Saturday, June 9, 2012

Coming home after spending so long overseas brings up such a mix of emotions. It also gives you a very unique perspective on the place where you grew up.

It reminds me of the old joke about fish. One fish asks another fish, "how's the water?" The other fish replies, "what's water?"

We take so much of our experience for granted, and assume that what surrounds us is normal. It's what I love about traveling - it opens our eyes and gives us new perspectives. Moving to Australia, a country which many people see as similar to Canada, has changed me more than I can say. It's hard to imagine who I would be if I hadn't spent the last 4 years of my life there.

So, back to the fish. Here are, in point form, some of the differences I am noticing between Sydney and Vancouver.

* Canadians really do have a strong accent!

* People drive very big cars here. Huge.

* The streets in Vancouver are so straight, and so big.

* Vancouverites are a friendly bunch.

* Pennies are ridiculous.

* Fridges and ovens here are enormous compared to their Australian counterparts.

* Sales tax that isn't included in the price is a bummer. Seriously. In Sydney, the price you see is the price you pay. None of this, "surprise, add an extra 12%" nonsense!

* Tipping makes eating out crazy expensive (Aussies don't tip, for the most part, because employees are paid a fair wage).

* It's really cold here. Even when it's sunny.

* Vancouverites like their fleece and gortex :)

* Driving on the right side of the road is hard.

* People here treat every sunny day as if it were their last. It's really nice. Being a product of my city, I also tend to have a pathological fear of wasting a sunny day, which is pretty funny when I'm in Sydney.

* There are a lot of cyclists here and a lot of bike lanes, it's great!

* While people in Vancouver pull out their shorts as soon as the thermostat hits 15 degrees, Aussies bust out their beanies and scarves as soon as the temperature drops to 20 degrees.

* I could be wrong, but I think there are more dogs here.

* The mountains. Oh the mountains... They take my breath away. I have missed the mountains more than I can say.

p.s. My last weekend in Vancouver begins today! Ah, where has the time gone?


  1. I'd love to live abroad one day! Enjoy your last weekend!

  2. I love these observations! Whenever people find out I'm from Canada/Vancouver here they almost always ask me if I think it is very different living here. That's really interesting about the lack of tipping in Australia. I tend to tip even more when I'm in Milwaukee because wait-staff are paid like crap in the US.

    Enjoy your last weekend in Vancouver!

  3. Very interesting post darling! I´d like to visit both cities one day!:)

  4. Oh Gaby, the weather here has been so silly I think Gortex is the way to go. Loved these differences, would love to see Canada too.

  5. Now I'm thinking I should start living every sunny day like it's my last. Sounds like fun...until I remember the constant heatwaves we had last summer. Maybe I'll exclude those from the list :P

    Enjoy your last week! Rhi xx

    The Wildest of Dreams

  6. I LOVE canada so much.... but we are dying to move to Australia or France

  7. Those differences are so interesting! I've never been to either of those places (or lived anywhere too far from home) but I love learning little things about each place through your comparisons. Cool post!

  8. I am jealous that you get to live in two of my bucket list places! So jealous. You sound like you have the best of both worlds. Congratulations. Love Elle xo

  9. As much as I complain about the weather in England and how we haven't had one sunny day since the middle of may I don't think I could face leaving! Glad I found your blog :)

    Jess xox

  10. new perspective -- it definitely does give that. but it's such a relief to come home too...you can re-evaluate things, get cleaned up...it shows what matters the most. xo.

  11. p.s. i love the comment..."i could be wrong, but i think there are more dogs here" -- haha!

  12. Do you really think you are considering moving back? Sorry if you are confused!!! Hope your travels home were safe!


  13. You're making me want to plan a trip to Vancouver. AND Sydney...both sound amazing! And pennies are kind of ridiculous wherever you are :)

    The Other Side of Gray

  14. that is so interesting that you've noticed all these little differences :) and i wish that we would just include the tax in the cost of things too!! aussies are obviously on to something there!
    xo dana

  15. I hope you've had a great time in Vancouver, enjoy it!

  16. Looks like you had a great time :D xx


  17. Welcome back! I had a similar experience, but mine is super small compared to yours! I spent the last week in the States and I miss it so much! I keep comparing between the two places! Sometimes I wish I had courage to move and start fresh!

  18. Thank you for your nice comment on my post about the colour chartreuse. And also thanks for sharing your thoughts about these two cities/countries on your blog here. That's interesting for a girl from Germany that hasn't ever been to the two countries but would like to go there some day. I only know them from films, books and the stories of other bloggers like you. So I'm admiring you for having had the guts to leave your country and live in another for some years. Hugs from Miss Maple


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