I spent my last tour in Australia a miserable human being. I couldn't get over some petty arguments that I had had with my band and I became reclusive. I was jaded. Here I was my first time ever in a place where most people would die to visit and I didn't want to leave my hotel room. I'd rather sulk. It took me a couple of years before I was finally able to gain some perspective. I realized how lucky I truly was to have had what I had had, but in the moment I became too wrapped up in nonsense to realize it. I swore to myself that if I would ever get another opportunity to go back to Australia, I would take full advantage of the opportunity and avenge the blunders of my previous touring experiences there.
Well here I am again and this time I'm ready to experience a new culture and take it all in. I made it a point that as soon as I arrived here that I would take a picture of anything that might be different from that of our culture in the US. I wanted to do this in order to gain some perspective and then display it in the social media realm through my blog. Though some of these may not be very significant, I felt it fun. In looking out for these differences however insignificant they may have been, I found a change in attitude from within. When you become so entrenched in the moment sometimes, you see things and witness things that have been there all along, but you may not have noticed. It's a bigger awareness of the world, an experience of the richness of all that exists on our planet. This was the very opposite mindset of my last trip here. This is what I found:
Of course the first difference I noticed in Australia would have something to do with food. I'm always thinking with my stomach. Burger king is known as Hungry Jacks out here. As the story goes, so I've heard, McDonalds bought the rights to the name "Burger King" out in Australia before Burger King could. They had no choice but to change the name.
Wayne Gretzky on the front of a Gatorade bottle? It's been a while since I've seen one of those around.
Order an iced coffee and get what would appear to be a coffee ice cream sundae in America. This is just one example of how the coffee rules change from place to place. It took me a while to figure out how to order what would be a regular cup of coffee with milk and sugar in the US. In Australia I learned to order a "flat white" with 3 sugars. That was the closest drink to home.
Bike rentals off the street using a credit card? Yes, in Brisbane.
Ketchup in different packet form? Why yes... Tastes great, but it took me a while to figure out how to squeeze it on my chips, not called french fries like in the US, without making a mess.
At my bands final show in Perth, Australia, I found this poster hanging high up on the wall in the venue we were performing at. It was a signed poster of my old band from my previous trip to Australia. This was a moment of realizing that I had come full circle. Hanging like a trophy, I realized I can now look back on that experience and realize all that I had learned in the moments since it had passed and now be thankful for it.
Though I did discover many differences, this place is all too similar to home.