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Brenda and Sarah take on Oz!

Settling in to….Ireland?!

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 8 June 2014 | Views [299]

After 3 flights and 28 hours of travelling I arrived in Melbourne Saturday around noon. Luckily, the flights were not as bad as I had anticipated, mainly due to the fact that airlines outside of North America treat flyers like human beings. On my long leg from LAX to Sydney on Quantas, a hot dinner, hot breakfast, large bag of snacks, unlimited drinks, a blanket and a pillow were all par for the course. I managed to sleep the majority of the flight thanks to planning ahead and packing ear plugs and an eyemask. Leaving LA Thursday night, I arrived in Sydney Saturday morning making the flight feel like the many cross-coastal red-eyes I've gotten used to since moving to California. Except this red-eye was longer than 6 hours so I had plenty of time to sleep - albeit uncomfortably. 

My first impression of Australia and Australians is just how friendly and open everyone is. People talk to strangers like their old friends, laughing and getting on. It reminds me of one of my favourite places - Canada's East Coast. Admittedly, it does take a little getting used to from the more reserved atmosphere of the U.S. and-  to a certain extent - Toronto. 

I was feeling quite awake as I made my way from the airport to the hostel, a bustling place in the centre of St. Kilda, a bohemian neighbourhood of Melbourne, walking distance to the beach. I headed to my room with plans to get all the practical matters sorted out including getting an Aussie number and an internet stick. Both Brenda and I are working remotely 3-5 days a week, being lucky enough to work for organizations that offered us the flexibility to embark on this amazing adventure whilst making a living and having a job to return to. We are hoping to find some mobile internet sticks that will give us the ability to work from wherever we want - including the beach! :)

After arriving in my room, I decided to lie down for just a second. Of course, that quick rest turned into 4 hours of solid sleep, I guess I wasn't as well rested as I had thought and wasn't off to a very good start in getting adjusted to the time difference. 

I awoke in the evening to a room full of new Irish friends, two groups who were just getting aquainted with each other. At first, I had no trouble understanding them, my time living in the Midlands of England serving me well. However, as the night progressed and the conversation became more animated the accents became heavier. It reminded me of the days I would spend with my dad's side of the family in the UK, usually nodding my head and laughing along to who knows what. Yes, it's all english but it can seem far from it sometimes. 

We made our way to the house of a friend of one of the groups and suddenly I found myself surround by no less than 20 smiling Irish faces and I became the token Canadian "fresh off the boat". We headed to a local pub where I learned that the Irish somehow are magnets to each other. We met one Irish person after another. I had to remind myself that I was in fact in Australia and not in Ireland. 24 hours in Australia and I've only met Irish! 

After a late night out, I find myself awake bright and early, still adjusting to the time difference. I hope I'll be able to make it through the day and finally get on the schedule of the sun. Brenda will be arriving to the hostel shortly, we'll see how jetlagged she is, and we'll officially kickoff our amazing Aussie adventure! 

Tags: ireland, quantas, settling in

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