My 3 Favorite Experiences in Sydney

Marla Holland is a student at Waynesburg University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Sydney, Australia.

1. The Opera House

Sydney is a huge city with endless opportunities, but attending a performance at the Opera House was at the top of my to-do list. I am a huge band geek, so naturally, I took as many chances as possible to spend time in Circular Quay (“key”) where the Opera House was located. I am still in shock that I actually got to see this beautiful landmark inside and out.

Honestly, I was worried that I would not get to make it to a performance because all of my friends were busy with class and work. So I decided that I had to do this for myself. At times, you may find yourself questioning the adventures that you are embarking on, but honestly, going with the flow and trusting yourself is the best way to do it! I’m so glad that I had this awesome opportunity to see some absolutely incredible music performed.

2. Surfing

It’s winter! Who goes surfing in winter? Well, I do and so do many others that are brave enough to face the rather chilly temperatures of the Pacific Ocean during the month of June. I was not very excited for an early morning start and a long, dreary day getting my butt kicked by waves. It was not promising as I started off, flailing off my board every time.

When you miss a wave, get back out there and try again!

By the end of the day though, I wasn’t quite ready to leave. I looked fear in the face and said “keep going”. Once things started to click and when I finally kept my head up above the board, I surfed some great waves. This experience was unlike any other that I had playing sports. I felt so free, like I was on top of the world, and that nothing could bring me down. I love a good challenge and surfing really put me to the test.

3. Spider Exhibition (Australian Museum)

I think by now everyone knows that if there is one thing to be afraid of in Australia, it’s their spiders. The Australian Museum had an exhibit set up to showcase to the world just how deadly they can really be. My skin was crawling even before I stepped in the door, but it was too late and I had to follow through with it. Going through the actual exhibit creeped me out, but the worst part was watching the milking of a spider and seeing spiders being handled up close. Even though I still feel like something is crawling on me, I am glad that I did this brave thing and learned more about Australian spiders.

I loved this skin-crawling experience during an ISA excursion to the Australian Museum.

The world awaits…discover it.


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