5 Alternative Ways to #CatchUpWithSydney

Sydney wanderlusts, it has been a few weeks, so how did you all hold up after the long holidays? Still feeling awful?

Through out the last few weeks, we acted as tour guides and showed you some of the interesting locations in the city to explore. Apart from our Catch Up With Sydney’s #1 rule of being a tourist at home, are you wondering what else you can do to deal with the trauma of post-travel blues? Here are some tips to help you ease your mind:

#1 Exercise, Exercise, Exercise.

Exercise at least three times a week. Remember the time when your high school PE teacher stressed the importance of performing some sort of physical activities? He did not just say this out of nowhere because research shows that “happy hormones” endorphins are produced during the process, which eventually gives off a feeling of happiness. So take some time out after work, it’s time to get your joggers on!

#2 Talk to a random stranger

talk-to-stranger_o_303324

You have lived in this travelling bubble and met some of the friendliest and open-minded people at different hostels and bars, and then you just realise you have been thrown right back to this city where no one even bothers to give you a smile. But why not spread a bit of your love to the surroundings and talk to the girl sitting next to you on the bus? A greeting as simple as “how are you today” could already make someone’s day.

#3 Join a conversation group 

One thing I definitely missed about travelling or living abroad is that I got the chance to learn and speak a new language, so joining a local conversation group is definitely a way to keep your foreign tongue rolling. Both universities and independent associations have organised language activities, so that you can get paired up with a native speaker and start catching up on your French, German, or whatever language you are currently picking up!

Websites for language exchange: www.mylanguageexchange.com/www.conversationexchange.com/

#4 Search for your favourite food from the trip

We all know everyone loves good food, so what is better than getting your favourite food to cheer yourself up? In a food paradise like Sydney, the city has all kinds of cuisines covered, from Italian to Mexican.

#5 Appreciate your surroundings

Sometimes we just forget how fortunate we actually are. While going to an overseas adventure is definitely an amazing experience, we can also think about the things we miss about home. Just like having your family around, lying on a comfy bed and finally being able to get back to the gym. Isn’t it great to be home?

Advertisements

T-Town in Sydney

There is one thing about Sydneysiders is that they are well-known for their cravings for basil, Pad Thai noodles and green chicken curry, so I could imagine that pain you have been through in Europe after walking past more than 20 kebab shops but still could not spot an authentic Thai restaurant. Even if you finally managed to find one, you decided to turn away after looking at the menu prices because you would rather save that money on a Ryanair return ticket to Barcelona.

Well, not anymore. In a metropolitan hub like Sydney, you are never short of delicious yet reasonably priced food. Looking for Thai food? Simply head down to Thai Town located on Campbell Street, right next to Chinatown. Officially recognised as the second Thai Town in the world after Los Angeles, you can easily find a range of Thai restaurants and grocery stores in the area.

Of course we have all lined up outside Chat Thai for their famous sticky rice and mango, but what about other restaurants? Go check out Rim Tanon (formerly known as Chilli Cha Cha) in Haymarket where you can purchase most of the main courses for less than $10.

10646904_1538672533019719_5251070700485744420_n  1780868_1469435283276778_1691225835_n

My favourite dish from the restaurant would be C.B.C.P Fried Rice ($10) – flavourful fried rice with thai chilli and basil sided with crispy pork. It tastes even better with a sunny side egg, which you will only have to pay for an extra $2. Remember to ask for some fish sauce and chilli flakes as well because they go really well with the Thai spices in the rice too. Great and cheap food, funky decor and friendly staff, it is a no-brainer that the restaurant holds an overwhelming rating of 85% on UrbanSpoon.

Address: Haymarket, 40 Campbell St, Sydney, NSW 2000

Reviews on UrbanSpoon: http://urbns.pn/6bl5

thainatown-thai-restaurant-sydney 074

Fancy some Thai desserts after having a big feast? You can go to a grocery shop called Rung Puang, which is also around the corner but closer to Central station. Once you get through the tiny door and enter this sandstone building, you will find all sorts of Thai desserts such as pandan cakes, pumpkin desserts and sweets of different colours. To end this exotic adventure in town, buy yourself some traditional (instant) Thai coffee so that you can sit on a sofa and enjoy a cuppa at home.

Address: 461 Pitt street, Haymarket, NSW 2000

References:

http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/food-news/signing-up-thai-town-gets-recognised-as-a-cultural-hub-20131021-2vx3o.html

So Berlin-like: Street Art in Newtown

Sydney wanderlusts, let me start this blog post by asking two questions:

1. Can you name three street art capitals of the world? You will probably say Berlin, London, and our Aussie representative Melbourne right?

2. What comes up on your mind when it comes to Sydney? Without a doubt, even for a Sydneysider who has resided in the city for a long period of time, you will just instantly think about the famous postcard attractions – Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Harbour Bridge, and the list goes on.

