Yesterday, I wrote about what I am going to miss most about America when I leave its soil on the 27th of February. Here’s a hint if you didn’t read that post, (though you should) ranch dressing has a staring role. So, I thought I would talk about the things that excite me most about Australia. Which is a lot, so bear* with me.
Things That Excite Me About Australia
Marsupials as a species, particularly wombats
TimTams (read: chocky bikkies)
Diving the GBR and Ningaloo Reef
Swimming with whale sharks
Cage diving with great white sharks
Its proximity to SE Asia
Skydiving over the GBR
Consistently warm weather
The food (excluding vegemite)
Seeing Uluru and the red center
Crossing another continent off my list
Getting my tan back
Working at a job I enjoy
Meeting new people (with accents)
Petting all the doggos
Seeing a dingo
Exploring their National Parks
Being far away from Trump’s war path
Sunsets over the ocean
Sunrises over the ocean
Catching up with my Aussie friends
Learning to surf
All the climbing
Tasmania in general
Hopefully coming home with an accent
Well, there ya have it. I am sure I am forgetting things, but for the most part, this is what I am excited about in regards to my move to Australia.
*Mini grammar lesson of the day, when you say bear with me, you use the animal form of the word, which I think is really strange, but that’s English for ya.
In the copious amounts of research that I have done about Australia, I have found a number of things that are bound to result in culture shock. Culture shock? In a predominantly white, English speaking country? How can that be? Well folks, just because Australia is a developed country with hot water and McDonalds (read: Maccas), doesn’t mean it looks and feels just like America, believe it or not.
Though I have traveled a fair amount, I have never LIVED in another country. The closest I ever came was my summer abroad in London, where I thought I was going to die because I couldn’t find dill pickles anywhere. It was rough. In the end, I always come home to the creature comforts that I am accustomed to in America. Now that I am planning to live abroad for 2+ years, it has made me realize what I am planning to leave behind. Mom, take note, as I am inevitably going to need a pickle care package at some point.
Things I will Miss about America
Unlimited fast wifi and data
Being cold in air conditioned rooms
Postmates/Grubhub/Eat24 anything that delivers to my bed
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
The myriad of fast food restaurants
Ketchup (not tomato sauce, not the same thing)
Not giving a shit about soccer
Driving on the RIGHT side of the road
Bacon (real, American bacon)
Not having to pretend I know the rules of rugby
Never having to carry cash
Measuring temperature in Farenheit
Not needing to know the metric system
Amazon Prime (and Prime Now, and Prime Restaurants)
Dutch Bro’s coffee
Washington Trail Association route guides
Wild deer everywhere
Having a white Christmas
Wearing flannel every day
Country music festivals
24 hour grocery/convenience stores
Poorly enforced speed limits
There you have it! These are the things I anticipate missing while living in Australia. I will do a follow up post later on about whether or not this list is accurate.
Do you remember when podcasts became a thing? How did we go from rarely listening to the radio in the car, to voluntarily listening to talk radio again. Life really is cyclical. The first podcast that I can remember enjoying was the original Serial podcast. Someone somewhere mentioned to me that there was this podcast telling a true crime story about a boy who was accused, tried,and convicted of killing his girlfriend in high school. Thing is, no one thinks he really did it, and he has never admit to doing it. Okay, they got me, so I tuned in. After episode one, I knew that Adnan was innocent, but I needed to know whether or not Ms. Koenig was going to get him a new trial or not. So, I spent the next 14 hours straight, laying in bed listening to the entire series. I kid you not, it was worse than a Netflix binge.
After Serial ended (the day after it started), I felt like a part of my life was missing. I needed a fix. I started to search out new podcasts that I could binge as well. I began listening to a couple, but nothing grabbed my attention like Serial had. Eventually, I swore off podcasts all together and returned to my routine of finding and binging a series on Netflix with a healthy 5 seasons.
The second season of Serial came out in the fall of 2015. Again, I listened to the story of the American soldier Bowe Bergdahl and I identified with him. He didn’t like how his leaders were treating him and he walked away into the Afghani desert. That sounded like something I would do. Season two strung me along just as season one had. Though I didn’t finish this season in one day, I still loved the suspense of the true crime story and when it ended I didn’t know what to do next. I still hadn’t found any other podcasts that I liked, and I didn’t want to go back to Netflix. So I consulted everyone I know on the book of faces, and their list turned out to be pure gold.
Podcasts I am Binging Right Now
Lore was the first podcast that I liked after Serial. It focuses on “true life scary stories.” In each new episode, Aaron Mahnke discusses a piece of history that has a dark underbelly. Since none of the stories build upon each other, you don’t need to start at the beginning to understand what is happening. You can just jump into the most recent episode, listen and learn. The best part about Lore is that they just got picked up by Amazon Studios for a 10 episode season on Prime. It comes out mid-2017.
