Me, enjoying the ferry like a local in Sydney Harbour.
A lot of my travels to date have been quick whirlwind trips without staying place in one city for longer than a week, always on the go wanting to see as much as possible. I haven’t done the big RTW (round the world) trip, the longest I have ever been away on one trip is just over 5 weeks. I started traveling when I had a few weeks off here and there between my freelance jobs in film and TV and it always made sense for me to get away when I could instead of saving up for a longer trip and because of this I don’t think I’ve ever really “felt like a local” when traveling.
However on my last trip to Australia, I house sat at a friends place in Sydney while they were away in the US and I feel like I finally got to experience the feeling of a local outside of my own hometown. Even though Sydney is a big city, I enjoyed seeing familiar people every day for a few weeks on end whether it was the same people catching the train, or the guy who was always going in and out of the apartment the same time as me or the local shop owners and construction workers. Also knowing the directions to the grocery store or where to find cheap sushi. Just seeing people like that each day and knowing those things gives you a sense of familiarity and can really make a place feel like home.
Another thing that made me feel like a local while in Sydney was meeting up with friends who were locals and knowing more about the city than them. Granted I’ve been exploring the city and taking every tour possible, however some of my friends have been living there their whole life and I knew of great restaurants to eat at that they hadn’t heard of or knew about the free bus that runs in the city to get you around quick and free that was a surprise to them.
Cheap sushi and a friendly neighbourhood butcher are both fun things to know that make you feel like a local.
When I travel one my favourite experiences is when I know I’ve been able to blend in and people come up to me asking for directions. It’s happened to me many times in Australia, it happened surprisingly a lot of times while in Iceland, in Germany, Paris, Copenhagen and more.
I enjoyed becoming a “local” in Sydney and am now excited to share my Sydney Travel Tips with friends thinking of visiting there soon. If you want to know the best way to get to the zoo, where the best Greek butcher is, which pub has the largest amount of beers on tap and more I now feel confident that I can tell you the answers to these questions in Sydney like a true local.
Do you like slow or quick travel? Do you enjoy feeling like a local when you travel?
The first image was photographed with a Nikon D5100 using a 17-55mm lens.