The ExPat Diary: 1 year and 100 posts

Hard to believe, but one year and a few days ago Alex and I landed in this country with nothing but two large suitcases and a dream.

Heavy, indeed!

Okay, so we had some carry-on suitcases too. And a couple of suitcases that we’d already brought over. And some stuff that my Dad was shipping. So, yeah, we did have some stuff to help support our little dream – to set up shop in Australia for a bit and see what life was like down under. Sure there have been some challenges along the way, but for the most part our Australian experience has been a great adventure. Over the next several months we have our first rounds of guests coming to visit from the States, and we’re pretty excited to introduce them to all the things we’ve gotten to see over the past year.

Which brings me to the 100 posts. I think its a nice little milestone to stop and say thank you, dear reader, for tuning in and reading about the places I’ve gone to and the things I’ve seen. It’s always fun putting these posts together, and, hey, it gets me out of the house. But more than that its made me even more appreciative of the opportunities I’ve had to see the world, and, of course, to share the experience with you.

To celebrate a year down under, and 100 posts, I thought I’d run down my top 3 favorite Australia-themed posts. There is a lot to do and see here, so, while it was hard to narrow the list of favorites down to three, I think they represent the big reasons why I love Australia.

Lets face it, Australia is kind of synonymous with koalas and kangaroos. Now while these creatures are just the tip of the ‘unique wildlife’ iceberg, you really shouldn’t visit here without getting a good glimpse of these guys. One of my first adventures here was to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where you can get up close to everything from kangaroos to dingos to bats – and, of course cuddle with a koala (which, as it turns out, is only allowed in Queensland). To read more about the sanctuary and the animals that call it home, click the photo above.

When it comes to all things cultural, Sydney seems to always play second fiddle to Melbourne, which has the reputation of being the cultural mecca of Australia. That may be true, but I have to say that Sydney sure does make an effort to make the arts accessible to the masses. One of my favorite examples of this is the OUTPOST PROJECT, which featured tons of street art open to the public on Cockatoo Island. This is also a nice example of Sydney’s ability to re purpose areas (in this case a shipyard and military prison) into engaging public spaces. To see the sights of Cockatoo Island, please click the image above.

One of the things I love most about Sydney, and Australia in general, is that you don’t have to go far to find absolutely beautiful natural vistas and lots of outdoors stuff to do. Whether you’re into hiking, sailing, surfing, camping, or sitting around looking at nature – it’s all available, and incredibly close by. Watsons Bay and the Gap is just one such example – but its a pretty spectacular example. You can swim at the beach, look out over the Gap, hike in the national park – it’s all right there. Not to mention how close it is. It’s just a 25 minute ferry ride to get to Watson’s Bay from the CBD, but it still gives you the feeling of ‘getting away from it all’. To read more about Watsons Bay, click the photo above.

Of course, there is a lot more adventuring to come in Australia, so here’s to another year, and another 100 posts!


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