As I try to get over my jet lag, here’s me writing to you at nearly two in the morning summarizing my first epic day in Sydney. Here are my 14 points:
1. The public buses are wheelchair accessible.
2. The trains are almost wheelchair accessible because there is a step entering into the train. And there is a good size gap between the train and the platform.
3. There are homeless people in Sydney, I saw it on three different occasions; and they were all men.
4. There are tourist here from all over the world. I’ve only been here for one day, and I’ve already met people from the Netherlands, Denmark, South Africa, Germany, Canada, all different parts of the US, France, A TON (and I literally mean a ton) of people from the UK. It feels like every other tourist is from there.
5. The city is smoky and the sun is nearly orange from the forest fire. My throat was sore by the end of the day. If climate change is already doing this much damage to our air and natural scenery, I am really worried that the days of wearing ugly, big masks 🎭 before we can go outside are not too far out. I wish I was exaggerating...
6. It honestly doesn’t feel all that different from America. They eat the same food we eat over there and there are chain stores of all kinds spotted in various parts of the city.
7. The British influence is apparent everywhere from street names to architecture to even phone companies.
8. They say “that’s right” a lot.
9. The people are super friendly and nice whenever you stop to ask for directions.
10. It appears to be a diverse city, there are people living and working here from various cultures.
11. I seem to see a lot of Indian and Thai restaurants around.
12. It’s very easy and reasonably priced to get a phone plan set up at the airport. I bought a plan from Optus, but you can also choose Vodafone (which is very popular in the UK as well). I purchased a plan for 60 GB, unlimited call and text messages, and free international calls to the US for $30 AUD (which is around $20 USD) for 28 days.
13. Purchase an Opal Card if you plan to ride the public trains and bus. The card itself is free, but you have to put a minimum initial payment of $35 AUD for your rides.
14. The city is a bit hilly, especially if you are dragging a big backpack behind your wheelchair. I arrived at 6:30 am and dive right in to being a full blown tourist before checking in and dropping my bags off at the hostel. Having not slept in a bed for three nights, I knew I would give in to exhaustion if I went straight to the hostel. I wanted to use my excitement and adrenaline rush to charge me through my first day in this beautiful, faraway continent. ✈️🛳🌇