2012 – A Year Living As An Expat And Travel Agent In Sydney

[:en]We’ve been living in Sydney since 2011, but I felt 2012 was the year we felt like true expats. We got more of a sense what it’s like to be away from family and friends for a longer period, we settled into a new home, our jobs and making new friends.

I think we now have a good feel of the city we’ve been living in for that pas 2 years. We also started exploring it a bit more and in different ways than standard tourists. We discovered amazing new restaurants, small bars, took long coastal walks and spend some day trips and weekends away out of the city.

Here is an overview of what 2012 was for me. I’ve focused on travel, working in the travel industry and living in Sydney as an expat:

2012 - A Year Of Travel | January

I can’t believe it’s been a year now since both our families came over to visit us for a month. We got to show them where we work and live and enjoyed some of Sydney’s tourist attractions, such as the Sydney Opera House (top left).

We’ve been living in the suburbs and even though is nice and quiet (and cheap), we started looking for a place a little bit more in the middle of Sydney’s action. (Little did we know we would end up smack in the middle of it – Kings Cross). We had to give up our beautiful Frangipani tree and cactus in our front yard, unfortunately (top right).

With Nick having a regular job and me a pretty flexible one, we started getting real weekends. Like normal people! That meant we could leave the city every now and then, such as visiting The Royal National Park south of Sydney. We love a good hike! (bottom images)

2012 - A Year Of Travel | February

Working as a travel agent, I got to experience the job both inside and out. The (backpacker) travel industry in Australia is a big and close one, with lots of mingles, famil tours and fancy dress parties. I ended up on some pretty random ones (left image).

All the partying aside, I truly love the travel industry for giving me a different look on tourism and the city I live in. I got to experience many of Sydney’s tourist attractions, such as riding the open top sightseeing bus (right image). I started seeing ‘my’ city with fresh eyes and feel very blessed to be able to live and work here.

2012 - A Year Of Travel | March

March and April were two amazing months travelwise, as we road tripped from Perth all the way to Broome on the West Coast of Australia.

Some of the highlights in March for us included flying a propellor plane over Rottnest Island (top left), visiting the Pinnacle Desert (top right), exploring Kalbarri National Park (bottom left) and seeing wild emu’s, dolphins, dugons (manities/seacows) and turtles around Monkey Mia (bottom right).

2012 - A Year Of Travel | April

A couple of our April highlights were: hiking in Karijini National Park (top left), a morning walk in Cape Range National Park (top right) and seeing a frilled neck lizard and an amazing sunset in Broome (bottom images)

We originally planned on finishing this road trip all the way up to Darwin, including the (for us long dreamed of) Kimberly’s, but we had to change our course. Life as an expat unfortunately comes with long and annoying visa procedures and we had no choice to rush back to Sydney and sort out some problems with it last minute. Guess we’ll have to come back now!

2012 - A Year Of Travel | May

Ah May, what a good month that was. We returned home to The Netherlands to meet up with family, friends and pets (sadly enough my cat got hit by a car that month as well, at least I was there, see bottom left image). We ate lots of cheese and other good stuff and the month went past too quickly!

2012 - A Year Of Travel | June

Sydney is know for it’s good festivals and we especially enjoyed the festival of light, Vivid Sydney (top left) and the Biennale on Cockatoo Island (right image). There is a lot of art to be found in the Sydney and I think it’s great the city promotes it a lot too.

Oh yeah, and we met the prime minister, Julia Gillard. (In Madame Tussauds, I have to admit).

2012 - A Year Of Travel | July

What better month than the one of your birthday? I love July! I do have to get used to the fact that it falls right in the middle of winter in Australia, as normally it’s the other way around. But getting 3(!) cakes and a free Wine tasting trip to the Hunter Valley made up for it all.

You probably understand why, after all the celebrations, I joined my local gym (bottom right image). I must admit here as well, that I have never been to a gym before in my life and that I only participate in the girly group lessons, such as Yoga, Pilates, Body Balance and my favorite: S’hbam (dance). But hey, at least I gave it a go!

2012 - A Year Of Travel | August

We started getting more active on the weekend and promised ourselves to do at least one activity out of our normal routine. We started walking along the coast from Rushcutters Bay to Double Bay (top image) and further to Rose Bay. Turns out Sydney is perfect for walking and there are some great walking tracks and quiet beaches to be found!

