The sun was shining on a Sunday morning in Sydney, a pleasant surprise from the rain we had the day previous. And we were lucky for it too, because today we were meeting up with Colette, one of the founders of of Arribaa to participate in a Macaron walking tour of Sydney. We met up with Colette near Sydney’s iconic opera house, but our day was not spent looking at the main attractions of Sydney. We immediately turned down a smaller side street, through a street market, on our way to one of the best local French patisseries.
WHAT IS ARRIBAA?
“Arribaa is an online marketplace to discover and book unique experiences offered directly by passionate, talented locals. It was started by a trio of travelers who realized that their most amazing travel memories are those where a local took them under their wing and showed them a rocking time.”
Basically it is like the couchsurfing for tours and experiences – it is a grass roots organization where each participant decides to what level they want to participate, and offers to travelling strangers some of their local expertise.
“Well Arribaa finds local people who are passionate about sharing the things they love about their hometown with travelers – whether that’s coffee culture, laneway graffiti or surfing the best breaks. Arribaa’s platform lets adventurous travelers connect directly to locals – who are most often travelers themselves – who will wow you with their local knowledge and show you the best time for what you’re actually interested in.”
What Is A Macaron?
Macaron’s are a type of cookie, originally from France, but which have been adopted whole heartedly in Australia. In fact, the first time I actually became aware of them when was Australia and not in France. Macarons are a type of meringue based confectionary and I had never actually tried one. When Colette first contacted me and told me about Arribaa I went immediatly to check out what was available in Sydney – the destination of our upcoming weekend trip. There were loads of cool experiences being offered by locals – including a night time tour of Sydney with a professional photographer – yet our two favourite ones where actually offered by Colette herself.
Colette, on top of running Arribaa also offers a quirky small bar tour of Sydney and the Macaron walking tour. Since I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the small bar tour much in my present condition, we opted for the day time cookie focused tour. We visited several places offering the best of the best in the way of Macarons, but the tour wasn’t all about cookies. Colette also stopped to show us some of her favourite public art installations that were along the way, as well as visiting some of Sydneys most beautiful art deco buildings.
Our macaron highlight – the salted caramel Macaron from Lindt.
Changing Our Perspectives
Not only did we learn what a Macaron is, but we also saw Sydney from an entirely different perspective. We have been toying with the idea of moving to Sydney sometime next year, but had recently changed our mind after being stuck in Sydney traffic for what seemed like hours the day previous. Spending time with Colette gave us an opportunity to meet a local who could show us a side of Sydney we wouldn’t have otherwise discovered – the walkable, quirky, arty, liveable side of Sydney.
Taking A Tour With Arribaa
The concept for Arribaa was born in Sydney Australia, but in fact, the website already has over 110 quirky experiences in eight countries, all led by awesome local hosts who earn extra money by sharing the things they love with fellow travelers.
“The experiences are unique, unusual things that regular tourists won’t get access to. It’s a growing collective of awesome travel experiences – for real travelers, by real travelers.”
It’s not only a great way to experience parts of a city that you wouldn’t normally be able to on your own, or part of a packaged tour – but it’s also an incredible way to spend some time with local people and see the city and the world from their perspective.
Want To Be An Arribaa Tour Guide?
Not currently travelling? Want to share your city or expertise and meet travellers from around the world, all the while scoring a little bit of extra cash to put in the vacation fund? No matter what your area of expertise, there is probably some lonely traveller out there who would love to hear about it. Whether it be hiking, biking, eating, drinking, or art – there are always other people around who would love to share that experience with you. Get started as a host today and make awesome travel experiences happen worldwide!