This weekend has been a little bit quieter than usual so it seemed like a good time to update the blog. The adventures I’ve been undergoing are a lot smaller in scope than my East Coast adventure, but enjoyable all the same. We’ve officially been back in Melbourne about a month now, and the East Coast feels like a distant memory- especially those first few days in Cairns. I think our timing has been chosen well, as by the end of our last trip I was craving a return to normalcy and routine. Now, a few weeks later, I’m getting the itch to go off traveling again. Good thing, because I’ve booked a trip to Tasmania for December, and spent today doing research on New Zealand. More on that later.
I suppose the first big thing for me after our trip was the hunt for a place to live. Ideally, we would have found two rooms in a house but as we needed somewhere that was furnished this is a pretty rare find. I tried looking for my own room at a reasonable price but I think being so fed up with hostel life made me crave any kind of home and pushed me to find anything good within reason. I happened to check out a twinshare apartment in Balaclava which is not the most ideal, but fine for short term. Melissa is easygoing so sharing a room doesn’t feel like much of an issue. We also have two younger roommates from Manchester who are really nice. You can walk to St Kida beach in about twenty minutes which is a nice perk- though the beaches here don’t compare to Sydney it still comes alive with busy bars and cafés in the summer. I’m also right near a train station which helps with work. Melissa and I moved in mid October and I’d say it’s been a smooth transition.
Work – this is the thing that gives me joy and also stresses me out at the same time. My original thought had been that working term 4 would give me the necessary income to fund my trips in 2017. Unfortunately, term 4 is the slowest term for a CRT. A lot of schools have used up their supply teacher budgets so they split classes in an attempt to cut cost. This means that I’ve been getting a number of half days or days off. You end up taking a gamble too. I’ve turned down half days in the hopes of getting a full the next morning, then the phone never rings. We haven’t planned our next trips but I will have to do some cutting or tweaking to my original plans so I don’t break the bank. Melissa may in fact take some time to travel Australia while I’m still working so we will see what unfolds there.
Knowing that I may stay longer than Melissa, I really wanted to make an effort to make some good friends here who may also be staying after the New Year. So far, we’ve had some good luck. We have both been going out to a bunch of different events to meet other women living in the city. There’s a social facebook group with tons of ladies wanting to get out and network, so we’ve been going for drinks and dinners when we can. Melbourne has so many interesting bars and cafes that you could truly spend a lifetime exploring them. We have also connected with a few wonderful Canadians also working for the agency. It’s refreshing to meet so many friendly, inviting people, and it helps you feel more at home too. Just this week I spoke to a British EA I met at work who invited me out for drinks with his friends, and we’ve already hung out with them 4 times! Such lovely people.
In terms of free time, I’ve been keeping busy with a few different activities. Two weeks ago was the Melbourne Cup which is a huge deal for people here. People get dressed up like they do at the Queens garden parties and attend horse races. I opted to do a boat cruise instead which was still fun, even though the weather was a bit miserable and my hat flew into the ocean! I also attended two Halloween bar crawls where Melissa and I dressed up as construction workers and social butterflies. I loved our outfit! Last weekend we went to Wilsons Promontory with Samantha. It was windy and chilly, but I’d say we made the most of it. We went to Brunswick to have a drink at Naked in the Sky and enjoy their 2$ tapas. Melissa won a snack and champagne package so we had a few girls over for drinks and spent the night dancing away.
A lot of food festivals and events are rolling into Melbourne as summer arrives. The noodle market has started and I’m so excited! Summer night market begins soon and I’m hoping they still do mulled wine. I also noticed an Etsy festival is coming next weekend. I’ll have to leave my bank cards at home so I’m not tempted. I signed up for the Colour Run in two weeks and hopefully I can actually do the 5km. It’s shocking how quickly you can lose your endurance, but I joined a gym for a month and hope that will help. On a day I didn’t work this week, I rented city bikes with a friend and we went from St Kilda to Sandringham. The weather was lovely and it felt so nice to get back on a bike and explore the Esplanade.
Life feels fairly normal these days. As mentioned previously, a few girls and I have plans to roadtrip Tasmania in mid-December. It’s nice to have things to look forward to and a calendar that fills up each week. It felt pretty nice to have a lazy weekend, Skype friends, catch up on emails, watch Gilmore girls and trip plan. Most evenings will be filling up- live music, trivia, volleyball, gym classes, drinks and dinners, so down days are also welcome. Time seems to be moving quickly and I wouldn’t mind if it slowed down just a bit – so far this year is turning out better than the last.
Much love from Melbourne,