Thursday, 4 August 2016

The bigger Australian dream!

Ren and I just got back from our ten day adventure to the cities of Sydney and Melbourne!

It was our first time Down Under and we had so many eye-opening moments about life & living over these days. Most of these moments led us to contrast our life back in Singapore with this new found reality. In summary, it was a trip that made us wonder if we were really after the bigger things in life - the things that matter.

1) Most of the society shuts down at 6pm.. 
..barring a few wild sections whose members venture into restaurants and bars until midnight. People seemed to plan their week ahead during the weekend and simply 'live' in the weekdays! Everyone has an activity/interest that gets pursued in this wonderful evening time - be it cycling across the town or spending time with their toddlers. It seems like the Neo-classical fable of work-life balance is actually a reality in this part of the world. Whaaat? 

2) People are warm..
..genuinely. Sure, we met some oddballs who spewed general hate at the world. Which city doesn't have them though. What I mean is that the average mood of the society was happy/warm. I always look for signs at retail environments thanks to the occupational hazard - casual conversation amongst employees; a hello, smile and 'how ya doin' at the customer; satisfaction with work and a lining of lethargy indicated comfort. 

3) Oodles of love for the family..
..,a priority we saw in every local we interacted with. One of our cab drivers moved to Sydney to let his 9 year old girl pursue a Sydney education. Another loved his body boarding life by the Maroubra beach with his Japanese wife and their 15 year old tennis playing daughter. We stayed with a gay couple whose love for their home/dog/each other only kept us hoping we'll one day build similar lives for ourselves. 

Oh and I didn't mention the availability of good green food everywhere. And the landscape - pretty much every turn and corner was picture-able. I could go on, but you got the drift! 

Sure, there were times when our Singaporean selves couldn't stand the casual airport officers; lack of realtime public transport arrival estimation in some parts; shops that closed at 6pm; Opal (Sydney) and Myki (Melbourne) cards that were eons away from our very own ezlink (booyea);  temperate weather when the chill touched our souls. But you know us, we love to complain heh. 

Now if I shake the Singaporean out and say 'big picture' 3 times, we zoom back to our cold 4* evening discussions which revolved around 'what are we prioritising again?!'. 

We both are back with people to remember and goals to prioritise. And perhaps a wish to move to this awesome-sauce country?! 

Us with the blue mountains in the scene!

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