New Adventures, New Blog!
Long time no see my fellow Au Pairs, Nannies and Australia enthusiasts!
A lot has happened since August when I sadly had to leave Australia and return to life in the States. I’m thrilled to share that I am now working as a Flight Attendant for a major carrier and have moved to the beautiful city of Charlotte in North Carolina.
The past 7 months have been full of new challenges and experiences. FA training was one of the most stressful 5 weeks I have ever endured with tests every day, hours of studying and memorizing policies and procedures. Not to mention emergency drills to practice, CPR and First Aid training, aircraft types to learn, inflatable slides to jump down, and a water day at the pool where we packed all 65 of us into an inflatable raft.
I can proudly say that it was worth every minute.
Because the new stories I have to share are not Nanny related as they once were I have created a new project called The Layover Life.
I also have a Word Press Blog of the same title so feel free to follow me at either if you’d like! :)
This article by a writer at The Sydney Morning Herald puts a funny twist on explaining some of the stranger Aussie Traditions.. My personal favorites are ‘rugging up for winter’, ‘thongs on our feet’ and ‘worshipping meat pies’. All things I have encountered while living in Sydney :p Happy reading!
We’re a Weird mob: Australian’s Bizarre Behavior
By Ben Groundwater
Shortening all words
Whatevs, it’s not like we shorten everything. Except sunnies. And boardies. And footy. And snags. And chucking a uey. And calling Barry, Baz. And Sharon, Shaz. And Robert, Robbo. I even travelled with a girl who referred to her binoculars as “binos”.
It’s great when foreigners first realise this: “You can take your own wine to a restaurant? Geez, can you take your own beer to the pub?”
Watching the footy
Because there’s no such thing as just “footy”. There are four sports here that could qualify as “footy”, and you can never be quite sure which one people are talking about. Still, you gotta love the footy.
Buying a beer
What the hell is a “pony”? And who came up with “schooner”? And why do “handles” not have actual handles? And in which other country is it normal to order a “pot of gold”? South Australia takes the grand prize for weirdness though, with a glass called a “pint” that doesn’t hold a full pint.
Taking a day off for the Queen’s birthday
I’m not arguing about it or anything, but it’s not even on the Queen’s actual birthday. And the Brits don’t celebrate it, so why do we?
Dressing really fancy for the races…
Then getting absolutely obliterated. There’s nothing more Australian than seeing a smartly dressed couple stumble out of the races, her with high heels in hand, him with a tie around his head, and start drunkenly screaming at taxis going past.
"How’s it going?"
This has to be up there with the American “what’s up” as the most nonsensical greeting around. How’s what going? I remember a few exchange students at uni talking about this, saying, “It took me a while to realise that Australians don’t actually want to know how you are going. They just want you to say ‘good’.”
Eating seafood on Christmas Day
I’m all for a few prawns and bugs on the 25th of December, but if you’re from the Northern Hemisphere and were expecting a turkey roast, it might seem a little bizarre.
Worshipping meat pies
It’s pastry filled with bits of meat, and slathered in tomato sauce. Not exactly a gastronomic masterpiece, but that doesn’t stop us getting all excited about eating a lukewarm one at the footy.
Just between you and me, swimming’s not really a sport, is it? It’s a pastime; a survival technique. But anyone who wins gold medals over here is a big deal. Heck, we even treat walking as a real sport once every four years.
Playing the pokies
Surely the dreariest, most antisocial form of gambling there is, and yet Aussies are mad for it. We flock to pubs and clubs around the country to pour money into the gaping mouths of these flashing, dinging monsters. Sigh.
Australians love to travel, right? Well sure, as long as it’s not in Australia. No, we can’t tell you what WA is like, and we haven’t been to Adelaide. But what do you want to know about Bali?
Rugging up for winter
Northern Hemisphere folk think it’s hilarious, just as we have a chuckle when everyone strips down to their bikinis in England when the temperature nudges 20. In Australia, a brief dip into the teens will mean the scarves and coats are out for the next few months.
