A Journey that Ends with a Beach

There are over 10,000 beaches in Australia and to be exact the University of Sydney has counted 10, 685 beaches.  I would not be surprised if there are more in hidden places that man has yet to walk.  My trip was short and sweet and I only had a chance to visit a few places.  I never get tired of visiting the beach, even though my purpose is not to tan because I am blessed with dark skin.  I love the sun and for its rays to kiss my skin giving me the dose of vitamin D that my body needs for good health.  I love listening to the sounds of the water and feeling more connected to the earth.  When I get to the beach it is my moment of peace and calm from all the chaos and pollution in any city.  This post is to highlight one beach in Northern Sydney.

Palm Beach, Manly, Sydney

The journey we made to this beautiful beach took us about 90 minutes and we started with the Manly ferry from Circular Quay.  The ferry ride is about 20 minutes and boasts spectacular views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Once we disembarked from the ferry, we walked to catch a bus to Palm Beach and that bus ride was about 60 minutes. I like taking the bus so that I can view the city as the locals do everyday.

The long bus ride is worth it and you will realize that as you begin to approach this affluent area where the median home is selling for $2.6 Million.  A little fun fact for you: the long running Australian tv show, Home and Away is filmed here.

Palm Beach is along the Tasman Sea, within the South Pacific Ocean.  I was there on a December afternoon and the sky was a bit overcast, but there was enough sun to lay out and veg for more than a couple of hours without the risk of getting burnt.  The tide and temperature of the water was perfect for riding the waves and as we frolicked with every wave. The surfers were nearby catching the bigger waves outside of the swimmers boundaries. Let me remind you that when visiting the beaches in Australia, you must stay within the yellow and red poles, which are marked as the safe zone monitored by lifeguards on duty.  The waves can shift and mother nature can be violent at any time.

There is also a public pool at the end of the beach which we noticed wasn’t busy.  In that area, you can take a walk along the huge rocks and admire more of God’s creation.

Palm Beach is one my favourite beaches in the world.  I still have more to see!  As always, thank God for travel!

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Take bus 29 to and from Manly.

 

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sitting on the rocks at Palm Beach

Where To Stay In Sydney

Sydney, Australia is one of my favorite cities that I have visited. It has an incredible skyline and multiple harbourside views for walking, dining, and touring in the heart of the city. The most popular attractions include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I love Sydney because it is a walkable city and the public transit is easy to figure out and extremely accessible. When visiting Sydney, stay in the central business district, also known as the CBD. I stayed at the Grace Hotel and its location was perfect for everything that I needed to do. I was walking distance to the Opera House, Darling Harbour, the Circular Quay, all the shopping, the Contemporary Museum of Art, the Rocks Precinct and more.

The Grace Hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Sydney and was recently restored. This neo-gothic structure was built in the 1920s by the Grace Brothers. I found the hotel to offer the warmth of a heritage hotel with a touch of luxury for an affordable price. The room with the double bed was very spacious and the beds were just as described… “dreamy”. Our room was made up perfectly every day and any time we needed something, the staff was responsive right away. If you want to stay at a reliable hotel with a lot of charm, this will be the place for you. The only downfall for this hotel was the gym. It is on the top floor with a very low ceiling. Weight trainers will have to skip their routine and stick to cardio on the treadmill or the bicycle. Overall, I recommend this hotel for someone who wants a very clean hotel, with a perfect location, and good service. Look for this hotel on Hotels.com to get the best rate.

If you don’t mind staying a little further out, there are some hotels closer to Spice Alley that may be good options too. 

No matter how you travel or where you stay, always be thankful for your adventures. I thank God for travel.

 

All opinions in this article are my own.

Travel in 2018

For many people a new year means a new you.  What does that new you look like?  Most of my friends want to travel more.  One of the number one regrets in life is not having traveled enough.  If you have travel on your radar, make this a year that you fulfill at least one of your travel desires.  Next, you will need to figure out where to go in 2018.  For budget friendly travelers the New York Times just published 10 Bargain Destinations for 2018.   I’m surprised to see that Melbourne made the list.  It looks like the ranking is based on flights from the US, but even with a reduced fare you will still spend a lot of money in the city itself.  I just returned from Melbourne and I did not find it to be a city for bargain hunters.

In the past year I had the privilege to travel more than once a month.  I thank God for the amazing experience and opportunities he continues to provide. I love talking to people and I recently talked to someone that had never traveled outside of her country, let alone, outside of her state.  Her first vacation in 2017 was to lay on a beach in Mexico, which is about a 2 hour flight from her city in Texas.  She knew she wanted the sun and to relax on a beach and she got exactly what she wanted. I can appreciate that she made her desire come true.

If you are looking for a place to go I suggest you decide what is right for you and not everybody else.  Consider your budget, the timing and what you want to see and do.  So many people do what others say they should do.  Fulfill your hearts desire and thank God for travel!

 

Traveling Tips from a Hygiene Freak

Ever since I was a little girl, I always showed in my behavior when I saw something icky. If someone picks their nose I stare at them because I want them to know they are spreading their nasty germs. If you sneeze without covering your mouth, I will let you know that you have to use your elbow to cover your mouth. I hate to see people clipping their nails in public spaces. If I see something grimy, I don’t want to go near it. I remember many years ago I went to a famous restaurant in Harlem with a friend and right after ordering I went to the restroom. I was washing my hands and I saw a massive cockroach nearly the size of my pinky finger. I headed straight to my table and told my friend that we had to leave and we did. I’m sure the food there was amazing, but I couldn’t stay after seeing what I saw.

I’m a germ phobic. I carry hand sanitizer everywhere I go and I am always picky about which table to sit down at when I visit a coffee shop. I travel a lot and I often question myself as to how I am able to do it. The airports and planes are probably the filthiest confined spaces around. With millions of people on the go, how do I manage to be in this environment so often? Here are the things that I have with me when I travel and I think you should too.

Things to carry on your person:

Hand sanitizer – I use this all day long between washings throughout the day.

Wipes – use these to wipe down the tv screen, the remote, the arm rests and tray table

Lysol to go spray – this is good to freshen up the air in your room. I also use this to spray the telephone, tv and remote control in the room.

Pillow Cases – I stayed at an airbnb once, and preferred to put my own pillowcases over the pillows because I wasn’t sure if someone else’s head rested there before I showed up.

Socks – wear a pair for your flight that you won’t put back into your shoes. I can’t tell you how many people I see go to the toilet without their shoes on. It’s F-in disgusting. Imagine all the pee drops they have stepped on. You don’t want that to happen to you right?

Disposable foot covers – I always grab a bunch at DFW airport. I haven’t seen them anywhere else. They are great for when you have to take your shoes off.

Don’t use the pouch behind the seat in front of you. If anyone has used a sick bag, they usually put it in there and who knows what residue has been left behind.

Tissue – I don’t understand why people pick their faces and noses and have no tissue on them. This was an awesome invention and it’s cheap! Please buy yourself some tissue paper to pick your damn nose and then throw it in the garbage like a nice human being. I had the urge to pass a tissue to the dude across from me that dug in his nose several time from Melbourne to Auckland.

We are sharing these public spaces and it would be so much better for everyone if we all behaved with respectful manners. Everyone likes to have things clean. Please do your part by cleaning yourself at home and not in public spaces or be as hygienic as you can for your care and everyone else’s.

Please and a BIG thank you.

Oh and most importantly…no matter what the situation is while I’m traveling, I remain thankful for all of the experiences that help shape who I am.  Thank you, God for travel and allowing me to grow amongst everything that you created.

 

 

 

 

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