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Thursday, December 31, 2009

NYE in Sydney

My friends and I decided to go to Mrs Macquaire's Chair ( had a great view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House from there) to ring in the new year. They shot fireworks directly off the Harbour Bridge at midnight so I watched that along with 20,000 other people. I know it was 20,000 because that is the maximum capacity of the view point we were at. We had an awesome view right up until the end once everyone stood up and blocked our view haha. But, it was a good show. Lots and lots of fireworks. After that we went back to my friend's place for a drink and then out for a bit. They closed most of the major roads in inner Sydney so we could walk wherever we wanted. It was pretty cool.

It always amazes me how in a city of about 4 million people once I got to know the city how small it becomes. I really dont need a map anymore to get where I wanna  go for the most part. You would also be amazed at how many times I randomly bump into people I know all over the place even though there is over 4 million people here. I just thought I would mention this. Oh ya I head to The Blue Mountains tomorrow I am excited to get out of Sydney and see that! it will be a good break :) 

So all in all I had a safe enjoyable new years and I hope you did too. For you north American's you still have about 15 minutes left until yours as I write this so I hope yours is great too. Hopefully 2010 brings you everything you want. It was kinda neat this year to celebrate my birthday and new years in 2 different time zones. Yall have a good one, be safe and have fun. -Tyler

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My birthday

So today is the 30th here in Oz. I got a good call from my family and birthday brunch from my awesome roommate. so far its been a good day : ) I will be going out later with friends and out again tomorrow for NYE so I hope wherever you are in the world you have a good start to 2010. I will be in Sydney somewhere. Yall take care. Your newly turned 25,Tyler

Sunday, December 27, 2009


So just recently I went to KFC here in Australia for the first time because I was absolutely starving. I tend to avoid chain fast food restaurants here because they are expensive and not good. No Maccas (Macdonald's) Hungry Jacks (Burger King) for me. Well I paid 10 Aussie dollars for my meal at KFC. That is roughly 8.50 American dollars. For that amount of money you would expect a good amount of food right? WRONG!

I swear my meal was like a child's meal. I got 2 tiny chicken tenders, a very small amount of chips (French Fries) and you know those small round plastic to go containers for salad dressing back in America? they are about 2 ounces big, that is what my mashed potatoes came in. Don't even get me started on the drink, it was so small I finished it in 2 gulps.

I will never go there again. What a waste of money, on the other hand now I really feel that either Australia has really small portion sizes or America has really huge ones haha.

It is a public holiday here today so the bank and post are closed not much to do today but my rant is over now :) I am relaxing and enjoying my time off of work. I really had a great time up in Port Mac although the ride up there in Economy Class on the train left A LOT to be desired, next time I will go First Class for sure!

Australia sure has a lot of public holidays. Yesterday was like a continuation of Boxing Day (day after Christmas)  they gave us the Monday after off, so everyone who did work. Not many people due to New Years holidays got a 4 day work week. Most people dont go back until early to mid Jan they take longer breaks here than they do in America.

The other thing I forgot to mention was when I went to Port Mac I went with my friend to one of those really cool old stereotypical pubs you see in the movies with all the old guys and regulars and everyone knew everyone. It was really neat experience for me. I got to meet 2 Aussie World War Two veterans they were 94 and 91 years old! I still sharp as ever! Very funny and nice guys. That is an experience I will always remember. Now I am met WW2 veterans from more countries than just the US that is pretty neat actually. Alot of history there.

Near home today I saw that homeless guy who plays guitar and balances another on his head. Generally I dont give money to all of the  beggars who come up and ask me but he just amazes me so I give him some change.  It is 2 days until my birthday and almost new years. I hope yall have a good one. I had more to write but again it has slipped my mind. I am gonna start writing down my blog topics as I think of them so I dont
 forget. Yall have a good one,Tyler

Xmas for me

For Christmas this year I spent it with a friend up in Port Macquarie and had a great Christmas lunch/dinner with her family. They are Irish and we had Duck,Ham AND Turkey along with all the trimmings and excessive amounts of good Irish beer that was home brewed. I got to go to the beach Christmas day and toured around. I have uploaded some pictures to facebook. Christmas Eve was good as well. This year it wasn't spent with family but, all things considered I had a great Christmas and I hope yall did too. I hope everyone has a great New Years Eve too I will be here in Sydney for it. I am off work for a bit so I plan to do some day trips out of Sydney for a while and then back to work. I had more to blog about but I have forgotten so maybe I will remember later. Yall take care and I hope your holidays were great. -Ty

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Almost xmas

Well it is almost Xmas here and soon I will be off to Port Macquarie for Christmas (about 5 hours by train from Sydney) so it should be a good time with friends. I dont have to work the 24th like I thought so that is a good thing! Well due to the postal strike any packages I want to send/receive may not get here so I am not gonna be bothered about all that until after Christmas but thank you friends and family anyway :)

Work was good this week and now I just have one more day left of it til Xmas break. I did go to the beach this past weekend (Manly) and got a bit sunburned even though I used sunscreen but it isn't even the worst one I have ever had so I will live. I also got a map of South East Asia as I will be going there in Feb. Generally I am not a planner at all, just the plane ticket then I figure it out but I figured it might be good to at least have a general plan for my time over there. I will be going with one or two of my friends so anyway I have a month and a half to bum around over there and see how it treats me. I cant use chop sticks so I will be bringing a knife and fork lol.

I saw that new movie Avatar in 3D over the weekend. at first I thought it was gonna be quite stupid and I generally dont go for those types of movies but, even though it was a hair over 3 hours long it was really really good! It really kept your attention the whole time and you didn't feel like it was 3 hours. The computer generated graphics were the most amazing I have ever seen. I paid about 18 US dollars to go see this movie which is insanely expensive but it was worth it and honestly for 8 more dollars I could have seen it at the true IMAX theatre which would have been even better.

