10 Things I Love About Sydney

Taken last March 2015 at Blue Mountains, NSW

When we visited Sydney a year ago for a tour, my husband and I instantly fell in love with the place. We became so obsessed with the idea of living in Australia that we never stopped praying and hoping for it to come true. Providentially, the Lord must have seen us prayed so hard that year after, Paolo, Leon and I are now living here in New South Wales.
Bondi Beach, present

We can never be more than grateful.

Currently, we still couldn't believe how different our lives are now. Here, we're on our own. Doing chores on our own, taking care of our son on our own, deciding on our own, living on our own. We learned to be very independent - something I love about living here in Sydney. More than this, there are a lot more things to love about being here. And that is what I'd like to share with you - the __ things I love about (living in) Sydney.

1. Commuting is fast, safe and easy
I always adored countries with fast, accessible and safe mass transportation system. Australia - NSW, in particular, offers one of the best ever. Leon and I never had a hard time commuting from one suburb to another for we can easily go anywhere through the train, bus or even taxi. As long as I have the opal card with me, we can easily go to a nearby mall through the bus or go to Paolo's office in the city via train. 

With the help of transport apps and google maps, I can easily bring Leon everywhere. There's a bus stop everywhere - making it feel like everything is connected. Also, trains and buses have special sections for the kids, pregnant women, disabled, senior citizen and even for the pram (stroller) that you would not have a hard time carrying or bringing your kid around. Moreover, fare discounts are being given to heavy commuters, and fares are half or free on weekends.

How I wish we have something like this in the Philippines

2. Rent is available everywhere
Rent is probably the most expensive thing here in Australia. If you are eyeing to live near the city, expect to spend 600AUD and up for weekly rent. However, the good news is, you can find rentals everywhere. Depending on your budget, you can opt to get a studio, 1br, 2br, townhouse, duplex, house or even house-share. Most of the time, the houses and apartments come with dishwasher, oven, stove, clothes dryer, heater, and airconditioning; depending on how old or new the unit is. With the accessible transportation system, going in and out of the city will not be a problem.

3. Food is good but some are cheap, and some are costly
Seriously, food is good here in Australia. Whether you are dining in Hungry Jacks, to food restaurants in mall food court or to al fresco dinings in Darling Harbor, they all serve really good food. I am amazed at how the food here tastes delicious. I assume that it is because they have good ingredients here - the meat, the chicken, the vegetables and the fruits are fresh and they probably contribute to the taste of food here. Even my own cooking is delicious!


4. Parks, playgrounds and parents room everywhere
For me, this is probably the best thing here in Australia. There are parks on every block and playgrounds in every mall that kids can access for free. Yes, for free! I did not have a hard time limiting Leon's gadget use cause we have so many things to do outside. There's a park just a block away from out apartment, a playground in the mall, or even a play area in a nearby McDonald's  where I can bring him. There are so many parks around our suburb that Leon could just visit to play and meet other kids.
 Oh, was I able to tell you about the parent/family room? Basically, a huge comfort room where you can bring your child, breastfeed in private, relax a little, heat the food, pee in comfort while letting your toddler play in a play area? Yes. you could do all those things in the parent room - my favorite place in the mall. 

5. Helpful, friendly mix of different people

When you do some grocery shopping and you have to commute your grocery bags with a child, always expect someone to offer help. I really love how friendly the Australians (or people in Australia) are. Expect a random person to assist you, help you or even have a light chat with you. Moreover, with a lot of different migrants here in Sydney - Filipinos, Chinese, Indians, Koreans, Lebanese, Mexicans and more, you won't really feel out of place. Sydney has a rich multicultural population that you would just blend in. And really, they are really really friendly (especially the moms!).

6. They take coffee seriously here
Seriously, once you've tasted coffee here, your game would just go on a whole new level. Coffee is a very serious commodity here in Australia that the beans are top quality. My words are not enough to describe how good the coffee is here but really, once you've tried their coffee -- even the more affordable ones, you might think twice if you'll go to back to Starbs (unless your fan of sweet coffees).

7. There's a sale everywhere
Really. There's a sale anytime, everywhere. Look no far, even the groceries go on sale. I was really surprised to discover that every week, Woolworths and Coles go on sale here. They have special discounts every week that your usual products - toiletries, canned goods, chips, chocolates, cleaning items go half price! Usually, I check what's on sale and carefully plan my grocery list for the week so I could buy the house essentials in a cheaper price. Oh, and there are endless shops you can buy your stuff - like Kmart, Target, Bunnings, BigW, Costco, IKEA and you will never run out of a sale.

8. Libraries and Kid-friendly programs
Upon the sight of our city library, (Paramatta City Library), I was floored. They offer a lot of books, CDs, DVDs that you can borrow and return. Moreso, they have laptops inside that you can use to help you with your research. What's more exciting? They have a FREE 30-minute story time for kids. Amazing, right?

Indeed, there are a number of activities I could bring my son to, and the good news is - they're free. I get that overwhelming feeling in my heart whenever I see Leon singing and dancing on the library. I just couldn't believe that I get to see him learn and discover things. Anyways, next on my research are the playgroups that Leon and I can join for free too! I still have to learn more on that soon.

9. Healthy Lifestyle

 I have to believe, Australia is healthy. The people here are so health conscious that the kilojoule (calorie) content of each food is indicated on the menu. Moreover, people here love salads, fresh juices, fruits and sandwiches that you get to imbibe their healthy way of eating. I am so amazed how fresh the fruits and the juices here are! Leon was really sickly back in the Philippines that he is usually maintained with antihistamines because of his rhinitis. He usually gets bronchitis back then and has to be always treated with antibiotics. Now, here in Australia, I think he just became a lot healthier. When I see him getting a runny nose (because of the change in weather), I just give him a a glass of apple juice and a serving of fruit and a couple of days after, it'll just go away. 
I really think there's magic in their food here.

10. A beach is within reach
Planning on a beach trip with your family? Sydney has a number of beaches you can go to. You can bask in the sun and feel the vivid energy in Bondi or relax and bond with your family in Manly. There are a lot more beaches in Sydney (that I haven't been to) that you can just go for free. The better part? You can easily commute your way to Bondi or Manly! 


A Family Friendly Country
The main reason why we fell in love with Australia is on how family friendly the country is. There are a lot of parks, playgrounds, and facilities that you and your kids can enjoy. Now that we are living here, I am truly enjoying all these benefits. I never thought I could walk around the suburbs safely, bring my son to places peacefully and see him enjoy the outdoors happily. 

Hope you like my post!

Til my next one.

xx, The Mommy Roves

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