Pod Save America
The claim to fame on this one is that they were able to score Obama’s final interview as president. The podcast is hosted by ex-Obama administration guys, Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor. Admittedly, this does lean to the left, but they try to discuss the facts relating to American politics and I appreciate that they invite guests of all political persuasions to be on the show.
I have been anxiously awaiting this new podcast from the New York Times for awhile now. If you follow the Skimm, this is a similar daily digest that is supposed to sum up what happened the day before in the news. Michael Barbaro gives you a 15 minute synopsis of what’s going on in the world, 5 days a week. If you are looking to up your current event game, without committing to a NYT subscription, give this a try.
Real Time with Bill Maher
Bill Maher has always been, and likely will always be, one of my favorite political satirists. Just like the namesake show on HBO, Real Time discusses political events in a hilariously, honest way. If you don’t like comedy, you won’t like this.
Since my podcast roots are engrained in crime, I finally found a new true crime podcast that I like. Crimetown, from the creators of HBO’s the Jinx, is a series about the dark side of different cities in America. In season one, Zach and Marc discuss the sordid history of Providence, RI.
I hope that you guys check out one or more of these podcasts and get something out of them!
I have been reading daily blogs for years. I assumed that the people who are committing to writing daily are always doing something worth writing about. I figure they have interesting ideas all the time, are constantly traveling, and need an outlet to express their creativity. I decided to start blogging daily because I wanted to have a space where I could discuss my upcoming move to Australia without annoying all the people who have to deal with me on a regular basis (read: my parents, and Katy). I also needed a platform to write about our political situation, because this shit is crazy.
Week one was fine, I was excited about it and ready for the challenge. Week 3, I realized that I don’t really have that much to say about the Working Holiday because I am not there yet, living it. Preparing to leave has been less exciting than I anticipated, and I am pretty much packed already. So then, what am I supposed to write about for the next month, until I leave?
The first thing that came to mind when I sat down and started brainstorming was YouTube. I had never really been a fan of YouTube, favoring Netflix and Prime Video for my streaming needs. However, I recently found some channels that I have been excited about, and I have been watching their content for about a month now. I have thought about getting into video for awhile now, and my dad keeps pestering me about it because I think he thinks I am funny… Is that it dad, or are you just interested in watching me awkwardly embarrass myself in front of a larger audience?
Regardless, I have been contemplating starting my YouTube channel. Long enough, that I even have a link for it on the blog. Don’t click it, its not worth it. I have been doing a ton of research on how to create a popular channel, so over the next few days, or maybe weeks, I am going to start sharing my process with you.
I may even give you first dibs on my very first vlog. Lucky you!
I have never written a packing list on this site before for a couple of reasons. First, I think packing is a very personal subject, sorta like money. You shouldn’t talk about it, unless you are very close with the person asking for advice. Otherwise it will just become an argument. Second, everyone has a different style, and everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to packing and who am I to tell them that they don’t need to pack four pairs of jeans for a vacation to Thailand?
I am no packing expert, and I won’t claim to be. However, over the last year of almost full-time travel, I have developed a core list of stuff that I bring with me while I travel. It has yet to fail me, and though I still over pack and find myself throwing things out along the way, I think it is a good starting point. So what am I going to take with me to Australia?
Backpack – Osprey Aura 50L
Eagle Creek Packing Cubes
Camera – Nikon D3100
Go Pro – Hero 4 Silver
Go Pro Underwater Filter
Battery Pack – Jackery Titan
Apple USB to Lightning Adapter
Apple iPad Air 2 – 128gb
Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
Sleeping Bag – Kelty Cosmic 20
Sleeping Bag Liner – Sea to Summit
Pillow – Sea to Summit
Sleeping Pad – Klymit Static V2
Tent – Big Agnes Copper Spur 2p
Snorkel/Fins – Cressi
Bug Net – Sea to Summit
Headlamp – Black Diamond Spot
Camelbak Insulated Water Bottle
Exofficio BugsAway Long Sleeve
Nike Running Shorts
Columbia Omni-Heat Vest
Lululemon Anti-Microbial Tanks
Oboz Hiking Shoes
Smartwool Hiking Socks
In addition to the things on this list, I am obviously going to pack underwear, toiletries, and other necessities like a little black party dress. However, those things all fall into the category of personal needs. As I said before, you can pack as many sweaters and sundresses as you think you need for your trip. Do what makes you happy. Just remember you have to carry it all around, so less is more.
*Disclaimer: All of the products listed in this post include affiliate links to Amazon. I will get a commission if you buy something which will help me keep this site running smoothly!