So you know how I mentioned about the registered charities here (red cross,heart association etc) how they want you to sign up with them for 1 or 2 years and automatically take money out of your bank account on a monthly basis. Crazy I know?! They should just ask for straight up donations but they dont. Well the employees are mostly backpackers and they work on a 100% commission basis so really they just act like vultures hounding you trying to get your money. I always turn them down because I dont have the money to spare and I wont be here more than a year anyway. ( I looked into getting a 2nd year visa but for Americans it is impossible)

Well just today I turned them down again saying I had somewhere to be. I honestly had to be at the bank! so I was in a rush. Well the guy kept talking even though I told him I had to go so I just walked off and then he said "You suck!" I thought it was very rude and if I hadn't been in such a rush I would have reported him. That is no way to get any money from anyone. But, to be fair I have been hounded many many times since arriving in Australia by these charities and this is my first bad experience.

Everyone is seeming to scatter for the holidays here in Australia and I am sure its the same all around the world. I dont have much else to write so I will go now. But whoever you are, wherever you are you have a Merry Christmas and take care. I will enjoy my time on the beach lol. -Tyler

Friday, December 18, 2009

Striking country

So apparently all of Australia is on strike it seems. First it was the postal workers striking right before Christmas and delaying the mail (still on going) then just last night the bus drivers decided they wanted to strike so this morning I had to get up extra early and walk a good ways to the train station in my heavy thick hot steel toe boots. But I finally made it work actually on time. I have also heard that British Airways is striking as well. I dont know what is up with Australia but alot of union's seem unhappy.

All of this was on top of the fact that two days ago I locked myself out of the house on accident by leaving my keys inside and having the door slam shut on me. My roommates were out for the night so I spent 6 very boring hours laying in our driveway like a hobo lol. But, I did sleep quite a bit and the concrete wasnt horribly uncomfortable. I finally did get back in and I learned my lesson so all is well now but that was no fun at all.

Yesterday at work it was 43 degrees C or about 103F so it was really really hot. On top of the fact that I work in factory so it felt like 100000 degrees I was guzzling water. Now today it was 40 degrees colder and raining. Crazy Aussie weather! But, my job did provide us free lunch a huge unlimited BBQ which was really nice of them and the food was good so I was real happy about that. I work up to the 24th then we are off for about 2 weeks so it will be a good break.

Not sure of my plans for the weekend yet but if the weather is nice they will involve the beach I think. Hopefully all the public transport is up and running and happy. Today on the train which was actually running we were randomly stopped on the tracks for about 20 minutes but not all that bad. Christmas is fast approaching I hope yall will have a good one. Soon I think I will write an Aussie to American dictionary for yall that sounds like fun.

I had something else I wanted to write about but now I have gone and forgotten, I think I am off to the movies now so yall take care. -Tyler

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Random People.

I have found that when I travel I meet other travelers very easily. I think that people who are traveling and world travelers just kinda have a different mind set than your average person who goes from home to work 9-5 everyday of the week. I just think we are more open and available to meeting new people and new experiences. To some it may seem odd or like travelers are too trusting but, as long as you are smart about it and trust your gut instinct so far it hasn't lead me wrong. I have made many close friends just from talking to people at the bus stop/bar/on the street whatever. At home I dont tend to do that and I dont think others do either but, once I am traveling I find that I do and so do others.-Tyler

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Pictures! and other randomness

I finally got the pictures on Facebook for yall! just copy and paste that link :)

So today will be another random topic day in no particular order lol. First I wanted to say that over here in Australia they have no Walmart or super large chain store like that. Not that I know of anyway, They have Coles and IGA and a few others but for the most part their grocery stores are a lot smaller with less things in them and smaller trolleys (carts) than back home. In Walmart you can buy pretty much anything you can think of. Over here really just food and that is it. They seem to have less of a selection of junk food too.

Here in Australia tax is already included in everything you buy. So the price on the sticker is the price you pay. Actually I really like it and its quite handy I do wish America had that. But, over here they have no penny so the sticker may say 1.46 but they round it down to 1.45. Or it could say 1.99 and they just bump it up to 2 dollars. I haven't figured out why they put 1.46 on the sticker if they are just gonna round down and charge you 1.45 anyway lol.

They also have no one dollar bills just one dollar coins and 2 dollars coins (which are actually really tiny while the 50 cent piece is huge!)Their money is coated in a plastic film so if you wash it in the washing machine or something then it really doesn't matter. I think that is cool. It is also quite colorful and fun while I think American money for the most part is pretty bland.

Free water/bathrooms are really hard to find here in Australia. Water fountains for free use are almost non existent and most restaurants and places wont even give you water unless you pay for it. Same goes for using the restroom, you dont get that privilege unless you are a paying customer so that has frustrated me more than once when I am thirsty and I have to pee!

The banking system is also different here they are only open M-F 8-5 generally speaking so if you work in those hours ( I do) its a little frustrating if you need to get something done. A lot of banks here charge you a service fee for using the branch services indoors instead of just on the Internet and you also have to deposit X amount of dollars per month or they charge you a service fee for not doing so. My bank charges if I dont deposit 2000 dollars a month! But, I was just told they are getting rid of that fee so that is good news for me :)

The petrol (gasoline) here is about 5.20 a gallon which is pretty freaking expensive so you dont see big cars here at all. I haven't seen a single SUV or truck since I have been here except for big work trucks. With gas prices like that I would drive something small too lol. But, traffic in Sydney is always a mess. backed up all the time due to the amount of people and really tiny roads. I would hate to drive here!

I took a free bus to Circular Quay (pronounced KEY) and caught the ferry to Manly Beach then I took another bus to Dee Why Beach and it was really nice to relax today I did take pictures like I promised finally! Well at least I finally did it haha. I hope you like them. The girls I am living with got a new roommate today so now we are up to 3+ me. Life is good though :) I am still breathing, in one piece with food in my stomach and a roof over my head and a job. No complaints here.

