After four months, I am leaving Sydney to continue travelling. Over these four months, I've done what I expected to do in Sydney. Earn money, work hard and make friends. I didn't expect to fall in love with the city quite like I did, meet truly amazing people and enjoy city life. I also didn't expect to luck out as much as I have. Over the four months, I've had two amazing jobs, both different but both rewarding, an amazing apartment with the best views, amazing roommates who kept me sane and laughing and the most stunning backdrops for days off.
Below I've (with great difficulty) chosen my top 10 favourite memories from my time in Sydney. Sydney was supposed to be the first pit stop of many and just a means to save some dollar to continue travel, however, I've fallen head over heels for the harbour city and can't wait to return in the future. Who knows, maybe I'll stay long-term again!
10. My Birthday
My 23rd birthday was made so special by my wonderful friends and a visit to my favourite beach in Sydney, Shelly Beach. It was my first birthday celebrated in a warmer climate and therefore was unique and really special to me. We had a really chilled out day and it was lovely to go for drinks and food afterwards as well. I also even got a free ice cream from a very kind man running the ice cream stall!! A highlight of my time here and a birthday to be remembered!
9.Spit to Manly Walk
This famous 10k walk between Spit Bridge and Manly Wharf was a must do in Sydney and we weren't disappointed. With beautiful beaches along the way and great views of Manly, Watsons Bay and theCity this was a great way to explore the harbour a little more. I also did this walk with my hometown friend, Hannah who stayed with me over Christmas and New Year. This was our parting big outing and I loved spending time with her on this walk chatting and getting to know her travel buddy, Laura on the way as well!
8. Manly Bike Ride
This was an awesome day. We got the ferry to Manly, hired some bikes and cycled along Manly beach and hiked some steps to Freshwater beach. We then attempted to find Manly reservoir and got lost in the process. We also discovered Shelly Beach this day and spotted one of my favourite instagrammers sunbathing on the beach! We stopped for food in Freshwater and had some drinks in the wharf before catching the ferry back to the city. A day well spent!
7. Bondi to Coogee
I have now done this walk four to five times and it never disappoints. The highlight of this walk for me is the stunning beaches scattered along the way. Tamarama is a firm favourite, as is Bronte for the waves. Gordon's Bay is great to snorkel and Clovelly perfect for a swim. I have also ran this 6km walk and found the experience stunning. Hands down the best backdrop to a run! I will deeply miss these beautiful beaches and these suburbs, a firm favourite if I ever consider spending more time back in Sydney!
6. Rose Bay to Watsons Bay - Heritage Foreshore Walk
Another amazing day. We started at Rose Bay with some of the whitest sand in Sydney, and walked all the way to Watsons Bay. Along the way were lovely little secret coves with hardly a person on them and amazing lookouts to stunning harbour views. I recently went back to walk a little bit of this trail again as it's so beautiful and a real hidden gem. Half way through the walk is Sharks Bay, a lovely beach for families and to swim. Watsons Bay is also the perfect finish spot for a drink and some food with sunset and harbour views. Overall a pretty perfect day.
5. Getting Close
My Sydney family has been one of the highlights so far. From all meeting that first week in Australia we've all grown so close and I'm so excited to explore the East Coast with them. Each one of these lovely lot has provided laughs, positivity and conpanionship and for that I'm so grateful.
I also lucked out big time with my wonderful roommates and we've successfully shared a room for the last four months with no arguments and an always positive mood. 'I'll miss our impromptu concerts and giggly conversations late at night.
I also had the privilege of meeting some amazing people through my work and can't wait to visit again to see them all. Moving to Australia was all about experiencing a new culture, landscape and people and I'm proud to say that so far those people have been pretty awesome. Here's to our paths crossing again.
4. Blue Mountains Weekend Away
Our little retreat to the mountains in December was one to remember. For the first time, we hired a cottage and explored the beauty of the Blue Mountains. We frolicked in waterfalls, climbed down mountains and kept spirits high even when the fog closed in so much there was very little to look at! We also took advantage of the dreary weather and had a Christmassy night with the fire on, mulled wine and Monopoly. I had a great weekend and am glad I took the time to dedicate a few days to getting away from the city.
3. Working at St. George Open Air Cinema
The best job I've ever had.
The view was good, the role was sweet, the pay was great, the people were awesome, what more could you want?
After first starting on the bar and worrying that I wouldn't get enough shifts to pay the bills, I moved to ground staff. This was a great decision as the hours were longer and the shifts were more frequent. Roles included handing out Lindt chocolate at the door, scanning tickets, guarding the Sydney Botanical Gardens when they closed and organising VIP guests into their seats. Most jobs led to a tan and all allowed me to meet some awesome people. I still worked a couple of shifts on the bar and these fast paced shifts were a welcome change and still allowed me to hang with the people I first connected with. We had a break during to movie to eat and watch the film which now means I have seen some of the best movies of the New Year as well as countless Premiers and Previews.
This job, with its stunning backdrop and unique nature will stay with me forever. What an awesome experience! I can't believe I worked alongside one the most iconic views in the world and I'll be forever grateful for stumbling along that gumtree add and the people that hired me, so thanks for the good times St George Open Air Cinema!
2. Helicopter Flight
For Christmas, my Mum and Dad got me a helicopter flight experience! It was my first time in a helicopter and it was awesome. We saw some amazing views and it was wonderful to see the city from such a different angle, and I'd argue the best one.
I've shared countless photos which I took whilst in the air as well as a blog post but it was truly amazing and an experience of a lifetime.
1. Christmas and New Year
This was one of the craziest times in Sydney. These days in between Christmas and New Year were complete madness and we got closer than ever before. We hosted a great Christmas party and meal, spent the day on the beach even though it was overcast and had the best time, even if we were far away from family. Hannah stayed during this time and I'm so glad she did, it was wonderful to spend a lot of time with her since we left school and show her a little more of Sydney.
New Year came and I spent the countdown at the Cinema site working the bar for an event which used the venue. The fireworks were amazing and getting paid to see the iconic fireworks from the best view in Sydney was quite a treat! Between 1am and 5am I drank a bottle of wine and we decided it would be a good idea to head to Bondi for the first sunrise of the New Year. We swam in our underwear and fell asleep at the bus stop, but it was the best New Year I've ever had.
Sydney, you've been an absolute pleasure and I've had an incredible time here. This city is breathtaking and I will miss living in it. I will also miss the people who I've met in my time here and the places which are so magical.
If those first few months working were this amazing, I can't wait for what the next few months of travelling have in store!