After graduating from college, a friend and I set out on a three-month backpacking trip through Australia and New Zealand. We truly knew very little about either country and were only equipped with travel guides and vague notions about what we might see and do on our adventures. And adventures they were! I could write an extremely long love letter to each country, but I’ll spare myself that embarrassment for now. Instead, I’ll share a few things I learned along the way.
It’s always time for poached eggs on toast. This simple yet delicious dish is found in most restaurants and can be ordered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Add avocado or tomato if you like! If you’re even hungrier, choose the full Eggs Benedict. Other menu recommendations: schnitzel topped with sweet chili sauce, fish and chips, and granola with the freshest fruit imaginable! I also enjoyed the most delicious chai lattes, but other visitors might enjoy the flat white. Steamed milk over one shot of espresso, this beverage originated in New Zealand.
Put down the camera. There’s no way a photograph could capture the brilliance of a particular sunset over Byron Bay or just how teal blue the water was at Milford Sound. Australia and New Zealand are by far the most beautiful countries I’ve had the fortune to visit, and it took me no time at all to learn that I needed to stop and observe every moment.
Things get lost in translation, even when you’re speaking the same language. Australians have an abbreviation for everything. “Soz” and “sunnies” and “suss it out” become regular additions to your vocabulary. In New Zealand, words from the native Maori language are often entwined with English. Greet anyone with a casual “Kia ora,” and you’ll fit right in!
Making friends has never been easier. Sit down next to an Aussie or Kiwi at a café and you’ll gain a new lifelong friend. Of course, I can’t attest to the entire population of these two countries, but all of my encounters were with the friendliest, most genuine, kind-hearted people I’ve had the pleasure to meet.
I’ll be back someday. I left both Australia and New Zealand knowing there was still plenty to discover and see. It may be a while before I touch down in Sydney, Melbourne, or Auckland again, but I won’t be able to stay away forever.
Want to explore Australia yourself? Intern or study abroad with World Endeavors!
Posted by World Endeavors on June 8, 2016
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.