Yall stay warm ( or cool) wherever you are. I am all done for today hope you enjoy my random blogs. -Tyler

Saturday, December 12, 2009

So I just wanted to blog again today

Just to say that for the first time in my adult life since being here I have had daily access public transportation. Back home we drive our personal cars everywhere because everything is so spread out and we have no public transportation network where I live.

The public transport here is a double edged sword, on the plus side it cost me about 40 dollars a week and I get unlimited access on the train,bus and ferry to anywhere I wanna go.

On the negative side the time tables seem to me more like "guidelines" and not set in stone because sometimes my train/bus/ferry is early and sometimes its late. You kinda just gotta stab in the dark and hope you get one roughly on time. Normally this isn't an issue for me but, if I miss my train to work in the morning that really causes a lot of issues! But overall its good and I like it. Sitting in traffic and trying to drive on the left side of the road is not my idea of fun at all haha.

The only other thing that frustrates me about Australia is that most businesses including the bank/post office etc are closed on weekends and the businesses that are open on the weekends shut by 5pm generally. This wouldn't really be an issue for me except that I work M-F 8-4pm and I am generally not home until 5pm or later so if I need to get anything done its really hard! I know I might sound like I whine a lot about Australia but I really dont mean it sound that way. These are more just daily observations spilling out of my brain and onto here. In fact I quite like it here and things are pretty good. Sydney isn't so bad and in a few months I will be traveling anyway!

Yall take care,Tyler

Friday, December 11, 2009

Portion Sizes

I just noticed the size of our trashcan today at our new place. Its really small! I guess it isnt small for Australian standards but it sure is for me. Back home we have a green trashcan on wheels and it just seemed normal size to me but you could fit 2 or 3 of our Aussie trashcans in the American one we have back home.

I never really noticed that our food portion sizes were larger than everyone else until I got here. I am not quite sure why they are so small here (or so big in America if you like lol) its just different. I went to a Mexican restaurant with some friends and paid like 26 Australian dollar which is over 20 bucks American and I got fajitas. They were good but the portion size was pretty small. I was left still hungry and I paid more than I would back home.

Maybe that is why America has an obesity problem, we are given larger portions not even realising that what we are given is larger than everyone else's. It may seem like I am really ragging on America here but I am not. I am just trying to note a difference because Australia does have one of the world's worst obesity rates. I guess it just has something to do being in a developed nation with access to everything you could want.

That being said, the only "fast food" places I have seen in Sydney so far like chain style is Maccas (Macdonald's) and Hungry Jacks (Burger King but with a different name) and Subway there is no Wendy's or anything else like that. Its just kebab stands and other random restaurants plus all your food in China Town.

Everything just seems to be downsized here as far as portion size goes. My Aussie roommates jokingly call me the lazy American because I am used to having a dishwasher,dryer,a large oven (ours is really small) and having AC in the house. All of these things are luxuries but I guess after having them all at your disposal for your whole life you think of them more as a God given right lol. Well I have a different perspective on things which is good.

It has been an adjustment for me getting less stuff for more money haha but such is life. I really cant complain, I have a roof over my head. a steady job. food in my stomach. Life is good :) Not many people get the chance to come half way across the world and do this so I am luckier than most to have a supportive family and friends who let me randomly pack up and move half way across the world. So all is good so far.

Thats all for today I guess. Your traveling Texan,Tyler

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More about work

I have nothing else to blog about today so I will blog about work. I got this job thru a temp agency meaning I get zero benefits I can be let go at anytime but, as long as the keep asking for me back I keep coming back. I work for Fuji/Xerox about an hour outside of Sydney. All day long I stick labels on boxes but, today I got to do something different. I put warranty paperwork in boxes!

The warehouse I work in is full of hot sweaty people as it is about 1000 degrees in there all the time. So by the end of the day I am hot dirty and tired. (But dont worry mom I am drink alot of water!) for those of you who know me, you know I dont drink as much water as I should but I am doing better.

My job might sound boring and it is sometimes doing the same thing over and over ( I have blisters on my thumb from the sticker gun lol) but, I work with good people and I really like it there. I dont know how long it will last but I hope quite a while because I get paid well to do any easy job.

I say my job is easy and it is but, it isn't just a flat out cakewalk because you have to be really fast as the pallets of boxes dont stop coming and the labels have to go in a certain spot so I mean it does take some skill.

The only real fun the guys and gals at my work have is driving the forklifts at insanely high speeds and honking loudly at each other while playing chicken with overloaded pallets haha. So, you gotta watch where you walk! But, as long as you stay on the designated foot path then you are alright. I would love to be fork lift certified but it cost 400 dollars and takes 3 days and I may not even have this job for that long so it really wouldn't be worth it for me. So I just let them do all the loading and unloading and I do my job.

Well its almost Friday here so only 1 more day of work for me til the weekend that is exciting! Payday is next week too :)
Ok I have been off work for like 30 minutes now after my hour train ride home and I am quite tired so that is all the effort I can muster for today. Yall have a good un'. -Tyler

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Working and such

So I got a new job, I really like it a lot! I work with great people and I work at the Fuji/Xerox plant about an hour (by train) outside of Sydney. I get paid a ridiculous amount of money to put labels on ink cartridges for printers. It sounds really easy but, you have to be really fast and the stickers have to go in a certain spot and after 8 hours of that it really wears you out I have a blister on my thumb from the sticker gun lol. But, I am happy! I got this job thru a temp agency so it may not last long but, I have already been there longer than they said I would be there so that is good news. It is nice to have money coming in instead of just spending it all!

