To: Australia

Happy Australia Day weekend! Similar to Canada Day or the Fourth of July, Australia Day is weekend filled with friends, family, good music, and great food. We relaxed with some friends yesterday, enjoying some adult beverages and a BBQ dinner; it was the perfect way to spend our holiday. In celebration of the festivities, I thought I’d compile a little “My Aussie Loves” list. These are just a few concepts that I have come to adore and appreciate about life in the land down under, and my own way of saying, “Thank you, Australia! You. Are. Awesome!”

To: Eat

Australia has introduced us to a few new foodie favourites, spared us from a lot of the processed foods in North America, and surprised us by the fantastic restaurant service (despite the fact that you are not expected to tip in most restaurants).

Roasted Pumpkin on salads and pizza. New favourite.

Almost all of the produce here is grown in Australia. It’s consistently fresh and perfect, and it’s nice knowing it hasn’t traveled several national boarders before finally reaching the market. Having experienced Canadian fruit in its off season or sent from thousands and thousands of kilometres away, I sincerely appreciate having wonderful produce year-round.

To: Drink

The coffee and coffee shops here are the best I’ve experienced. If there is one thing Aussies know how to do, it’s make an amazing cup of java.

The wine is pretty spectacular, too. It’s also one of the few things that is actually cheaper than North America. We have had excellent wines from Australia & New Zealand for a fraction of the cost.

To: Swim

I don’t swim at every beach in Australia. Some have pretty big waves and a rougher undertow, not to mention I have an irrational fear of marine life! I have definitely enjoyed some calmer waters on the Sunshine Coast though (particularly Noosa and Mooloolaba). I also loved swimming in the Whitsundays! Another thing that has been fantastic is the availability of swimming lessons for babies. Thomas has been attending swimming since 7 months old. All the pools are outdoors with a sunshade overtop, and it’s been a great activity for us to do together.

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To: Exercise

Aussies know fitness. I’ve experienced some of the best personal training, bootcamps, and group fitness classes in my life. The fact that the weather is nice year-round also allows Australians to walk, run, bike, and exercise outdoors.

To: Travel

There is always something to see in Australia. Although the beaches are unreal, there is so much more to this country. If we had the money, time, and resources, our travel possibilities would be endless. Australia is also handy to locations that many North Americans dream of visiting: New Zealand, Fiji, Bali, Singapore…etc.

To: Relax

One of our favourite activities is going to the park as a family, laying out the picnic blanket, and having some lunch or coffee. The weather allows for such a great outdoor lifestyle year round.

To: Wear

I’ll admit that my closet has been slightly neglected since moving to Australia. Between pregnancy and having an infant, keeping up with the latest trends and spending money on my wardrobe has not been at the top of the priority list. That being said, I do enjoy the times that I can get out and explore the little boutiques here. I’ve grown to love the casual, beachy, bohemian vibe in Queensland. Lots of prints and colours. It has been nice not to have to worry about winter clothes. My two fave Aussie fashionistas are definitely Elle Ferguson (looove her Instagram) and Miranda Kerr.

To: Appreciate

I continue to be impressed by the emphasis that many Australians place on spending their time, effort, and money on “experiences”, rather than “stuff”. Travelling, hosting barbecues and dinners, coffee/dining out, etc. Yes, people spend money on materialistic things too, but fancy cars, designer clothing, and living in an enormous home are not #1 priorities here. Very, very refreshing.

I know I say it frequently, but I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to live in Australia. The experience has been life changing, and although I have dealt with some challenges along the way, I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything. Thank you, Australia; you’re simply the best!

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17 Thoughts on “To: Australia

  1. Australia sounds like such a great place and a country I hope to visit at one time in my life! I absolutely love the idea of adding roasted pumpkin on pizza and salads. That sounds like it would be SO delicious! And, the Australian beaches look gorgeous! In fact, I want to be on one right now! 😉

    • Kelly @ Femme Fitale on January 28, 2014 at 8:48 am said:

      It’s is incredibly delicious. We made a pizza over the weekend featuring it. Just need to make a couple of changes then I’ll post the recipe. It’s my absolute new fave!
      The weekend was rainy over here, so not much beaching going on lately. Hopefully we’ll get out there again soon!

  2. I can’t wait to come visit!

  3. One of the things on my “bucket list” is to at least visit Australia, if not live there for a bit! It looks so beautiful and happy, haha! So you say the weather is nice year-round, how cold does it actually ever get? Do you have mild winters?

    • Kelly @ Femme Fitale on January 28, 2014 at 8:52 am said:

      It’s certainly a very happy, positive place. People are generally in a better mood, which is a nice influence.

      One morning last winter is went down to 8˚C in Brisbane (about 46˚F), which is cold because houses don’t have insulation like they do in North America! However, the amount of times I’ve worn a jacket in a year and a half is less than 10.

      I’d say Aussies feel differently though. Adam was waiting at the bus one morning and texted me to say people were waiting in ear muffs, mittens, and boots! haha! He was in his gym shorts!

  4. You’re welcome. Oh sorry it’s called ‘To Australia’ not ‘To Arman’ 😉

    It was great reading your perspective on so many things as a ‘local’ I’ve taken for granted! I never knew the swimming culture was so young here or the fact that even in Canada, you received produce which wasn’t local!

    Coffee is something I’ll never take for granted after being in the Northern Hemisphere! also pumpkin in salads and pizza- YES! Not just for pies huh :)

    • Kelly @ Femme Fitale on January 28, 2014 at 10:37 am said:

      I bet! I think I would feel the same about Canada. It was always so interesting to hear my expat students/their families talk about the things they loved about living in Canada. You definitely take it for granted sometimes!!

      Yeah, although you can get good farmer’s markets in Canada, a lot of the fruit comes from down in Central America. Canada doesn’t have the climate to grow all the produce we eat, mostly tropical fruit. Which is fine, but it’s so much nicer when everything is locally grown!

  5. Rebecca on January 28, 2014 at 10:32 am said:

    Thanks Kel, I love all of your blog posts, this being one of my favourites! Australia is a country I would love to experience someday. I would love to follow in Stacey’s and Kathleen’s footsteps, who knows what the future may hold. Keep posting and lovin’ life!

    • Kelly @ Femme Fitale on January 28, 2014 at 10:39 am said:

      Thanks so much, Bec!! I am also loving the photos from Kath and Stace, as we haven’t experienced those parts of Australia yet. It’s remarkably different than Queensland!
      I’d definitely say that if you ever get the opportunity to come here for even a year, take it! xo

  6. Yay! This post made me so happy that you love living here so much!

  7. As an Aussie citizen whose spent a lot of time in the country, you hit on my favorites too! So much about the lifestyle there that is refreshing like you said! I’m spoiled whenever I go over there!

  8. So many of the things you mentioned here are things I adore about Australia, too! I was there as a student, so living there was a financial shock to my system! When I got back to NYC, the ridiculous prices seemed cheap in comparison. But if there’s one thing I splurged on ALWAYS, it was the coffee. No one should ever be denied an Australian cup of coffee!

    Your observation about Australians enjoying life rather than material things is very interesting – now that I think about it, it’s so true! You really have me missing it now!

  9. One thing to add, is, Australia has one of the best surgeons (esp. cosmetic) in the world. The beauty industry is thriving here. Great comprehensive post. Thanks

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