Find joy in the moment. My littlest sister is a very strong-willed, ‘it’s all mental’, kind of person. I love traveling with her because she has a way of staying present in the moment and enjoying every second in that moment. When she came to visit me in Australia she kept saying, “Every fun thing in life always goes by SO fast. No matter what happens on this trip I am going to keep telling myself to soak up everything because in 2 weeks I will wish I was right here in this very place doing it all over again.” It was a great motto for the trip, partially because any time she would get annoyed with me, I would just bounce right back with….”You’re gonna miss this. You’re gonna want this back.” (also a country song by Trace Adkins).
Sprinkling this mantra into your daily life will help you to reflect on and appreciate each moment. Life will still fly by and there will always be things you do NOT want to do, but at least you have punctuated your days/months/years with special memories that add a piece to the never-ending puzzle of your character and being.
Some shocking cultural differences and a few interesting facts about Australia:
- My personality was much more ‘excitable’ than most Aussies. I was very easily entertained by everything (a stereotype of Americans)
- When I told my friends who I was ‘rooting’ for at the footy game, I got REALLY dirty looks.
- The Arcade is the shopping mall.
- The Chemist is a pharmacy.
- A ‘Hotel’ is actually a pub, not a hotel in most cases. The London Hotel, etc.
- Lean Cuisines are not a staple in their diet, nor do they sell good flavors at Woolworths or Coles.
- Aussies are very sarcastic so you have to understand their sense of humor or they can come off as a tad abrasive. [Koala’s hang from the local gum trees and can claw your eyes out! FALSE] Be on your A game or they will take advantage of your gullible nature!
- Most other countries outside of the US have a ‘gap year’ after high school and before college where people are encouraged to travel the world. College isn’t as much of an ‘experience’ like it is here in the U.S and many Aussies live at home and go to the local ‘Uni’. Also – if you wanted to be a doctor for example, 100% of your Uni and post education is all medical (you wouldn’t complete any general education classes).
- A dingo is a wild dog, not a kangaroo
- Kangaroo meat is delicious and is one of the leanest meats you can eat
- The work/life balance is fantastic – Aussies work really hard but also take full advantage of their life outside of the office.
There are a million more differences with every culture, one isn’t better than the other, just different. The beauty is being able to pick out what you love from each place you live or visit to serve as your personal guidelines and road map.
What are some of the biggest shocks you have experienced with new cultures?
You can tell a lot about a person by their morning reads on the net. When you find a great website it’s like getting lost in art – 20 minutes flies by in a blink (accidental tongue twister)! Here are the pages that captivate and inspire me each day:
Springwise – new business trends/ideas
Kickstarter – crowd funding platform for creative projects
Foodgawker – food that makes you gawk. be careful with this one!
Good.is – the good finder
Aquabumps – daily photos of Bondi Beach, Australia, that never cease to amaze.
What are some of your favorite sites to peruse?
So here’s the situation – I love the culture, the art, the foam, the cups, the baristas, the different flavors, the establishments, the history and even the taste of coffee. The anomaly here is that I don’t actually, drink coffee. Any one who knows me, knows that ingesting a lot of caffeine is a real bad idea for my health and the sanity of everyone around me due to my natural state of high, at times, frazzled energy. The max hit I can take is a solid cup of chai tea in the morning but no more! It’s funny, I don’t think I will ever understand the whole “ugghhhhh I need my coffee before I can functionnnn…ahhh I’m so tired, where is a Starbucks!?” I feel on the abnormal side for coming out with this information (said the girl who has never had a brain freeze and has even tried inducing one) and I wish things were different, but I just don’t think I will ever experience the desperate craving for a cup of joe. Long story short, the one on the right is decaf….I just wanted to fit in with the rest of you coffee nuts out there! At least for now, tea is the thing for me.
Blue Bottle Coffee
San Francisco, CA
“He told me that if you put fleas in a small jar and close the cover, they will jump so high that they will hit their heads on the cover. After a few hits they will learn to adjust their jump to avoid hitting their heads. When you release them , they will continue to jump ‘short’. No matter how long they’re out of the jar, they will never return to their full capacity for fear of hitting their heads again.
He explained to me that most people tend to live their lives this way. They limit their future based on what happened in the past…If they had been hurt in a relationships, they might say ‘I will never get that close again’….He explained that when you limit your future based on what happened in your past, your future starts to look a lot like the very thing you are trying to avoid: Your past.
Like the fleas, in order to live your life to the fullest, you must take note and realize the cap is off! Everything is available to you.”
– Punished for Purpose by Lauri Burns
I miss it.
Feeling the clean, crisp air swirling through the city.
The scorching hot summer mornings followed by afternoon thunderstorms.
The thousands of active people running, walking, swimming, surfing, sipping their morning cuppa and enjoying every second outside of the office.
The safety and comfort of being ‘down under’.
The surreal feeling that I was living in a dream.
Muesli and yogurt, crunchy Milo in milk, Shapes crackers, Splice popsicles.
Four Pines, Wine Odyssey, Trio, The Australian Hotel, Massive Cafe, FourAteFive cafe, Pony in the Rocks.
The 333 bus barreling down Bondi road as the bright blue ocean gradually appeared up ahead.
The taste of the Sonoma sourdough bread spotted with soy and linseeds topped with homemade strawberry jam.
The awkward moments between the cheek kiss/half hug when greeting someone.
Sprinting down the never-ending escalator to catch the train to work.
Waltzing through the cobblestone ‘rocks’ historic district after work.
The accents and sarcastic sense of humor.
The zoo to balmoral hike ending with lunch at Bather’s Pavilion.
Long friday lunches.
Swishing around in Sydney harbor on the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly beach.
The mist from the ocean hitting the rocks on the Bondi coastal walk.
Strolling through the hand crafted gems at Paddington markets on a Saturday.
Morning summer runs followed by a cool swim in the ocean.
A refreshing ‘Three Sheets’ beer at Lord Nelson’s brewery.
The unbelievably true-blue water surrounding the city.
Phew, much better.