Last night I saw the movie Zombieland with a German friend of mine. I really did enjoy that movie. Woody Harrelson and all the cast is great with a great cameo from Bill Murray. Anyone who knows me knows I hate horror movies but this is a horror comedy so it isn't scary at all. In Australia the movies are more expensive than back home but not TOO much more as long as you dont buy candy/drinks/popcorn etc... In Australia they actually assign you a seat in the movie theater. That was odd to me, you can pick your section but not your actual seat.

On the way to the movie theater we saw a street performer. In Sydney there is quite a lot of them and most of them are not good at all but, this guy was playing a guitar AND balancing one on his head at the same time! it was amazing. I gave him 5 bucks.

I got a pass that gives me unlimited travel on Sydney's public transport for 8 days so its quite convenient for me. But the damn rail station still owes me money!. I will be here in Sydney until Feb 1st then I am off to Thailand with a friend so I am excited about that!

What else, I am still unpacking the house getting the girls and myself all moved in but its not too bad. I really wanna relax this weekend though. I had Vietnamese food for dinner last night it was good but, I still need to learn how to use Chopsticks or bring my own silverware to SE Asia lol.

I wanna take a trip to the Blue Mountains soon I think its just a day trip outside of Sydney. I know I still have no pictures for yall but the problem is now I am becoming less of a tourist and more of local it bores me lol. But I promise sometime soon I will go out and wander with my camera and get some pictures.

Ok I think I am done for today. I know that was a lot of random written diarrhea just all over the place lol. But soon it will be Xmas and my birthday and I hope yall are all having fun and staying nice and warm wherever you are! ( or staying cool if your here in Oz) -Tyler

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Moving Day

Today I helped the girls move out of their old place and into the new one. In return I get to stay there for a while which is awesome. But, there was a lot of packing to do! Living with 2 girls I didn't really realise how many clothes,shoes and various other stuff girls had until I had to pack it all lol.

Its all said and done and we are moved into the new place. (I dread the unpacking though :( ) really it isnt a horrible deal for me though. Some packing/unpacking and I have a place to stay so I cant really complain too much. The new place is nice but, it was built quite a while ago so it only has 1 bathroom and NO dishwasher and NO dryer and NO AC! Hear that Americans? lol I have to do my clothes on a clothes line and my dishes by hand! crazy huh? they think I am lazy for wanting those things I on the other hand just like to have a more efficient use of my time lol. For the first time in my life I will have to "pre plan" laundry so that I can give it enough to dry on the line outside and be ready to wear.

Well after a day of moving packing/unpacking I am quite tired and dont have much else to say. I go back to work on Monday which is a good thing. I like my new job and it pays well. It was supposed to just be temporary but I am hoping I can stay around for a while. Tomorrow will be full of more unpacking and I dont know what else.

To pull a Jerry Springer, "Yall take care of yourself and each other" haha. -Tyler

Friday, December 04, 2009

My one day as a door to door salesman

Well I lasted one day as a door to door salesman lol. Some people can do that and I really admire those who can. But that isnt me. I observed a guy ( he did all the selling and I just watched). We were out there for 6 hours and we must have knocked on 50 or 60 doors. Of course not everyone was home but in that 6 hours we got 4 confirmed sales. That isn't many at all. and the new guys got zero. it was commission only so I just couldn't risk making no money day after day. But, on the bright side even though I quit I did learn some valuable sales skills and how to read people and try and convince them of things.

Honestly, the product we were selling was actually a decent one. Basically the Australian govt has subsidized "green eco power" making it just as cheap as polluting coal power. ( a great move I wish the states would do). So it literally costs the customer nothing to switch over to green power. The power lines and such are still owned by a "distributor" so they dealt with all the blackouts,meter reads etc...

All we were supposed to do is be a "retailer" just putting green energy back into the grid to be sent out thereby reducing pollution.Literally the only thing that changed was the name on the electricity bill and who sent it out. I think its a noble concept but its a hard sell. I am sure the company I was going to work for gets their money somehow from the Aussie govt I am just not sure how. There was honestly no catch to this thing that I could figure out but it was so hard to convince people to do it!

People were so worried that everything would change and they just couldn't handle that idea. There is always people that will say no to anything. Even a corvette for 1.50. There is people who are on the fence and people just ready to say yes. Many people were skeptical that this could be free AND good for the earth. But, honestly I would be too. We were threatened with physical violence once. Saw a really scary dog once. Had doors slammed in our faces and rude people. But, there was also some really nice people too. All the Aussies liked that I was from America. Anyway long story short door to door sales isnt big back home in America and it is big here but people hate it just as much lol. you CAN make a living like that but its extremely hard and just not for me. So I quit.

But, on the same day I got a call from a job agency offering me work at a factory. So of course I took it. Get this: I get paid quite a bit of money to put stickers on boxes. Now this has to be done quickly and in a certain order so it isn't TOTALLY easy and its mind numbing as there is about 50,000 boxes to do but its a job! and apparently I am good enough at it for them to want me back Monday! So I am making more money than I ever made back in America and I am putting stickers on boxes lol. The people were great there and really made me feel at home. I had a good day but I was dead tired after it! They said it would only be temporary but I go back on Monday and I am hoping they keep asking for me back :) I am a happy man! Finally a decent real job that is good.

Also this weekend I moved. Still with friends but we moved to a house. Its a nice place but it was built quite a while ago so its small but cozy and I like it. I will be there for the next month or so I think. My friends really treat me well and both of them take good care of me and help me out. In return all I had to do was help them move. Pretty good deal I think :) So this weekend I will be unpacking all their stuff. But really I cant complain. Money is flowing again, I am doing something productive and have a job for the moment anyway. Life is good :)

Ok I will stop rambling. Yall have a good one back over there on the other side of the pond. -Tyler

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My trip to South East Asia

So a friend and I have randomly decided to go to Thailand,Laos and Cambodia on Feb 1. I have never been to SE Asia and I am excited! I cant wait to travel around somewhere, where it is still cheap and I wont be spending a whole ton of money. I will be keeping yall updated as much as possible over there and it is still  two months away but I am pumped.

