I can not think of a single person who, when I told them of my plans to move to Australia, did not tell me that I would meet a girl, fall in love and never come home. Nobody even considered that it might be the city that I’d fall for. Honestly, I think you’re probably sick of hearing me bang on about how much I love living in Melbourne so I won’t do too much of that.
When I’ve been a few months away from leaving home to travel in the past, I’ve rarely considered not doing it. Not leaving has never been an option. I’m now in that situation in Melbourne and I’m having doubts and plenty of them, all of the time.
With a maximum of two months left in the city before I absolutely must go and work on a farm for three months I’ve found myself less and less exited about the prospect of future adventures. Having once believed myself to have an incurable form of the travel bug I’d never considered this a possibility until now. Leave my flat, my friends, my routine. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right? The thing is, I know I’ve felt this way before. Leaving Stockholm, Varna, Montreal, Chicago, Vancouver, San Francisco. Strange that I’ve never felt this way about leaving Basingtoke, eh? Life was good in those cities but I still managed to walk away from them and on to more good times.
I have absolute faith that when I leave Melbourne I’ll be hit with a huge round of the blues. This city has been good for me and I know I’ll be back which is reason enough to put an end to those doubts.
How did I get so comfortable here? I only really share the tourist attraction, major events and a glimpse of my every day life with you so I guess I’d like to let you know a little bit more about how plain, simple and rather dull my life actually is.
During the week things are about as boring as you’d expect. I get up, I still eat a chili cheese omelette for breakfast every day and I get ready for work. I can be at work for anywhere between four and seven hours depending on how busy it is. Nine times out of ten, I actually prefer to be there for longer as this gives my day a better structure and puts money in my pocket, but when I can see the sun is shining I want nothing more than to be out of there and soaking up some rays.
Once work is wrapped up for the day, I’m free to do almost anything. Most of the time I come home and chill around the flat for a while. On the good days, I get my kindle, notebook, sunscreen and bottle of water and head over to Kings Domain or the beach to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
The evening brings with it potential for action. Dinner with friends or a couple of drinks somewhere in the city. I don’t consider myself to have a local. I’ve rarely been to the same bar or restaurant twice, with the exception of the Vic in North Richmond where I definitely spent too much of my money on $5 pints during happy hour when I was working in the area. I’ve probably been to more than 50 of Melbourne’s bars and cafes during my time here and I’m rather pleased with myself about that.
My weekends have no doubt had a large impact on my visits to Melbourne’s fine drinking and dining establishments, but they’ve also given me time to remain a tourist; visiting museums and attractions. The weekends are also my time to keep on top of my life; cleaning, laundry, writing blog entries, and catching up with life at home (okay, I might not be exactly on top of that last one. Sorry family and friends!)
Something I’ve particularly come to embrace over the last few weeks are Saturday morning trips to the Queen Victoria Market. On any travel blog with an article of tips on how to save money while you’re on the road you will definitely find “by fresh produce at a local market” somewhere on the list. To consider a staple part of my diet; spring onions will usually come in at around $1.20 at the market, at the nearest supermarket Coles, they are priced at $1.98 and at IGA just around the corner they’re $2.50. That’s maybe not particularly relevant for everyone in terms of product, but a mark up of 200% on something I eat almost every day just goes to show how valuable that piece of advice is. Beyond the price, I simply enjoy the atmosphere of being at the market. I can, and often do, lose a couple of hours just browsing the stores, even looking at things I’ll never buy myself. Sometimes I’ll even tack on coffee and brunch to make for an even more pleasant morning.
What’s happened here is that I’ve settled into a way of life and I know that this is both a good and a bad thing. It’s really amazing that I’ve managed to create a life for myself overseas but things have become too easy; life no longer presents itself as a challenge. There’s nothing left for it but a horrendous travel cliché; I’ve got to go beyond my comfort zone once more in order to start feeling that magic again.