The only thing I did regret during my studies was the fact that I never did a minor abroad or an exchange programme. I always dreamed of living and working abroad, but found myself stuck in a job without any further carreer possibilities. So instead of dreaming, I decided to take control of my own life. It is never too late to do what you really want to do right? That’s exactly what I thought and I quitted my job to move to Australia (temporarily) to work at a marketing agency. I came to the lovely city down under, Melbourne.
Melbourne is very similar, compared to Europe. It’s almost kind of British, but has a layer of laid-backness. First, they say that the slang of the Ozzies was created due to their drinking, which makes totally sense. They abbreviate literally everything! From brekkie to veggie, avo, mozzie, arvo, barbie, esky, maccas, servo, etc. Don’t forget their own slang or most used words as bogan, heaps, joey, dodgy and of course no worries mate! But still, Melbourne is a city and I mostly hang out with other internationals. We did picked up the slang and felt like real aussies, just my accent was terrible. One of the things I did miss in Melbourne (and maybe good for my purse) was that there wasn’t a sense of fashion. Well, they all try to be hipsters and succeed but because everyone is like that they miss the boat. It’s not their fault that fashion is two years behind. They all have dyed hair (when I was there at least), piercings (especially the nose ring), tattoos, and all the lads have an enormous moustache and knotted hair. It also has its charme though. Because everyone is laid-back, it doesn’t really matter if someone has a piercing, blue hair or a tattoo on their arm when working. That’s what I loved there, it’s alternative and no one really cares. On the other hand, the spirit of laid-back also reflects as a work ethic which was harder for me to adjust. Deadline? No worries, tomorrow! It does fit the lifestyle, where the work-life balance is really a balance down under.
Melbourne itself is a great city, it is like the rest of Australia expensive, but there is a lot of things to do. The cbd (central business district) is pretty crowded with tall new architectural buildings. Sometimes, you find a hint of Vicotrian architecture like a beautiful church, or the Flinders Street Station. The contradictory architecture makes Melbourne interesting. A must see is the botanical gardens, such a beautiful and tranquil place (my favourite run spots). If you walk from Southbank’s promenade along the Yarra river with a short stop at pony fish island, go along the botanical gardens towards south Yarra. It’s truly an enchanting walk. Don’t forget all the other nice suburbs that Melbourne has to offer. Because I have had a bike there, I had the flexibility to explore a lot what I would recommend to anyone who is living abroad (or walking). St Kilda is known for its beach, which, I have to admit, is definitely not the prettiest beach you have ever seen. Yet somehow the vibe is good, like if you are on a holiday in your own town with the cute pastry shops and palm trees. Fitzroy is the ‘hipster’ neighbourhood with all its trendy shops and bars. To summarise, Melbs is a great and friendly place to live or just to visit. For other things do and see in Melbourne check the Melbourne page here.