After my trip I will be flying back to Australia to work some more and travel and then I will be doing New Zealand too. I will be here in Sydney til Feb then after that I am off! :) so I am happy to be starting my real adventures soon-ish. Until then I will be here working.

I got thru my training yesterday and on Thurs I officially start my day at the new job. It will be difficult I think but hopefully not impossible to make some cash. I am now a self employed business owner/contractor according to Australian Law so that is kinda exciting. I dont get any benefits from this new job such as health care etc... But, I dont pay much tax at all and what tax I do pay I can claim when I leave Australia.

Today I am just gonna relax and pack a few more things before my big move to my new house on Friday. so hopefully that goes well. Yall have a good one,Tyler

My first day at work

So today was my first day of training. This job is going to be difficult but I hope not impossible because I need the cash. Thurs is my first day of observation out in the field. I work on a commission only basis so that makes it a little more pressure oriented but, I will either make a lot of money or no money at all. I am willing to give it a shot and see how it goes.

Really that has been all of my day today just went to training and that was it. I had 50 bucks eaten by an automated ticket machine at the rail station last week and I am still waiting on my freaking money back but the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly.... sometimes I HATE technology. Speaking of that, if I will be going into the city everyday for work my next purchase will be a weekly rail pass to save me money. We will see how this job goes first. I am now officially a "contractor" which means according to Australian Law I work as my own business so I can write stuff off as business expenses. Never been able to do that before so that is kinda exciting.

Australia is actually really good to travelers/backpackers because all of the tax I pay here while I am in Australia I can get refunded to me when I leave this country. Tonight is Trivia night at my old hostel so I plan on showing up for that, always a good time to be had :)

You know I haven't been extremely home sick yet but, strangely its the little things I miss. I miss being able to make a debit card purchase for 1 dollar. I miss Dr. Pepper. I miss fried Okra. I miss my mom's cooking. I miss my new car. (I hope its still in one piece??) I miss good BBQ and Mexican food. I miss Shiner. and of course I miss my family and my friends. But all in all this has been great and I am glad I took the leap of faith to do this. It will be a good 11 months that I have left here.

I guess thats it for today folks :) thanks for reading. Sometimes I feel like im just spewing drivel on here but honestly I kinda like this whole blogging this. I just write about whatever I feel like but hopefully its fairly entertaining in a non professional way because I always hated English/writing in school. -Tyler

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dad this one is for you

Originally I had planned to start this blog entry about something totally different but, I read a comment on my blog from earlier that my dad was sitting at the computer moving the mouse to read my blog. For those of you who know my dad you know that he is a great guy but is anti technology. Always has been and always will be.

Never in my wildest dreams would I even imagine he would do anything with a computer. Considering for 55 years in a row he has had no interest in getting an email address,turning on a computer or having anything remotely close to using them. So as you can imagine this is quite earth shattering to me. I seriously doubt my father will ever really use a computer and I have no problems with that and I am sure he doesn't either. Anyway welcome to the 21st century dad.

Ok, on to my original blog entry. Sydney has very inconsistent pricing at their convenience stores. One 7/11 will charge you 4 dollars for a bag of chips (crisps) and another 7/11 down the road will charge you 2.50 for the same thing, and it seems in 7/11 that most of their stuff isnt labeled price wise so you dont know how much it is unless you ask. You know if you have to ask its to much to afford lol

Also, apparently summer doesn't officially start here until the first of Dec. Well it sure feels like spring because one day its hot and today is rainy and cold. What is that?! I thought Australia was a beautiful paradise with crystal clear warm water all year long. Well not in Sydney :(

ok thats enough for today. -Tyler

P.S. Hope you Americans had a good Turkey Day.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I am officially 100% employed!

So basically my job is going door to door trying to convince people to switch to green eco power. Which in itself might be kinda hard but the govt has subsidized this program which means it wont cost the customer any extra. They actually get a 50 dollar credit on their bill. and I am from Texas. I am likable :) I hope that helps! Now I can start making money instead of just spending it!

I should also mention I have a gripe. Last night I went with some friends to King's Cross aka The Cross here in Sydney. We had never been before and this is known as a slightly seedy part of town I mean not a part of Sydney you would take Junior too on a Friday night lol.

Well don't worry Mom we managed to get in and out of there without any issues. But, as we were leaving no taxi's would stop for us! (or anyone else for that matter) even gorgeous girls were getting denied. But, not EVERYONE was getting denied. Its like they were picking and choosing their fares. We were about mid range. I mean the drivers would have made money off the 3 of us. One driver did stop but when we told him where we wanted to go he said he wasn't going there. We were gonna give him money! it shouldn't matter!

Normally we would just hoof it ( or I would anyway) I dont mind walking. But, one of my friends hurt his leg so he was in alot of pain because those damn taxi drivers wouldn't pick us up. I assumed they ran 24 hours a day but apparently after 2am they do what they want when they want without any concern for anyone!

Well I wont let that spoil my day, I have a job now! :) -Tyler

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


So today is Thanksgiving back home. I am going to check out prices on Turkey's here and if they aren't astronomical I will buy one and (try) to cook it lol So to all you American's Happy Thanksgiving from over here in Australia. I have been spreading the word so all these Aussie's know what today is. Wish me luck. Back at the job hunt today, I didn't get chosen for the last one. Such is life. I will find something eventually. Yall have a good one,Tyler

My up and down day

So today I was going for my sales job interview ( I find out soon if I got it) it is face to face commission based sales so I may not be really good at it but I get paid the first month regardless if I make sales or not so we will see. But, I was at the train station on my way to the interview and I went to the automated ticket machine to buy my ticket from Central to North Sydney and it took my 50 dollar bill and sucked it in the machine and didn't get me my ticket nor my change!

