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YES, Thats what I've been up to the last two weeks! I have just moved to Sydney in Australia and now I'm finally getting settled in.

I've got a share flat in the Pyrmont area and I like it a lot, it's a short walk to the centre and a relaxed area. Love being so close to the city, there are always things to do. I didn't know what to expect when I got here and I didn't want to have high expectations either. After just a day or two in the city I already loved it! Sydney is such a beautiful city, so many parks and beautiful buildings.

But moving to a new country a new city also requires a lot of organising to get settled in. I'm here on a Working Holiday Visa (which means I can travel and work in Australia for a year) and if you want to get one you can apply for one on the Australian governments website, click here.

Here are some of the things you should get sorted when you're moving to Australia:

  • Apply for a tax file number (TFN) so you pay the right tax, otherwise you'll end up paying a lot of tax when you don't need to. Apply here! It's totally free so don't trust people when they say you have to pay for it.
  • Set up a bank account! I choose Commonwealth Bank and I'm very happy with their service so far.
  • Apply for a medicare card in case you have to visit the doctor. It's possible to do it online, click here. But you can also go to one of the offices in Sydney.
  • Get a sim-card, there are heaps of different ones. The biggest and most known ones are Optus, Vodafone and Telsra. They have different monthly plans.
  • Get a place to stay for a little bit longer, there are a lot of nice hostels in Sydney but they are quite expensive and you can save some money of you get a share flat. Search on Gumtree, flatmates or in the different facebook groups.
  • Get a job! You can apply online, go through an agency or go in person. If you apply online use Gumtree or Seek.com.au for example. There are different agencies that can help backpackers getting work in the cities like JobSearch but for retail work or cafe/bar work it's probably best to go in person and give away your CV/Resume.
  • If you are planning to work in a restaurang/bar you will probably have to have an RSA certificate otherwise you can't work in a place that serves alcohol. The course costs approximately 100-110 AUD and the certificate is valid for 5 years.


That's some of the things that are good to get sorted when you arrive :) I've got things sorted now and I feel so at home here, time to explore the rest of this beautiful city!

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Wow, time really flies by and so many things are happening now. Let me start by saying, it's already DECEMBER! How crazy is that?! Another year has soon gone by and it's been another incredible one.


I'm really sorry for the lack of posts the last weeks... Hopefully I will get started on posting things again very soon so bare with me a little bit longer. I have just been crazy busy and I will soon tell you guys why. It has been time for new and big changes and it feels amazing so far and if you check in soon I will tell you why! So enjoy a few pictures while waiting :)



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And one month in Sri Lanka is now over and it feels good and I'm ready to leave. Sri Lanka is for many people I've met one of their favourite countries but for me I wasn't that impressed.

Yes Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with amazing landscapes and sceneries and it has everything from cool to really hot climate, from mountains to beaches. That part I loved a lot, there is still so much more to see!

So why didn't it impress me?
It's really sad to say but to travel around Sri Lanka as two girls wasn't always fun. Had a couple of less fun experiences and moments and I'm sure it would have been totally different if we would have a couple of guys with us... Yes people stare and I'm used to that as a backpacker but it was the way they did it there like you're a piece of meat and not worth anything. And also the fact that they always try to fool you when it comes to money.

But let's put the negative sides away and focus on the good things.

Transportation is super cheap and easy, train is usually cheaper then busses and by far more comfortable! 3rd class is amazing and cost nothing.

Food, there is a lot of Roti (pan baked bread) and kottu (chopped up Roti with your choice of meat or vegetables). And then to my favourite Rice & curry, always different and I never get bored of it! A meal is usually between 120-250Rs.

My personal favourite was the north of Sri Lanka up in Jaffna. A few tourists make it up there and we found the people to be more genuinely friendly and helpful! Had the opportunity to spend a whole afternoon with a Tamil village.

I'm aware that we were traveling in low season and that might have been the reason why we didn't meet other backpackers, only bumped in to a few and most of them in the south. So to be a solo traveller would have been pretty hard or lonely. The weather was okey, central quite cold and rainy but apart from that it was good.

Accommodation, we found hostels quite expensive compared to other countries in Asia. It always came out much cheaper to get a double room for us.

