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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Building your US credit history

Regardless of how great you've been at managing your credit in Australia, once you move you're going to have to start from the very beginning building your US credit history.

It can be a little depressing knowing that your good financial habits back home basically count for naught once you step foot in the US, but there are ways to get leg up once you arrive.

Why do I need a credit history? Everything seems to be based on your credit history and score. Obviously any institution you seek a loan from will perform a credit check, but there are other reasons as well.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Meeting Aussies in San Francisco

In a cosy bar tucked away on a North Beach lane, Aussies gather to have their own accents reflected back at them and to hear stories of expats past and present.

That's enough of the faux-hoity-toity-literariness. You can find expat Aussies (and their American mates) enjoying beers and friendly banter over at 15 Romolo every third Thursday of the month.

What better place to catch up then on the site of a former speakeasy, brothel and the old Basque Hotel? None, because 15 Romolo appealed to my inner hipster on so many levels.

For months I've been watching the Sydney Ducks Facebook group organise their third Thursday Happy Hour. Hovering my mouse over the "going" button, never actually pressing it until last week.

I like the idea of meeting other Aussies who are living in San Francisco, but in practice, I'm slightly socially awkward and after a long day of work the couch is my island.

I have no problem with social media and emails, in fact I love it because I never actually have to pick up the phone and call anyone. It's the not knowing people that gets me. Sidling in, looking for unfamiliar faces and thinking of interesting ways to prolong the conversation is bloody exhausting.

The Sydney Ducks Third Thursday Happy Hour is NONE of those things. And you know it's true because Ms Awkward over here is saying it.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

American English For Expats

It seems a little unfair that I've explained Aussie slang to Americans but not American words to Aussie expats. Or any expats for that matter. It's an oversight that I'm now correcting thanks to Eliza, who gave me numbers one and three to chase up. 

Without further ado, I give you American Words for Aussies

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

A Visit to Sydney's Jenolan Caves

Picture by Mr M.
Let's take a detour from the US trips and head back to Australia for a visit to Sydney's Jenolan Caves. Mr M and I have just returned from a stiflingly humid fortnight in the motherland (yes, that's what I'm calling Australia now) and I'm full of homesickness and memories.

Jenolan Caves are quite a drive away from Sydney proper (about three hours) but are worth the car or bus trip. The limestone caves are the oldest discovered open caves in the world and feature 40 kilometres (25 miles) of passageways across a multitude of levels. They can be accessed from over 300 entrances, so it stands to reason that Jenolan Caves are still be explored today.

Even though there is such an expanse of caves and tunnels, 11 caves are open to the public with a tour guide. Over the years I've visited the caves a few times - for a tour of the Lucas Cave most recently, and for "Adventure Caving" on the Plughole tour into the Elder Cave.

Estimated to be around 340 million years old, the cave complex contain fossils, bones of wombats and Tasmanian Devils, and spectacular crystal deposits and shawls.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Valentine's Day in San Francisco for Singles

During my many years as a single traveler, I was not a fan of Valentine’s Day. It was especially true in my single expat years – you can’t really go out with friends unless you’ve had a chance to make really good (and also single) friends.

Question: What do you do if you’re single, not mopey and in San Francisco around Valentine’s Day?
Answer: This stuff.