My husband and I are neither whimsical nor methodical about where we decide to travel. Perusing Google Maps is a favorite pastime and many of our decisions are based on a “what have we never seen before?” school of thought.
I was drastically close to booking tickets to Europe last spring when I stumbled upon a ridiculously good fare to Australia, so we made a sharp left and ended up spending two weeks on the opposite side of the world.
We began and ended in Sydney, where rain was a major theme. After the first day of trudging through puddles and light showers, I was beginning to regret lugging along my giant Mamiya 645 paired with my delightfully compact Zenobia C folding camera, but once I got into the rhythm of shooting, the weight didn’t really bother me much.
Neither of us is a stranger to culture shock, but the lack of barriers here presented us with an unfamiliar travel experience. No language miscommunications, no struggles to accomplish day-to-day tasks–the price of beer was a bit scandalous, but we were able to relax and explore without much burden.
We weren’t able to explore all of Sydney’s nooks and crannies during our four-day visit, but we did manage to cross paths with that famous opera house a few times. were christened with our first 100-percent genuine Australian sunburns on a walk from Coogee to Bondi, gorged ourselves at the fish market, and hopped a ferry to Manly and Cockatoo Island. Coming from the desert, commuting by ferry is an attraction all its own.
Sydney is a wonder, and–like with all cities–I felt like we didn’t quite get our fill, but that just leaves reason to return.
~ Sarah Arnoff
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