Archive for the ‘pre-departure’ Category

Posted by: Emma

Sitting in the Toronto airport waiting for our flight to board. Kelly isn’t here yet. I hope she makes her connection. I wish I had thought to grab her flight number so I could check but alas! I have been much pre-occupied as of late. Kelly, get your butt to my gate number. Number 157. Do it.

Yes, I totally caved and bought wireless internet time. I have things to do! I swear! Important things such as… uh. Checking email? Seeing how many people love me on Facebook (seven?)? Oh! Finding out how to get to the hostel. That IS important. Good job Emma. You may have saved the day.

I didn’t have my booking number or my itinerary so I was having a little trouble getting the kiosk to accept I really was going to fly to LA. Eventually I just waited in line for the attendant to help. She was very helpful!

My bigger bag was 8 pounds over regulation. Apparently they don’t check cumulative poundage (as I was also taking a MUCH smaller bag) but each one is allowed up to 50 pounds. Would have been an extra $100. I was all for paying that cause (a) I’m lazy and (b) I had assumed I’d be over. She convinced me to shift some stuff over and in the end I managed to drop my large bag to 53 pounds. Luckily she said it was close enough and didn’t charge me. Aww Canadians. Not sure I will get the same deal in LA but we will see. I’ll look super-cute and hopefully that’ll be enough to turn the hearts of the cold, cruel Americans.

Anyway, I am going to resume my facebook creeping and keeping a look out for my travel buddy. Buddy! Get here!

Bye everyone, wish us a easy and nausea-free flight. ūüėÄ


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Where are we going?

This is my first ever blog post. The pressure is pretty intense, if I mess this up I will forever be mortified by my first time writting a blog. I’ll never blog again. People will forever remeber me as the girl who wrote the terrible blog. My reputation will be ruined. INTENSITY.

But moving on to THE trip. We are going where no man has gone before….. give or take a few million or billion. I have my ear plugs and some over the counter sleeping pills, because I am NOT staying awake on that plane. None of this 40 hours in transit and 3 hours of sleep again.

Well, after reading emma’s post I was inspired to write a list of things to do before I go. So here it is:


  • Take advantage of parents fridge and cupboards
  • Optimize sleep time in own quiet bed
  • Work on beach body…. after I finish this chocolate bar
  • Creep people on facebook, internet is expensive in australia…. limiting creep time
  • Savour unemployment
  • If there’s time wash clothes, pack, and¬†print of resumes

Hopefully after all that I will be fully prepared for Australia. And thus ends my first ever blog. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me.


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Posted by: Emma

Today marks the two week mark until we push off to Australia. And by push off, I mean fly off. That sounds like we were taking a boat. Which is a bad idea. Sea + Emma = Not a pretty sight. Trust me. I have witnesses.

Ok, so. Here’s what we don’t have:

  • Jobs
  • An apartment
  • Any sense of security and well-being

I kid! I kid? Yes, I’m a little worried. Yes, I also said previously that I wanted to wait until I get there to find such things. Yes, I’m a hypocrite. What can ya do!? I guess this all comes with the package though.

I’m sure once we get to the hostel, we can figure it out. Wake Up! Sydney has a job help desk plus a bullitin board where people looking for renters can post their housing. Talking to travellers will help too.

I do have a couple recruiters who have said they would like to meet me when I get to Sydney but they also haven’t responded to the latest e-mails so, y’know. I know looking at someone who isn’t even in the country at this point is kind of a risk for them. Either way, que sera sera.

Things I need to remember to do:

  • Buy heavy duty earplugs. Kelly is such a noisy sleeper! Ha, that is a lie. But she is well known for her midnight mouth smacking. This is more so I don’t get disturbed at the hostel by others.
  • Photocopying all legal documents (passport, birth certificate, etc), plus air tickets, travel insurance information, drivers licences, etc.
  • Print out various editions of resumes.
  • Fix Line of Credit at bank.
  • Start packing? Just maybe? Nah.
  • Continue throwing out items I will not need nor did I ever need them but I bought anyway. (Why do I have like, 18 billion hair products?)
  • Pack up winter clothes and ship ’em on home!
  • Same with pictures, photos, wall thingies, and sentimental items.
  • Get nice bottle of wine for my beloved friend’s parent’s who are storing my furniture for me.
  • Throw out all shoes I will not be taking. Maybe? Ack, so hard to part with things I bought.
  • Eat all my food. I don’t know how I will manage to eat 2 boxes of rice, several jars of mustard, 18 different 100-calorie snack packs, a box of pancake mix and all those baking good products I own but I can assure you… it’s not going to be tasty.

I think that’s it for now. Expect more lists on the way! Fun times, y’all.

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Posted by: Emma

So Kelly and I have been trying to find a place to live before we actually touch down in Sydney. It’s a little rough out there trying to find a place, considering I have no idea where any of these locations are and we want to find a fully furnished place. But we’re plodding through ugly Kijiji-like sites looking at places and contacting realtors. So far, nothing has come up but I’m content to wait until we actually get there.

