The journey to Australia was not something you can ever really prepare for (at least not your first one). I am not a frequent traveler so I’m definitely not an experienced traveler. The plane rides were long but beneficial. Being stuck on planes for 20+ hours next to someone you are kind of forced to be yourself and be as comfortable as you can be. This made getting used to my classmates outside of an academic setting a lot easier. The food was better than what I thought it would be. The dinner was chicken with potatoes and vegetables, a roll with butter, and a brownie. They also brought out a sandwich and biscuits a few hours later which was... a different sandwich. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of meat it was, so I didn’t finish it. The breakfast was decent… I had an omelet with home fries and a roll with butter and jelly.
After the plane from Vancouver to Sydney landed I expected the process of going through customs and rechecking bags was going to take a while. To my surprise it was very quick and efficient.
I found it funny that when we boarded the last plane from Sydney to Melbourne after the 15 hour flight that there was free WiFi. This plane ride was only about an hour long. It was a pleasant surprise. We even got these little donut type things called sweet balls for a snack.
Finally, we were in Melbourne. We got to the hotel and once we were checked in we headed up to our rooms. The rooms are nicely laid out and pretty spacious with a balcony that overlooks the part of the city we are in. Once we were settled into the rooms we departed for the Carlton Brewery for a plant tour and dinner.
My first impressions of Australia right from the Sydney Airport was that Australians are some of the nicest people. Even their Customs officers were smiling and polite while doing their jobs well. When walking to the hotel, without realizing it, I dropped my neck pillow and an Australia kindly ran after me to give it back to me. The people on the tram were mostly kind and talked very quietly to each other which was quite different than how Americans talk in public.
Another impression or “culture shock” is walking on the left side of sidewalks. I’m not sure I will get used to that in the remaining days of the trip, but we will see! Our host at the brewery was kind and understanding of our jet lag and managed to wake most of us up with her upbeat attitude. After our tour of the brewery and our dinner, she brought out costumes of glasses and bottles of beer for us to put on and it was so much fun. With that our first day in Australia was done.