Melbourne, Australia

It was a quick one hour flight and upon arrival, it was super hot which was unexpected because I was expecting Melbourne to be a bit colder than Sydney. Apparently I brought the nice weather because it had been the first day of sun in a while. So I got an expensive Uber ($60) to my hostel which I hadn’t planned for correctly because I didn't realize the airport was that far from the city but oh well. There was nothing I could’ve done besides taking a bus but didn't feel like it, and then the traffic didn’t help either..it took an hour and a half to get into the city. I arrived around 6:30pm and it turns out my hostel is above a freaking Alehouse so there were many people outside drinking and this one random guy looks at me and tells me I need to go talk to the bartender inside in order to check in - which I thought was very odd that he knew that I was looking for the hostel, but then realized he was helping me out because that’s exactly what I needed to do. So I went to get the bartender's attention and checked into my room which was above the bar and a bit rundown but a typical hostel nonetheless and I had my own room with a sink and the kitchen was nearby so it was fine. I dropped off my things and did a bit of yoga to unwind and then walked to this restaurant I had randomly found that had good reviews for seafood. I walked through this cute neighborhood with railroads and graffiti and then stumbled upon the main street of Windsor with tons of bars and restaurants and people out and about. I got seated at the window bar and ordered the best ginger beer I’ve ever had and then the famous Australian fish, Barramundi which was also delicious, light and juicy. I walked back and got a 25% off beer at the alehouse and sat outside before heading up to bed where I got interrogated by these Irish guys after chatting with one of the calmer ones who was interested in my travels. That same guy who told me about checking in at the bar also was the drunkest guy sitting outside, very obnoxious and talking about the military/way and the Marines and just plain old embarrassing (as an American). I chatted with the Irish who gave me their hat and sunglasses and then headed up to shower and go to bed. It was also very hot in my room so thankfully I had a fan that night.

The next morning I grabbed my “free breakfast” which included a PB&J downstairs at the bar and then was on my way by public transportation to a yoga class I had looked up called Radiant yoga. The studio was this cute upstairs studio with a really lovely instructor, Cecily, who taught a very restorative yin class. Then took a nice shower at the studio and met up with that girl, Courtney, who I had met in Bolivia on the bus with Anthonia from Uyuni to Sucre. She’s from Melbourne and dog sitting so we walked to this food market and I ordered a dim sim & cappuccino and chatted for a bit before walking around the neighborhood. She was informing me how hard it has been being back and wasn’t sure what she wanted to do for a living to make money and how she has given up on yoga and just having a rough time. It made me a bit nervous again about going back home, but I know it’s going to be okay, because I’ve had a trip of a lifetime and I smile every time I think about it. I took the tram to the downtown area, Federation Square, with working business class people walking around...it was crowded and so I decided to walk all the way to the Brunswick area, a less crowded neighborhood, people had informed me about. It was a nice walk exploring the different neighborhoods and then randomly stumbled upon the most retro/vintage neighborhood with many pop-in stores, bars, and restaurants. I went to this restaurant that a girl from Chile, Paola, had recommended. I didn’t see much when I walked in and thankfully the bartender informed me about the rooftop so I took the elevator up. The restaurant/bar is called Naked Satan and it has a very Chicago-based feel with red velvet and naked pictures on all the wallpapers. I ordered a pickled salad and coffee and sat out on the rooftop with a really nice view of Melbourne. Many tables around me started drinking around 2pm, but it was a Friday so it made sense. After about 20 minutes I left and got back to my hostel around 5:30pm which was when I was planning to meet Luis - a Chilean guy friend of Caro's (girl from Chile who I met in Bolivia and Chile). The tram was filled with many working people and got more and more crowded as we got closer to downtown, but easy to figure out in general. I quickly changed and met with Luis around 6pm for a couple beers outside my hostel (ran into those Irish guys again haha of course they were drinking). We sat and talked outside and ended up having 3 beers each before heading to dinner. Luis and I talked a lot about Chile and my travels and him and Caro’s travels and then we headed to a restaurant called Abbey Road which was a bit of a walk towards the beach where there were many people out and about for Friday night. It was a cool restaurant with a live jazz band and I ordered my last fish and chips and a glass of wine as we discussed traveling. It was a lovely night before walking back to my hostel around 11:30pm. I went to bed with 6 hours before having to wake back up for a one-day tour to the Great Ocean Road. It was so hard getting out of bed but rallied and had to overcome a couple obstacles as there was construction being done on the tram so I had to get off and on a bus and then back on again. I was on my way to meet Carmen (the girl I had met in Byron Bay from Belgium and saw in Sydney) as we both signed up for the Autopia tour to the Great Ocean Road. It was a comfortable shuttle bus ride as we sat in the front row and the views were absolutely lovely but it kept raining off and on and was extremely windy when we got to the 12 Apostles which was our first stop. It was nice being with Carmen as we chatted a lot during the long drive and our guide was great and enthusiastic. I really enjoyed the beach views of the 7 or 8 rainbows we saw along the way and traditional Australian music the driver played. We also stopped to see these koala bears in the wild and there was this mama and her baby and it was so cute. We got back to the city around 8:30pm and said goodbye to Carmen and then headed back to my hostel to eat, shower and pack. I decided to get food and a drink at the alehouse, but didn’t realize there was a rugby game going on so it was extremely crowded. It was funny when going downstairs, this French young group of guys were trying to get to the office but I informed them they had to go around since the office was closed and then ended up chatting with them and having a beer. They just graduated and were on a 5-month trip in Melbourne to work and one was getting married in Bali, and just all together traveling. I had to get up around 7:30am for my flight and Luis had offered to pick me up with his friend so it was really nice getting to ride with him and his friend Francisco to the airport instead of taking another Uber or taxi or bus or train. The most friendly people are Chileans haha I really appreciated their hospitality and understanding. Luis gave me a small Chile keychain as we sat and chatted with a cup of coffee before they sent me off on my flight, it was very sweet. I got to my gate with an hour to spare and downloaded and charged my electronics before I was off to Singapore. Thankfully I had a seat in the aisle with the middle seat empty and it was a really relaxing 7.5 hour flight. I was excited to see Olivia (my best friend from DC who was graduating grad school in Singapore) and be in a new country…next adventure awaits!
































































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