Hey mates! My name is Vanessa Snyder, and I am very excited to be interning at Let’s Go Surfing for the next two months. Coming from the east coast of the United States, you can only imagine how stoked my friends and family were when I told them I’d be working at a surf company…in Australia…on Bondi Beach! I am living a fantasy life that most can only experience in their dreams. And for that, I am extremely thankful that Let’s Go Surfing has taken me in with open arms for their winter season!
While my flight landed only a week ago, I’ve already noticed several differences between the Australian and American cultures. Some require slight adjustments, such as not tipping a waiter at a restaurant – in the United States, a 20% tip is usually expected. Now I TRIPLE-check before crossing a street, because I am still getting used to cars driving on the left side of the road instead of the right! I’m learning how to incorporate words such as mate and reckon into my vocabulary, and I WILL be returning to the U.S. with an Australian accent (not really, but a girl can wish!). I was ready to experience these cultural differences, considering the two countries are thousands of miles apart! However, I was not expecting to witness as many behavioral differences within Sydney itself.
My living accommodation is in Chatswood, which means my commute every morning to Bondi is an hour long. I hop on my first train at the Chatswood station and transfer at Town Hall, rush onto a second train to Bondi Junction, and lastly snag a bus ride to Bondi Beach. It only took one day of this commute for me to realize a commonality between the two cultures– the beach provides a mental and physical escape from the day-to-day work grind. I was expecting everyone to be jubilant in this coastal city…but I was just being naive. Those on my first train commuting to central Sydney exude very negative attitudes – sunken faces, earphones in, and a general aura of pessimism. I completely understand, because I had an internship in a small cubicle with no view last year.
Nevertheless, once I arrive in Bondi, I experience a distinct, positive change in the attitudes of others. I usually grab a coffee straight away at The Depot, where the workers welcome me with smiling faces and engaging conversations. I see how the beach and surfing play valuable roles in the lives of my coworkers, for they are always excited to help learners experience what it feels like to catch that first wave. From my own observation, the beach has the ability to brighten our moods and invigorate the adventure within us!
Even if you live in a beautiful, world-renowned city such as Sydney, there is something about escaping to the beach that rejuvenates the mind, body, and soul after the city grind takes a toll on our attitudes. Take advantage of our Hot Winter Deals and book a surf lesson down here in Bondi within the next two months, as I will surely be learning right beside you!