Elien and Laurens: Travel Chats From Belgium to Sydney, Australia

Welcome to Aussie Travel Chats, where we catch up with travellers from around the world who are travelling and backpacking Australia. Today, we’re talking with Elien and Laurens from Belgium. Elien and Laurens love good food, fun workouts and discovering new places… so they’ve definitely travelled to the right place! They have begun their Australian adventure in Sydney, and below we find out their Sydney highlights and recommendations, packing tips, healthy habits, and much more…

What does your Australia itinerary look like?

Elien: Let’s just say we don’t really have one. We didn’t really have a plan when we arrived and wanted to have some freedom to explore the things at our own pace.

Laurens: Last week we bought a car and we decided to head South. At this very moment we’re making our way from Sydney to Melbourne. We have nine months in total and plan to do the big lap around Oz! 

Wake Up! Hostels provides award winning backpacker accommodation in Sydney, Bondi Beach and Byron Bay. Australia's top hostel and affordable accommodation.

One thing you’d recommend to do in Sydney and/or Bondi?

Elien: Definitely catching sunrise at Bondi Beach! It was lovely to wake up early, go for a walk and a coffee and enjoy the energy that was hanging around. The lifestyle here is great, people prioritize their health first thing in the morning, which is such a nice thing to see!

Laurens: Take the bus from Wake Up Sydney to Kutti Beach and enjoy this cute, local beach. In the evening, walk to Sunset Place to see the sun set behind the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The colors of the sky were unreal!

Favourite free thing to do in Sydney and/or Bondi?

Elien: We joined in on the Bondi to Coogee walk with Wake Up Bondi, which was a lot of fun. Not only that though, we saw some stunning views on the way and got a free workout in. Talking bout win-win!

Laurens: Watch Busker Hobu perform in the center of Sydney. This guy is full of good energy and is so entertaining to watch! Check out his Instagram to see what I mean.

Can you share with us one of your favourite meals to make in the Wake Up! Kitchen?

Elien: Hmmm I’m always in for a good curry. It’s so easy and cheap to make. You just need your favorite veggies, some beans, spices, rice and a can of coconut milk. I also like to cook a dish that only requires one pan because then you don’t need to do that much dishwashing.

Laurens: I love a big breakfast. A bowl of oats and a cup of tea helps me start the day off right. We had our breakfast on the rooftop at Wake Up Bondi which made me enjoy it even more!

How are you keeping healthy while travelling? 

Laurens: At home we love to go to the gym, go running or do a CrossFit workout. Luckily, Sydneysiders love all of that too! Staying active isn’t hard when you’re in Sydney. There are so many beautiful parks that you can discover whilst running. Definintely check out the Royal Botanic Gardens. There are also many outdoor “gyms” where you can do your exercises. We bought elastic bands for extra resistance and that’s all you need!

Elien: Visting a city also means that you’re walking around a lot to see everything the city has to offer. And at Bondi we surfed a couple of times, which, trust me, is a hell of a workout. Wake Up Bondi has free surfboards you can use, so no excuses!

Favourite thing about Wake Up! Bondi and Wake Up! Sydney?

Elien: I know this might make me sound like a little princess, but a clean and tidy bathroom are so important to me. In both locations the bathrooms were spacious and clean, so I felt fresh and clean every morning.

Laurens: The friendly staff! They were super helpful and welcoming during our whole stay. It was also nice that we could leave our belongings in the luggage room when checking out, so we still had a chance to do some stuff that day.

What is one of your packing essentials?

Elien: It’s not easy to live out of a backpack, it can get messy real quick. For my Christmas I got packing cubes, which are pouches in different sizes and shapes that help you sort out your luggage. Makes it a lot easier to find what you need!

Laurens: A hat! The sun is really harsh here in Australia. We learnt it the hard way after getting a bad sunburn (even though we put on sunscreen!). So, do yourself a favor and buy a big hat to keep your head cool and your face out of the sun.

Wake Up! Hostels provides award winning backpacker accommodation in Sydney, Bondi Beach and Byron Bay. Australia's top hostel and affordable accommodation.

Highlight from your time in Sydney and Bondi?

Elien: Staying in a hostel located right at Bondi Beach. It was crazy to actually stay at the place that I had seen so many times before on ‘Bondi Rescue’! The beach, the atmosphere, they weren’t lying, it really is the best.

Laurens: The many good coffee places! There are so many great coffee places around. Aussies for sure know how to make a delicious coffee!

Anything else you’d like to share 🙂

Elien + Laurens: We started making videos of our journey and uploading them on YouTube. To keep the homefront updated, keep a digital diary for ourselves and maybe inspire others to do a trip like this as well! To check out our channel, just type in our names, Elien & Laurens, and you can see what we’ve been up to the past few weeks!

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