In September 2015 I left my hometown Lauingen, Germany to travel, since then I have visited countries including India, Myanmar, China & currently Sydney. About five months ago, I made the decision to stop off from my travels for about 6-12 months, to live, work and get some experience of living in a different city.
As Sydney is quite a hot spot for travellers to visit and live in, I have composed some tips for living and travelling in Sydney from my own experiences, in hope of helping other travellers enjoy their time here, as much as I am.
Finding a job
Whilst Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities I have lived in, it is also one of the more expensive. My first bit of advice to all Sydney travellers looking to stay for a long duration of time would be to find a job as soon as possible.
On my first day of walking Sydney’s streets and handing out resumes, I was lucky enough to find a job working in an Italian restaurant. During my work at the Italian restaurant, I ran into a friend of my fathers who had also been from Germany and moved to Australia, who offered me a position at his company, and here I still am today.
From my experience, I would suggest if looking for hospitality work always ask for the manager when giving your resume, present yourself politely and introduce who you are and what kind of job you are after.
If you have already worked as a skilled professional in your home country, it may be more advantageous for you to look for a job within that industry. Australia currently has a big gap of skilled labourers in the fields of construction, engineers and mechanics, leaving many opportunities for travelling professionals trained in these industries’.
For any job that you apply for make sure that you have certificates or qualifications that are necessary in the state that you are applying in, as these may differ between states.
Making friends & connecting with locals
When I first moved to Sydney the two ways I initially made friends were through work & work colleagues & online social media groups.
Without even leaving the couch I had joined groups of locals and travellers that were keen to meet up for a Friday night beer, watch Game of Thrones together or go on hiking trips in the Blue Mountains.
When first joining these groups I was expecting younger backpackers that had just finished school, and would only be in Sydney for a few weeks. To my delight once attending group events, I found a variety of people ranging from 18-40 from various countries, with some even being Sydney locals.
These meet ups provided a great way to connect with locals and get insider tips, whilst also gaining insight from travellers who were living, working and experiencing Sydney for quite some time.
Finding somewhere to live
Living in Sydney can be quite expensive especially as a traveller, so I would definitely advise share housing or living in a hostel to be able to have as much money to spend on food and experiences.
Several websites such as Rent, Flatmate Finders & Gumtree are a great way to find a reasonably priced and comfortable space to live in. You will be able to find rooms and spaces with varying prices, even some that may be free or made of a cheaper price if you are able to provide a helping hand or babysit young children.
For a short period of time I stayed in a budgeted hostel for backpackers, which is a lot cheaper than having your own room, allowing you to get to know a lot of people from different countries with whom you can also explore Sydney.
If like me you are working full time, the better option may be to find your own space, as privacy is very minimal when living in a hostel.
Exploring Sydney’s local paths
For insider tips on how to truly experience Sydney from a local’s perspective, find an Australian bartender. Bartenders, especially ones who are from Sydney are a great source of knowledge for local bars, hikes, and general great things to do in Sydney.
Colleagues at work that have lived in Australia for an extender period of time, or who are Australian are also a great go-to for things to explore in and around Sydney.
From my colleagues at MadeComfy, I was able to find out about some very cool underground bars including Baxter’s Inn & Since I left you. I was also given the chance to experience a secret cave party that is hosted along Sydney’s coast with stunning views of the sea by sunset.
What I also find amazing is Sydney’s art offering, with beautiful art ranging from Simyrn Gill in the Museum of Contemporary Art to Sydney’s local street art throughout it’s various alleyways.
My tip to anyone wandering the streets of Sydney would be to leave the house with eye’s wide open each and every day, you will find yourself surprised by some of the amazing street art that bring to life some of Sydney’s local suburbs.
For any travellers passing through or settling in Sydney, my biggest piece of advice would be to soak up as much of the local life as possible. Go the extra mile to get off the beaten track, meet as many new people as possible and really soak up the Sydney laidback life style.
Franziska – Operations Assistant @ MadeComfy
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