangs of sweet nostalgia for my beloved Spain while still being completely content I’ve moved on.
  • Gone kayaking with my flatmates in Bundeena, in southern Sydney.
Kayaking in Bundeena. Check out those deep waters, those rough rapids.

Kayaking in Bundeena. Check out those deep waters, those rough rapids.

  • Been to the beach. But only once. What have I been thinking?
  • Made awesome friends from around the world.
  • Opened a bank account (and felt grateful that it was far easier than it was in Spain), because I’m so cool I’ve now had bank accounts in three countries.
  • Begun attending a weekly Spanish conversation meetup so that all the Spanish I’ve learned doesn’t evaporate into the ether.
  • Ridden my flatmate’s motorcycle to and hiked in the beautiful Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains

The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains

  • Most excitingly, found a job! A real, fabulous job doing exactly what I want (digital marketing), in a great company with an office 8 minutes walking from my apartment. I start tomorrow and am completely stoked.

Things I have not done:

  • Seen any kangaroos or koalas. Someone explain to me why they aren’t hopping around the city in power suits or hanging from skyscrapers.

10 Responses

  1. Gammy says:

    It sounds like everything is falling in place! I’m so happy to hear that! Your pictures, as always, are beautiful and interesting( also fun! As you know, I love hearing from you! I love you very much!

  2. Pedro says:

    great that you are having great time in Australia!

    but i am shocked after you have said that opening an bank account is easier in Australia than in Spain, how is it? in Spain you only need a legal identity, whether a Spaniard’s identity card or the foreigner’s one.

    are you saying that in Australia you needn’t show any identity to open it?

    anyway, enjoy in Australia and don’t forget the Castilian you’ve already learnt.

    • Kirstie says:

      Thanks! No, you do need identification in Australia, but generally the account options are clearer, the application process is simpler/faster, and you can even do it all online (although I still went in person to clarify a few things).

  3. Nana says:

    Great post and really looking forward to the future ones Sounds fabulous “down under”. You are making me feel so guilty that I dragged my feet about going there with Don. Maybe some secret admirer will leave me a fortune and I can make that trip one day. I enjoyed our chat on Skype the other day. XOXO

  4. Congrats on the job! And the view from your apartment is amazing.

    Two of my Spanish friends recently went to Australia for a few months and they said there were way more wallabies than kangaroos.

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