So now that a year has passed, I’m no longer just another backpacker on their working holiday visa. I have lived in and out of hostels for roughly 13 months and I think it is fair to say I have fully embraced the ‘dirty traveller’ stereotype. I have camped in fields, slept on benches and vans, couch-surfed, and shared rooms with 10+ others. I have even been known to find bed bugs in my bed, only to kill them flick them off me, and sink back into a peaceful slumber. I have gone through supermarket bins and lived off all of the perfectly good food that they throw out. (See New Homes post!) Things that would have once terrified/repulsed me are now just second nature…
However, since being back in Melbourne I have definitely been consciously distancing myself from this lifestyle. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a traveller, but I equally LOVE living in Melbourne, and feeling like a part of the city. (Did you know I love Melbourne? I don’t think I have mentioned it millions of times already in everything I ever written…? So just to confirm, I LOVE MELBOURNE. Good, I am glad we got that clarified.) After so long I can finally say I have a home of my own, and an absolute dream job, and it is a bloody great feeling!
For basically all of my ‘adult life’, whilst I love my home and family, I have never felt like I am where I belong. I feel like I’ve found that place now though. Melbourne has so much to offer me. It seems that with this I have gained a new appreciation of other places. Take Sydney for example. The first time I visited Sydney, I hated it. I was constantly comparing it to Melbourne and of course in my eyes it never lived up. I recently took a trip back there to see some good friends, and I had the most magical time. Sydney is a beautiful city.
I couchsurfed with the loveliest, people in Newtown, and their genoristy and kindness overwhelmed me. I had a room to myself with a clean comfortable sofa to sleep on, and endless tea and coffee, in the coolest surburb of Sydney. I was slightly apprehensive to couch surf alone, but yet again I had the best possible experience with it. I can’t emphasise how much I reccoment it to everyone.
Anyway, my main reason for going was to see one of my closest school friends, Suzi, who is just at the beginning of her working holiday. We ate good food, (actually we mostly just ate Tim Tams…) drank a lot of wine, visited the National Gallery and sunbathed in the botanical gardens. The weather was glorious, compared to Melbourne’s schizo rain and wind, and it was lovely to have a little slice of home so far away.
Literally every other second I had spare was spent with one of my favourite travelling friends, Reb. She completely reminded me of what an incredible individual she is, cooking me vegetarian dinners, taking me to bookshops and buying me a limited edition copy of The Beach!! As well as taking me to the famous Glebe Markets. In return I shared Lentil As Anything with her. The best organisation in the world. I’m sure I have spoken about Lentils before but for those of you that don’t know it is basically a community run, non-profit organisation that provides nutritious vegan food and gives you the freedom to pay what you want. I spend a crazy amount of time there in Melbourne.
I had a beautiful holiday and after a hectic month I had a lot of time just to sit and think. Sometimes I struggle with just being present, but I sort of escaped everything for the week and felt very distant from my ‘problems’ in Melbourne. But of course I was happy to set foot back in Victoria.
I had a stressful few weeks of trying to find a house, but everything fell together nicely the day I started working at Peter Pans, as I also moved into the cosiest house with the sweetest Aussies in Brunswick. It is basically everything I wanted in a house; good vibes with a very communal feel, totally removed from the backpacker life. My housemates are really great people, all with their own creative interests, and I am already learning so much from them and their happy home. Having my own bedroom and double bed after so long is madness to me, and even though it is such a small thing, at leat once a day I feel so overwhelmed by how lucky I am. Working at Peter Pans has been everything I hoped it would be and more. It is literally the dream job for travellers as I am enabling people to travel the world, and making so many friends along the way. I am only at the beginning of this new journey, but already I am so thankful for all of the amazing good fortune I have been blessed with.
LIFE IS GOOD.