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A New Strategy – Sydney, Australia

I have modified my strategy for locating a job. Instead of solely focusing on Sydney as a place of employment, I have now expanded my job search to cities like Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Because I am still in temporary accommodation it is possible to fly to another city for a job and setup shop there. I have also applied to be a pedipod pilot here in Sydney. I believe there is still an opportunity available for me at Crisis Couriers, but I have not called them yet to iron out what the details.

Today, I moved hostels to a more affordable hostel, Harbour City Backpackers. Harbour City Backpackers is the type of hostel I expect hostels to be like. It is a little grungy, sort of like a frat house after a party, things are bare bones, and a diverse and talkative crowd exists to converse with. There is really not that much difference in the rooms of the hostels I have stayed in. Eva’s had the nicest rooms even though Wake Up was most expensive. The rooms in Eva’s had a private bathroom, private reading lamps and shelves for beds, and big storage lockers. Harbour City so far has the most barebones rooms, but Wake Up is very close even though it is almost twice as expensive. However, at first glance, the shower and bathroom facilities at Wake Up are nicer. Wake Up also has an enormous TV room with massive flat screen and a huge first floor lounge with another massive flat screen. On the other hand, while Harbour City might lack flat screens and private bathrooms, it is very centrally located. It has the shortest walk to the Sydney Opera, Hyde Park, and the Circular Quay. I have embedded pictures of the rooms in Eva’s, Wake Up, and Harbour City Backpackers below.

Eva’s:

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Wake Up:

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Harbour City Backpackers:

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I have re-added the music section with a new format and begun updating the travel log. My friend Uly, pictured goofily below, is flying to Cairns tomorrow and going to buy a van or big car and travel around Australia. He will be camping and sleeping out of his van and picking up any work he finds along the way. If I don’t lock down on a job soon, I am thinking about joining him for what is most likely going to be an incredible experience.

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I had to go back to Kings Cross yesterday to pick up an ATM Card and took a couple pictures. The first two are of Darlinghurst Street. This is the Red Light District of Sydney. It looks like a normal street, but almost every other storefront is a strip club. The third picture is of a Coca-Cola sign that is an icon of Kings Cross.

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Good Site Comparing Bank Fees for Foreign Travel – Sydney, Australia

Needed to post this site I found about banking costs when travelling. Link

Also, if you are in UK, Australia, or Africa, you will most likely use Gumtree instead of Craigslist.  Burger King in Australia is called Hungry Jacks.

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24 Hours of Rest – SLNSW, Sydney, NSW

Just got back into things after 24 hours of continuous rest. It was time to take a day off and catch up on all the long days and short rests. I have heard back from three recruiters so far and am currently stepping up the apartment search. Soon I will need to invest in some biz cas in order to enter the work place.

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Africa Pic Tour with “American Dave’s” pics – State Library NSW, Sydney, Australia

On the 19th:

Continued looking at job options, apartments, and possibly enrolling in an Oz business school. Got a little rowdy. After killing 2 cases of brew with some friends we had a water chugging contest before hitting up McDonald’s at 3 in the morning.

Water Chugging:

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View from Top of Eva’s:

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On the 20th:

Got a bank account at Westpac. Australian banking is interesting because all of the bank accounts that I looked at had monthly charges. This differs from all of the bank accounts I’ve had in the US. However, Australian interest rates are substantially higher than US interest rates. The simple savings account yields a 7% interest rate. I also got scooped a new webcam from an Australian electronics store called Dick Smiths. Got confused and thought it was the pro. This means I might be making another trip to Dick Smiths tomorrow.

On the 21st:

Switched to Wake Up Hostel. Wake Up is like a college dorm and a hotel combined. The hostel is huge and there are a lot more scheduled outings and events. For example, many days have free group tours of Sydney. Will probably do one of these tomorrow.

The real deal:

I just finished uploading the pics that tour mate Dave gave me before he left. Because I just put the pics up I thought I would post a couple of the good ones.

A friendly bird:

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Wild Zebra – National Animal of Botswana:

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Dune 45 again:

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A beetle on the move:

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Breakfast at Dune 45:

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A bird with a fur coat:

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Always time to build a rock pile:

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We’re in the middle of nowhere:

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Don’t stick things in holes:

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Everybody’s got a story to tell:

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Lizard:

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Are those 20’s on the ride?:

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Elephants at the watering hole:

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Lots of ele’s at night:

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Giraffes on the move:

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Springbok – National Animal of South Africa:

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Lions in the distance:

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Wildebeest:

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More Zebra:

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Oryx playing around:

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We were in this ele’s territory:

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Land of goo:

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Sand Bushmen:

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Sunset in the Okavango Delta:

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American Dave on Termite mound:

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Lukey B fell and got a stick in his hand:

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Ele getting palm nuts:

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Hippo’s in the Delta:

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Baobab tree:

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Big Lizard:

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Water Buffalo:

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Baboon:

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Lions on the move:

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The boys at Victoria Falls:

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Lions on the Night Drive in Etosha:MVI_0347

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Got an Oz Mobile – Eva’s Backpackers, Sydney, Australia

Oz Cell Number is: 0412724637

I tried to get another week at Eva’s, but it was booked so I’m migrating to Wake Up Hostel on the 21st.

