10 Reasons to Love Melbourne

*note, some of this is a bit tongue in cheek but I do have a lot of affection for the place*

1. The people

Are just insanely welcoming. Smiley, happy, relaxed and friendly. Also absurdly hot. Why are you so hot people of Melbourne??? But hate them because they run. Like seriously- I’ve never seen so many people out running in the morning. Why are you making me feel bad about staying in bed?

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That time those two super-friendly Melbournian lovelies took me on a birthday tour of Melb (I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22…)

2. Lucas Papaw treatment

The Aussie’s answer to Vaseline only far more effective/superior. It sorts dry lips in an instant, and is also a topical ointment application for boils, burns, chaffing, cuts, cracked skin, bites, nappy rash and more. As is the case with wine, the Aussies tend to keep the best for themselves and it is less accessible (though not impossible to purchase) outside of Australia.

3. And in the same vain… the wine

People doubt this, but I actually never used to be a fan of wine. Now I am. Maybe it helps that my Aussie relatives like a drink or two. But definitely the wine is all round lovelier here than anywhere else I’ve ever been (especially red hill from the Mornington Peninsula- sorry France).

4. The Tram Network

With your little Myki, getting around Melbourne via tram is fairly easy. Trams, by and large, are regular and stops are readily located. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely easier to pick up than the London underground. Plus, the overground network in Melbourne is not at all bad either.

5. The beaches

Rosebud, Safety Beach, even St Kilda… beaches in and around Melbourne and Victoria are lovely, a novelty to Brits like me. Though they can get busy, they are treated, by and large, respectively- retaining their beauty and natural state.

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Safety Beach ❤

6. Aboriginal heritage and general Aussie history

Some Aussies joke about what they perceive to be a lack of culture in their country (not my view). However, whilst Australian history is very much entangled with European history (especially with the mass incoming immigration the country saw from Europe in the 20th Century), there is history. For more information on immigration, see the Immigration Museum in Melbourne- near Flinders Street Station. Better still, the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Culture Centre is absolutely amazing and really opens your eyes to customs, norms and the trials and tribulations the aboriginals have experienced previously. Be sure to check out the Shrine of Remembrance as well, which provides relevant knowledge about the role of Australia in the war and the main event (Gallipoli) that underlies Anzac Day (the day of remembrance there).

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An exhibition at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Culture Centre

7. The Grid System

For a girl who still relies on Google maps an unhealthy amount, Melbourne being built on the hoddle grid (named after the designer) is an absolute blessing. If you get lost, just walk down any side road and you’ll get to the parallel main road that you need eventually.

8. Lord of the Fries

I hate most fast food (bar Domino’s UK and Chinese/Indian takeaways). McDonalds, Burger King, KFC… they don’t float my boat. But there are two reasons why I love Lord of the Fries. First, the name has the literary nerd inside of me rubbing her hands with glee. And second, the chips with garlic mayo are SO DAMN GOOD.

9. Aussie slang (not just relevant to Melbourne)

Just the little things really. Like calling a six-pack of beer a slab. And Bogan is definitely weirdly more endearing than chav. But interestingly on the topic, you can’t compare the rough parts of Melbourne to the rough parts of London. The rough parts of London are far far worse. Maybe it’s just the sunshine that does those parts of Melbourne favours. But in my opinion, everyone there (regardless of wealth) seems to just have a better quality of life.

10. The climate

I don’t really know if this made me love or hate Melbourne. But it resonates with British weather. The temperature in Melbourne is insanely variable- it is more temperamental than a girl with PMT. And pretty much everyone I met over there warned me about Melbourne being “four seasons in one day”. One minute it can be 29 degrees Celsius and sunshine and the next it has dropped to 20 degrees Celsius and windy (*grabs leather jacket*). But even 20 by UK standards is warm. So actually, I really loved the weather in Melbourne (though I did struggle during the periods where it hit the 30s) 😀

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Blogging Retrospectively: why I am determined to see this to the end and where I am right now

It’s now May 2015 and I’m not in Asia or in Australia. I don’t want any of my readers to feel deceived since I aim for my blog posts to maintain high levels of integrity and purity of emotion. However, the truth is I fell behind with my blogging whilst travelling. I still have thousands of photos to sort through, and Australia brought with it new challenges and triumphs that required me to very much live in the moment. Not that this should eclipse my ability to blog, but it did mean that whilst diary entries were rife, translating such entries into pieces of writing that (hopefully) maintain a good balance between personal (but not too much) and engaging (reporting every aspect of each day would be bland) became somewhat difficult.

So what’s the future for the blog? I want to see it through until the end of Australia- I’ve written up few entries on Melbourne yet have developed a genuine and fond attachment to the place. My Australian family have joked that they expect me to return when I’m 25 (I’m currently 22) and it’s not outside the realms of possibility that I will. I’d like to say that there will be another point in my life where I can take some time out and see more places. I know that, by living in the UK, I am incredibly fortunate since Europe is very accessible to me. And if I’m being totally honest, there are still lots of parts of Europe I’ve yet to see. Even those that have been explored have not been viewed through the eyes of my 22 year old self. So, should the opportunity present itself, I would like to be able to blog about any future travels too (time, money and audience- I don’t know if you guys would be interested- permitting).

Right now I’m working in my home town. This period of time (let’s call it spring 2015) has had a comfortable feel- lots of routine, limited pressure. In June the tide will be changing- I can’t say whether this will be for better or for worse, but I strongly believe that life is about new challenges.

The next entries posted will pertain to Melbourne. I went to see the Great Ocean Road, and have explored places around the city including the Yarra Valley, Rosebud and Safety Beach. Completing this blog- though insubstantial and small- would mean a lot- closing the chapter but providing another source through which I can revisit those experiences. To everyone that has taken the time to read any of my blog posts- thank you 🙂 And I will be keeping a close eye on other WordPress travel blogs to see where I can be inspired to visit next!