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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Soul Searching Down Under- Australia

Today was a day that I felt attached to the uneasiness of uncertainties and mild conflicts with how my life is going or where it is heading. Question: Will we ever know what we want or what do with our lives? Will there be a time where we will stop walking to the edge of soul searching? 

I made an attempt to stop searching for that mythical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow down undah- Australia. After flying a few hours on JetStar Airlines from Denpasar and taking a detour to Sydney to get a glimpse of the city before touching down in Melbourne, VIC I felt so nervous and excited. The unknown is so intriguing. Drinking copious amount of lattes and eating like there's a famine was what my day consisted of. Along with walking miles in my adorable cute Zara leather booties that I purchased in Malaysia. The weather was mildly chilly but in a good way. Stayed at The Victoria Hotel which was walking distance to everything. In the heart of the city. Kinda of apprehensive of staying here since the reviews wasn't great on Tripadvisor since they were in the middle of rennovations. However, the room was clean and updated with new furnishes. One thing I was beginning to take notice of these Aussies were the confidence, the sureness of themselves and the pridefulness of their country. They didn't need to search too far to find themselves. They were proud of it and it was displayed at every corner. I swear I saw an UGG store at every turn. I guess as a Fil-Am I often feel slightly marginalized. Perhaps, that could account for the need to seek out our soul and the meaning of our presence. Infatuation and envy could be the correct words. I enjoyed seeing everyone on their lunch break getting their daily dose of cafe lattes or beer and utilizing the beautiful parks surrounding the city. Hidden alleyways in Melbourne was like walking into another world-unpretentious eateries serving for serious foods that can be found in 5 star restaurants. The one thing that was in great search was wifi. For some strange reason a lot of the establishments did not have free wifi. Toby's Estate Coffee offered delicious coffee and free wifi. The last meal I had in Melbourne was this decadent black truffle risotto. Took TigerAir to fly to Sydney, NSW. It was not all that I expected. I think I was wanting more. Like everything else in my life...I think I want more or at least that is what I'm always chasing and implanted in my brain. I really tried to make an attempt to figure things out in Sydney but only to have walked alone on Valentine's Day. Perhaps, the inevitable truth is that finding the soul is unattainable. All we can so is keep searching. Like any good story or wordly advice, it's not the destination but it is the journey. 

A garden in the middle of the city


Federation Square

Arts Centre

St. Paul's Cathedral 

View of the city in Melbourne

Favorite street to find coffee, good food, & chatters

Coffee and free wifi at Toby's Estate

"Locks of Love"

Flinders Station

Black truffle risotto at Tutto Bene

Melbourne at night

Sydney Opera House

Aged Angus with black truffles and bone marrow. Est.Restaurant at the Establishment Hotel.

Rare halo around the sun

Delicious cupcakes from CupcakesonPitt

Pool of Reflection in Hyde Park

U.S. currency was good so decided to get a Chanel

Coastal Walk. walked from Bondi Beach to McKenzie Beach

Inside Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel, The Rocks

For serious work out on these stairs

Completely in awe. Farmer's Market at The Rocks

Harbour Bridge

Dining inside the old hospital

Opera House at night

Waiting for a delicious meal at Est. White dress from NastyGal

Last plate of dessert to end a spectacular last meal in Sydney.

Beautiful old world buildings

Having Breakfast at The Fine Food Store located on The Rocks

Advice/Point of Interest
-Australia is very expensive-expect to splurge on everything even on water($5US). However, find a grocery store like Coles and stock on foods that can be stored in your hotel room like bread, deli meats, & fruits. Definitely buy bottled water at the grocery stores.
-Public Transportation in Australia is amazing, clean, & easy to use. Great signage and decent price. People here are extremely fit and I think it has a lot to do with the people walking all the time.
-Diamant Boutique Hotel Sydney in Kings Cross was a really nice hotel. Once again, used Agoda.Com for booking on hotels at discounted price. 
-See the Parliament House in Melbourne, VIC and all the typical tourist attractions. Full of history.
-Royal Botanical Garden in Sydney was beautiful place to stroll through beautiful faunas. Garden will lead you to the Opera House.
-GST in Australia. If you spend $300 or more in one store and keep the receipt you get a "tourist refund" of about 10%. It has to be hand carried or worn like a Chanel purse. Click on the link to read more about it.
-Don't forget to get your e-visa which you can purchase ahead of time. $20 for Americans.
-Everywhere you go, the majority of goods are made or grown in the country. Their ability to be sustainable and use all natural products is something America should strive to do. Given, everything is pricier you receive quality products. From the natural soaps to delicious grass fed Australian Waggyu, there isn't anything this awesome country can't offer to any adventurous traveler.

Thanks Australia for an awesome time down undah. Will definitely be back again and stay longah. Cheers mate!

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