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where is darran? v2 – Eva’s Backpackers, Sydney, Australia

Eva’s got their internet sorted out and I’m chilling in the tv lounge on the couch watching Friends with a scot, an italian, and two german chicks. Everyone is super cool at Eva’s, but more chill than what is typical of most travelling crowds. Today I spent most of the day at the library researching jobs, cell phones, and applying for an Australian tax file number. Tomorrow I am getting a bank account and continuing to look for longer term lodging.

The GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr got destroyed on the booze cruise. While looking for a replacement I came across something that I can use to geotag my photos, but can also provide real-time tracking of where I am. Right now I’m looking at the Globalsat TR-102. This bad boy has a GPS receiver and built in cellular network capabilities that allow it to send via SMS the location of the device on a set interval. You can have it sent to either a private service or a service like GpsGate.com to provide a visual overlay of your movements on Google Maps.

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Down Under – Sydney, Australia

Sydney is the ish. Eva’s is super sweet. King’s Cross is full of backpackers and it is a good thing I got a lot of partying done in Africa because there is a deadly amount of partying at and around Eva’s. It is nice to be wearing clean clothes on a daily basis and I’m at the library right now because the internet at the hostel is weaksauce. Today is the day to find a cell phone, contact Bondifit and get connected with them, look for a bike, and continue the job and apartment search. Also, I am going to finish uploading the Africa pics/vids. Check em out. I’m also going to upload my boy Dave’s pics from Africa too.

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Bouncin’ to OZ from Jo’Burg – Johannesburg, South Africa

Today is my last day in Africa. I have been hanging out at Mugg and Bean in the East Rand Mall yesterday and today. At 18:10, I will get on SA 7700, operated by Qantas Airways, and head to Sydney. From the airport, I will head to Eva’s and will do about 2 weeks of laundry upon arrival.

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Gabs to Jo’Burg – Johannesburg, South Africa

Gaborone was a night to remember. We went to a pub called the Bull and Bush Bar and Restaurant and had a great night. The food was good, the music was good, and almost everyone left their mark on the dance floor. Night life in different places is one of my favorite things to experience and in Gaborone you can definitely tell that no matter where you are people enjoy good music and good food. From our camp, we could tell the party lasted until about 3 AM, but everyone in our group cashed out around 1 AM.

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Next, we headed to Pilanesberg and spent two days there. On the way to Pilanesberg, we stopped to pick up supplies for the next couple of days. While the tour leader was shopping, I picked up some lunch at Nando’s.

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The facilities, organization, and atmosphere of Pilanesberg is incredible and far exceeds the facilities of most national parks I have visited Stateside and in Africa. However, Etosha still holds the title of being the best park visited while on tour. It was nice to spend a couple days here. The first evening some people went on an evening game drive and saw a cheetah eating an impala carcass. The next day the group participated in game drives and game walks in both the morning and the evening. I skipped both morning activities, helped clean the truck, rested at camp, and went on the evening games drive the second day at Pilanesberg. That evening after the game drive, we had another bar-b-que. This was the last night everyone would camp together and we had champagne to complete the experience.

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The next morning, we left at 6 AM to head to Johannesburg. On the way, our tour leader Janet treated us to breakfast at Steers. Instead of eating breakfast at 9 AM, I skipped to lunch and ordered the #1 combo.

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The burger and fries were delicious. I had wanted to sample African fast food since I arrived in Cape Town and this helped contribute to my sampling. Steers tastes similar to Burger King. We would arrive at our hotel around 11 AM and then the majority of the group took a tour of Johannesburg. We visited Soweto and toured one of the communities. Visiting the communities was a big eye opener to many people on the tour.

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That evening was the last evening before the group would split up and some would return home, while others would continue touring South Africa. We ate at a place called House of Ribs and everyone crashed early.

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The next morning, I woke up early to say goodbye to the group that was continuing on throughout South Africa.

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Lesson learned: Do not lose spirit when parting with people who you have shared great experiences and bonded with, but may never see again. Instead, be thankful for being able to have met, shared, and bonded with each other. This is one of the biggest challenges when leaving.

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In Gabs – Gaborone, Botswana

In Gabs, yesterday we stayed in Ghanzi and the new group saw the sand bushmen. Tomorrow we head back into South Africa to visit a game park. Muh ride is about to leave so I got to head out.