Mistakes I Made Arriving to Sydney

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Alexandra Thorpe
May 1, 2024

My first week in Sydney was a little overwhelming trying to acclimate myself to a new environment that I will be living in for the next four months. It took me one day to realize that I packed all the wrong things. I am the worst at packing for trips; I always seem to pack for the wrong occasions and miss everything that I actually need. Knowing about this fault of mine, I should have been extra careful about my preparation, but I think I was too excited about going to Australia. I did a little research before going, but I don’t think you truly know what you need until you get there. I pictured myself going to the beach everyday, so I mostly packed beachy clothes which was my first mistake. I did not realize that the beach is actually 40 minutes away by train, so this would only be a weekend activity for me with my busy class schedule. Sydney was also a lot cooler than I expected at night, and temperatures consistently dropped once Fall came around. I had to go out and buy some warmer clothing, so I wouldn’t freeze on my way to class. It also rained a lot, but I did remember to bring a rain jacket, albeit a flimsy one but it did the job. Now, arguably my biggest mistake was not purchasing a power adapter before arriving in Australia. I really don’t know what I was thinking, but just for any trip in general, save yourself the trouble and purchase one before you leave. I spent my first day racing to find a power adaptor before my phone died, only to realize that I purchased the wrong one from Kmart. Thanks to one of the lovely IES people, they let me use their portable charger for the next day until I could buy the correct adapter, but I could’ve saved myself from all the stress from a simple Amazon order before I left, but oh well. We were advised to buy bedding in Sydney, but to pack a comforter since they tend to be more expensive in Australia. Instead, I brought a blanket, since it took up less room in my suitcase. My blanket was fine enough for me, but I was lucky enough to have air conditioning and heat in my building. Without that, I probably would’ve wished I brought a comforter, so I would double check about your building’s amenities. On our first night in Sydney, before we could relax, my roommate and I ventured off to Kmart to get basic essentials and bedding. I am a very frugal person at heart, where I prefer to spend more money on experiences than material items, but in this instance I should’ve shelled out a bit more for the sake of my comfort. I bought the cheapest version of everything possible, and man I certainly got what I paid for: flat pillows and scratchy sheets galore. Now, I’ve grown more used to it, but the uncomfortableness of my bed plus the jetlag made for some restless first few nights. These are just some of my mistakes that I made on my arrival, but it’s all a part of the adjustment period. Now I know what not to do on future trips, and I hope you can learn from my mistakes as well!

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Alexandra Thorpe

I'm Alexandra Thorpe, a Computer Science junior at Washington and Lee University. My favorite hobbies include hiking, swimming, thrifting, making playlists, and spending time with friends! I have two dogs named Elvis and Bella back home!

2024 Spring
Home University:
Washington and Lee University
Computer Science
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