In many ways I’ve come to love and appreciate living in Richmond. I know that when I move closer to the city I’ll find that, at times, I miss the convenience that comes with living so close to Bridge Road. It’s a rather beautiful suburb for all the standard reasons you’d expect to hear when talking about an area that has a prominently industrial past. Around the station there are old warehouses that are now home to elegant, urban and occasionally a little bit gritty apartments and offices. The streets that run between Bridge Road and Swan Street are a mix of colonial terraced town houses and modern, chrome and glass fronted apartment blocks. Where places of residence give way to side streets, alleys and lane ways you’re offered a pretty spectacular view of the city framed by the floodlights of the MCG. As evening draws in and the sun begins to set, the silhouettes of skyscrapers backed with a blue and pink sky is unforgettable.
There’s an endless supply of designer outlets and trendy cafés along Bridge Road, and of course my local bottle shop; Purvis Beer. Shopping, drinking and dining are, as you’d guess, prime activities for the weekend. The Mountain Goat brewery is well within walking distance. Now you’re beginning to see why I might miss it here, eh? Of course, I’m only moving a couple of suburbs over. All of this is only a short tram or train ride away. It’s not going to be difficult to come back and enjoy all of these delights again. The problem is that I’m comfortable in Richmond and the change of location will unsettle me. For a while it’ll be challenging; finding the nearest supermarket, the best place for brunch and somewhere to pick up an exciting selection of craft beers. Then again, isn’t that the joy of travel? To adventure, explore, no matter how mundane the reasoning might be.
I’ve been in Carlton for a couple of days now and I’m beginning to get used to it. I haven’t exactly been out and about getting to know the place as of yet. My time has predominantly been spent unpacking and getting my new apartment set up. I’ve made a pretty serious commitment in coming here; no more flat shares, no more subletting, no more housemates. I’ve signed a 12 month lease on a one-bed apartment. Things, as you can probably gather, are starting to look a little bit permanent. Furniture and white goods are being sourced over the coming weeks.
I’m looking forward to settling in, getting comfortable and having the luxury of spending a Sunday afternoon lounging around the place in just my pants. One of the things I’ve discovered that have made me immediately excited with my new surroundings is that I can see the roofs of the Queen Victoria Market’s sheds from my balcony. Now, I can also see pretty far from my balcony so just to clarify, I’m actually within five minutes walk of fresh produce.
You can’t go wrong with that kind of convenience, although my wallet my beg to differ in a couple of months time. I’m looking forward to getting to know the suburb better; discovering new favourites, finding the best breakfast this side of the CBD, somewhere I can go when I’m in need of a hoppy refreshment. It’s going to be an enjoyable couple of months.
“What’s that? What do you mean you’ve signed a 12 month lease?” I hear you ask. If you’ve been paying attention you might well be expecting me to head off to somewhere in South East Asia in the next couple of weeks and begin yet another trip of a lifetime through temples, jungles, street markets and island paradises. You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that but If you’ve really been paying attention you’ll know that as for now, that plan has been put on hold. Those amongst you who’ve been reading regularly and taking their observation pills on a daily basis, good for you, you’ll know the reasons why. I already know what some of you are going to say, you’re going to say “dude, you’ve changed.” or “who are you and what have you done with my son?” or maybe, just maybe you’ll go with “I told you so!” Well congratulations I guess, it looks like you were right all along. At some stage I might have been bothered by this but it’s a year down the line and despite what I’ve said before, things have changed. Some of those changes are unexpected and aren’t mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide. Essentially, my reasons for travelling were to avoid basic life commitments like a career, a mortgage, a marriage. You know, all those highly regarded social norms that almost every person significantly older than you thinks should be on the top of your life’s to-do list. So far, so good. There have been plenty of hints dropped here and there. Did you pick up on it? Maybe you did. Maybe, if you’re anything like me, you’re still completely oblivious as to what’s going around here.
I guess that makes it time for the formal introduction huh? This is Elena. Elena is, for lack of a better term, my girlfriend. That kind of sounds somewhat corny when you write it down. We’re not fifteen anymore, she’s more woman than girl, but whatever. You know what I mean. We’ve been dating, seeing each other, how ever you want to phrase it, for close to 9 months or so now. Don’t worry, the important people have already been advised, this isn’t going to come as a huge revelation to those nearest and dearest. What can I tell you about her? Well, what do you want to know? Melbourne born and raised she should technically be my personal tour guide, but I reckon I probably know my way around the city a little better than she does. She’s a waitress at a trendy restaurant in Southbank and recent digital design graduate. She spends some of her time doing some work-experience on set design and animation. She’s done some work on some props for ads that we’ve seen on Australia T.V. which is kind of a big deal. When it comes down to it, Elena’s pretty great. She’s mostly tolerant of my less-than-perfect habits, like coming in steaming drunk at 2am after a session on the craft beer or being almost completely useless at washing dishes. Hobbies include playing the piano, which explains the one that is in our living room nowadays, face paint, and doing her nails. She’s a fan of birds, which is no bad thing, and together we’ve become the proud owners-come-parents of the most stubborn budgie known to man; Marty Mcfly. He’s free range pooping machine which makes for some interesting finds in the bottom of glasses and tea cups that are left too close to his favourite perches.
You could say then, that my life has taken a bit of an unexpected turn. This is not the adventure I set out to have but one that I’ve almost stumbled into. But again, isn’t that part of the fun; to embrace the unexpected and to follow those unknown roads, whatever form they may take, into even-lesser known territories? For me this new journey is at least as good as travel itself; it’s a new experience, a previously untested way to view the world. I am as excited about this as I would be waiting at an airport to a new destination, getting ready to take another step beyond that which is known to me.