A life less ordinary

So we’ve learned by now that the digital market’s genuinely great in Australia, but let’s be honest – the market’s not the only reason people uproot their lives and move to the other side of the world.

I wanted to find out what Sydney had to offer outside of the 9 to 5, so I grabbed my board wax and my factor 90, wriggled into my wetsuit and went to talk to Joao da Costa, SEO Manager at Open Colleges.


That’s Joao on the right. That’s not me on the left.

Joao’s been in Sydney for just over 6 months now, but it’s pretty clear that he loves it here – “Perhaps I’m still in the honeymoon period” he reflects, “But when you wake up and the beach is right there, there’s no need to do anything else.”

Joao grew up in Brazil, so weather’s nothing new for him – “What’s different are the people – they’re so friendly here, especially on the beach. It’s really easy to make friends here.” It’s true – there are lots of expats here, especially around Bondi and Manly and it’s pretty easy to join a football team where 90% of the team is British (with the occasional Brazilian), or get involved with beach volleyball competitions. There’s a lot of community here around sport and outdoor living.

So what does Joao do on a typical day outside of working hours?

“In the mornings I get up and watch the sun rise over the sea and then I go surfing before work” Joao explains, “In the evenings I watch the moon rise in the same place and go surfing again.” It sounds like it beats my tea, Weetabix and sprint for the 7:36 anyway.

You don’t have to be sporty to enjoy a great life here, anyone who likes the outdoors will love it here. The Blue Mountains are about 2 hours by train from central Sydney – stunning views and great for walking or hiking, as well as climbing and abseiling for the more adventurous. Hunter Valley is a short ride away too, where you can taste some of the finest wine in the hemisphere (as well as enjoying views like the below):


And then of course there are the beaches. “Thanks to the beaches, I’ve yet to get to Hunter or the Blue Mountains,” says Joao “There’s so much to do but I feel there’s more to explore here first and I’m just loving the nature here.”

So what does Joao’s love most about living in Sydney?

The top 8 things Joao loves about living in Sydney

  1. Living by the beach
  2. Daily surfing some of the best waves in the world
  3. The coastal walk – running, exercising, strolling
  4. Nature. Waking up with the sun rising in the morning
  5. Night drinks by the rocks over-looking the harbour
  6. Morning yoga by the beach
  7. Cycling to work (relatively safe and easy to get around by bike)
  8. The Weather [and that’s from a Brazilian so it must be true]

Was there anything Joao wanted to add?

There was. “I’ve found the place I want to stay for the rest of my life.”