There’s a reason why the first thing we often ask someone when we meet them, right after we learn their name, is “where’s home for you?”. We ask this because we recognise that their answer tells us something important about them. It helps us understand in a split second a little more. I’m not saying you’re defined by where you live, but it does give a little insight into who you are.

A city can mean so many different things to you throughout your life. I currently live in Sydney and what it meant to me several years ago is vastly different to what it means to me now. I used to visit Sydney a lot with my family as a child and teenager, so I have always had a deep attachment to it. That deep attachment has evolved since living here, because now I consider it my home, not just a place I visit.



As a 20-something year old, I have lived in a multitude of places within Australia. From watching the sunsets in Queensland, to walking the fine white sand on the South Coast and then living on a cliff-face near Terrigal, north of Sydney. No matter where I lived, I considered each of those places my “home” at one time or another, whether it was for months or years. I now think of any place I live as home, because, if home is where the heart is, then by its most literal definition, my home is wherever I am.

What I have learned from living in different parts of the country is, a home isn’t just where you are, it’s who you are. I have found that I adapt to the places I live; moving instigates lifestyle changes that are significant. For example; now that I live in Sydney I am a lot more social and am open to so many different opportunities, based on the fact it is metropolitan. I have grown so much since living in Sydney. I have been here for two years now and I love Sydney for its culture, architecture and overall “city buzz”. And although living a city life can obviously be quite intense, it’s those intensities that make it special. I love that there are more opportunities for interaction among new people; which in turn creates a sense of community, something I find important as I grew up in a small town.


Country Road Pants, Blazer, T-shirt and Loafers. Shop all new arrivals here




I used to think that I would only consider the hometown I grew up in “home”, but the truth is in the end, it’s the life you create within the places you live that offer a true sense of belonging. It’s your morning coffee place, it’s your favourite dumpling haunt, it’s your favourite quiet bar, it’s your friends deck on a Sunday afternoon, it’s the hot summer sand and it’s the people you are surrounded by.

Today I am sharing my top five places in Sydney – this list is not all encompassing, as that is impossible. They are apart of my every day / weekly routine and have helped create such a special experience. I will definitely sift through mental souvenirs when I am older and be content with choosing to live in Sydney.




1/ Kafeine Balmain: Amazing coffee and my go-to. They know me by name.
2/ Infinity Bakery Paddington: Such amazing pasteries and they do a great veggie pie!
3/ Glenmore Road Paddington: For shopping everything from makeup to clothing
4/ Bondi: Those early morning sunrises when the beach is untouched and the air is so refreshing
5/ Balmain: The suburb I live in. It’s a little village, but so central to everything.

Written and photographed in collaboration with Country Road and All opinions and words are my own.

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

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