Archive for » January 11th, 2011«

Australia: We made it!

The story really starts a few months ago, when Kristen was notified of her acceptance into UNSW‘s business school. That one email set off a flurry of requests, paperwork, process and relocation that eventually led us to O’Hare International Airport to begin a two day trip to Sydney, our new home for the next 16 months.

The trip itself actually was pretty smooth, with the possible exception of the bag fees that come with checking 6 rather overweight duffels. Fortunately, Kristen still had her 1K status on United and I made it to Premier, so that covered most of the fees, with ThoughtWorks making up almost all of the balance (whew!) After ditching the bags, we made it through a flight from ORD to Denver, waited there for 3 hours, then continued on to Los Angeles to board our 14 hour flight to Sydney.

Flights from LAX to Sydney normally leave between 9pm and 11pm and land between 6am and 8am. You also lose a day, so in our case we left on the evening of the 6th and arrived the morning of the 8th (I’m assuming something interesting happened on the 7th, but we weren’t around for much of it). You gain the day back on the return trip, but it’s still a little weird to miss an entire day.

As it turns out, the trip itself wasn’t all that bad. Having done a few 10 hour red-eyes to South America this year, I didn’t find the trip to Sydney to be all that much worse. You still leave at night and land in the morning, so a couple extra hours here and there don’t really seem all that different.

We flew economy on the 747, so we unfortunately didn’t get to see the upper deck. I hear it’s nice, but it wasn’t worth the cost (something like $13k when Kristen looked). This was our first time on a 747, and while the plane itself isn’t all that remarkable (it’s mostly just bigger), the wings are longer and flex more, so even the slightest turbulence is magnified.

We finally landed in Sydney, breezed through immigration and were thrilled to see that all of the checked luggage made it! While it sucks to sit around the airport during 3 hour layovers, the extra time allows the bags to easily migrate from one plane to the next. We also had a comfortable buffer for any delays, which is helpful when flying through both Chicago and Denver in January.

After pulling together all of our belongings and stuffing our winter coats into what little space remained in the bags, we met up with our ThoughtWorks-arranged driver for a quick trip (20 minutes or so) to our temporary accommodations: a corporate apartment near Chinatown, at the corner of Sussex and Liverpool. The place isn’t bad and is in a pretty good location, but we won’t be here long, so we aren’t really moving in all that much. Besides, there’s still a lot to explore!

Category: Australia  Tags: , ,  2 Comments