I was told I was crazy for not having a plan for once I got to Sydney. I am moving into the dorms tomorrow, so was planning on staying in a hostel for tonight. Did I book a hostel? No. Did I look up where they were located? Well… not really. Did I know what I was getting myself into? Probably not, but oh well. That is part of the adventure, right? Arriving at 6:25 am in new city in a foreign country may seem crazy, but that’s the fun of it.
Davi, a Sydney local who sat next to me on the plane, was going to let me come to her house until hostels were open around Sydney. I waited for her after going through customs, and when we met she took me to the travel accommodations board.
Let me start by saying this only my third time out of the country (counting a late night trip to Tiajuana, but that’s another story), my second time overseas, and my first time traveling on my own. While it seems like a scary experience, Sydney does everything possible to make it easy for travelers. The accommodations board shows information about shuttles, hostels, and other tourist resources, and includes a free phone to contact these services. With Davi’s help, I found a YHA hostel close to UTS that was open and had rooms available, and we boarded the train to downtown.
On the train, a man overheard us talking about the Central YHA, and he informed me that after getting off at the Central stop, exit Eddy Street, go left, and you will eventually run into it. It sounded straight forward enough, but I was still a little weary and didn’t want to get lost with the loads of baggage I was lugging around (my back wasn’t feeling too hot at this point).
As I got of the train, I saw the UTS tower close by (letting me know I was at least in the right area) and I followed his directions. Before I knew it, I entered the Central YHA and was greeted by friendly Australians at the counter. They gave me clean sheets, some useful information, and I key to my 6-bed dorm room. Easy as pie.
As I walked to my room, I grabbed several magazines and booklets with information for people traveling around Australia. I haven’t even walked around the city yet, but I can tell I am going to love it here. There is ALWAYS something going on, hostels all over the country, easy to arrange trips, and a numerous resources to help you find work in Australia. Even the YHA has organized activities, bbq’s and nightly parties, a full kitchen for anyone to use, a pool and sauna, and more I’m sure that I haven’t discovered. It almost makes me want to stay at hostels all the time! So far one other girl is staying in my room, Josephine from Sweden. She is traveling the East Coast of Australia, and we are both looking forward to traveling by ourselves.
I am starting to realize that there is way too much I am going to want to do here! Luckily, that is the best problem to have. Hopefully school won’t get in the way of my fun, and visa versa. Everyone told me that Australians like to party, and now I see how true that is just flipping through the guides. At this moment, I haven’t even ventured outside, and I don’t want to leave at the end of my five months. On paper, it looks like the most amazing place in the world.
Ok, I think it is time to go out and start exploring the city. The rain has stopped, but the clouds are still out (but come on, I’m from San Francisco, this is nothing). I am going to venture to UTS to try to find my dorm before I have to search with all of my luggage. I might also try to check out Chinatown and get a power converter (might come in handy if I want to keep blogging). Tonight there is a BBQ at YHA, where hopefully I’ll meet some other travelers to go out on the town with (if I have enough energy, I’m starting to crash already). Don’t miss my next blog to hear about the kangaroo burger I get to try tonight!