After spending seven weeks slowly making our way up the East coast of Australia, Alice, Katy and I decided to settle down in Melbourne for a few months, to work and to see what living in Australia is really like.
We didn’t want to leave Australia having only seen it as backpackers. And for me in particular, who’s never been fond of the idea of living in the UK forever, I kind if thought of this as a ‘trial run’ if you like, to see whether living abroad was something I would consider a permanent option.
We’ve been living in Melbourne almost three months now and as much as I love the city, I’m not sure I could live here, or anywhere in Australia, for the long-term. Don’t get me wrong, Melbourne is a great city. It has good food, (sometimes) great weather, and the beach is a short tram ride away from the city.
The problem is, it’s just not home and I’m not sure anywhere other that the UK ever will be. I didn’t realise how much I would miss traditions and the huge history and culture we have back home. Australia has been an amazing place to travel and I can see why Melbourne is full of British expats. The lifestyle here is great, you can head to the beach after work or to Southbank for a drink, the transport system is fast and cheap and way more reliable than British trains, and the rate of pay is much more attractive than England’s.
I think one of the main reasons melbourne has been such a struggle for us all is the fact that we were meant to enjoy it. You tell your friends back in rainy England that you’re moving to what has been ranked one if the most liveable cities in the world, and you are expected to love every minute of it. What you don’t expect is to feel completely isolated, now more than ever when you’re not surrounded by fellow travellers and are thrust back into the real World.
You also don’t anticipate things such as family illnesses and the difficulties of finding a job. I sometimes think you don’t realise what a good time you’re having until it’s over and this was definitely the case when we were travelling the coast. It’s only now that we’re settled in Melbourne that I realise how amazing backpacker life is. I think one of the main reasons is down to the people you meet along the way. As cliched as it sounds, they’re people who tend to be similar to yourself, who are generally open minded and spontaneous.
In just over a month we’re heading to New Zealand on our next travelling adventure and it couldn’t come soon enough. The truth is we’ve probably been spoilt. Most people don’t get the opportunity to travel and to live in another country on the other side of the World. It might not sound like it but I’m glad we’ve had this time in Melbourne, it’s an amazing city and somewhere everyone should visit if they’re in Australia. Next stop Auckand!