7 things I miss about Australia

I’m not Australian by citizenship, but I have left bits of my heart Downunder, where I went to university, worked and made lifelong friends. I left Sydney in 2007, and have missed the sun, surf and sand ever since. I might not be true blue Aussie, but the harbour city is still a place I call home.

1. The weather

I have lived through winters in London, which aren’t half as cold as I expected; the worst thing is the rain and grey, cloudy skies. I have weathered 19 inch snowstorms in New York City and battled brown slush and ice, all the while missing the searing hot summers and mild winters of Sydney.

2. Cheap, delicious Thai food

I haven’t found a good Thai place to replace my old stalwart in Randwick on Alison Road. I can get Thai food delivered to me here in New York at anytime of day or night, but it’s just not as authentic as Thai in Australia.

3. Footie and cricket

Granted, when I was in London there was plenty of rugby and cricket to watch, but Americans have never heard of rugby and no inkling how cricket works. Sports bars usually show American football, baseball, basketball or ice hockey – all games without a large international playing field.

DSC_07724. The beach

Croatia has gorgeous beaches, I’m told. As do the Virgin Islands. But if you’ve ever been to Australia, you’ll forgive me if I say that the most beautiful beaches in the world are Downunder, and nothing will shake me from that belief. I still remember the horror I felt when I went to Brighton Beach (UK) and found pebbles instead of sand!

5. No worries mate

I love that laidback, Australian phrase. Hardly anything is no worries here in New York City, where the hustle is on from dawn to dusk. The friendliness of Australians, coupled with their easy, relaxed approach to everything seem to make life a little better.

6. Respect for the environment

The average Australian is likely to be far better informed about recycling, how to separate waste correctly, composting, and other green initiatives. Most shoppers bring their own bags to do groceries, and there’s been talk of a new carbon tax to take into account the cost of carbon emissions. As a consumer, I’m horrified. As a closet environmentalist, I like the idea.

Off the coast of Western Australia

7. Fresh seafood

In Manhattan, food is never, really, fresh. Even in Whole Foods, even at Trader Joe’s. Everything in Manhattan has been carted in from miles around – upstate New York or New Jersey at the closest, or flown in from overseas and driven across one of the many bridges that link the island to the mainland. And what I miss most about the food in Australia is the fresh, literally just-out-of-the-water seafood. Which you can’t get in Manhattan, not really.

Granted, no place is perfect, and Australia certainly has its fair share of downs along with ups. There are plenty of frustrations about living in Sydney, like the ridiculously high cost of living, the high taxes, the impossibility of buying into the bubbling property market, the increasingly choked traffic on the streets – but after four years away, it’s about time I went home and had a Tim Tam.

What do you miss about places that you’ve called home?

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  1. I went to school in Adelaide for 2 years. I do miss the laid-back attitude that the Aussies I’ve met seemed to posses. Also, their love for the outdoors… it seems that everyone I met either plays lacrosse, football, volleyball, and about half a dozen other sports. They’re very athletic those Aussie peeps.

  2. Peggy Tee says:

    Absolutely agree – the great weather coupled with a love for the outdoors seem to be what defines Australians.

  3. Rach says:

    Well said Pegs – you will be ‘home’ soon!

  4. Wonderful post, Peggy. I too am missing Australia and all the things that you’ve mentioned. There there are two more things that I miss – the trams in Melbourne and South Melbourne Market with its multicultural feel and the best Dim Sims in Oz.

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      Thanks for your comment, Liz! Love your website, very clean and streamlined! I see you are based in Moscow now – that’s so exciting! I would love to visit Russia one day.

      I’m back downunder for now, and it’s so great to see these blue skies again. Sending you lots of Aussie sunshine and a virtual TimTam!

  5. Tommy says:

    Sawadee Crap Peggy
    Know what you mean girl! I travelled around Australia twenty years ago and lived in Sydney for two years. I foolishly left the place to return to rainy Scotland then ended up living and working in other countries. I do wish i had got the chance to return down there again but unfortuneately that never happened but still pine for the place a lot as thats where I considered home, maybe some day.

    1. Peggy Tee says:

      Hi Tommy,

      Australia must have been very different twenty years ago. You should come back to see all the changes! 🙂 Where else have you lived and worked? I loved Scotland when I visited, but it is a wee bit too cold and wet for my tastes. Thanks for dropping by my blog, hope to see you downunder at some point in the future!


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