For the past five days, I have been in Australia. I have been exploring the country, primarily Byron Bay and Brisbane, and enjoying the scenery. To get you started on my journey, I’m going to give you 10 tips and fun facts about traveling to Australia and some things I have done and learned.
- Airplane landings are hit and miss. If you get a good one, be grateful, if you get a bad one, then, I don’t know, I guess... laugh. All of mine were good so far.
- Be cautious of airplanes in general. Especially the food. Don’t ever get airplane fruit.
- When you get to your destination, for me it was Australia, and you’re feeling oh so overwhelmed in the airport, do as Romans do and get McDonalds. You’ll feel full of cholesterol and safe.
- Expect warm weather in Australian winter. This is no Pennsylvania with negative 25 windchill. This if fifty degrees is the low. I love it.
- Tropical fruit juices are amazing here, get them if you can, because they’re better and fresher because you can grow more in the warmer areas near/in Australia (including lots of lychee and pineapple juice)
- Look out for koalas! Yes! I saw a watch for koalas sign, the same way you’d see a watch for deer sign back home in Pittsburgh!
- If you think you’ll be bad at surfing, still try, because even if you’re bad at it, you can still say you’ve surfed! A plus might be, like in my case, that your instructor will resemble Thor.
- Australians are great practical jokers. An example would be on this farm we visited, a man tricked the whole group into trying to eat raw ginger.
- Try the spear throwing if someone offers it to you. You’ll feel cooler.
- Pay the money to hold the koala, it’s worth it. I did it, and it was the best experience I have had yet.
Some highlights of my orientation week thus far have been surfing lessons, dinner with some new friends at local Australian businesses, seeing a long-haired dachshund out and about, trying kangaroo meat for the very first time, visiting a lighthouse, whale watching, watching the street performers (including a Stormtrooper one), and seeing the beautiful beaches and learning about the Aboriginal culture from men who are true natives of Australia.
Some shocks to me have been how clean it is here. People clean up after themselves, even if they're celebrating or in a group! That’s not something we see in America. Another shock, obviously, was the warm weather. That was a pleasant surprise for sure. Another thing is that Australia is very health conscious, and they watch what they eat here a lot.
But despite these differences, it is not too different from the states, and I am happy to be here.