Whoa, where did July go?! We’ve been in Melbourne a full month now, and yes, we’ve been absent from here for the entire time.
Sorry. So much has happened, I’m unsure where to begin! Melbourne is an absolutely fantastic city if there were more like this at home – I’d probably consider myself more of a city chic than a country bumpkin!
I feel like I’ve taken to city life a lot easier than I expected – I’m even travelling on the trains by myself! – and that thought both excites me and terrifies me all at the same time. Here are a few things we’ve learnt after a month in the world’s most livable city:
City Transport really isn’t that scary –
It’s so relaxed and easy here that it has given me the confidence to navigate the transport on my own, in a city that is easily twice the size of any I’m used to at home.
In London everything is so rushed, people are stressed and the transport is never on time. Ever; tensions run high on a daily basis on the underground.
Here it’s the complete opposite. Yes there’s rush hour, it gets really busy, and sometimes there are delays but people are still happy to share a smile, help you if you’re lost and guess what… even talk to you on the train!… A very rare occasion in London, and something that will earn you funny looks from locals if you dare to try.
It’s been a really nice welcome into our new home and gone a long way towards helping me settle in – something I thought I might struggle with.
It’s OK to talk to strangers –
Admittedly this is within reason… that dodgy looking man shouting at Pigeons in the corner? yea probably don’t talk to him. The couple on the train platform looking a little lost? It’s OK to ask if they need help, they might be thankful for a friendly face!
This isn’t something that particularly bothered me back home, I’ll talk to anyone, but here you’re less likely to get ignored or glared at if you do.
People are actually willing to have a convocation with you while you serve them (or vice versa) at the store.
What surprised us most though, was the number of people who will say hey to you in the street or comment on the weather (or your accent!) instead of just putting their heads down and rushing past you in fear you’ll make eye contact.
I honestly think it’s because people seem genuinely less stressed here, and less stress makes people happier right?
Melbourne does get cold –
So this 100% depends on when you’re here. December? Not a problem, bikinis all day long. July? Bring thermals.
We laughed when people told us it got ‘cold’ here, thinking maybe it’s because they were used to the 40’c+ summers. We thought because we were coming from England it wouldn’t be that bad…. wrong!
The first 3 weeks were ok, we managed in thin jumpers and only really needed our coats at night. This past week?… 2’c. Highs of about 8’c. In Australia. Who knew!
It’s cold. So. Cold. We’re really glad we bought our coats with us that’s for sure! BUT the weather will change and summer will be back soon, so we’re not sad about it.
One last thing about the weather – while it’s cold… it’s hardly rained and there’s this thing above us called a, a blue sky? It’s strange. We don’t get it in England.
Beer really is as expensive as everyone tells you –
‘Melbourne is expensive though’, was one of the first things people would say when we said this was our starting point.
You know what? It isn’t too bad, not once you’re earning Dollars instead of converting everything into the Pounds you exchanged to bring with you. You know what is expensive though? Booze. $90+ it cost us one night for 4 pints (Which, I’ll add, aren’t even full pints here! they’re ‘Schooners’, which are 3/4 of a pint), and 1 Burger.
That roughly converts to about £50. This wasn’t even in the city centre either! So if you’re an avid drinker, I’d really consider this before heading here, unless you’re ok with drinking the heavy hangover-inducing ‘Goon’ (really cheap ‘wine’)
You can’t ‘just nip to Coles’ for your last-minute late-night booze either, supermarkets in Melbourne (and Australia as a whole) don’t sell alcohol. You have to go to a proper off-licence (or bottle-o) for alcohol – most of which in Victoria shut between 8/9pm.
As much as you love it… you’ll want to leave eventually.
We’ve been here a month, and it’s already starting to feel like home, but we’re also already starting to get itchy feet.
We didn’t come here to get comfortable, which is what you risk becoming if you stay too long. With comfort comes roots, and roots are hard to move.
When I left England, my personal goal was to get to know a place until I could navigate it confidently myself…I feel comfortable doing that around Melbourne now, not just Melbourne CBD either; a handful of the outer suburbs too and a good chunk of the Metro lines.
I know where does the best Donuts and cupcakes, Dec has a favourite Coffee shop, time to call it a day.
Trust your instincts, don’t force yourself to stay in one place just because ‘you haven’t done it all yet’ because honestly, we think you’ll never get through it all if you’re living off other people’s lists.
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Fun-tactic!! What an adventure being in Melbourne, I am so happy you enjoying it.
I cannot believe alcohol is THAT expensive! That’s crazy, Australia is still a bucket list destination though.
Awesome post I can’t wait to go to Melbourne. My cousin lived there for 3 years and told me a lot of similar things. Seems like a fun place overall!
I have not been to Melbourne. I’m not 100% familiar with the area. My brother was stationed in England and he enjoyed it. He was there for a few years and was happy to come home. I havent had the opportunity to travel and stay in different places for several weeks at a time.
I’d never have thought it would get cold in Melbourne. I always just assumed it was really hot all year round!
Haha yeah we did too! But nope, it didn’t get above 11’c!!
Would love to visit this place one day… Seems like you guys are having fun… Enjoy your trip and stay blessed 🙂
I agree with you about not staying just because you haven’t done it all yet. It’s a tricky idea on how you can become too comfortable to move and explore other beautiful countries or places.
i enjoyed reading your article as it reminded me when i used to travel lots, i slowed down a bit this year but your experience in melbourne especially when u talked about the expensive beer got me itching to travel again! im used to spending cheap coming from asia and can’t help comparing costs!
I agree that it is okay to talk to strangers. Who would not know you will be able to find new friends from strangers you meet along the way. Good Luck on your journey.
You can order pints here just not everywhere. 4 pints and 1 burger for $90 isn’t normal. You went somewhere expensive.
Melbourne is a good place.I hope you have a great time ahead. Thank you for sharing your experience
Melbourne sounds amazing! Friends of mine have been and fell in love! Talking to stranger is also something that it usual in New Zealand but it was so surprising at first
My sister lived in Melbourne for two years. She really loved it, but she did say she itched to get back home.
I have not been yet and have wanted to go for some time now. Thank you so much for all this travel info on going there.
How fun that you’ve moved to a brand new place and are having a great time getting familiar with your new surroundings. I’ve never visited Melbourne before, but I’d sure love to travel there someday.
I would love to visit Melbourne one day, although I don’t think I’d be going for so long. It is expensive all around so I don’t know when that will happen, if at all.
I’ve never been to Melbourne before. I hope to get there one day. I’ll keep your post in mind. I never mind taking city transportation.
Wow I bet it is such an adventure being in Melbourne, I am so pleased you have found it friendly and are enjoying it.
Melbourne is a great city! I agree that people seem more relaxed and friendly there as compared to other cities in Australia. Glad you enjoyed your time there too!