Sydney is a world class city. It is blessed with a warm dry climate and is located on hundreds of kilometers of picturesque shoreline. It is safe and prosperous. Things like good coffee, sushi and city planning made us very happy to be back in a familiar western culture. Tap water was drinkable and for the first time in 7 months we didn't use bottled water for brushing our teeth. Grocery stores are big and well stocked just like home. More than once we went to a supermarket for the novelty of looking at the food we could finally recognize.
Sydney is very much like Vancouver and the similarities caused us to think of home more. We experienced home sickness occasionally while travelling but it was more noticeable in Sydney and we started to realize how long we'd been away. We especially missed friends and family, our former apartment and the luxuries we could afford when we had career jobs.
We quite enjoyed our time in Sydney and its culture. Sydneysiders love coffee, eating out, and incidentally have an aversion to Starbucks. It makes for a wonderfully diverse cafe industry. Some cafes were good, others not and occasionally we'd find an amazing cup of coffee and return several times. It felt like a treasure hunt. Sydneysiders enjoy their beautiful coastline to its fullest. Their love for the beach borders on obsession and it was entertaining to watch the surfing culture. As much as possible we walked and explored different shorelines.
By far the biggest highlight of Sydney was seeing friends we met travelling. We met five friends at various points in South America. Sharon & Richard in Ecuador (Post 8), Jeremy & Phoebe in Peru, Argentina & Brazil (Post 14,21,26), and Daniel in Brazil (Post 25,26). We were gracious for their hospitality, always inviting us to go out with their friends. Each showed us a different slice of their life in Sydney that was important to them. They would take afternoons, evenings and entire days to drive us hundreds of KMs to see famous sites, organize a wonderful Aussie BBQ, and take us to their favorite restaurants, beaches or walks. It made our time in Sydney. We look forward to returning the favour some day.