It’s safe to say that I have been awful at blogging regularly…but at least I’m blogging right?
I can’t believe it’s already been nearly two months since I left Toronto and landed in the land down under.
I somehow managed to not become homeless and to even land an incredible 1 ½ month long contract doing social media at a not-for-profit organisation.
Since I’ve lived abroad before, it wasn’t so much the “being away from home”part that scared me. I knew that I’ve done this before and that I could do it again. However, when I moved to London, I had safety nets. I knew people and I had friends throughout England, so I was never going to be completely stuck. However, when moving to Melbourne, things just had to happen quickly or else Joe and I would be packing our bags to our separate countries…and that was NOT something we wanted to happen. We just hoped for the best, and you know what? Great things did happen.
With all of this rambling out of the way, let me give you the low down of what has happened in the past two months since moving to Australia.
Finding a house
I was very fortunate to have racked up quite a few Air Miles points over the past few years, which led me to get free two-week accommodation at a Best Western hotel at the leafy suburb of Box Hill – approximately 30 minutes from Melbourne CBD (central business district). Kudos to Air Miles for helping Joe and I not be homeless in Melbourne. Although the location was pretty far out of the city, Box Hill housed some of the most incredible Asian food I have ever tasted – dumplings all day every day.
After 13 days of living at the Best Western hotel, numerous house viewings and numerous rejections from land lords, Joe and I were getting pretty panicked about where we would live once our two weeks at the Best Western was up. We had one day to go until we’d be without accommodation and our prayers were answered! Despite being jobless with no Australian references, we somehow got accepted for a small, yet quaint apartment near Queen Victoria Market in the CBD. Thank goodness! Sometimes things just find a way of working themselves out. Thank god for that.
After a few days of being a total tourist, reality sank in that I can’t be a tourist forever and that I need to find a job quickly in order to do all of the fun things I wanted to in Melbourne and around Australia.
I would commute to the city (since our Best Western did not have wifi in the room) and would plant myself in the library and apply for as many jobs as I could. After only a few days of applying to 100+ jobs, I met with a recruiter and landed an incredible 1 ½ month long contract (yay!). I worked for the not-for-profit organisation called Our Watch, an organisation which has been established to put an end against violence against women for children. Although commuting to work from a hotel and eating cereal out of a cup every morning wasn’t so glamourous, I am SO glad I took this job opportunity. While working there, I assisted with content creation for social media and helped out during their busy Our Watch Awards season. I even got to go to Sydney to help out at their Our Watch Awards which acknowledges and rewards exemplary reporting on violence against women – what an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by such influential and inspiring people! Despite it being such a short and sweet contract, I learnt so much from the colleagues I met while working there and learnt a lot about the harsh reality of violence against women and children.Thank you Our Watch for the truly incredible learning experience and for teaching me so much about a topic I knew of, but did not know nearly enough about.
My work contract has since ended. I have been unemployed for the past two weeks and trying to make the most of my free days adventuring around Melbourne and its surrounding by visiting art galleries, museums, and enjoying the beautiful sunny day…although they have been quite rare.
“Please be my best friend?”
I have been very fortunate to move to Australia with my boyfriend. However, after doing our fair share of long distance for the past 3 ½ years, we have grown to be pretty independent and enjoy our time apart. I think it’s extremely important for us to have our own individual Australian experiences as well as our shared Australian experiences. This is where friends come into the picture.
Having friends and people to hang out with is something I have really taken for granted in my life. Now that I really think about it, every friend I have made in my life has happened organically. I have either been friends with them through school, university work, or have met them through other friends. I have never really had to make an effort to find friends to hang out with.
After finally getting over the jet lag, reality hit me. I NEED friends. It got to the point where I would be a little too chatty with the check-out person as the grocery store, or the sales person at a retail shop. This was a tough reality for me. After living with some of my closest friends for the past six years, I was always used to having people to hang out with all the time. However, in this brand new country, I didn’t have best friends to hang out with all the time.
So what did I do?
I got in touch with some Melbourne acquaintances I had met during my travels. Over the past two months, we’ve hung out quite a few times and are really starting to get to know each other. This is a great start to growing my Melbourne friendship group!
I also joined what I call an “online friendship dating”; it’s an app called Bumble. If you have never tried this before and are in the need of some friends, I highly recommend it. As you can probably tell, I was desperate for friends and this app came to my rescue. With an interface similar to Tinder, you swipe your way through different profiles and match with potential BFFs. I have made quite a few close girlfriends this way, and I highly recommend it. (Please note: Bumble did not pay me to praise its app so highly).
If I’ve learnt anything during my past two months in Melbourne it’s that, as cliché as it sounds, great things happen when you get out of your comfort zone. Whether this be in your own city, a different city, or a different country, whenever you get out of your comfort zone you’ll encounter some amazing things and meet some amazing people along the way.
Over and out.