I was quite angry so I asked for a refund and the ticket lady said she couldn't give me one but she let me file a claim. Well they told me it was gonna take 1 month to process/investigate well I didn't like that answer at all. So I finally got to talk to a human and I told them my situation and complained a little and convinced them (I think/hope) to call me tomorrow and talk about this so I might have my money back tomorrow!

So wish me luck on the job and getting my friggin money back grr!!!

But tonight is my friend's birthday party so that should be fun I am excited about that. it should be good and I can relax and have fun and see what tomorrow holds. Well that is it for me today folks,Tyler

Monday, November 23, 2009

So I was lied too

It is apparently not really summer until December. Its still spring. 2 days ago it was almost 90F/30's C pretty hot. today is like 45 or 50F/20's C. That is crazy. I hate when it goes up and down in temperature I never know to wear jeans or shorts, its frustrating.

On a more positive note I got another job offer for a full time M-F entry level sales job so I have an interview tomorrow at 1:30. We shall see how it goes :) I have been trying to decide where I want to spend NYE/Xmas/my birthday but I haven't really decided yet. I am not sure what I have planned to do today really just kinda an open day. Last night I went to dinner with some friends and had a good time.

Sorry this blog entry has been so boring, I really am fresh out of exciting stuff to tell you so I am just gonna end it here hopefully something more exciting will happen tomorrow lol.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas in Summer

So right now its pretty hot out. I would say its close to 90F/30ishC. and I am hearing Christmas music on the radio,along with my sunburn in Nov this is just an odd feeling for me. Texas doesn't get snow really but at Christmas does come at a winter-ish time lol.

I saw a man in a Santa suit here he must have been so hot in that thing! Christmas in summer, the duel flush toilet and a different banking system (with quite a high minimum purchase to use your bank card) along with different usage of the English language and driving on the left side of the road these are all things I have had to adjust too. That being said, it isn't really a bad thing just different. I think everyone should get out and experience new cultures at least once in their lives. It really gives you a good perspective on life.

Coming up soon a good friend of mine here is having her birthday. We are going to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate I will be interested to see if they can do Mexican food as good as we get it back home. Well I am going with an open mind anyway. I have been eating a lot of things I am not used too here but, at least trying them. Yep mom if your reading this I have been eating some veggies and fruits but don't get any ideas once I get back home I am sure I will stop again :)

I may go to the Sydney zoo soon but I am not sure we will see. I went once last year and I enjoyed it so may give it another go but since I dont have a steady cash flow at the moment I have tried to find things that are cheap to free to do. Once I move out of my friend's place I will be looking at long term hostels or shared accommodation places so that I can save money over a regular hostel but really my work situation is what will keep me in Sydney. If I am working consistently for a few months I will be in Sydney if not, I will be moving on up the East Coast more. Queensland seems to be calling my name lately so we shall see. But, all is well so far.

One last request to my Internet readers: If you post anonymously I really don't mind but, if you feel like telling me who you are when you post I would appreciate it. Just your name at the end of the post or something is fine.

Have a good one,Tyler

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday with the birds

So today was Sunday and I just felt like relaxing today since I will (hopefully) be starting work tomorrow. So I went to Hyde Park here in Sydney with a British girl I met at the hostel named Pickle, she is fun to be around and good company. We got some pizza and fed the crusts to the birds. There was a ton of Pigeons and Ibis's all around us. It was really cool and it has been a long time since I have just totally relaxed and slowed down my life enough to do that. I really enjoyed just laying there with the birds.

Then after we were done we left and went to give our leftover pizza to a homeless guy I pass everyday named Ken. Ken is a pretty cool guy but he lives on the street corner next to the local mall. I give him spare change now and again but he is there day after day and never really seems motivated to do anything except sit there. He is a nice guy though lots of people just ignore him but when I see him I like to chat him up for a bit just to try and brighten his day a little.

I really need to get out of Sydney even if its just for a little while soon though. I have been here since I have arrived and its nice but I have seen and done everything (except take pictures for all you wonderful people lol) I know I need to start bringing my camera! But, I am thinking about a day trip to the Blue Mountains soon just to get outta Sydney for a while. I have heard its really nice there and its quite cheap to get there. I also need to decide where I am gonna spend New Years Eve and Christmas along with my birthday. Most likely in Sydney but I am not totally sure yet.

I enjoy meeting people at the hostel and just around town but the only bad thing is with the backpacker lifestyle you tend to meet a lot of people and become friends or grow attached to some of them but usually they are moving on to somewhere else as are you so you kind of just temporarily drift through each other's lives and that is it. That is kinda frustrating when you find someone you really click with. But overall I like just being get up and go and do what I like. I am glad I took my chance to do this and enjoy life and my 20's. I can look back on my life and now I dont have to say "I wish I would have done this" because I am doing it! So its not perfect and sometimes it's lonely etc but I dont regret my choice.

I guess that is all for today,Tyler

Friday, November 20, 2009

Good Food

Today I wanted to give someone a mention. Like I said I am living with a friend of mine for a little while which was really nice of her to offer and help me out. She is great and I couldn't ask for anything more! But, on top of her awesomeness is the awesomeness of her roommates cooking. Since I moved in I have had my belly filled by delicious cooking that is way better than anything I have found in Sydney so far and its way cheaper too. So I just really wanted to say thank you to both of them for all of the Internet to read :)

Also considering how badly I bashed Vegemite last blog and most likely offended some Aussie's I wanted to redeem myself and give a great big 2 thumbs up to Nutella! It is a hazelnut spread that goes on toast and such and it is very good I am a big fan. While I am talking about all this food if anyone has any Thanksgiving Turkey recipes feel free to email them to me at or post them here.