All in all I spend approximately 330$ for my month in Sri Lanka. Leaving the country with a lot of new memories and experiences richer.

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Finally!! Beach time at Mirissa in Southern Sri Lanka. Time is flying by and we just have a couple of days left in Sri Lanka and what's better then finishing up at the beach and get that tan on?

Mirissa is a quite small town and popular for tourists. The beach is nice but the waves are high and the current is strong so you have to be careful when you swim.

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After spending two full days of travelling from Jaffna in trains and busses we finally reached Udawalawe National Park! We stayed at Serene Home Stay (2500rs/night).

We did a safari together with a Slovenian couple, the more people you are in the jeep the cheaper it is per person.

Entrance fee for the national park: 2770rs per person
Safari Jeep: 4500rs per jeep! Including 3- 3 1/2 hours of safari and pick up at you hotel.

In this price all taxes and fees are paid for. You will be provided with a guide and be aware that he want an additional tip in the end. It's included and we didn't pay more!

It was a nice trip and we got so see a lot of elephants, peacocks, lizards, buffalos, crocodiles and a lot of different birds.

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Second scooter day and we choose to explore the most northern parts of Sri Lanka. We wanted to get a little bit of beach time so we drove up to Manul Kadu Beach but it turned out to be a beach for fishing.

So no swimming. We continued to Point Pedro lighthouse and we got the opportunity to climb up!

Drive along the coast and it's really beautiful! A perfect day trip :)

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Not many travellers and backpackers make it up to the northern parts of Sri Lanka so for us it was a high priority. A couple of years ago it was very hard to get there and you needed a special permit to b able to go there. The northern parts were highly affected by the civil war and a lot of the area was destroyed. The railway just opened and it's easy accessible today.

We took the train from Vavuniya, 3rd class 150RS and it takes between 2-3 hours.

We stayed at Blue Whale for 1500RS a nights, a little bit outside centre but if you walk beside the train racks it's only a 15 min walk here .

We decided to rent a scooter and drive around and explore ourselves. We started with the Islands Mandaitivu, Velanai and Punkudutivu.

We stumbled across a Hindu temple on Velanai Island and got invited to join their ceremony. Spend the whole afternoon with the Tamil village, it was a very different and exciting experience. They showed us so much kindness and gave us a really good home cooked rice & curry! Even if we were a bit sceptical in the beginning.

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Sri Lanka is a bi island and yet it took us over 2 weeks to reach the coast! Finally we're at the coast and it's beautiful and it feels so good to breathe in the ocean air again and feel the sand between the toes.

Trincomalee had a hard time in the war but is now recovering. We stayed at Sanju (Alex Place) in Upaveli and it took us just a minute to walk down to the beach.

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After spending some time in Sigiriya we headed up to Habarana, a very small town north of Sigiriya. We stayed a Sky View for 1500RS and convinced a tuktuk driver to drive us to Ritigala Ruins.

Ritigala had a big mythological status and was a place for refuge. More then 70 caves have been discovered and the area was discovered by the British in the 19th century.

Price:
Tuktuk drive there and back: 560RS=$3,8/per person and entrance fee 290RS=$1,9.

It was a small nice trip but I wasn't very impressed. The area is quite small and there is nothing a lot to see. The driver over there was nice.

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Time to leave central Sri Lanka and the hill countryside and get up to Sigiriya.

How to get there:
Train: Ella - Kandy, third class, 7 hours, 130RS=$0,9
Bus: Kandy - Dambulla, 3 hours, 50RS=$0,35
Bus: Dambulla - Sigiriya, 1/2 hour, 35RS=$0,25

Sigiriya also known as Lions Rock is an ancient rock fortress and the most famous sight is the 200 m high rock.

The entrance fee for visiting Sigiriya is $30 and that's a lot of money for a backpacker on a budget. Instead of paying the entrance we decided to rent bikes for 300RS=$2 and biked around Sigiriya. The area is really beautiful and we found a lake and you can also climb Pidurangala Rock.

The rock is supposed to be for free but there was a man trying to charge everyone 500RS to climb up. If you want to get up there you have to wear clothes that covers shoulders and knees because it's a holy place.

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