Thursday, 23 May 2013

Travel Blog: Australia - finally a place to call our own

21/5/13 - Melbourne

So, we have officially settled for a while here in Melbourne.  It feels like a whole different country to the rest of Australia we have seen so far, starting with the weather! Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a cold glass of water from the tap rather than the usual luke warm, but it is absolutely freezing here now.  There is actually snow capped mountains a couple of hours away where people go skiing, which I definitely didn't expect of an Australian Winter.

Today, after living in hostels for a whole 4 months, we moved into an apartment and I can hardly contain my excitement. Obviously there are positives and negatives to hostel living; the main good point is the social side, and we have made almost all of our friends in our hostel room/bar/kitchen.  But I'm going to take this opportunity to list all the things I won't miss in a hurry:

  • That one weirdo in your room (there's always one)
  • Feeling like your bed has been placed slap bang in the middle of a hardcore dancefloor til 3am
  • Sharing a kitchen with 200 backpackers. Enough said, uni was bad enough sharing with 4 or 5
  • Drunken idiots, 24/7
  • Drunken idiots, attempting to have sex in bunk beds
  • Hungover idiots, and having to listen to them spew all day
I know that sounds like a lot of moaning, especially towards alcohol, but you really would be surprised at how many people in their mid 20's who just can't handle their drink! I thought I'd meet a lot of younger people in hostels, 18, 19 year olds' but most people have been my age or even a bit older. (Yay!) I just think it's a massive shame to go travelling, spend all your money going out at night then sleeping all day. And SO many people do that. Don't get me wrong I like to go out, I'm not boring, but I didn't come to the other side of the world to do what I can do at home. What's the point? I know if you're travelling alone drinking is the best way to make friends, but make those friends and then do something other than get drunk every night! There is so much to see and do over here and it really frustrates me when I see people wasting their time.

So we're moving onwards and upwards in the sleeping department.   It's a lovely cosy place, modern with a balcony and the most exciting thing, an oven to cook our food in! When an oven is exciting you know you've spent too long in a hostel.  The job front however is not moving anywhere, I'm still doing awful telesales and it's killing me. The last thing I came over here to do, was bother Aussies about switching electricity companies. But I know it's all part of the experience, having to do whatever means possible to earn money to stay travelling for longer. But seriously the amount of stress we are under in that job isn't really worth it, and we're a team made up of 75% backpackers. I'm 3 weeks in now and I think I deserve a medal.

SO that's enough moaning for one day :)
Hopefully my next post will be a bit cheerier, I'll have a well paid bar job and visiting interesting places on my days off. I'll feel like an actual grown up, living in the city in a nice apartment with my boyfriend.  When he's at work I'll have friends round and entertain, like working adults do. That is the plan!

See you there x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Travel Blog: Australia

3rd May 2013 - Melbourne

So here we are, and it is exactly how I imagined.  Except colder.  It feels like a completely different country, which for us Europeans, it is.  It was a 2 and a half hour flight from tropical Cairns in the North, to cool Melbourne in the South.  That is like us boarding a plane in the UK rain, to get to popular sunny destinations such as Spain or Greece.  So on arriving, it did feel like I was coming home.

This city really does resemble my hometown of Manchester.  There is a huge cafe and bar scene, and Melbourne also boasts the largest tram network in the world.  Add in the cooler weather, and you can see why it feels like Northern England.  There are also an abundance of Northerners here - we've met more in our first weeks here than in our entire trip so far.  So this is what conclusion I've come to - Northerners are drawn to Melbourne, for it's cool and quirky style, and Southerners are drawn to the expensive, egotistic Sydney.  One thing Melbourne has over Manchester is its array of culture. There is always something going on, and more often than not it is free.  We arrived in the middle of the International Comedy Festival, which had hundreds of shows around the city every single day.  There is a huge live music scene, especially where we're staying in St Kilda, every single bar has a live act almost every single night.  And I've already seen posters for more film and music festivals coming up for the next few months, so I'm pretty set for reviews! It is easy to see why it has been voted more than once, the most livable city in the world.

Except I'm not too happy about the fact that it is identical to home.  I didn't travel to the other side of the world to feel like I haven't gone anywhere.  But that's the smallest of my problems right now, Melbourne is a great city to settle in for a while.  I am dangerously low on cash, and it seems harder than ever to get a job. It feels like everyone in the world has read the article about this city being the best in the world, and in their millions have descended here.  Thousands of job seekers, all fighting over the small amount of jobs on offer at this time of year.  You know it's bad when all you have to choose from is door to door sales, or nude photography.  I tried one for a week and couldn't carry on; soon I'll have to try the other. (I wish I was joking).

On another note, I've noticed another milestone - I've been away for exactly six months now.  It feels about six days!  I'm definitely having a bit of a low point, having no money to do anything at all, just jobhunting every single day.  There's still so much I want to do - need to see - before I go home.  So now I just have to focus on getting a full time job for a few months so we can get travelling again.

So I'm off to apply for a few more jobs.
Check back soon to see what I am doing for money, and realise that it's not all 'living the dream'...