Saturday, November 29, 2008

Day 2 - Orientation

Yesterday I had my orientation with International Exchange Program (IEP). Wow I am really glad that I registered with SWAP, just for the help that IEP gives you its completely worth it. Not only did I learn lots about Australia and Sydney (Oz is the only country that eats both its national animals, the emu and kangaroo) but I can use IEP to help me find a job and accomdation. During the summer months here in Sydney its tough to find anything available just due to the large amount of people who come here. But yeah, as soon as I get a job it'll be great so I can start spending more freely.

IEP also hosts events, and I plan on going to one on Dec. 5. Its a bar on top of a hotel that appearently has an amazing view. I'll let you know. That is also

I got drunk with some German buddies last night. Christoph, Chirstofer, and Robin. It was my first international drinking experience! It was fun to exchange drinking stories with someone from a different country. I am jealous of the Germans though, they order their beers by the half liter. I learnt that the dialects between provinces are so different that east, west, north, south and central germans have a hard time understanding each other. Unfortunately they have to leave today, but that is the life of a traveller. Meet someone one day, gone the next.

I have also met Mike, my SWAP buddy also from Toronto so I have someone to travel with which is good. He is just trying to see if the airport can find his luggage since they managed to lose it on his way here. Brutal.

Last night we all ended up at Kings Cross which is the red light district here in Sydney. They seems to have all their sketchy shops and bars on the one street, but we managed to find a nice one there.

Anyways, I'm off now. Not sure what I am doing yet but I will find something I assure you. Wait now I know, its find free internets. Yum.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Day 1 - Here.

There aren't many words in the English language that can describe this; at least not many words that I know. I am here. Australia. I have talked and dreamed about it, worked months for it, and near my departure, even had nightmares about it. And as I sit here and write this, sleep deprived and exhausted as I may be, I still cannot believe it.* It is the most surreal experience. There is nothing in my life that has come close. Even heading off to university, I was only ever an hour away. Now, I am halfway around the world. 15,000 kilometers. It is a distance hard to grasp unless one has had the displeasure of spending a long time aboard a plane. That I will explain more about later.

Now here though, this question resonates in my head: What next? There's no work tomorrow for me, no school assignments, no exams. I am just here. Living. Breathing. Other than some basic to dos, I have no real plan. I like it. This is something I could get used to.

The one real challenge I have ahead of me is to make some friends. Socialize. Before, I found myself being anti-social at times and I hated that. Now, I have no choice but to be social. I engineered it this way. This predicament was set-up to help better myself. Make me care about people I don't know. Make me want to know who they are. Make me want to know their names. And I will. I can already feel it.

So much has changed. And I shall do my best to let you know what to expect if(when) you venture down here. But I am off now to go and eat a crocodile kangaroo burger. Till the next time. Cheers.


*Sidenote. I have just been invited to a porno party at Scubar, the bar underneath the hostel. Interesting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


This is just a quick post to say farewell. I want to thank everyone who has helped me so that I can take this journey. Thank you Mum especially, I know you were sad to see me off today. This is something I have to do and I thank you for all the support you have given me. Thank you to the rest of my family as well, I hope some of you can come and visit once I get set up down under. As well to all my friends, thank you for all the fun times. I encourage everyone to come and visit when and if they can.

This trip has been 8 months in the making. I have talked the talk, and now it is time for me to walk the walk. I look forward now to new friends, and new adventures, to new places, and new experiences. I am doing this to learn a bit more about myself, and I hope that the next time you see me, I will have changed, but for the better. I will share with you all the ups and downs of my travels, and I hope that you laugh, maybe even cry a little along with me. I hope to that you might be inspired as well, inspired to take greater chances. To shake up things once and awhile, and get out and try something new.

But for now I am a new country, and a new chapter in my life. But remember though, this is not a goodbye, but a see you later. I love you all :)

Yours truly,

Andrew Hamilton Meades

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Much effort was put into this banner.

