Living Life Upside Down in Australia

From the States, Australia doesn’t just seem very far away, but, as my oldest daughter kept reminding me, it’s also upside down. Thanks to doing yoga, I’m quite comfortable hanging out upside down, but I thought it would be good to summarize the differences so far on this journey Down Under.

There are the obvious differences: the accent, driving on the left side of the road (but people seem to walk on the left also, which is different), and the money. In Australia, apparently the money is washable—doesn’t rip or tear. Imagine that?

How about this? Imagine a country that is not at war. And does not allow guns. How’s that for a country founded by criminals? I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that there are hardly any churches, either?  Seriously, I’ve seen a few churches in some small towns, but they’ve all been turned into something else. Actually, I’ve only seen two churches outside of Sydney. One is now a café. The other is a meditation studio.

In Sydney the churches are all old and in the historic districts, as if to say “we tried,” but plain old good living won the war here. Yes, it’s possible to live a safe, good, and happy full life without a church! The streets in Sydney are safe, even at night. The people are friendly. I have yet to see any real poverty or homelessness in Australia. Part of this could be due to the fact that Australians take great pride in getting paid a decent living wage for their work. Therefore, tipping is not expected!

Now that I’ve been to Sydney, I see that there is lots of diversity here. Many Asian people have come here to live and work. And there are accents from all over the world. It’s a lot like Los Angeles, but without any of the drama of Hollywood, the traffic, or pollution (there’s traffic, but it’s on a much smaller scale). Much more greenery and…PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION! Trains, ferries, buses…. And it’s all clean, organized, easy to figure out. I could get used to this!

Australia is not perfect. Its prime minister, Julia Gillard, is under a lot of heat and pressure (although I ADORE her). But remember, Rupert Murdoch owns a lot of the media here, so imagine Obama three years ago if Fox News ran The New York Times!

Australia has also not come as far as we are with organic food. Yet Australians are hyperaware of environmental stuff, since they are feeling the effects of climate chaos from all of our spewing of toxic wastes into the atmosphere. This past year they had to add a new color (purple) to heat maps of the country because temperatures here have gotten hotter than ever before.

Also, the women are a bit behind us in leading in the workplace, but I think that’s just a matter of time because every woman I’ve met here has been super smart, funny, warm, and hard-working. AND, they all wear pretty dresses!

Just as in yoga, where inversions are best done on a regular basis, I think this living upside down thing might be essential to my health. So…I’ll be back!




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23 Responses to Living Life Upside Down in Australia

  1. Nikki Lindqvist says:

    What an interesting insight. I’ve always wanted to BE there. I just haven’t wanted to GET there. The long flight, I mean. Oh, my aching back. But your take on it is tempting me. And I already know my husband would like to go. Hmm…

  2. maria (farm country kitchen) says:

    Nikki, if you can afford business class it’s totally worth it because the seats go completely flat and turn into beds! When I got home my yoga teacher said she expected me to be completely tightened from the flight and I was looser than she’s ever seen me. I was afraid too of the flight, but not any more.

  3. Nikki Lindqvist says:

    That’s a big “if”! But… worth looking into. :)

  4. Shon (Oz ex-pat in Singapore) says:

    As an Aussie who travels to the US each year, i’d suggest trying Hawaiian Airlines. It’s ‘only’ 9 hours to Sydney and the time difference is almost a full day so it doesn’t upset you body as much. If you go to Sydney, catch the L90 bus to Palm Beach and ferry across to The Basin. I’m biased, but it’s the best part of Sydney. You can then catch the L90 back to Mona Vale and then 155/156 bus to Manly and ferry back to city. The Northern Territory is a must see. But you’ll need plenty of time and best not in summer. Hope you get to Oz. And yes our PM is under a lot of pressure but that because of the behaviour, lies and incompetence of her and her party. Claiming misogyny because she’s so disliked and mistrusted has not helped us women at all. Oz has gone backwards since 2007 as it’s been all about competing egos (eg. Kevin vs Julia) and not the running of the country. NB: The opposition is not as right wing as US republicans. Julia(Labor Party) is socialist, some would argue communist, whilst the opposition (Liberal) is centralist. Labor used to be more centralist and Liberal conservative. Life long Labor supporters will be voting Julia and her party out in Sept. Tony Abbott is a bit of a goof, but is a very good person. He has been a long time surf lifesaver, volunteer firefighter and has done more for indigenous education both in work and personal time than any current Labor politician. So sorry, just a bit of Aussie political info there. It was nice to see a female PM though. Ok, off my soapbox now. Good luck with your great website and travels to Oz.

  5. Beth Adair says:

    I’m so glad you had a fun time down under:) I’m glad too that you treated yourself to business class:) I wondered if you were going to do that. As being a flight attendant, I obviously have to recommend travel. Go back to Australia, it’s meant to be your annual treat or “once every five years” trip to yourself:). Call it the ‘great escape” or, after a packed full year of work, the “time to get out of dodge” trip. You work hard, you deserve it.

  6. Erin Ely says:

    Sounds fantastic… I flew to Australia twice and the flight was not that great but I did not fly business class… I will have to do that next time for sure.

    Hope you got to meet Narelle from Miessence :)

  7. arden says:

    glad you enjoyed your trip to Australia. please ignore the vitriolic diatribe regarding our politics – especially from an expat. we have mandatory voting here for all over the age of 18, and although we all have an opinion as to the various parties, and will defend our choice with vigor it doesn’t excuse misleading and ignorant pronouncements (communist indeed!) . Despite our political differences Australia is a great place to live and Julia has not wrecked it.

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