This weekend I think I may take a day trip out of Sydney for the first time to the Blue Mountains going by train so it should be good. I love the public transport here. :)

Well I guess that is all for now. Your Traveling Texan,Tyler

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good News!

Normally I dont do 2 blogs in one day but this calls for it.

So I think I have a job! That job agency called today and they said they are pretty sure they will have work for me on Monday! :) I bought my boots,my hard hat,ear protection etc. so I am good to go and ready to get to work. That is good news for me to get the cash flow going.

Also I found out just recently that a really good friend of mine in Canada who is school teacher told her class about my travels and doing what you set out to do and having an adventurous spirit. I was quite hono(u)red (with the U for you crazy foreigners ;) ) that I can inspire Canadian school children so that was nice :)

Also, I have been shopping for myself recently and noticed that the prices are fairly high but still cheaper than eating out. But, what really gets me is the size of the shopping carts/trolleys/trams. In America they are what I could consider normal size but here they are at least to me really tiny. Maybe that is why in America our obesity rate is so high because we fill our carts up so much lol. But here, you cant fit much in them at all! At least at the Coles I went to they were small. Just a little observation I had.

All in all a good day.

Your hopefully soon employed Texan,Tyler

Unusual food.

So just recently I was introduced to a few horrible,terrible no good nasty tasting foods (in my opinion of course) by a Danish girl in my room. First she showed me a can of Vegemite (spelling?) and to me it looked like chocolate sauce so of course I got a big finger full and proceeded to eat it all at once. Almost immediately I got foul,bitter,sour taste in my mouth. I cant even describe to you how horrid this taste was. I managed to swallow it down but just barely. My eyes started to water and I ran to get a huge drink of water and some bread to wash it all down.

Ok second bad experience, yet again I was with the same Danish girl and we had taken the ferry to Manly beach and were walking around. We stumbled upon a Scandinavian candy store and her eyes immediately lit up and we ran inside so she could buy some candy. She got some form of black licorice which I normally don't eat anyway but I thought I would be adventurous and try it.

So I pop this black candy in my mouth. Immediately a bitter horrible sour tar like sensation hits my mouth. My face is screwed up in agony and she is laughing hysterically. Now not only is this candy horrible but it is also very hard and sticky and it's stuck to my teeth. So here I am stuck with this terrible stuff in my mouth. I finally manage to swallow it all down and at that point I tell her even though we are friends I am not taking anymore food from her.

But, a little bit later she bought what was clearly bread with chocolate chunks in it and I had some of that. I was a happy man :) I managed to fall asleep at Manly and get a little sunburned but not too bad. All in All a good day to be had the ferry ride over was nice too. But the water is ice cold still! So no swimming for me.-Tyler

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tomorrow is move day

So tomorrow I move from my hostel to a friend's house for a while. That will be a nice change currently I am sharing a room with seven other people. A hot shower and a room all my own will be great.They are all good people but, it gets a little crowded sometimes. But it has been good at the hostel. I am adjusting to Sydney life as well as can be expected I guess but work or no work I don't plan to be here too terribly much longer.

Thanksgiving is coming up soon and since I will be missing Thanksgiving back home I am bringing Thanksgiving here. I have decided I am buying a turkey and getting these foreigners to know what it is all about. So I am excited it will be fun.

Today I saw something very odd. I saw a lady pushing a stroller with her child in it but it wasn't a normal stroller. It looked almost exactly like a luggage carrier/golf club carrier. She was actually pulling her child along BEHIND her lol.
There is quite a few street performers here in Sydney most of them aren't that good but there is few that are actually a few that have some talent it is neat to watch I quite like walking around and seeing it. There is also a sizable homeless population here and they seem to mostly live in one area and I tend to see the same guys/girls there all the time so they are just kinda a fixture in my daily life now.

I have been really bad about taking pictures I always leave my camera in my hostel and there just isn't much that interests me enough to take a picture lol. I am sorry about that for all of you non Aussies I will try and take more pictures.

Another thing I have noticed is how out of touch with news/music/general American life I have become. Someone told me about the shooting in at the Army Base in Texas and it was a British girl who told me about it. I need to get more in touch with whats going on.-Tyler

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I had my interview

Today I had an interview with a job placement agency and although I dont have much formal training in anything I do have good work ethic and I am a fast learner. My interviewer she was really nice and I think I impressed her so I am feeling good that she will have me placed in a job soon. Fingers crossed.

Really other than that nothing super amazing is going on today. The weather is great its about 77F/25C and sunny. Its a beach day, I think I will catch the ferry to Manly Beach and relax today :)-Tyler

Monday, November 16, 2009

I did it

I got my license to work construction/labour anywhere in Australia! That is good news and hopefully I am one step closer to a job now. If I dont have a job by mid Dec I will be moving from Sydney.-Tyler

Just randomness

So today I passed my test I am now licensed to do construction work in all of Australia feels good to be closer to a real job. Its raining here again but just a bit. Mostly the weather is fine, except that the ocean is freezing! So I will be staying out of it until I get further north lol.

So today I went to my first Aussie mall and it had EIGHT levels. Ya I got lost but I also found Dr. Pepper for the first time. I was gonna buy it but.... are you ready for it? a 24 pack cost $55.20 yes you read that correctly! Soon I will have a picture for you on Facebook. Its Insane! Did I mention their malls are really confusing?

I might have mentioned this but I went down to Circular Quay (pronounced key) I watched a girl shove her entire body into a 43cm/16" square box. It was small. I am not kidding like tiny and she fit in it. I figured watching that was worth 5 bucks so I gave it to her even though I am jobless right now.

Also their registered charities are odd. They dont ask you for money at all. They talk to you all normal just about your day etc.... then at the very end they ask you for your credit card number so they can auto bill you for TWO YEARS! that was a big adjustment for me. They are quite pleasant though and my credit card has stayed in my pocket.

