The AdverBarbie World Tour Part 3: The Tour Moves to the Southern Hemisphere

Photo: Alicia Benz & Michelle Pokorny
The tale of how 2 young advertising talents made the journey to being green through traveling

On Monday we read about our favorite blond duo heading to Amsterdam. Now they are off to Australia! Find out what other fun these 2 ran into!

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Sydney Australia, known for international flair down under, is a true haven for those trying to live green and healthy.  There are approximately 4 million people who live in urban Sydney, and it’s the most densely populated per kilometer area in Australia.  When we first arrived, we could not help but notice how similar it was to coastal California. The sunny weather, the modern architecture, and chic ambiance; it all has an uncanny resemblance to its trans-pacific neighbor, San Francisco.

However, at 18 hours ahead of Miami, the time change is excruciatingly painful.  You know how a hamster is completely disoriented after its been spinning round and round in its hamster ball?  That’s what it feels like for humans after a plane ride to Australia.  Our advice; for every hour you were in transit, plan on being horizontal, aka sound asleep, to make up for it.  Eventually you will get back on track, but boy does it do to a number on the biological clock.  We’ll never forget the delirium we felt while trying to search for an apartment downtown Sydney, at 3am Florida time! 


Speaking of which, we didn’t exactly find an apartment as easily as planned. We ended up in the suburb of Surry Hills, which is known as the artsy-bohemian area of Sydney, where the young hot hipsters tend to congregate in droves.  In Australia, it’s common to pay rent by the week instead of monthly. All the flat listings that seemed so cheap at first, we’re actually quadruple in price!  Gumtree.com (Australian craigslist) was how we found our place. Flat sharing with random roommates is the most popular form of housing, so it was pure luck we landed our own furnished place in such a short time.  

Daily life in Australia is fantastic.  The people are almost overly friendly and outgoing, that it takes us independent Americans a bit by surprise.  Expect to start a conversation with anyone about anything.  The work environment is laidback and moves at a comfortable and unhurried pace.  Deadlines mean nothing until mere minutes before a presentation, and your boss is more drinking buddy than foe.  

Our mornings began with a 20-minute walk to the quaint little park near work, where we had our workout with the office trainer.  Locker rooms and showers were at the office, so that everyone who biked or jogged could freshen up before starting their day.  Lunch ran about 90 minutes, and many people brought from home, or grilled on the community BBQ on the balcony.  Organic café’s were all the rage, and it was normal to see people picking up an eco-meal and enjoying it in one of many bright parks. We would trek home amongst even more exercise enthusiasts, all changed into cool workout gear, jogging in place at intersections. 

Thai and Indian restaurants lined the streets, filling the air with delightfully exotic aromas and catering to the BYOB’s dinner crowd with fresh eats and fun atmosphere.  Down under, it’s much more stress-free due to the fact that Australia’s has a HUGE middle class.  No one’s in a rush to move up or down, but rather they are content to coast along, enjoying life’s simple pleasures.  If we actually could get a visa for longer than 6 months, we would absolutely consider setting up shop in Surry Hills.
After our big awakening in Amsterdam, we had a whole new set of ideals on how we wanted to live our daily life.  Luckily, we wound up in a great city that was already practicing eco-friendly methods, which helped ease our transition. It was time for us to merge seamlessly into this relaxed and easy-going culture.  

One big trend in Sydney was vintage clothing.  “Pre-loved” clothes were extremely in.  Old school 80’s black boots, cut off jeans, tight retro tees, were all wardrobe staples. Aussies love finding cool clothes at 2nd hand stores, and then bragging to their friends about their new treasures.  What was even more fascinating was how they were willing to pay top dollar for used clothes!  At $50 for a pair of used shorts, they were more expensive than new items.  We contemplated getting some of our old clothes shipped over so that we could re-sell them to these trendy boutiques for a profit. Buying 2nd hand is exceptionally green and eco-friendly too.  Think of all the resources saved on cotton, transport, textiles, ect. by reusing these goods.  Not only that, but the Aussie mentality was that it was cool because it was better for the planet, looking stylish was merely a result of their eco-flare.  How good is that, mate!

Another habit we picked up while down under was composting.  It was the first time we experienced a community compost bin. At first it seemed odd, time consuming, and messy.  But after only few days, we found it strangely satisfying to collect all that living food and add it to the bin.  It was as if we were really getting our money’s worth out of those scraps, knowing it was going toward something more beneficial than a landfill.
To save time, instead of heading out to the bin after every meal, we would collect the remains in a bag in the freezer.  Then once the freezer bag was full to the brim, the scraps would be taken out with the rest of the trash.  So easy!  The freezer method is a great little trick because, the more full you keep the freezer, the less energy it uses to keep cool, which means saving money on the power bill. It’s such a shame that people usually just toss out all those nutrient dense veggie scraps, when they could actually be used for the bettering of the community and reducing landfill waste.  

Australia was the canvas where we painted our new self-images.  We began working out 4 days a week, ate whole organic foods, applied organic beauty products, as well as used earth friendly cleaning supplies.  The gratification with finally “doing the right things” was more than we could have ever imagined.  Went to bed and woke up with a smile on our faces because we knew we were making progress towards the goal lifestyle. While actually doing it and living it, we fully realized that as individuals, we could make a difference. 

Living wastefully takes a major toll on your subconscious.  Many people don’t realize how taxing it really is until you take a step outside yourself and evaluate your actions.  Totally immersing into this green culture gave us fabulous insight on how you can live with minimal impact on our planet, and improve your self-concept.  

For many, change is not easy, but it is possible.  I guess it was a culmination of living across the globe, as well as being ready for change that really gave us that extra push to live better.  We were more than happy to do it, and I can’t recommend making that first step enough.  

Time in Australia flew by at lightening speed.  We met so many people and saw so many beautiful things. We dove the Great Barrier Reef, and were awestruck by the natural underwater paradise that thrived mere inches below the surface.  

While in Australia we also journeyed to the farthest possible location from the States: New Zealand. Sheep outnumber people five to one in NZ, and with the absence of an ozone layer (thanks to pollution from Asia), it is also the brightest place on Earth. The trees are so green, radiating with life, they appear almost neon in photos. Australia gave us a great foundation and vision for living a green and healthy lifestyle as well as a deep respect for the magnificence of earth’s natural wonders.

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Read more:

The AdverBarbie World Tour Part 1: Meet the Girls

The AdverBarbie World Tour Part 2: buying Less, Buying Local & Buying Re-usable Bags