It seems like a different life we were living just a month ago in New Zealand – ocean-side with our best of friends, working part time and enjoying the incredible calm before the storm that we knew to be Melbourne.
When Cole and I decided to take this trip, we compromised on “the plan” to best fit what we both wanted from our travel experience. Cole wanted to go to a place very “other” than what we knew in the frigid Midwest- so we picked NZ for its wide open green spaces, breathtaking mountains and often rural feel. It did not disappoint in and many ways, our chance to work the land and get our hands dirty has changed us in some ways we really like.
Melbourne, on the other hand, is my part of the compromise – a city, urban feel with lots of great markets, live music and creative people to energize a new side of us. The month we’ve spent here has been nothing short of once-in-a-lifetime feeling and we feel like we’re finally finding our groove, a month in.
Since we arrived, we have been “getting things sorted” as they say here. We have a place to live, we’re both employed, and we’ve figured out the majority of the public transit navigation, probably the biggest of achievements for us Midwestern folk.
Cole is working as a Marketing Manager for a web and I.T. Company – a really great creative outlet where he has a lot of autonomy. Kristin is an office b* at a University here, but she gets to spend lots of time outdoors on campus and generally doesn’t think of work after going home. No complaints there.
We live in a hotel. It’s a furnished studio apartment within a hotel that is centrally located and close to a major train station. The public transit system is incredible and we have yet to wish for a car in this city because we can get anywhere by train, bus or tram. Also, there’s no easy parking anywhere. So our location seems great and our accessibility to all cool things in the city is just a train ride away. We got really lucky with our location for sure.
Melbourne itself feels like Minneapolis on steroids (and we love us some Minneapolis flavor). Picture a bigger, livelier downtown, with bars and restaurants open anywhere from 3-7 am most days/nights. Then, add about 20 Uptown/South Minneapolis/Loring Park/Warehouse district suburbs around it, all with their own music scenes, awarded restaurants and different characters. Put a beautiful river with a gorgeous harbor in the center and plop this city right on the ocean. It’s magic here and the energy of this place is incredible. There is no shortage of music venues or free festivals and the hardest part so far has been making smart decisions about our money and how to decide what to see.
We’re doing our best to live it up for this year in Melbourne and try as many new things as we can. Our current goal is to never visit a restaurant twice, although I’m thinking of making a list of places I need to try again because the food is just.so.good.