I am staying in a complete strangers house…
A few helpful bits of information I have gained from people I have met on my adventures, particularly from fellow travellers in hostels. There are lots of ways to travel without spending extraordinary amounts of money. Although I worked hard to save up in Melbourne I haven’t come away rich and ideally I would love to keep my savings for having wonderful experiences while moving up the East coast. This means avoiding spending my cash, particularly somewhere like Sydney, a relatively expensive city. One of the methods of saving my cash is to not pay for accommodation, obviously without going into a squat or being homeless. A great method, which I learnt from a German girl in my hostel in Melbourne is Workaway. A website that hosts people willing to offer accommodation and food (and in some cases a little bit of payment) in exchange for work. In most cases 5 hours a day, usually 5 days a week. I am currently staying in one such persons house.
I spent my morning doing the usual tourist stuff. Headed down to the harbour with my coffee to take in the opera house and the bridge, taking lots of touristy snaps of course. I then adventured out to the suburbs on public transport. Sorry Sydney, you got nothing on Melbourne! I miss the trams! The bus I caught out to Haberfield was an adventure in itself. Loaded down with my bags I was quite a inconvenience for my fellow passengers so one elderly Jewish gentleman decided to help me out by almost killing himself trying to lift my bag into the luggage compartment. After our near death luggage experience I clung to a bar with dear life as our driver seemed to have a death wish as he manically weaved in and out of traffic whilst muttering curse words under his breath. After what seemed to be the longest 20 minutes of life I managed to extricate my bags and found myself on Ramsey Street (I kid you not), although not the real life TV version! I managed to get to my host Helen and inside their house.
We had a brief run-down of what I would be doing for the week; cleaning, childcare, washing etc. Then we went out to meet the rest of the family and I got a little tour of Darling Harbour. The two kids are 2 months old and 2.5 years old, both girls and both a handful. Luckily I have boundless amounts of energy and managed to keep them entertained (and relatively quiet while Mum and Dad cooked dinner. After bedtime I had a little bit of washing to fold and organise and put all of our toys away. So far a very pleasant experience although running around after a toddler seems to be taking a toll on my energy. I think I’ll be sleeping well for the next week.