We spent the first four months of our travels covering a lot of ground through Europe and China. The pace was fun but a bit exhausting. So, we decided that a change of pace that included calling one city “home” for a few weeks would be a good idea. We chose Melbourne.
Staying in one place for several weeks would give us a different experience. It would allow us to live more like a local. We could slow the pace, enjoy our surroundings and spend some guilt-free, yet much needed time focusing on some of the things that had taken a back seat!
To be honest, the criteria was pretty simple. We are following the seasons, specifically summer, so we limited our choices to the Southern Hemisphere. We already had plans to meet friends in New Zealand in late November so we looked for a location that we could easily reach from Auckland without breaking the bank. Plus, I had an itch to watch some live tennis. We watched parts of the French Open and US Open on television and with the Australian Open happening nearby in Melbourne, it was the logical selection.
After deciding on Melbourne, I reserved an apartment for four weeks in South Melbourne. I was very excited to arrive at our new place and get settled in as quickly as possible.
We unpacked and stowed our backpacks for the first time in over six months! We found our local grocery store and stocked up on staples and perishables that were unthinkable for shorter stays—stuff like milk, butter, fresh produce and meat.
We also ran a few errands that would allow us to live like a local. We purchased a “myki” card for public transportation. We got SIM cards for local cell phone coverage. All of these errands also allowed us to get our bearings in our new neighborhood and scout the amenities—parks, businesses and restaurants—nearby.
Living Like A Local
It is amazing how quickly the first week flew by! We have found ourselves moving at a very different pace here and have started to establish a new routine. I appreciate the new, laid back pace and the shift in focus. There are no trains or planes to catch and no crazy site-seeing agendas.
I have enjoyed catching up on sleep, cooking in our well-appointed kitchen, slowly exploring the city on foot, updating our blog, running in the park across the street and even watching some NFL playoff action on TV!
Being Social (without Facebook)
We have also found time to enjoy the company of friends! We had a fantastic evening out last weekend with some old colleagues and friends of mine. One of which was my roommate for nearly two years on my first consulting engagement. It had been nearly ten years since we last saw each other. Amazing how quickly time flies. Kevin and I had a great evening out with them and very much look forward to some additional adventures with them while we are in town, including a trip to wine country!
Additionally, we were pleasantly surprised on Monday to find out that a friend of a friend from Colorado is also in Melbourne. She is on her own around the world trip. We first met last fall in Munich during our mutual friend’s Oktoberfest birthday celebration. We were fortunate to meet up with her a couple of times already and look forward to re-connecting with her for some additional fun while in Melbourne.
The combination of the apartment, the slowed pace, along with the social aspects have helped us to feel a little at home here in Melbourne. We are excited to see what adventures the next few weeks hold for us in our new temporary home away from home!