Yesterday, I bid adieu to Sydney, hopped on a plane and scooted over to Singapore. I was struggling to finish all my uni assignments until the last minute (that’s something I won’t miss), so unsurprisingly I didn’t get a chance to fully reflect upon my amazing Aussie experience until now.
I was so busy over the last four months exploring the East Coast, meeting the most amazing people, sun bathing, kangaroo-spotting (but in vain) and attempting to become a better journalist, that I may have skipped on actively counting my blessings, so here we go: the Top Five Things I’ll Miss About Sydney list (in no particular order).
Access to the beach
Not that I strongly believe in the Zodiac, but being a water sign must explain my affinity for wanting to wade in open waters despite being an average (read: comical) swimmer. [PS: Remember this?] While Canadian lakes will always be my first love, it was joyous having the beach at your doorstep. I lived at Coogee Beach, which in my very biased opinion is the best beach among the Eastern suburbs, but IF one ever gets bored of Coogee, then there are so many other beaches and bays to bathe in. Read about my favourite ones here.
This iconic view
I love the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London, CN Tower in Toronto, and the Opera House in Sydney, and I am not ashamed to perpetuate touristy stereotypes. There is something magnificent and unique about iconic landmarks that makes them… well, iconic. Despite living in Sydney, the tourist in me came back to life every time I saw the Opera House from anywhere, and it’s visible from quite a few special locations. These are the ones that I liked the most.
Bay Street Records
The more comprehensive subheading should have been “My awesome apartment overlooking Coogee Beach,” but my musician flatmates and I solemnly swore to always refer to our apartment as Bay Street Records [because we lived on the corner of Bay Street, and the end of the world. Inside joke: Don’t fret if you don’t get]. This three-bedroom apartment with the most breathtaking view is definitely the best apartment I’ve ever lived in. It also helped that I had the most badass roomies, especially this guy.
Coolest journo kids… like everrrrr!
My intelligent, passionate and friendly classmates also added heaps to my experience. From an abridged history of Aussie politics to the best bars in town, these journalism students flooded my world with (mostly useful) knowledge. And they put up with my “I’m an international student” tantrums! Best of luck to all of you amazing, budding journalists [you know who you are!]
Amazing coffee shops
Probably the most underrated feature in Sydney guidebooks is the amazing coffee culture. As a caffeine enthusiast, I always make it a point to visit as many cafes as possible, and I found so many exciting ones in Sydney. My favourites were [left to right in the picture below] Courtyard Cafe in Coogee (a.k.a. “The cafe I don’t work at”), Chez Dee in Potts Point and The Grounds in Alexandria.
As a side note, here are some things I won’t miss about Sydney. At all.
- Sydney buses
- The uphill walk from the Havelock Street bus stop to Bay Street Records
- Brad, the neighbour’s dog, wailing at 8 am every morning
- Did I already mention Sydney buses?
- Technology failures and other delays in producing assignments
- Being awake when all your friends in the Western Hemisphere weren’t
In the end, I just want to say a massive thank you to all my friends, classmates, professors, and even Sydney bus drivers, for making my exchange to Australia such a memorable experience.