We also camped a weekend at Jervis Bay, in the Booderee National Park and had some amazing wildlife encounters, such as seeing a kangaroo on the beach and a fotoshoot with a very patient Kookaburra (bottom images)

2012 - A Year Of Travel | September

All our September activities were a bit overshadowed by the fact that our beloved cockatiel Neill died this month. We had him with us for a year, since the day he flew onto our balcony one day and decided to never leave.

Neill was a very cheeky, happy and very loud little bird with an amazing hairdo and a repertoire of great songs. He was also very good in impersonating a ringing telephone, loved sitting on our shoulders and biting in (specifically) my nose. We will never forget him and miss him forever.

 

2012 - A Year Of Travel | October

 

We had a some friends from the Netherlands visiting us individually in Sydney a couple of times and we loved being able to offer our couch, advice and tourist information and taking them out to local bars and restaurants. It’s a great feeling showing people around in ‘your’ city (left image) and made us feel a little proud living here as well, seeing how everyone loved their stay here.

Some other highlights this month was the Mumford and Sons concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and –more literally- climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge with colleagues.

 

2012 - A Year Of Travel | November

We continued with some more famil trips organized through my work this month and we got to see the Harbour Bridge again from the Pylon Lookout (left image) and visited Jervis Bay as a day tripwhere we went on a dolphin watch cruise.

2012 - A Year Of Travel | December

December made us realize again how special it is to be living in another country with some amazing customs, sights and wonderful people in it. We got to experience an Australian wedding (both left images) and got invited to spend Christmas with an Australian family as well (both right images). We were spoilt with food, drinks and a lot of heart-warming love from our Australian adopted-families. We cannot thank them enough!

 

I wish you an amazing 2013.

For me, 2013 will (again) be a year of big changes. We will start by saying goodbye to Australia after going to the Opera (finally!) and relaxing in Byron Bay and after that we move back to Europe. We’ve got lots of catching up to do with family and friends, will celebrate the Dutch Carnaval, go skiing in Austria and my friend is getting married, so plenty to do I’d say!

We’re free to choose what we want to do next, so I’m guessing 2013 will be an exciting year with lots of new opportunities!

Follow me on thetraveltester.com also in 2013, thank you for your support.

Xx Nienke[:nl]We’ve been living in Sydney since 2011, but I felt 2012 was the year we felt like true expats. We got more of a sense what it’s like to be away from family and friends for a longer period, we settled into a new home, our jobs and making new friends.

I think we now have a good feel of the city we’ve been living in for that pas 2 years. We also started exploring it a bit more and in different ways than standard tourists. We discovered amazing new restaurants, small bars, took long coastal walks and spend some day trips and weekends away out of the city.

Here is an overview of what 2012 was for me. I’ve focused on travel, working in the travel industry and living in Sydney as an expat:

2012 - A Year Of Travel | January

I can’t believe it’s been a year now since both our families came over to visit us for a month. We got to show them where we work and live and enjoyed some of Sydney’s tourist attractions, such as the Sydney Opera House (top left).

We’ve been living in the suburbs and even though is nice and quiet (and cheap), we started looking for a place a little bit more in the middle of Sydney’s action. (Little did we know we would end up smack in the middle of it – Kings Cross). We had to give up our beautiful Frangipani tree and cactus in our front yard, unfortunately (top right).

With Nick having a regular job and me a pretty flexible one, we started getting real weekends. Like normal people! That meant we could leave the city every now and then, such as visiting The Royal National Park south of Sydney. We love a good hike! (bottom images)

2012 - A Year Of Travel | February

Working as a travel agent, I got to experience the job both inside and out. The (backpacker) travel industry in Australia is a big and close one, with lots of mingles, famil tours and fancy dress parties. I ended up on some pretty random ones (left image).

All the partying aside, I truly love the travel industry for giving me a different look on tourism and the city I live in. I got to experience many of Sydney’s tourist attractions, such as riding the open top sightseeing bus (right image). I started seeing ‘my’ city with fresh eyes and feel very blessed to be able to live and work here.

2012 - A Year Of Travel | March

March and April were two amazing months travelwise, as we road tripped from Perth all the way to Broome on the West Coast of Australia.

Some of the highlights in March for us included flying a propellor plane over Rottnest Island (top left), visiting the Pinnacle Desert (top right), exploring Kalbarri National Park (bottom left) and seeing wild emu’s, dolphins, dugons (manities/seacows) and turtles around Monkey Mia (bottom right).

