“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”
Oh Melbourne. How do I begin? I wish I could say being here has been easy. I also wish it was simple and easy to get here. After taking an Uber with Pino and Bob to the airport, I realized I was a day early. Meaning, I made to to the fucking airport a day early. This provided a pretty good laugh for all of us and I was ready to sleep in the airport for the night. However, I was able to change my ticket so I could leave that night. After begging Expedia to help me out for over an hour and $109 charge, it was all fixed…Melbourne here I come! Bob and I said goodbye and since he was going to head to Melbourne for Xmas we made plans to see one another again. Pino and I had one last cuddle session and we wished each other luck and he headed onto his flight. I had a 2.5 hour flight and then booked an express bus to Southern Cross Station to meet Lisa. I was so sad to say goodbye to the guys, but so excited to see Lisa! When I saw her running across the street to hug me I almost cried I was so happy!! That night we were up until 3 am talking and catching up. I have become really close with Lisa. She has been my rock when I’ve needed her, made me laugh hysterically through the streets of Melbourne and been my sanity. I feel truly blessed that we have been fortunate enough to meet and share this journey together!
The apartment I was now calling “home” was a two bedroom place on the 24th floor of Spencer street. The balcony became our favorite spot because we had a fantastic view and fresh air. Six other people were crammed into the space and being alone was a luxury that felt few and far between. I was greeted by a small little cat who was lovingly called “Dog.” Dog had a special diet that her skinny metro Vietnamese father swore was good for her-meat pies. I’m talking straight from the chain restaurant Pie Face meat pies. I’m not sure how Dog wasn’t overweight, but she was tiny and shy.
Every morning (and I use this word loosely as we sometimes didn’t roll out of bed until 1pm!) we went down to our favorite coffee shop called Coffee Rush to “take a coffee.” The environment in this shop was friendly and welcoming. We quickly became their favorite regulars and were invited to meet out, given free coffee and provided with lots of laughs. The baristas were very fun and made sure to ask me what design I wanted on my foam every day. My requests ranged from a giraffe to a pineapple and lastly a falic one which was done with perfection. Lisa and I were sad to say goodbye to them and they all wished us luck on the rest of our journey.
I spent Christmas in Melbourne with Lisa. Bob was in town with his brother, so we all went dow to St. Kilda’s beach for some fun in the sun. Hilarity ensued as I was the only one not drinking that day. There were hundreds of people on the beach partying in Christmas hats. It was fun to watch and being sober ensured that I remembered everything :0) We stayed on the beach all day and Bob, his brother and I fell asleep on Lisa while we listened to several men playing the bongos. We covered ourselves in towels and snoozed for a few hours.
Our roommate, Kevin, was the epitome of a good time. Always with a bounce in his step and some grand idea of how he was going to spend his day he had endless energy. He introduced us to another German guy named Luca. He’s an old soul who appears wise beyond his 21 years and a goofy exterior.
The days in Melbourne were long and felt pointless…wake up, coffee, groceries, sleep, repeat. I quickly discovered that patience is a virtue and one of those skills that is constantly being tested. I also learned that while I can survive in the city-thanks to Google maps, lattes and Lisa- I definitely do not thrive there. Every day felt as though a small piece of me was breaking down…not something you want to feel while discovering yourself thousands of miles from home. I guess all of these situations are self-discovery at their finest, but they sure are uncomfortable to live through.