Finding My Way In The Land Down Under: The Best of Times

Right now, during this unusual, testing, and seemingly unpredictable time of quarantine, “surreal” does not even begin to cover how life feels. I was instructed to leave Sydney, Australia and return home exactly one month ago today, but it somehow feels like I never left. Of course, facing the reality of leaving my dream study abroad program early deeply saddens me, but in the meantime, I continue to find comfort in a way in which I feel strongly attached to Sydney, while living on the opposite side of the world. I fell in love with a new place within two short and adventure-filled months. Separation from my new home away from home has only solidified the fact that distance truly does make the heart grow fonder.

I want to share my favorite adventures from my time in Australia. I hope that this inspires fellow students to decide to study abroad with the Sydney Internship Program. Likewise, I hope this encourages others to travel. Whether it be Sydney or any other place, please just decide to travel. Life always throws curveballs, and my advice is to remember that opportunities, like seeing the world and discovering new things, can pass by in the blink of an eye. Take a leap and go far beyond your borders of comfort if you are able to, because you will never know what wonders lie in any possible final destination.

Here are my favorite spots from my time abroad: 

  1. Sydney Cove Oyster Bar

This quaint, little outdoor oyster bar and restaurant is a short walk away from the Sydney Opera House, overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I never tried oysters before traveling to Australia, but all I can say is that I am so incredibly thankful and lucky that my new friend Andrew, a fellow foodie, agreed to go with me for my first time trying them. The delicate ambience, breathtaking view, and delicious food and drinks were impossible to forget. As soon as I am able to go back, I know my first meal will be here.

Image courtesy of Sydney Cove Oyster Bar website
  1. Something For Jess Cafe

This cafe is about half of a mile away from the Boston University Student Academic Center in Sydney. Just past the Central Park Mall, the colorful and bright spot offers delectable breakfast and brunch foods. The cafe rotates its menu every week, offering patrons fresh, colorful, and new options. Everyone I know who went to this cafe swears that the banana bread is the best in the city. I do not disagree, but there is one thing that I continue to crave for breakfast every morning: Sticky Chai Lattes. Chai leaves soaked in honey then brewed into a beautiful latte … just pure magic in a cup. I prefer mine with soymilk. Someday, we will surely meet again.

  1. RaRa Ramen

I absolutely love ramen. Not instant ramen, but real ramen noodle soup that is freshly made with tasty additions and love. That’s exactly what I found at RaRa Ramen in Redfern, the neighborhood next to Chippendale in the city. The broth was my savior when I got a cold during my second week in Sydney, and I still wish I could sip it on rainy days at home.

Image from Medium
  1. The Rocks Market
An alley in The Rocks Market 

This is a market in one of Sydney’s most prestigious areas — the Rocks. The Rocks Market area is filled with boutique stores, farmer’s market stands, local art galleries, pubs, and a large variety of food vendors. I bought a long white dress covered in orange blossoms and ate a gloriously large plate of seafood paella during my first visit to this market; I still remember how sunny it was. I didn’t take any pictures of myself that day, but I’m glad I captured this candid one of my friend, Amber, and her cronut (yes, croissant doughnut).

Amber at The Rocks Market
  1. Taronga Zoo
The Sydney skyline from Taronga Zoo

Last, but certainly not least, I managed to visit Taronga Zoo with a group of friends on our second-to-last day in Sydney before heading home. Why did it take me two months to visit some wildlife in Australia? I honestly can’t tell you. Even though I didn’t cross off “Taking a Selfie with a Quokka ” from my Australia bucket list, I saw some beautiful animals in this zoo next to the water. Not to brag or anything, but I’m pretty sure I’m now best friends with one happy Asian Elephant.

One of the Asian Elephants at Taronga Zoo

I am thankful for everything I discovered in Sydney and absolutely cannot wait to go back. Until next time!

Caitlin Burke, Study Abroad Correspondent

Caitlin Burke is a junior studying public relations in the College of Communication at Boston University.  She has over two years of experience studying public relations and media-based communication in the College of Communication, as well as two years of experience studying liberal arts in the College of General Studies Spring-Sydney Program. Singing and writing are Caitlin’s greatest passions because they are hobbies that embrace individuality and creativity. Inspired by her love for literature and the arts, Caitlin enjoys studying mass communication because she views it as another way to create with a purpose while connecting with other people. 

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