[ Australia ~ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]


A few days in Sydney

    Walking around Sydney, I am having a persistent sense of deja vu. I came here for a few days with my family seven years ago; not recently enough to remember much about how to get around, but just enough so that everything looks familiar. It feels like I'm walking around in somewhere I've dreamed about.

    There isn't much in the way of culture shock here, especially after being in New Zealand for three months. I'm looking forward to visiting southeast Asia and experiencing some truly new (to me) cultures.

    The view from where we stayed

    In Sydney, Steve and I lucked into some free accomodation with my friends Matt and Farley (my Ladybug companions). It's a bit complicated, but Farley has a friend whose parents happen to have an empty apartment at the moment. Since Farley hosted her friend in New York for a year, the friend's parents were more than happy to let Farley stay in their extra apartment. It's in a nice suburb of Sydney called Edgecliff, and it's on the top floor with a beautiful view of the harbour. We're all sleeping on mattresses on the floor - Farley and Matt in the bedroom and Steve and I in the living room. It's a nice place, and I'm glad I got a chance to see my friends again.

In Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens

I got new boots in Sydney

World-Famous Bondi Beach
    In the past couple of days, Steve and I have set ourselves to the task of finally getting it together and figuring out some more of our travel plans. Our plan for Australia changed completely. Here is the current version:

    Start in Sydney.

    Leave Sydney in a few days in a rented campervan and drive up the east coast to Cairns, visiting the Gold Coast, Brisbane, and points in between.

    Fly from Cairns back to Sydney in time for one of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations in the world.

    From there, we will leave Sydney for Indonesia (3 weeks planned), Vietnam (3 weeks planned), Cambodia (1 week planned), Thailand (3 weeks planned), and Malaysia (2 weeks planned). That will take us to the end of May, when we will return to Seattle for a couple of weeks. We've gotten our visas sorted out - only Vietnam required an advance application, which we did today.

    Steve and I really deliberated about whether to take buses or drive ourselves in Australia. In the end, we opted for the freedom of being behind the wheel. I'm looking forward to living in a campervan again; it's a nice way to travel.

    Our van - fancier than the Ladybug


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