Expectations vs. Reality of Living in Sydney

I am excited to announce this guest writer, Moneika from Adventure Aficionado! She brings to us information about living in Sydney, Australia!

An important mention that Australia has been in flames from the severe bushfires since September 2019, and Sydney and New South Wales have been greatly affected. Our support goes out to all those there.

Adventure Aficionado - Sydney Harbour Bridge Sunset

When traveling to a new city, you always have expectations, and even some misconceptions of the place (such as with San Diego). But once you get there and truly experience the city for yourself, you see a whole new side!

On my travels to Sydney, Australia, I was blown away by the city, and how different it was to what I expected. There is a lot you hear about Sydney and when I was headed there, I had a few expectations of my own…

Expectations

1. Always Hot and Sunny

One of my first thoughts about Sydney is that it will be paradise… sunny, a warm breeze, and always hot. I only packed a thin jacket, since I was headed there for part of spring, and into summer, so I imagined I wouldn’t need much more. And I made sure to pack most of my suitcase with ‘tropical paradise’ type clothes.

Reality: Paradise, with a Twist

I mean, don’t get me wrong, Sydney is most definitely paradise, but with a few adjustments. 

Adventure Aficionado - Sydney Opera House from the Water

First let me say that, wow is Sydney hot! And during their summer, I experienced a whole new meaning of “hot”. In a very short time, I had already gotten so tanned that you could clearly see the mark from where my watch sat on my wrist, and my t-shirt on my arms! So be prepared to expect some very warm days when in Sydney. And always wear sunscreen.

But also, on the flip side, Sydney packs a bit of a punch on a chilly day. There are days when the cold can get to your bones, and the rain comes down like there’s no tomorrow. So while Sydney can get to record temperatures, and can make your forearm sweat like never before, be prepared for the season you visit in.

2. Everyone Surfs

Along with hot and sunny, I imagined gorgeous beaches, a laid-back vibe, and surfing being the sole pastime for all Aussies. After work, you hit the beaches and get your surf on. I mean, it isn’t considered a surfer’s paradise for nothing! 

Reality: Lots of Outdoor Activities

Sydney is filled with amazing, and unique activities to do. And yes, one of them is definitely catching a wave on Manly Beach, but there are many others too. Snorkeling and scuba diving are favorites for the locals too, especially down at Shelly’s Cove. 

And let’s not forget lawn bowling! It’s a twist on bowling and curling in my opinion and makes perfect use of Sydney’s beautiful outdoors. And if you want an adrenaline-filled adventure, definitely look into canyoning!

3. Deadly Spiders and Snakes

I think everyone has this expectation when they are first headed to Sydney. Since Australia is known for having some of the world’s deadliest creatures, it seems almost natural to assume you will encounter them in Sydney. I have friends who ask me if I would peek in my shoe before wearing it in case there was a poisonous spider waiting inside. 

Reality: You Forget About The Critters

Living in the city, I, personally, did not have any encounters with deadly animals (that I know of). I did have a spider suddenly drop down on me while walking, but I have no clue whether it was poisonous, so that doesn’t count. 

And even on hikes around the city, and around the country, I did not have any issues. Most people around here aren’t that concerned about them either. So, if you are visiting and are wondering what to expect in Sydney, don’t worry too much about this! Instead focus on the unique and incredible animals Sydney does have to offer!

4. Kind People

I know Canadians have a reputation for being among the polite bunch around the world, but I have heard that Aussies are high up too. So, when I thought of what to expect in Sydney, I believed I would meet extremely sweet people! And that a stranger on the street would gladly take time out of their day to point me towards the Sydney Opera House.

Reality: Exactly as I Had Hoped

Everyone around Sydney is jovial and down to earth. I found most people were willing to lend me a hand, and even chat a bit if they had the time. It just felt easy to make friends around the city, especially if you are traveling solo. Sydney has a very relaxing culture, where they take time to enjoy the beautiful city they live in with the people there. 

5. Average Food Expectations

My expectation going into this city was that the food would be … well, just normal. I didn’t expect much variation than what I have seen before in major cities.

But oh, was I mistaken!

Reality: It is Food Heaven

With beautiful tropical produce, Sydney is paradise for food. From the grocery stores to fine restaurants, there is an abundance for delicious meals. 

Adventure Aficionado - Sydney Lifestyle

Sydney is also quite multicultural, which I did not expect! The city is bustling with many cultures, and you can experience quite a bit of diversity, including in the food choices. And I must mention how health conscious Sydney is! From the way they market their food to how they strive to provide the best ingredients, the city encourages a healthy lifestyle.

Definitely an amazing city to have the opportunity to visit, and I would recommend putting it on your list! With lots of incredible places to visit, Sydney has something for everyone.

Moneika | Adventure Aficionado
This article was written by Moneika, the founder of Adventure Aficionado and an incredibly avid traveler. She has explored countless countries across seven continents with a mission to show others the beauty of the world through her eyes. Follow her on her adventures around the globe here and on Instagram!

Photo Sources: Adventure Aficionado

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4 thoughts on “Expectations vs. Reality of Living in Sydney

  1. Pingback: Popular Sports Around the World | My Open Passport

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