Australia Has More Than Just The Outback

7 Reasons Not To Base Your Perception Of Australia Off Outback Commercials

Or other outrageous stereotypes.

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Before traveling to Australia for my study abroad program, I was informed of a developmental phase known as culture shock, which is a clash of one's views of the world and our new cultural environment. The previous views we hold come from our home culture. Although, I did expect a little more "Down Unda" before my trip, luckily the language, food and places in Sydney are very similar to the United States, making this culture shock less apparent.

This got me thinking where my idea of Australia came from. And while I thought this idea came from the advertising of Outback Steakhouse engraved in my brain, the stereotype for Australia, in general, was actually introduced to the states in 1986 when Paul Hogan introduced Americans to the image of Australians as rugged, carefree, and always carrying a big knife. Crocodile Dundee was the second most popular film in America that year and created a cultural wave that Outback Steakhouse's founders hoped to ride. Because of this wave, I perceived Australia as one thing, when it is really so much more.

For as far as it is away, there should be unrecognizable signs and people riding camels. Instead, it is comfortable and familiar. Even though Australia is mostly empty and a long way away, these 7 things are important to know about this amazing place.

1. Australia Is Not Just The Outback.

Kylie Finkbone

Within the first day of my trip, I was shocked by the number of places in Sydney that were similar to places in the United States. There is a lot of New York in the heart of Sydney, with of course a Chinatown. There is a taste of California on the coast near Bondi Beach (pictured). There is also a little bit of Washington DC throughout the parks and Parliament area. Can you imagine the three most booming and well-respected areas of the United States within a thirty-minute drive of one another? Australians can because their country is more than just the outback.

2. The Language Barrier Only Seems Big Because Of The Accent.

Kylie Finkbone

While they do make nicknames out of everything, most terms are outdated and not used. Outback Steakhouse plays on their Australian theme by naming the bathrooms "Blokes" (men) and "Sheilas" (women). The idea is clever but is not actually used. The only thing that is really different is the pronunciations of words, giving Australians their unique (some would dare to call it sexy) accent. And when singing there is no accent (sigh).

3. Shrimp On The Barbie Isn't A Thing —They Are Called Prawns.

Kylie Finkbone

Americans have been made fools of by using the term "shrimp on the barbie" when it is really prawns. Also, Foster's beer is barely served or even recognized here. Another thing that Outback Steakhouse overlooked was the Bloomin' Onion. This dish is hardly Australian considering that they like a lean and healthy diet, not fried onions heaped with cheese and bacon. The good news is that there are actually a few Outback Steakhouse in Australia, so I guess the food is considered pretty good here and Americans weren't too offensive to their culture. Pictured is a Kangaroo Sandwich. From my experience, Kangaroo meat is similar to deer meat and is pretty gamey.

4. While Most Animals Are Deadly, Not All Of Them Are Trying To Kill You.

Kylie Finkbone

My program went on an excursion to Tobruk Sheep Station, which provides visitors with a genuine Australian farm experience with the boomerang, whip and sheep shearing demonstrations. On this trip, we learned that of the world's ten most poisonous snakes, all are Australian. While this may sound daunting, most of them are just trying to their life just like you and are not looking to kill you. Same goes for the funnel web spider and box jellyfish. If you stay out of their way, you will live.

5. Not All Australians Should Be In Prison.

Kylie Finkbone

A guest speaker in my culture of Australia class, who was actually of convict blood, shared the country's history of being one big prison. Although today, the people are cheerful and likable. They have a society that is organized and prosperous.

6. Money Doesn't Work The Same.

Kylie Finkbone

You are probably like no duh Kylie, of course, USD doesn't equal AUD. But that is not what I'm talking about. I am talking about money in the sense of restaurant etiquette. Because minimum wage is higher for the service industry, tipping is not expected or recommended.

7. Not All Men Look Like Chris Hemsworth

Kylie Finkbone

After taking multiple trips to the beach area, it was disheartening to see that not every accent was matched with the looks of Chris Hemsworth. Yes, you heard me right, not every man surfs nor is fit and tan. Although, this may be for the best considering has their own type, which may not match mine.

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Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say

Y'all.
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For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

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5 Vital And Helpful Tips I Live By When Packing For A Trip

Try and pack smarter, not harder.

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If you are anything like me, you tend to overpack thinking you are being a great packer and being ready for any scenario that life may throw at you. Well, that is, unfortunately untrue, and I have learned that you are only doing more harm than good. Over the years, I have come up with five tips I always use when traveling and have been proven to work. You've heard of the five golden rules of life, and, well, these are the five golden rules/tips of packing.


1. Start with a packing list.

This is the best tip I could give to anyone else who is getting ready to travel. Making a list is very useful, especially when stressed about your travel. You will not forget anything because you have it all written down. A packing list is a great way to keep organized when packing.

2. Use space bags.

Now, this is a tip my dad lives by. Space bags are great when you are packing because it protects your clothes and makes room to put a lot in your suitcase. The crazy story of a time when my dad was traveling, and his friend's bag was soaked with the shampoo he brought on the plane. All his clothes and everything inside the suitcase was ruined. So always use space bags because you never know what could happen on the flight. You can buy a space bag here.

3. Pack the essentials first.

I will be honest and say that I do over-pack a lot. I use the line "just in case" as an excuse to pack my entire house. But I have learned that packing for "just in case" is a waste of time. When you first sit down to pack, lay out all your essentials. For example, clothes that you will wear during the trip. You will be surprised to see how effective it is.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Chicago Is The Best City In The World

4. ALWAYS pack an extra outfit in your carry on.

This tip is one that I have been very grateful that I used. A while ago during my trip to Canada, my check-in bag was missing and delayed for multiple hours. Luckily I had an extra outfit to keep me fresh and not feel gross. It is always crucial to this in your carry on In case of emergencies such as your bag getting lost.

5. Put identification on your suitcase.

Everyone in the airport somehow tends to have the same black or red suitcase that you have, which only means confusing when you're trying to find your check-in bag. To quickly identify your suitcase, put a sticker, or tie a ribbon on the handle. You can easily pick up your suitcase and leave. This will prevent any sneaky people trying to steal or claim that your suitcase is theirs.

P.S.: Use a bright color ribbon or a different sticker. Also, tie the ribbon properly to make sure it's secured.


I live by these five packing tips every time I travel so I hope you can use them the next time you take a trip!

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