Wearing our thongs on our feet
This is for the Americans, who always look a little confused when you ask them if they’ve seen our thongs. Or, do you think I should wear thongs today? Sounds a little inappropriate… but at least it’s not as dumb as jandals.
See the whole article here.
Maroubra Beach I will miss you.
I can’t believe I leave Australia in a month. A MONTH. Thats like a minute!
I’ve been volleying between excitement and terror when I think about going home.
Where is that anymore?
Home can be anywhere you want it to be. That’s one thing this whole experience has taught me. Home is Georgia, Home is Melbourne, Home is Sydney.
Home is where you start with nothing and make it something. Home is a place for friends to laugh with, for family to love, and for memories to be made.
How to Eat Vegemite
8 Days in New Zealand
What an incredible 8 days they were! I’m going to try to type out a long post with pictures soon, sorry I have neglected the poor blog since moving to Sydney. Things have been so busy here, and the internet connection where I live is basically crap.
Excuses excuses I know, :p
Sydney Mardi Gras
Sydney Week 3
I’m a little behind on last week’s post, but i’ve been busy having fun in Sydney!
Tuesdays and Thursdays are starting to be as fun as weekend days for me. Those are the days I drop my little monkey girl off to kindy and the older girls to school and I have the rest of the day to myself. This past Tuesday I went to the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. It’s the perfect exhibit for the Harry Potter nerd in us all and features tons of props and pieces from the movie sets. I’ll be honest and admit that I was thrilled to see all the horcruxes displayed in a case ( and if you don’t know what that means.. go read the amazing books). Unfortunately taking pictures were not allowed inside the display but I did buy a book that has pictures of some things that were featured.
Thursday I met my American friend Anna at Bondi Beach for an afternoon of sun, sand, and smoothies. We braved the strong waves when it got too hot and almost got run over by surfers a few times! We both agree we need to make learning to surf a priority while we are in Australia. Now we just need to make some surfer friends to teach us.. :)
That night we went to a place called Scubar for a silent disco night. It was heaps of fun and something I recommend to everyone who loves to dance! $5 at the door gets you a pair of wireless headphones and a drink to start your evening. There are two stations linked to the headphones ( red light, green light!) that are tied to two different dj’s. No music plays in the bar itself, only through the earphones. It was so much fun to be dancing with Anna and my friend Theo and later realize we had been listening to completely different tunes!
This weekend was a bit more relaxed, which was fine with me! Saturday I went by the Sydney Wine Festival in Hyde Park with my friend Heather. There were so many tents showcasing wines from all over the country. We parked ourselves in front of the main stage and heard some great music!
This band was called The Myall High Club and their lead singer was rocking out on the harp ( of all the instruments??) They played a cover of MGMT’s Electric Feel that was pretty amazing.
Saturday evening we went to dinner at Jacksons on George. A cool little bar with a great drink selection and delicious pizza. After dinner we strolled up through The Rocks and walked down to the path that winds all the way around the opera house. That was the closest I’ve been to the house since I moved to Sydney. It was spectacular to see close up and completely covered in 1000s of small white tiles.
So I don’t actually have a picture of the opera house from that night.. but here’s the harbour bridge instead? My picture taking has been pretty lax lately, I’m going to work on that! :p
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! xx
I’m not sure when these things got so popular, but I had to put the au pair one up just for laughs :p
Sydney Week 2!
It has been a busy 2nd week in Sydney!
I think I have finally memorized all the girl’s after school activities, dance classes, swim lessons, art clubs, and everything else in between. This family keeps busy thats for sure! And carting a 3 year old along for the rides everywhere can be a bit repetitive. Get her in the car seat, and out, back in, and out ( repeat this at least 10 times a day!). I feel very lucky that my little monkey is pretty chill for a 3 year old and is usually agreeable to the busy schedule.
My little Mini Mouse!
