Some final thoughts on Australia

Each and everyday, I notice something different or unique about Australia that would catch my eye.

Here are 20 unique realizations off the top of my head that set Australia apart from Canada.

  1. Australia doesn’t have baby carrots.
  2. Australia is hella expensive compared to Canada in close to everything.
  3. Australia men are way more aggressive when it comes to approaching you… This goes for things like, asking out on dates, dancing w/ at a bar, or even striking up a casual conversation. Definately can be considered a good and bad thing.
  4. Australian lifestyle is way more laid back then Canadian. Australians work to play.
  5. A typical Australian doesn’t actually say G’day when they are saying hello.
  6. Pretty much everything in Australia closes by 5pm on the weekdays except restaurants and cafe’s. Shopping centres (malls) are not open at night.
  7. Australia has this really cool thing in movie theatres where when you purchase your tickets you can pre-select your seat so you dont have to worry about saving seats when you get snacks, etc.
  8. A standard high-ball mixed drink or beer in Australia is around $8.50.
  9. It is not customary for Australians to tip.
  10. Australias beaches are by far the nicest in the world. Personal opinion… I guess I am biased, haven’t been to too many… but they are drop dead gorgeous.
  11. A small container (250g) of blueberries in Australia is around AU $8… you can get a 2kg container in Canada for about $2.99.
  12. School is like highschool. Lots of little assignments, online assessments and quizes.
  13. The driving progression system is very different. You have to get a “learner’s permit” and then have recorded over 100hours of driving before you are allowed to take your “on you own” driving test. That is ALOT of practise if you ask me… as back in Canada we only have to do about 10hours of in car lessons.
  14. Starbucks in Australia isn’t as popular. They have various other chain coffee shops such as Gloria Jeans, and Hudson’s Coffee. Most coffee shops are individually owned and operated in a cafe style. Cafe’s are EVERYWHERE.
  15. Australia is amazing for their DFOs. Direct Factory Outlets are the reason I came back broke. Amazing shopping.
  16. Phone service in Australia is drastically cheaper than Canada. You can get over $550 worth of bulk credit (phone, text, international calling, data) for $40 a month. I used to call back to Canada all the time, and be on the internet nonstop and would never even reach half of my allotted credit. Vodaphone for the win!
  17. Australia is NOT always hot, as many of you people probably think.
  18. Australia is also not all desert and beaches… there are full blown cities with no desert or beach close by.
  19. In Australia when you ask for Lemonade… you are actually asking for Sprite or 7 UP.
  20. Australia is however a very easy country to live in as a Canadian… everyone loves you as soon as you open your mouth. Canadian charms works wonders!

ooooooh crocodile!


Final Goodbyes in Australia.

With time in Australia very limited, goodbyes that I never thought would ever happen had to begin. It is hard to believe that in a 5 month period how much you can really get to know people on a personal level. From those I have met over my travels, those at Uni, neighbours, my roommates and even those I randomly met one day… you are the people who made my experience special. You are the people who bring back those amazing memories of this incredible place, and I charish each and everyone of you for being apart of my trip.

Thanks to facebook, twitter, skype and cyber communication for allowing me to not lose contact to you special people. I have no doubt in my mind that when I head over to all your homelands, we will catch up. I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for everything you have given to me. It is amazing how people from all over the world are able to connect on such a personal level immediately after meeting each other.

I realized while overseas that “backpacking” or being an “international/foreigner” is a “brother/sisterhood.” It is an automatic bond and connection you have with those around you. Something you have in common. It takes a certain “species” of person to have the will to want to travel. The desire to want to explore, overcome new experiences and challenges, and step out of one’s comfort zone.

I noticed that every conversation generally begins and consists of these four questions…

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What are you doing here?
  3. How long have/will you be travelling for?
  4. Do you miss home … are you homesick?

Its an automatic way to start conversation… you’d think that these conversations would get dull and boring after the tenth person, however everyone’s story is completely different. Everyone has a different path for their journey, and varying goals and dreams to accomplish before heading home. I have learned so much about myself and the world just from conversations with other travellers.

Going back to the main purpose of this post… goodbyes, all these new people in my life are the reason I feel completely different as a person when I came home. I have been able to see so many different walks of life, and unique ways people choose to travel and explore. It is extremely inspiring!

It is so nice that those who I met while away are still in contact with me, and I can’t wait until we have a chance to meet up again in the near future.

BELOW: Just a few of those amazing people who I met that helped to shape my amazing experience…


Thanks from the bottom of my heart,

Samantha “The Crazy Canadian” Clarke;;