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Staying In Bondi Beach, Sydney

Bondi Beach was the real deal Australia intro.

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SYDNEY, Australia- Australians really surf. For some reason, I thought this was some kind of stereotype. Like Chinese people eating dogs or German service employees being rude. I knew that maybe some people would be surfing, and that it was an activity that a portion of the population enjoys, but the view from my travels down the east coast so far, it seems as if surfing is something akin to riding a bike everywhere else: everybody seems to be doing it. There are surf boards in doorways, on the tops of cars, and I have like a 100% affirmation rate when asking people if they surf.

Australians really surf, Chinese people really eat dogs, and German service employees really do have a higher prevalence rate for being rude. But of course you can never notice any of this because stereotypes are not true.

My first glimpse of this surfing inclination came in the Bondi Beach area of Sydney. This probably isn’t a fair analysis, as this is one of the main surf beaches of the city. But what really struck me as something interesting, was that Australians don’t just go out, float around in the waves, stand on their boards for a second and then fall down, like everybody else in the world, but they can actually surf — like, they really stand on their boards on top of a wave and ride it. They can even do that fish tail-y move and ride down inside the wave with the water going over the top of them. Really, they can actually do it.

This seems strange to say, but I’ve been on surf beaches all over the world for years and I never seen someone actually do it before. On Bondi Beach I got that strange feeling that you get when you see something AFK that you only previously only ever saw in the movies. You don’t really believe it even though you’re looking right at it.

I don’t surf, and, honestly, I have zero interest in doing it. Seems boring to float around in the water for 15 minutes just to try to do something cool for 10 seconds at most. I’d rather just walk around … doing anything else.

Bondi Beach was a good introduction to Australia. The place was, to put it basely, nice. There’s this nice strip of shops that flank the beach. The beach itself is grade-A. The sunrises:

The only damper on my time there was the fact that our AirB&B host didn’t give us all the keys for the locks on the door and we locked ourselves out. He was out of town, and, apparently, the key to the door knob lock doesn’t exist. He didn’t bother giving us a warning. We had to call a locksmith. It cost $130. He said he would pay for it but hasn’t done so yet. What he can’t pay back is the entire half a day of travel that I wasted dealing with this bullshit.

When AirB&B works, it’s incredible; when it doesn’t, it can ruin an entire visit somewhere. It’s really the landmine of travel. Every once in a while you’re going to step on one and it’s going to blow up your entire fucking day.

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Filed under: Australia, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3705 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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