Apparently, the connection between street art and Sydney is minimal, especially when the city council has a notorious reputation for blindly removing the creative work on the streets. However, if you go a little further West in Newtown, you will find some of the most colourful hidden gems in the city. You might even get a deja vu feeling as you stroll around the back alleys and look at the graffiti on the walls, which easily covers a multi-storey building. Indeed, the street art scene in this suburb is just as vibrant as its European counterparts. Some of the well-known artists, such as Fintan Magee and Jason Moses, have also contributed their work in this part of Sydney.

Most of the artwork is concentrated in the following areas of Newtown:

  • Kings Street
  • Enmore North
  • Trafalgar Street
  • Camperdown Memorial Rest Park

“I have a dream” mural is one of the most famous artwork on Kings Street, created by Andrew Aiken and Juilee Pryor in 1991, which has used the slogan from Martin Luther King Jr to advocate for Aboriginal civil rights. Although it is illegally painted by the two artists, it is one of the few artwork that has been preserved by the city council.

A paste-up found at Whateley Lane near Kings Street, a politically proactive parody artwork of the Australian PM Tony Abbott.

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 11.17.41 pm

The “Africa” mural painted in the 1990s, near Newtown Mission.

Apart from its unique artwork, you will also find a range of vintage shops, small cafes, hip bars and antique shops in Newtown. Along with the various cultural happenings around the area, that pretty much sums up the definition of a hipster’s heaven.

To see more artwork in Newtown, you can visit this website: http://www.newtownprecinct.com.au/street-lifestreet-art

Reference:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/inner-west/newtown-and-other-inner-west-suburbs-home-to-some-of-the-worlds-leading-street-art/story-fngr8h4f-1226861005060 

Coping with post-holiday blues: maintaining wanderlust

Breakdown

What makes up the post-travel blues? (source: http://www.getawaybrigade.com/)

The struggle is real. Getting a bombardment of never-ending list of work tasks and catching up on the messages you have missed during your dream holiday, all you could do is looking out the window and dreaming about the next travelling destination. You might have enjoyed the luxury of eating exotic dishes and visiting different places, but your friends start to get annoyed when you whine about the frustration of being stuck at home after your overseas experience. No one understands you, and you feel like a stranger at home. The only thing you are able to do is to hide your feelings in your heart, and it simply sucks.

The great news is you are not a psycho. It’s confirmed that post-holiday blues is a mental symptom that has been experienced by travellers after spending a substantial amount of time abroad. This claim is supported by a tourism research study conducted in the Netherlands, as it shows that the level of happiness will drop significantly after the holiday. Don’t panic, it is completely normal to experience these feelings after returning home.

IMG_2264

Another great news is that this problem can be solved by being a traveller at home so that you can #CatchUpWithSydney. Rose Mulready, a famous editor from Lonely Planet, suggests that one of the best ways is to maintain wanderlust at home because the whole city is your backyard. Even if you have lived in Sydney for your entire life, there are still so many places out there for you to explore. Try to spot a Paris-style cafe, or get a big breakfast at a traditional English pub, because adopting your overseas mentality into daily routines can also make the city adventure more interesting and exciting. You will be amazed at how many fantastic locations you can easily reach within an hour or two.

As simple as that, you can keep your curiosity alive and be a proud Sydneysider once again. Phew.

References:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-tips-and-articles/76399

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11482-009-9091-9

#CatchUpWithSydney: What, Why, How?

(Image Source: http://www.grapesandgrainsnyc.com)

Strong dollar, cheap airfares and a desire to seek thrills – these are some of the reasons why more and more young Australians choose to travel or study abroad and go on an adventure of their lifetime. After landed on the other side of the world, these young travellers become exposed to foreign cultures, start pretending to speak a new language fluently, party hard without the restrictions of curfews and lockouts, and more importantly gain lifelong friendships during the time of their journey. Sadly, this amazing experience will come to an end and they simply find themselves stuck in square one afterwards.

Does this sound like something you are going through at the moment? With ten out of ten Aussie travellers experienced nostalgia and trauma after returning home from a relaxing trip abroad, this is an alarming figure that reveals the number of travellers suffered from post-holiday blues, yet it has not been addressed by any public bodies or authorities. The symptoms such as detachment from reality and confusion over future goals are often unnoticed due to the nature of this problem. Without an appropriate platform to express their feelings, this could interrupt daily life and it could even be detrimental to their mental health.

Therefore, along with the use of Facebook and Twitter, the urban project #CatchUpWithSydney is launched to raise awareness about this issue and help wanderlusts in Sydney who have just returned home rediscover all the fun things happening in the city. By providing tips on how to cope with these negative feelings, as well as introducing all the interesting spots and activities in Sydney, it aims to help these travellers to see their home from a fresh perspective, while continue to engage in the act of exploring new and exciting places to visit.

Don’t worry, picking up your #SydneysiderPride again is only a matter of time. We will eventually get there.

References:

http://honisoit.com/2014/08/post-europe-depression-clinic-mandated/

http://www.smh.com.au/travel/traveller-tips/how-to-beat-the-postholiday-blues-20120123-1qd0v.html