I apologize. It’s been a while. Here’s what’s been going on…
I love Sydney. It’s a great city full of great people. During these last two weeks I’ve been checking off all the general tourist attractions (Opera House, Bondi Beach, Botanical Gardens etc.), getting settled in my new apartment, securing a job or 2 and hanging with other travelers and locals.
For those looking to move to Australia and hoping to get an apartment right away, make sure you have all your bank information and financials set before arriving. That means, make sure you’re bringing your desired amount of cash with you, that you know how to make easy e-transfers from your home bank account to your Australian one, and that you’re prepared to afford rent for the first few pay periods as well as pay a security deposit. My apartment required a $740 deposit (which will be returned to me upon leaving).
Finding work: It’s way, way, way too easy to have fun in Sydney. A little dangerous I’ll say. Many of the people I met in the hostel were also staying on extended work/travel visas but were still looking for work. Finding work isn’t difficult if you’re not picky. When you’re living in a hostel and partying every night, it’s easy to feel comfortable in your set ‘vacation’ ways. Many of the hostel-mates had been staying in Bounce for over 3 months and still ‘looking’ for work. If you have enough money stashed and your intention is to just have fun and enjoy the city… by all means go for it! But be aware that it’s an expensive city and the last thing you want to be doing is begging your parents to wire you money from home.
Many of the work opportunities for travelers are promotions and sales related. If you’re the type to like and thrive in this type of work then you’ll have no trouble finding a job and making lots of money doing it. For everyone else you’re better of choosing a field or work sector you’re most comfortable working in and targeting those jobs.
There are many nanny or au-pair agencies (some of which I’m affiliated with) that can help set you up with a family in your desired location. You can also meet with an employment agency that specializes in finding placements in admin or other clerical/data entry-type work.
The opportunities are endless.
Facebook: Eventually I’d like to start up an IWTK Facebook page, but for now you can access my personal Facebook page by clicking on the icon in the top right hand corner, right next to the Twitter icon. Blog updates with not be posted on my profile (as with Twitter) but you will be able to see all the photos I’ve uploaded since being here.
If you’re planning on working while staying in Australia you’ll need a TFN no. You won’t be able to apply for it from home but you can as soon as you land in Oz. If you’ve applied for it and want to start applying for jobs, let the employer know that you’ve applied and are waiting for it to be sent.
Applying for it is cake. You can apply for it here. Just type in ‘apply for TFN’ in the search bar on the top right and it will show you a link that leads straight to the application page. The application process shouldn’t take more than 15 mins. You’ll answer basic questions and need to provide them with your passport number and address for where it’ll be sent.
I entered the address to my hostel even though the Australian Taxation Office informed me that it would take anywhere from 7-28 days to arrive. If it doesn’t arrive before I leave the hostel I’ll need to make a trip back to pick it up.
I’m starting to realize how expensive everything is here. I’ll be applying for jobs starting tomorrow as well as looking into checking out a few apartments. This week Bounce is offering one week’s stay in a co-ed shared dorm for $210. Not a bad last resort if I may say so!
I’ve only been here a week but Sydney’s party scene seems riddled with more bars than anything. I love it… good opportunity to hang out with the locals, have a beer and a good chuckle. Me and a few hostel-mates have checked out a few bars in the King’s Cross area. It’s sort of a grungy neighbourhood… lots of strip joints and hagglers running around but otherwise, very friendly! Ha! There are a few Irish pubs along the strip and venues that host live bands. One bar/club called World Bar usually hosts a few bands every weekend. We went on a Friday. The crowd was a little young from what I could see (15 or 16 year olds running around) but the bands were great.
After a couple drinks we went down the street to the King’s Cross Hotel. A lot of the bars are called ‘hotels’ for some reason. I loved it there. The main floor was a sports bar and the fourth floor was a club… best of both worlds. The top floor also had a great balcony with a view of the neighbourhood.
Beer, beer, beer. I thought I’d try the Aussie favourite ‘Pure Blonde.’ Stay clear. I’m no beer connoisseur but damn… not a fan. If you hop into a bar that carries James Squire 150 Lashes however, give it a shot. It’s delish! This pale ale’s so clean and smooth it tastes like water. Could be a little dangerous for some! 🙂
Today I opened a chequing account (transaction account) with the National Australian Bank (NAB). The branch is just a 5 min walk from the hostel and right across the street from Market City and Paddy’s (a flea market and large fruit market). The bank teller was most helpful and made opening the account a breeze. Gave him my ID (passport, license etc.) and I was set. I was told to pick up the bank card from the branch in 7 days. Your transaction account will automatically get you an attached savings account. The one I opened has an interest rate of 5%! The teller told me that rate’s an all-time low for Australia… usually it’s around 6.2%!
Ohhhh, my cell phone. So I arrived in Oz thinking that my cell phone was already unlocked. Negative. I bought a SIM for $2 and loaded it with $20 from Vodafone. They have stores located all over and their customer service is awesome. They also have a large branch right in Syndey’s Botany airport. Great for anyone who wanted to get that taken care of upon landing. You could also buy the SIM cards from any convenience store… they all sell them. I bought mine from a close by 7/11. The SIM comes with an instruction booklet that leads you through the simple registration process where you’re given a new number and PINs. And that’s when I found out my phone was locked. I threw in the new SIM and my phone prompted me to enter an unlock code… womp womp. I went to Market City and found a stand called ANT where they unlocked it for $40.
All McDonald’s locations (and many little coffee shops) have free WiFi… awesome considering the $3/hr I’d been paying to use the internet at the hostel. I Skyped with the fam for the first day today. It was hilarious! My parents have a tiny netbook with a built in camera, and somehow they managed to get all of them to fit their faces into the small screen… all of them (mom, pop, brother, grandmother, uncle). My 85-year old grandmother was amazed… she didn’t believe such technology existed. Hilarious. The people sitting around and behind me seemed to enjoy the entertaining conversation.
I’m pretty sure I walked around the same 3 streets—up and down—a good 5 times each. By the time I found Paddy’s it was closed. Mondays? Closed? Really? Means I’ll be getting some groceries bright and early tomorrow. (UPDATE: Mondays and Tuesdays!)
I’ve also been looking into a few low cost tours and interesting places to walk around. So far there are a few vintage stores I’m planning on checking out in Surry Hills, as well as taking a trip to Bondi Beach. An American sitting next to me on my flight to Denver mentioned there’s an awesome restaurant there called Iceberg’s, or something close to that name.
Do you guys know of any unique or random places I shouldn’t dare pass up? Let me know! 🙂