Even though I am loving the job, I still look forward to adventures on the weekends. This past Saturday a few girls and myself caught the ferry to Manly to check out the Australian Open of Surfing competition. The beach was packed with tanned, beautiful people ( and surfers!) We relaxed on the sand, battled the waves ( the waves won), got to see some live music, skateboarding and surfing.
Ferry ride to Manly
Watching the concerts on the big screen ( the stage is literally right behind the screen though haha)
That evening we went to St Matthews Church up the road to see a screening of the movie Soul Surfer. The movie is based on the true story of pro surfer Bethany Hamilton who was attacked by a shark while she was surfing in her hometown in Hawaii. Though she tragically lost her entire left arm in the attack she was able to regain her surfing abilities and still competes in competitions around the world. After the movie Bethany herself came onto the stage and gave her testimony of her story. Incredible!
Sunday was a great day as well. A friend and I went down to The Domain in the Sydney Botanical Gardens to watch parts of the famous Tropfest Film Festival. I just recently learned that Tropfest is the world’s largest short film festival and draws incredible crowds every year for the premiere. The guest judges often include celebrities. This year’s stars included Nicole Kidman and Geoffrey Rush ( who was named Australian of the Year earlier this year). You can visit the website here to learn more and watch some of this year’s finalist films, including the winner - “Lemonade Stand” directed by Alethea Jones.
The giant screen in The Domain
You can’t tell with my horrible iphone picture but thats Nicole Kidman being interviewed!
As the night went on the weather in Sydney was not cooperating at all. The skyline was lit up with streaks of lightening before the rain started in. Anna and I were pretty set on waiting through the storm and fashioned makeshift ponchos out of empty garbage bags. After a few more films it was officially pouring so we decided to call it a night. Running barefoot through Hyde Park in the torrential downpour was so hilarious it almost made up for the soggy bus ride home.
Me and Anna in our awesome ponchos.
How was everyone else’s experiences at these events? I would love to hear your stories! xx
brokensprings asked: heyyy, I am thinking of becoming an au pair for a year and you seem to really enjoy it! So I was just wondering, how did you meet all your new friends? and what's the best way of meeting new people? :D
Being an au pair is a really great way to experience a new place, I would really recommend it if you love kids ( I mean reeeeally love them haha) and want to live somewhere new! The best resource I have found for meeting other au pairs and making friends has been Facebook! There are lots of Au Pair groups and usually ones for separate cities depending on where you are located. To give you an example there are over 1000 people in the Sydney group! Where are you looking at going? Let me know if you have anymore questions, I would love to help!
Sydney! Week 1
I just arrived in Sydney last week and have settled in with my new host family. The girls I will be watching are Gia (3), Milla (9) and Indie (10), and are all very sweet and polite. I was lucky to overlap with the last au pair, Lena for a few days. It gave me the chance to see the routine and ask questions. This family’s schedule is a lot different than the one in Melbourne. But I can see why they need an au pair. The parents go to work early and come home at strange times during the day. The girls each have various after school activities and sports that they need rides to and from and watching a 3 year old during the day is definitely a new experience for me!
I feel very lucky to have made some friends while I was here over New Years and traveling. I didn’t have to go through that initial lonely period that I had in Melbourne before I started meeting people. I just got to jump right into the swing of things here and that was so nice. Last weekend I went with some friends to Bondi for some sun and then into the city for some delicious pub food . Sunday we strolled Paddy’s Market and then walked to the Rocks for an afternoon drink.
The house I am living in is a 5 minute drive from the beach and a 20 minute bus ride to the city. I think i’m really going to love it here. :)
My new room! I have a big girl bed now! Yesssss
The view from the hill at the end of our road. Pretty awesome.
More pictures to come soon! :)
I'm a Georgia girl on an adventure for a year in Oz. This page is for pretty words, pictures and everything else in between.
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Quick Links to Posts
Weekly Count Up
A Typical Au Pair Day
An Intro to Aussie Food
Do Something That Scares You
My Australia Excursions
East Coast Road Trip: Sydney to Cairns
My Trip Down the Great Ocean Road
Tesselaar Tulip Festival