Kasia: Nothing to Where and No Wear to Go
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Sydney, etc.
I'm Kasia and I was born in Poland. My passion for travelling kept me moving around the world. I just can't sit still I guess :-). I ended up in the US for a few months, then anchored down in Cambridge, UK for just under 6 years and finally landed in Sydney, Australia last year.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I've been thinking about it for a while but did not have the courage to do it… There were always plenty of excuses as well: the lack of time or topics to write about, being worried of what other people say or think, etc… I'm a shy person deep down but I've been trying to work on it and that's one of the ways of getting over it.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Tell us about the ways your new life in Sydney differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
No culture shock (so far so good) since I've done it before. It's always difficult to begin with especially with no friends and family around. Luckily people in Oz are pretty easy going and friendly, I often find myself chatting to random people on the street or in the lift. The sun helps too! I absolutely love going to the beach (even though I live in the middle of the city centre), play beach volley, do yoga by the sea or go boogie boarding (so much easier than surfing). I truly adore the active outdoor lifestyle.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Sydney? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I hadn't done much research on Oz and living down-under. My preparations were very limited too. I had 1 day and a half to pack my suitcases and get the stuff ready for the removal company. I was still working and went to visit my family in Poland one week before I was due to take off to Sydney. If that wasn't enough just before I left the UK my husband and I finished renovating a house (the project was completed 2 or 3 days after I left) so had practically no time to pack or prepare…. Definitely NOT recommended ;-) as moving your entire life and getting into a serious refurbishment at the same time do not normally go together (surprisingly). Luckily the visas and all the paperwork were done by the company employing my husband.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Make sure you swim between the red and yellow flags and watch out for the currents and rips - they are pretty strong. Once swimming in the ocean in Tamarama Beach (my favorite beach near Sydney) I realized the current was so strong that it affected my bikini. Make sure it's always properly tied. I was lucky since I was in the water up to my shoulders…
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Sydney?
- shop for shoes (especially) and clothes before you move to Oz, it's not easy as it seems and fairly expensive, make sure you bring some warm and waterproof clothes too!!
- have enough money in your bank for accommodation deposit (they call it bond in here) and first month’s rent;
- once you land a job travel around Australia and New Zealand as much as possible, do not get stuck you'll not regret it!
How is the expat community in Sydney? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
It's so easy to meet people in Sydney, everyone is pretty chilled out and easy going. Once you get into one of work or other communities you will have party, BBQ and work drink invitations coming from everywhere, honestly. There are numerous cultural events all year round, google to find out more: The Vivid Festival, Jurassic Lounge, Outpost Project, Sculptures by the Sea, Art and About, Sydney Festival, Sydney Fashion Week, Chinese New Year, New Years Eve, St George Open Air Cinema, Opera on Sydney Harbour, Carols in the Domain, City to Surf, Mardi Gras Parade, food or wine festivals and more.
How would you summarize your expat life in Sydney in a single, catchy sentence?
Life is a BEACH!!