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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Breaking it down statistically …

… because it’s better that way (And because I’m an Accountant and numbers are my friend!)

So during my 6 months in Australia, as I’ve mentioned before I did a lot of traveling. This involved a lot of cars, trains, planes and busses. Because domestic travel in Australia is very cheap I most definately took advantage of this and maybe went a little too plane-happy. Overall I did 3 weekend trips, 1 trip before Melbourne, 1 trip during the mid semester break, and 1 trip between the end of classes and start of exams. All of these trips amounted to 16 PLANES that I went on. 16! In 6 months. (And I only almost missed ONE of them… which is pretty good odds).

These trips included:
Auckland, New Zealand
Gold Coast, Australia
Tasmania, Australia
Sydney, Australia
Perth, Australia

Total flight time on planes: 55 hours (including the YVR-SYD flights)

The following are stats for all the domestic flights I traveled on as including the flight to and back from Australia skews the data:

Total time spend at domestic airports: 21 hours (~1.5hrs X 14 domestic flights)
Number of transfers bought for the Skybus: 11
Amount of money spend on transfers for the Skybus: $147.00 ($26 per return ticket)
Number of times I didn’t realize there were two airports in Melbourne and flew out of the shady one: 1
Number of times I flew Tiger Airways: 4
Number of times Tiger Airways was delayed: 4
Number of times I got “randomly searched” at security: 3
Number of flights I traveled with checked in luggage: 2 (Only to Perth!)
Number of 21st birthdays I attended: 4 (Dave/Meg/Tim/Maleko)

Number of days/nights spent in …
… Auckland: 10days/10nights
… Hobart/Tasmania: 4days/3nights
… Gold Coast: 3days/2nights
… Perth: 10days/9nights
… Sydney: 25days/23nights (in total including my time before and after Melbourne)

Wow thanks Alex/Lee/Jesse/Meg/Brendan for putting up with me for those 25 days/23 nights! I’m pretty much an honorary dweller now! And with all of the times I arrived into Sydney airport, whether internationally or domestically I never once had to take public transit to Dee Why and I have Brendan and Dave to thank so so so  much for that. 🙂 I owe you guys heaps!

Looking at the dates I traveled, I seemed to be on a plane on the 27th of three out of six months – Jan 27th (SYD-AKL); Mar 27th (OOL-MEL) and May 27th (MEL-PER). I didn’t plan this, but apparently the 27th was a good day for traveling!

With all this time on planes, I’m pretty much a pro at traveling now (as if I wasn’t before) but after the longest flight in the entire world of 15 hours from Syd-Yvr I think I’m good for not traveling for a little bit!

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Australia, you were wonderful to me.

During unpacking and getting back into the swing of things in Vancouver I was able to reminisce about my time in Australia, explaining story after story to my friends about the amazing time I had during the past six months.

I was able to think about the good times and the bad times, the funny times and the sad times. To get something straight, it was not all butterflies and rainbows. I think overall I cried a considerable amount more during the past six months than I have in about the past two years combined. This is not all bad news because it made me appreciate home, friends and my life more. These times showed me the ones that really mattered, and was sometimes was an eye opener to me (if I didn’t know about who mattered).

Now that we’ve gotten the serious stuff out of the way, I’ve decided to reminisce about the narrow misses I had during my time in Australia.

1. To start it off, let me just say that I have never been happier that I do not have a horror story to tell about Tiger Airways. For those of you that don’t know, Tiger Airways is the Aussie equivalent to Ryan Air in Europe — ie: very very shady. They are a very low budget airline that cancels flights without warning, with no compensation leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere … but with just some luck, you might avoid this all like me. I made it through this without being stranded anywhere and only one flight out of four being about 20 mins delayed which is not a big deal at all!

2. With the amount of times I rode the trams (without tickets) in Melbourne I was lucky to get away with never being questioned or asked to show a ticket! I had heard horror stories (again) about those that tried (and failed) to pull the exchange student card when asked for a ticket, but still got fined $150 on the spot. I think the more you ride it, the more inevitable it is.

3. After years of thinking that Vancouver had the more erratic weather on the planet, I was proven wrong by Melbourne weather which yes, is even more bipolar than Vancouver. It will literally rain, be sunny, windy and probably have an ash cloud over you in one morning. Just be warned if you are going there. And yes, it DOES get cold in Aus and specifically in Melbourne so when I was complaining about cold weather it was decently cold!

4. For the amount of times I had to get from my place to the airport and that I used the express service called “Skybus” and paid $26 for a return fair, I should have just bought shares in the company. I would have made my money back and probably made more for the amount of times I recommended it to others in Melb.

5. I learnt that “there’s a really important hockey game on in Vancouver” is a legitamate excuse to postpone a group meeting, skip class and not do my tute homework. People understand that I’m Canadian and this comes with the territory!

6. Although not having a printer was a huge pain at times, I was able to finish off the semester with $.01 cent left on my printing card. That’s quite the feat if I do say so myself!! (And no I did not just print random stuff to finish my money on my card!)

7. I also learnt that rice does indeed go bad, that wine does indeed freeze (thanks Meg) and that one text message is all it takes to start something good.

In the coming days (or even today if I’m bored enough) I’m going to go through my travel diary (the bit of it that is actually written in) and break down my travels! Overall going on exchange was the best experience I’ve ever had and would seriously do it in a heartbeat again if I could. I do wish I could have done a year, but with the opportunity to see my family in between somehow. A year without seeing them would be hard. Who knows, in the future I may end up in Australia for an extended period of time (longer than 6 months this time)! 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Welcome Home, now adjust to your life.

After almost six months of being in Australia I finally returned to beautiful Vancouver this morning. I know I’ve been very MIA in my blogging for the past couple weeks with exams and packing and last bit travels but now that I’m home I have time to actually write out some good blogs. First off let’s start with my arriving into Vancouver and my first day back and how I have to get used to everything back home again after being away for so long.

It all started as soon as I got off the plane and was about to get on the escalators to get to Canada Customs at the airport. I stood on the left hand side of the escalators (like they do in Aus) whereas here you are meant to stand on the right. It was okay though as the entire flight stood on the left so it worked out.

After going through Customs and collecting my luggage and whatnot, I met up with my dad and brother and went to the car. After putting everything into the car I walked to the right hand side of the car (where the passengers seat is in Aus, but the drivers seat is in Van) and my dad says to me “Oh, you want to drive?” Woops, wrong side!

I came home and turned the light switch on in my room and realized that the switches are backwards here than they are there. You press them down to turn them on in Aus, and you flick them up to turn them on here.

I then took out my laptop with my adapter that I’ve been using for the past 6 mths and proceeded to attempt to fit the Australian adapter into the Canadian socket for the next 5 minutes before realizing what I was trying to do.

I then went for a shower and forgot how to work my shower! I think this one and the adapter one should be attributed to fatigue rather than lack of braincells!

And finally, I am SO glad to have a phone that does more than just phone and text. I can actually take photos now!!

Getting used to everything back home will take a bit of time I reckon but I’ll get there. Speaking of getting used to everything… I should probably sleep if I have any hope of getting back to a proper sleeping schedule as its almost midnight!

 
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Posted by on July 2, 2011 in Uncategorized