Ok thats all for now,Your traveling Texan,Tyler

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A few other things....

So, I forget to mention I think that the showers at my hostel are possessed. The showers are pretty good actually. Hot most of the time and good water flow except when you have shampoo in your eyes. That is the exact moment you either get randomly blasted with hot water or cold. Its like a race to beat that blast everyday. After almost 3 weeks here I think I have it down to an art.

I know almost all the staff at my hostel and its really good. I have a very international hostel with (at the moment) a British girl,a French girl, a couple from England,a Danish girl,a Dutch girl,a guy from DC and myself in the room. it really isn't bad I have great roommates. I miss my friends back home a lot but I have made some great new ones here.

I have really had to adjust to living in a city of 4 million people but I actually kinda like it even though its wild and bustling and crazy sometimes. I have managed to make my way around and I know how to get where I need to get cheap or free. Mostly walking. I have walked about 78,000 miles since I have been here which is more than I ever walked back home but its nice to just get out and walk.

I am about 5 minutes from China Town. When I say China Town I mean it, I had dinner with a friend there and there was live chickens running around and it was really authentic. But the food was great. I have had falafel and curry down by The Rocks. its really multi cultural and I like that a lot. I am just eating food I never have even been exposed to back home.

Ok I think that is all for today. More coming later yall.-Tyler

So I am finally starting this.

So I will finally start this blog I have told yall about. I have been here in Sydney Australia for 10 days now. and I will briefly tell you about some things I love and some things I hate about Sydney so far.

Things I love: The German,English,Irish,American,Italian,Norwegian,Russian,Dutch,Danish,Finnish,Spanish,whoever else I have met accents. I love meeting international people from all over its great!
I love the weather and the friendly Aussies. I love being away from much of the craziness and stress.

I love doing my own thing and enjoying life. I love the colo(u)rful money they have here. They do actually have some good beer although I miss my Shiner. My hostel bed is actually not too bad but I miss my own. I love being in the future :) and the new friends I have met have been great.

Things I hate: Sydney is horribly expensive. You can't eat out. Even crap food for any less than 10-15 dollars. Beer is on average is between 5 and 9 dollars on tap even at happy hour. Their toilet seats are round bowl and small. all of them. I miss my elongated bowl toilets :( The toilet paper at my hostel is mediocre at best.

My hostel is really cool and I really like the people and its great but its quite expensive. and sadly even if I move elsewhere I will only be saving 5 dollars a night which isnt much. (although soon I will get some free accommodation for a while :) I hate not having a job ( but I am getting my construction license to work here so that will change soon) All the backpackers in Sydney at the moment want a job and they are hard to come by but once I get this license it will help out.

I am not sure how I feel about all the craziness of living in a city of 4 million people but so far it isn't all that bad. I hate that the banks/post office close early and aren't open on Saturdays. Their banking system is different from America and a little confusing but I have gotten used to it.

So, my "hate" list might seem a little longer than my "like" list but in reality I like it here so far. Once I get a job and a place of my own all will be well. I wont be in Sydney forever just for a while then I will explore more of what Australia has to offer.

That is all for now I wont update this everyday but I will try to as much as possible. Hope you like and keep in touch.

Your friendly traveling Texan,Tyler

Monday, July 20, 2009


First and foremost I need to thank my friends and family back home for being so supportive back home and allowing me to do this. Secondly, I want to thank all of my friends all over the world who have made my journey so amazing and unforgettable I certainly won't forget you! Last but not least I need to thank Couch Surfing. CS has changed my life and made it so so much better! I have made so many amazing friends and had SO many good things happen because of CS. I have had so many random acts of kindness from strangers and friends alike on this trip I could never begin to count them and I am so lucky and blessed!

I should also selfishly thank myself. I am the one who had the inner courage to do this (with some help of course) and I am SO glad I did. I have forever changed my life is a positive way and open my mind to what this world holds.

This is my first attempt any any kind of a book so any mistakes are mine and mine alone, please bear with me. At first I started writing this for you my readers but, the more I started to write the more I realised this was also for me. My personal journey and memories that will last a lifetime and now I have them written down so I can go back down memory lane whenever I want.

You may love this book or you may hate it. But, this is two years of my life uncensored. So what you see is what you get. It may bore you or enthrall you. There very well could be spelling and grammatical mistakes but I wanted to give you this raw and unedited.  My life has had some big changes and ups and downs over these past two years but, I sure have learned a lot. I am no self help guru but I hope that everyone who reads this can take something from it.I have learned a thing or two about people and life and I have had the great privilege to expand my mind in many ways and meet many many amazing people over these past two years not to mention all the amazing places I have seen and things I have experienced.

The biggest thing I have taken away from this experience is how to take each day as it comes and not take things for granted. That is an easy thing to say, live life one day at a time and just enjoy the time you have on this planet of ours but, it is much harder to actually put into practice. I might come back a changed person but I am hoping it will be changes for the better. I will spell like a Brit and talk like an Aussie but I am still me. It may take me a bit to get back into the hang of the American way of things.

Perspective is a good thing to have in this life. I am grateful and lucky enough to be 26 and now have quite a bit of it. I have been around this world to 17 different countries so far (and counting!) and I have seen the good and the bad of what this world has to offer. I can come away knowing how lucky am I to have what I have and to be able to do what I do. Just remember not to take the little things in life for granted because while you may not even think about others in this world may not have it at all.

If there is anything you take away from this book aka my life I want it to be this: Don't forget to bring your own toilet paper. Oh ya, make sure you say hello to stranger and always try and smile. A big smile goes a long way and you never know who's day you will impact or who you will meet. Make sure you get out of your comfort zone once in a while. You might surprise yourself. Remember to do what you love, and to love life. Have fun on the ride and live without regrets.

Yours truly. Tyler Horton

P.S. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed living it.