Sydney shows world-weary travelers how to take it easy on The Wander Sauce’s first ever city guide.

A cosmopolitan city bonded to the hip by a vast harbor, Sydney has mastered the art of balancing urbane sophistication with the love for adventure and the great outdoors.  Here, an early morning surfing session is as much part of daily life as crunching numbers back at the office — no worries!  It comes at no surprise then that on a recent study, Sydney is among the world’s least stressful cities; and as one of National Geographic Traveler’s best destinations in the world, it looks like tourists want a piece of that peace too. So how do you chill-out in Sydney as the Sydneysiders do?  Read this city guide and find out.

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A One Fine Day in Sydney

My last day in Sydney was full of blunders– and quiet surprises.

I was trying to recall how terrible my last day in Sydney was.  I was convinced of it because I have blister scars on both my ankles from walking all day–well alright, I had a gelato stop at some point– along with a fatigue/flu that rendered me useless for a week because as luck would have it, it also rained at the later part of my fateful day.  Doesn’t sound good, right? Well, maybe it wasn’t so bad either.

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Gold Rush

The coastal walk from Bondi Beach to Bronte casts a spell during magic hour.

It was the early days of winter in Australia, with temperatures fluctuating throughout the day, like a bloody wind vane on a hurricane.  It’s a confusing climate, to me at least.  There I was in my jeans and thick cotton jacket, obviously dressed for the cold but eating a chilled Açaí smoothie bowl because somehow, I also felt quite warm.  I was sat under a tree in a school courtyard in Bondi, a beach town just a few kilometres from Sydney’s city centre.  Every Sunday, Bondi Public School becomes Bondi Markets– the school courtyard transformed to an outdoor food court, replete with colourful plastic chairs and wooden tables and surrounded by food stalls along the perimeter; the main school ground is dotted with stalls selling artisanal and vintage goods showcased by enterprising and artsy folks.  I managed to buy a delicate gold necklace with a Bodhi tree pendant for $15.  Not exactly cheap, like most things sold here, but the craftsmanship is beautiful.   I thought it can serve as a good luck charm for the rest of my trip in Australia and particularly for my adventure that late afternoon.

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Thoughts and truths: A prologue

Travel to most is an escape from reality, but what if it makes you experience your reality? I write this prologue to a recent trip to bare my thoughts.

Do you ever have that trip where everything just seems a blur?  And you’re not even doing any drugs or alcohol?  I just happened to be in one on my recent trip to Australia. It was my second time to be there and while things do seem familiar in a way, it was also uncanny that it was very different.  I can tell you that I felt like someone in a dream-like state.  You know, how the details are not exactly easy to remember but you felt strongly just the same?  Whereas on my previous travels before, everything seemed palpable and exciting, this trip was rather wistful.  All because something happened– I grew up.  Strange, isn’t it?

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Sometimes, I do not write on my travel journal.  A not so rare occasion, mind you.  There are many reasons for this.  The recurring one is laziness.  Sometimes a depression bout gets in the way, too, if I am being honest.  But for my not-so-recent trip to Dumaguete (including Manjuyod and Siquijor), I just simply did not have the time.  Which is a good reason because it just means that I spent it all adventuring and being outside. I could’ve written away when I got home– memories still fresh on my mind.  But, it has been a whirlwind last month.  I only have a few days after this trip to prepare for my next one, in Australia.  An excellent travel planner,  I am not.  And so, it is a good thing my camera is always with me on my travels.  It records things that I otherwise will not have written about.  Just a click away, sure, but I also enjoy how visually, I can also tell a story.

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