2012 - A Year Of Travel | April

A couple of our April highlights were: hiking in Karijini National Park (top left), a morning walk in Cape Range National Park (top right) and seeing a frilled neck lizard and an amazing sunset in Broome (bottom images)

We originally planned on finishing this road trip all the way up to Darwin, including the (for us long dreamed of) Kimberly’s, but we had to change our course. Life as an expat unfortunately comes with long and annoying visa procedures and we had no choice to rush back to Sydney and sort out some problems with it last minute. Guess we’ll have to come back now!

2012 - A Year Of Travel | May

Ah May, what a good month that was. We returned home to The Netherlands to meet up with family, friends and pets (sadly enough my cat got hit by a car that month as well, at least I was there, see bottom left image). We ate lots of cheese and other good stuff and the month went past too quickly!

2012 - A Year Of Travel | June

Sydney is know for it’s good festivals and we especially enjoyed the festival of light, Vivid Sydney (top left) and the Biennale on Cockatoo Island (right image). There is a lot of art to be found in the Sydney and I think it’s great the city promotes it a lot too.

Oh yeah, and we met the prime minister, Julia Gillard. (In Madame Tussauds, I have to admit).

2012 - A Year Of Travel | July

What better month than the one of your birthday? I love July! I do have to get used to the fact that it falls right in the middle of winter in Australia, as normally it’s the other way around. But getting 3(!) cakes and a free Wine tasting trip to the Hunter Valley made up for it all.

You probably understand why, after all the celebrations, I joined my local gym (bottom right image). I must admit here as well, that I have never been to a gym before in my life and that I only participate in the girly group lessons, such as Yoga, Pilates, Body Balance and my favorite: S’hbam (dance). But hey, at least I gave it a go!

2012 - A Year Of Travel | August

We started getting more active on the weekend and promised ourselves to do at least one activity out of our normal routine. We started walking along the coast from Rushcutters Bay to Double Bay (top image) and further to Rose Bay. Turns out Sydney is perfect for walking and there are some great walking tracks and quiet beaches to be found!

We also camped a weekend at Jervis Bay, in the Booderee National Park and had some amazing wildlife encounters, such as seeing a kangaroo on the beach and a fotoshoot with a very patient Kookaburra (bottom images)

2012 - A Year Of Travel | September

All our September activities were a bit overshadowed by the fact that our beloved cockatiel Neill died this month. We had him with us for a year, since the day he flew onto our balcony one day and decided to never leave.

Neill was a very cheeky, happy and very loud little bird with an amazing hairdo and a repertoire of great songs. He was also very good in impersonating a ringing telephone, loved sitting on our shoulders and biting in (specifically) my nose. We will never forget him and miss him forever.

 

2012 - A Year Of Travel | October

 

We had a some friends from the Netherlands visiting us individually in Sydney a couple of times and we loved being able to offer our couch, advice and tourist information and taking them out to local bars and restaurants. It’s a great feeling showing people around in ‘your’ city (left image) and made us feel a little proud living here as well, seeing how everyone loved their stay here.

Some other highlights this month was the Mumford and Sons concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and –more literally- climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge with colleagues.

 

2012 - A Year Of Travel | November

We continued with some more famil trips organized through my work this month and we got to see the Harbour Bridge again from the Pylon Lookout (left image) and visited Jervis Bay as a day tripwhere we went on a dolphin watch cruise.

2012 - A Year Of Travel | December

December made us realize again how special it is to be living in another country with some amazing customs, sights and wonderful people in it. We got to experience an Australian wedding (both left images) and got invited to spend Christmas with an Australian family as well (both right images). We were spoilt with food, drinks and a lot of heart-warming love from our Australian adopted-families. We cannot thank them enough!

 

I wish you an amazing 2013.

For me, 2013 will (again) be a year of big changes. We will start by saying goodbye to Australia after going to the Opera (finally!) and relaxing in Byron Bay and after that we move back to Europe. We’ve got lots of catching up to do with family and friends, will celebrate the Dutch Carnaval, go skiing in Austria and my friend is getting married, so plenty to do I’d say!

We’re free to choose what we want to do next, so I’m guessing 2013 will be an exciting year with lots of new opportunities!

Follow me on thetraveltester.com also in 2013, thank you for your support.

Xx Nienke[:]

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