1 week/$100 (Day 1)

The Challenge?

Flight was awesome. Flew from Toronto to San Francisco to Sydney. The stopover in San Fran was only 45 minutes. The hop-off-hop-on connection made it feel like I flew 18 hours straight (approx.) from home to Oz. Quick and dirty.

While flying I was thinking of a way to get to my flat without paying for a cab. Cab fare from SYD would cost me around $35. Taking the Airport Link Train would cost me $15 but would only get me to Town Hall. I wouldn’t be able to carry my 2 packs the rest of the way by foot. Decided I’d figure it out when I got there.

Ready for take-off.
Ready for take-off.

Turned out United Airlines left my larger pack in San Fran. Baggage claim services assured me it’d be delivered (free of charge) to my flat the following day. Worked out PERFECT! I grabbed the Airport Link into the city for $15 and walked the rest of the way. I had another pair of pants and a tee in my small pack anyway. Plus I got $100 compensation from my Capitol One Aspire MasterCard under the included baggage delay insurance. All worked out. (TIP: A lot of private companies offer shuttle services to and from the airport for the same price. Give it a Google). 

***

Arrived back in Sydney on the bloody hottest day ever… over 43 degrees (C).  Hung out with my roomies, caught up with an old flame, took a couple of melatonin tablets and went off to bed. Snoozed.

***

Weather cooled since yesterday. For no apparent reason whatsoever this has to be my favourite day in Sydney to record. Over Xmas I decided I’d come back here, look for farm work somewhere in southern Australia to get my second year visa, then settle again and work… EFF THAT.

At THIS moment… I feel one year in Oz will satisfy me. Things could change (UPDATE: I want to stay longer). Right now I’m living at my old flat rent-free hoping my former landlord doesn’t hop in to catch me frying eggs in my PJs: “fancy seeing you here Canadia.” Might be a tad uncomfortable considering I have yet to hand back my key (forgot to before leaving in December). Opps!

My plans now? Possibly stay in Sydney for a bit… rent-free. How? Couch surf, work in a hostel or stay with O (my old boss). Before leaving for home she mentioned I could crash at her place if I needed a bed. Sweet. Plus my friend from the Philippines is looking for a flat so maybe I could crash there. Plenty of options.

Plans for the next week are to remain in tourist-mode until I’ve had my fill. Screw finding work, screw finding a new flat, screw pricey bonds. I love travelling and my closest friends know me to be a wanderer … might as well.

*** 

Today’s weather reminds me of springtime in Niagara Falls, ON. Cool and breezy… lovely. Tonight I’ll look up a few free things to do—or things that are going on in Sydney. Right now is Sydney’s festival time so there’s loads of things to look out for. Just winging it and keepin’ it simple.

Also going to keep up with my IWTK posts. I can feel it will lead to something great in the long run… looking forward to it. 🙂

*** 

Sitting in the Westfield food court. Grabbed some Guzman Y Gomez. Beef burrito bowl with guacamole… yummmmm. Grab a loyalty card if you’re a Mexican food fiend like myself.

A man and woman are sitting to my left. They’re colleagues. Actually… she’s his boss, and she’s politely bit*hing to him about his less than mediocre sales as of late.

To my right are a group of middle-aged Asian women who just ordered gelato from the Italian café behind us. They are looooving it. Just shared a few laughs with them and took a few pics of them with their waffle cones. They just called themselves ‘ice-cream addicts.’ Enjoying life.

Boss woman to my left just gave her employee some sage advice: ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.

Time for a post-meal read. Today’s feature: Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek. Highly recommended.

***

Almost 9PM. Sitting at Darling Harbour on a beautiful night. Live music playing in the background and a giant rubber duck floating by the dock. No idea why… possibly part of what’s going on with the Sydney Festival. The kids are looooving it. Really makes me want to buy a bow and arrow, shoot the rubber ducky and watch it slowly deflate as the kids wail in the background. I’m evil. 

Darling Harbour, Sydney
Darling Harbour, Sydney

Time to head home, make some din, then off to bed.

Track of the Day:

DRAGONETTE-Live in This City

Coin:

Lunch  – $12

Groceries (dozen eggs, baked beans) – $6.23

TODAY’S TOTAL: $18.23

WEEK’S TOTAL: $18.23

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Packing, credit cards and the cheapest DIY teeth whitener

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my last week at work. Busy, busy, busy. Aside from the hustle and bustle of distributing my workload to my fellow reporters, I’m looking forward to the Wednesday ‘Bon Voyage’ lunch at Moxies my department planned for me. Always great to be able to take a break from the ol’ cubicles. 🙂

I’m slowly starting to pack (meaning day-dreaming about it) and been considering a few efficient options. I’ll be bringing my pack with me, along with a backpack and a few purses. I’m considering buying travel Space Bags. They don’t require a vacuum to suck the air out and it could save some much needed space (reviews are mostly positive). I was also thinking of bringing a mini wheeled luggage for my shoes… yes. 🙂

This week I received 2 credit cards in the mail that I’ll be bringing with me: the MNBA Smart Cash WorldPoints card, and the Capitol One Aspire Travel World MasterCard. The MNBA has no annual fee, and you get 5% cash back on gas/groceries for the first 6 months and 3% thereafter. You’ll also make 1% cash back on all other purchasing made with the card. If you’re interested in applying for the MNBA, do it through GreatCanadianRebates.ca. They’ll give you a $60 rebate upon approval. The Capitol One has an annual fee of $120 (womp womp) but gives you a bonus of 35 000 points after your first purchase (equivalent to a free cheap flight)! This card also provides emergency medical (up to 22 days), trip cancellation, baggage loss and more.

How is a cheap DIY teeth whitener relevant to this blog? It’s not. But I am a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding (this coming Saturday) and having pearly whites in photos is something that to me seems vital… so I thought I’d share. This ‘whitening’ recipe is cake! You’ll love it.

Buy it

Baking soda… standard Arm & Hammer’s fine.

35% food grade hydrogen peroxide… DO NOT buy any hydrogen peroxide. You can find this at your nearest health-food or supplement shop.

Dilute it

In a separate bottle pour 1 oz. of hydrogen peroxide and 11 oz. water… label the bottle ‘diluted hydrogen peroxide.’ You can store the full strength bottle of peroxide somewhere in your pantry. You’ll be using the diluted mixture every time you whiten your teeth.

Mix it

2 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon diluted hydrogen peroxide… always add the diluted peroxide to the baking soda, not the other way around. Start with 1 tablespoon of diluted peroxide, mix, and slowly add more drops until the mixture forms the consistency of a paste.

Brush it

Brush your teeth with the mixture for 2 mins… keep the mixture from touching your gums as much as possible (may burn for those with sensitive gums). Also, don’t swallow the mixture. 🙂

Rinse… after 2 mins, rinse your mouth by brushing and gargling with water. It is extremely important that you rinse until there’s no taste or trace of the mixture in your mouth. Rinse ‘til you’re blue in the face.

Dump it

Clean up… you can throw out the remaining mixture left over and you’re done!

Not only is this cheap, but it has less ingredients and whitens your teeth FAST. The 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide will assure that you won’t be ingesting anything harmful (it’s often used as a fruit/vege cleaner).