1. It is (almost) always sunny
Yeah well…needless to say that I really enjoy the weather and the sun here. While the weather in Germany is right now alternating between heat waves and hail showers the weather here is more or less constant. Of course not in all areas in Australia (I wouldn’t want to be in Melbourne right now) but at least where I stick around. Last week the temperatures here in Townsville dropped to 12 degrees which resulted in me wearing a beanie (just for style ;)) and sitting with a sleeping back in the bar area (it looked silly but it was really comfy) but that was just an exception to the basic rule that it is warm and sunny. So most of the times I am still allowed to wear t-shirts and shorts. And that not just allows me to still wear t-shirts and shorts but causes also a nice tan and some blond strains in my hair (which definitely adds perfectly to my surfer look ;)).
And even if it is then getting colder between sunset and sunrise or it is raining for a change I don’t really mind cause it is just temporarily and finally gives you time to just stay in bed, watch some TV shows or it allows you to focus on other projects. Cause let’s face it as much as I like the sun it is definitely a distraction from all the things you would want to do on your laptop (but that is probably just a matter of discipline). In Germany it was usually the other way around. Staying inside most of the time and as soon as the sun hits heading outside cause you never know how long it will last.
2. Lots of friendly and happy people
People here in Australia are more or less very friendly and (at least appear to be) happy. I would reckon that this is a results of all the sun they got over here cause sun usually brings out happiness hormones. While people back in Europe get spring fever once the days getting longer and the temperatures getting higher at around April/May Australians have that more or less the whole year (at least the people I met while chasing temperatures at around 27 degrees).
- you are actually allowed to great people on the street. Complete strangers smiling back at you and asking you how you are doing (even if I still don’t know what to answer or ask back). If you do that in Germany you might be asked if you have a problem (trust me that is not meant in a nice way and out of a general concern) and why you would possible stare and great at them. Or you would leave them wondering where the hell do they know you from. Either way it is not as normal as it is here.
- For some reason the busses in Australia don’t display the next stop. So if you don’t know where to stop you actually have to ask the bus driver (or use Google Maps). Back in Germany that would end up in him or her giving you a grumpy response. But If you are entering a bus in Australia you notice that the bus drivers appear to actually like their jobs and are in general happy to help. Probably still not all of them (some could be cranky as well) but the majority here is while probably a minority of the bus drivers in Germany are enjoying interacting with people while driving them around. Since what goes around comes around everyone leaving the bus is then saying thanks to the driver (which is well deserved).
3. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle
In 2014-2015 63.4 percent of Australian adults were overweight or obese. So almost two out of three Australians have a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and designated cancers. And these figures only getting worse (1995 56.3 percent of the Australians were overweight or obese). Even if that appears to be a worldwide trend (probably a result of all the fastfood and lack of time or motivation to exercise) Australians would at least be able to fight the odds:
- As mentioned in “Why travelling doesn’t have to be expensive” tap water is more or less available on every corner. And yes once in a while the chlorine taste is more than present but it is still not as bad as in the States and you probably get used to it with time (cause taste is usually a matter of how used you are to it…just ask someone who disliked beer at the beginning but hasn’t stopped drinking and now actually enjoys the taste). So while walking or doing sports outside I usually don’t need to carry a water bottle I just follow my rule to stop on every faucet and have a gulp or two to stay hydrated
- Apart from available water they (or at least woolworth) encourage(s) kids to eat fruits by giving them away for free during the grocery shopping. That is not just distracting them while shopping (I heard taking the kids to grocery shopping can be kind of a struggle) it might also avoid them asking for sweats at the checkout
- Nancy and me once attended a free fitness class in Melbourne. These classes are probably set up to “up-sell” a gym membership but since the trainers are still investing time without knowing the outcome it is the thought that counts. And I reckon for heaps of people it is less of a hurdle to try something if they can just show up without fully commiting to it.
4. Heaps of parks, outdoor gyms and playgrounds
To be fair we have that in Germany as well (Once in a while I start missing my favorite spot in Hamburg). Parks, playgrounds and outdoor gyms. But here in Australia everything is bigger (probably because they have the space). Apart from Newcastle beach I always found a solid pull up bar or a playground I could do my pull ups without causing holes in my hand. And if the outdoor gym or playground isn’t good enough there was always another not far away.
5. Smoking isn’t allowed in public areas
I know all smokers would probably disagree but I really enjoy the fact that smoking in Australia is permitted in public areas, restaurants and bars (and that actually almost everyone is following that). The first thing I noticed after coming back from Guatemala (where barely anyone was smoking) was that people in Germany still got their way around the no smoking laws by simply calling themselves “smoking clubs”. And yes I know for some people it is part of enjoying themselves. But as far as I can tell people are still having fun here without a cigarette in their hands all the time. And if they feel the need to smoke they just go into the respective area (but don’t stay there for the rest of the night).
- Live music on almost every corner
I am a big fan of live music (who wouldn’t?!) and here in Australia you can enjoy live music on the street, in pubs or even in my hostel at least twice a week (probably every day if you would really look for it). Of course we have live music in Germany as well…but it is not as present and part of the lifestyle as it is here.
- Faster checkout while grocery shopping
When it comes to faster checkouts while grocery shopping Germany looks a little bit too far behind times. At least compared to Australian standards. While you are standing in line for maybe up to 10 minutes in Germany you can skip the queue here in Australia while using the self checkout (Back in Germany they were testing that at some ikeas). Especially for those with only a few items a huge time saver.
And even paying is way faster. If you are paying by card they just tap the card onto the card reader so the annoying “which way to slide it in” is no longer required. Plus if you are paying cash in Australia the systems just rounds up or down to 5 or 0 while in Germany some people need heaps of time to find the right coins. 1, 2 or 5 cents coins usually look more or less alike and only differ slightly in size. So most of the people won’t quite get the difference without actually comparing them (and that’s what takes time). But here in Australia you just have 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 dollar coins. Fairly easy to figure them out without even looking at them.
I could probably find more reasons what I like about Australia but I try to stick with 7 cause based on studies that is what most people are willing to process without getting bored.