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What Australia has to teach you

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1. In continents/countries that are so geographically isolated, there is a crazy amount of biodiversity. This sounds boring, sure, but it does mean that there is insanely colorful wildlife. (Also, hello, platypus. So cute and venomous.)

2. Speaking of biodiversity, there are also many threatening and dangerous animals in Australia, including many not-pictured-here (but in Flickr for the strong-hearted) colossal spiders and likely countless (though only one is pictured here) reptiles that would gladly dismember you. Also a valuable lesson? Australians have awesome senses of humor, if a little dark at times.

3. You will feel infinitesimal when you realize that the ocean that chills your toes at Bondi is the same one that freezes your feet in Santa Cruz. All the wine you consume in Bondi almost makes you forget this, but not quite.

4. BYO is a huge (like seriously huge) thing in Australia, and you will come to love it. There is often no corkage for wine you bring yourself, and if there is one, it is likely something like $5 per person. Before you get the hang of things, though, it is likely that you will enjoy a meal with nothing but “orange drink” to wet your whistle. (This may have been Tang. Do they have Tang there?)

5. Nothing takes the edge off traveling like drinking before noon in an airport. There will usually be at least one other person at the bar, and you might be able to claim jet lag– though likely not in the domestic terminal.