And this is why: Recently I contacted someone off Gumtree – a Craigslist/Kijiji type of site that has rental listings. They replied with several photographs of the place and a long-winded explanation of why they’re renting out this place. Blah, blah, blah, it’s my late husband’s place, I’m in Texas, blah, blah, blah, looking for someone to care for it, blah blah blah, rent not really the issue, etc.

So I look at it again. I go to Google Maps. I check out the location. Wow! Right in Sydney Central. And only looking for $1400 AUD for a 2 bedroom with 1 1/2 bath? That seems like a pretty good deal! I check out Google Street View and yep, it looks like a real apartment building. But still, the e-mail seemed… off. I Google her e-mail address.¬† Nothing pops up. Ok, maybe this is good. Then I decide to Google her name.

Oh. There we go. I find this post: http://parishousingscamwatch.wordpress.com/an-unfortunate-story/

If you scroll down the post, not only do you see the EXACT same e-mail she sent me (with a few minor changes), but you see commentors saying, “Wow, this Amandine Briseno person scammed me too! Beware!”

So, I’m glad I checked. And really, I think this is another indication we should wait until we get to Sydney so we can actually physically check these places out before we hand over money. Aussie lesson #1 right here for you.

For anyone Googling, please do not get a place from Amandine Briseno, email: ladybriseno.tx1969@gmail.com or with the following e-mail text:

Good to read from you on your interest on my apartment, which i am leasing out for rent

Presently the apartment is still very much available for rent.Just to give you a little  low down about the apartment.I resided in the apartment with my only daughter melissa and my late husband whom i inherented the apartment from, before we relocated my country in United State. Due to my new job offer at the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center- Waco, Texas . And also i am about to get married to my fiance in less than three months from now.

The flat is up for a total of 1400aud per month including ((hydro eletricity, gas and water bills) which i also think is fair enough considering the location. I just need someone with an open heart, love and clean to occupy the apartment and put all my worries off concerning the maintenance of the apartment for now. Since i am not residing there for now.

The accomodation comprises of 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, living room. These are some of the measurement of the apartment.Reception room¬† 17’0″ 16’0″ ( 5.18m x 4.88m ,¬† Kitchen¬† 13’0″ x 11’0″ ( 3.96m x 3.35m ), Bedroom 1¬† 13’0″x 11’7″ ( 3.96m x 3.53m ),¬† Bedroom 2¬† 12’10” x 10’5″ ( 3.91m x 3.18m ),¬† Bathroom¬† 6’10” x 5’10” ( 2.08m x 1.78m ), Guest WC¬† 5’0″ x 2’10” ( 1.52m x 0.86m .Facilities and electonics like satellite TV and internet connection,DVD player, air conditioning, alarm system, elevator. The kitchen is fully equipped with all necessary cooking utensils, a refrigerator-freezer, four-hob and oven, microwave, dishwasher and washing machine.

Also the keys to the apartment are right here with me. Which i can be posted to you after all necessary agreement has be reached and signed into lease. Also i will like you to know that the rent charges is not really the issue , but your absolute maintenance of the apartment, because that is the only valuable property my late husband left behind, and it also took him so much time and money to put all those facilities in place, so i wouldn’t want an violation of my property if finally rented by you.

The Apartment is situated at  23 Shelley St, 3rd floor unit 5, Darling Harbor, NSW 2000 , Australia. Directly across the harbour, around there are many supermarkets, bakeries,pharmacies, cafés, shops, and restaurants.

The minimum lease term is three months, but a maximum of two year with a possibility of extension.

Kind Regards,

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T-Minus 27 Days

Posted by: Emma

So it is now 27 days until our departure to the land of Oz. Kelly will be meeting me in Toronto, where we will fly to LA, the onto Fiji, then onto Sydney. Kelly, having done this just a few months ago, assures me that the flight there won’t be so bad. But, um, flying always makes my stomach a little iffy. I’m not sure how I will handle 24 hours of it. Probably with lots of gravol in hand.

I’m sure it’ll be worth it, right? Right.

This blog probably won’t be updated very much until we arrive there because this is (obviously) a blog to document our travels in Australia, not my freaking out about leaving Canada. Anything in the next month will most likely be about packing, so hurray! You get to enjoy!

I really haven’t done too much in preparation for this trip, aside from saving the money, booking the flight, paying for the insurance, dealing with my rental situation, etc. But I assure you, there has been lots of mental lists being written. Things to check off. I know for the most part what I want to do with my stuff, what I will be selling, etc. What I have NOT been preparing mentally for is leaving my friends, my boyfriend, my (his) kitten. Simply because I don’t want to think about it. It will be hard. I’m never good at leaving.

However, I know the 8 months are going to fly right by, just like the last 15 months in Toronto have. 8 months really isn’t much time but I know it will be a trip of a lifetime and I, for one, can’t wait.

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