I am really hungover as I write this so bear with me if this doesn't make much sense. But to the point at hand - TEN MORE SLEEPS and then I'm on my way there. I cannot believe how fast the time is going by. I have done everything I needed to do me thinks. Everyday till I leave I am going to post one thing that I am going to miss while I am gone. Here it goes...

10. Shoveling snow. Now I know that might sound weird but there is a certain satisfaction one gets after finishing shoveling the driveway, looking back at the cleared snow and thinking 'Damn, it looks good'; that feeling of accomplishment is what I shall miss.

9. My car/driving on the right hand-side. I shall have to rely on public transportation while I am down there, will probably even give hitchhiking a try. But I shall miss my sexy blue sunfire, that is unless I somehow manage to get enough money to buy a motorcycle down there. Doubtful though. And the whole driving on the left-handed side is going to be different cool.

8. My dog Abbey. Going away for such a long time has its downsides and I have to acknowledge that there is a chance that she might not be around when I get back. She is 12 13? 14? now and very much a part of the family. I do not like thinking that she might pass away but I tend to cover all my bases just in case. I am going to go and give her an extra cookie tonight :)

And yes mum I might even miss Maive (our cat) a bit even though we tend to have a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship.

7. Canadian Beer. Mmmm beer. But yeah I mean the actual brand Canadian, but I am sure I will enjoy drinking all new kinds down under. I'll also be on a mission to find a bar down there thats serves Canadian too.

6. COD 4. Sadly I am addicted. But I think I can live with a trade of that for surfing.

5. Snowboarding. I shall miss it dearly. But again, that can truly be traded off for surfing. I shall try and trade someone snowboarding lessons if they teach me how to surf.

4. Hockey. I most likely wont be able to play down there because getting another set of equipment will be tough. Low and behold, any chance I get to play is a chance that will not be wasted. I will however brag about how damn good I am to anyone that will listen hehehe.

3. To be determined...

2. My friends. See Farewell post.

1. My family. See Farewell post.

** Note. Today I helped my dad shovel off his rink for about an hour and you know what, I think I've gotten my fill of shoveling snow for the year. So #10 is a stupid one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A walk with Sadie

On Sunday I took Sadie, my cousins' dog, for an adventure up her backyard to the farmers field. Halfway through this journey I decided to take some pictures so that I may begin getting used to cataloging my trips around. Here is what Sadie and I saw. Actually just I, Sadie mostly wanted to chase sticks.

Near the top of the hill we saw a couple large fungi growing out of the bottom of a tree trunk. They had an interesting underside.

We continued.

I then decided to try and take some scenery shots with Sadie. As you can see she wasn't the easiest to shoot but I did manage to get some good ones. Here are 2 of my favourites:

She is a cute puppy, and not surprisingly quite hyper as well. Looking at them now I'll probably work on getting a better background next time, but I still like the pictures. They are amazing quality for a cell phone camera that's for damn sure.

Anyways we continued down the farmers property towards a field of corn that had not been cleared yet. Um, what would you call it? Dead corn? Sure why not. So we headed towards the dead corn field...

Sadie had a blast running around the field and nearby path and throughly enjoyed collecting loads of burrs on her fur. Luckily they were easy for me to remove from her coat as she is still young. Can you spot Sadie running towards me?

Ahh, there she is :)

I spotted this flower on a tree nearby. My aunt has informed me that the deer eat these, though I forget what they are called.

Then on the way back home I took a panoramic shot of the hill down to my cousin's house. This was mostly to test the phone out, and partly because I like the paintball memories.

And that was that. Took me about 20 minutes to get all the burrs out of Sadies fur but overall it was a worthwhile little hike. Only 22 more days until I go on more exciting ones hehehe.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I have found a website which you can view the live surf on a lot of beaches in Australia.

Check it out! It is really neat. I am going to try and be on one of these so I have added it to a list of my things to do.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This is why I want a pet octopus...

check out this link.

Wouldn't an octopus be the coolest pet. I'd probably give mine a camera and teach it how to take awesome pictures for me.