Last month in Melbourne

No, this is not an April’s Fool joke.

Sadly, we are saying goodbye to Melbourne and our expected leave date is April 30th.

We don’t have any regrets leaving Melbourne earlier than expected – in fact, we’re happy!

Melbourne has been great and our original plan was to work however long we needed to save the money to travel the world. We ended up having enough money sooner than expected which is why we’re completing our contracts and heading to travel soon.

Plus, after settling down, we ended up missing our friends and family, and the nature. Melbourne is nice, but damn is it flat. We miss the mountain views, and the accessible hikes in Vancouver.

When we first arrived, we struggled finding a job because the Working Holiday Visa has strict limitations. A lot of jobs that I got a call back ended up declining me because they learn that I was on a work visa. In such a competitive market, a lot of companies wants to invest in a long term worker than a contractor. I was lucky enough to score a 6 months contract, but ultimately, Dan and I don’t want to go through that entire process either.

We’re also ready to settle. We want to go back home and focus on our careers and saving for retirement and a down payment for a home.

Moving to Melbourne was a super fun experience. And all in all, we don’t regret it one bit, even if it’s shorter than expected. Our relationship grew a lot, and I learned a lot about myself, personally and professionally. Did I also mention that I learned to cook while over here?! I also learned to live in a suburb and not in the city where everything was lively and always open.


So, what’s next?

This month, we’re hitting The Great Ocean Road and wherever else is left in Melbourne for us to visit.

Later, we’re flying over to New Zealand to visit my best friend, Kendel. I seriously can’t believe my best friend and boyfriend are going to meet live in person! They’ve met over video chats a few time but nothing like the real thing, right?

After that, we plan to visit The Gold Coast and Sydney. I’m debating if I want to try out surfing or not – it’s never been an interest of mine but I also don’t want to leave Surfer’s Paradise without having to try surfing!

Once we’re finally done with Australia, we plan to visit Vietnam, Thailand, Montreal and possibly Toronto.

All in all, it’s about 1.5 months of training and we should arrive back home just before July 1st! I’m super excited to start a new chapter back home.

Got my hair styled and I no longer look like a “single soccer mom”!

Two weeks ago, I finally redeemed Dan’s Valentine’s Day gift! For those who don’t know, I had a pixie cut last summer. While it was nice, the growing out phase was horrendous! I began to feel very self conscious and unhappy with my hair but I was also very cheap and couldn’t justify spending $100+ at a salon but also didn’t trust the Asians enough to fix what little hair I had grown out.

(I say Asians because they generally offer very cheap haircuts but can be a hit or miss).

So, I spent months and months complaining to Dan (lol) until on Valentine’s Day, he decided to get a gift card to a very fancy salon to finally get my hair fixed!


My appointment was at 12PM at Joey Scandizzo Salon in South Yarra. First impression of the salon? Holy cow, did my self confidence plummet!

EVERYONE HAD VERY BEAUTIFUL HAIR. EVERYONE. EVERYONE!

Behind me were rows and rows of awards this salon has won. They specialize in celebrity hairdos as well. The salon itself was grand and super beautiful and clean – soooo different from the usual Asian salons I go to.

You know it’s a fancy place when they hire dedicated hair washers. I kid you not – I’m so use to the stylist washing my hair before cutting it so I was taken back that they had someone else wash my hair before guiding me to my stylist’s chair.

Unfortunately, I forgot my stylist’s name but he gave me heaps of confidence back. I sat down and told him my life story and why I felt horrible about my hair. I told him I was looking for something that is easy to maintain (aka wake up and brush my hair), and something that I can just grow out without worrying that it would lose its shape again.

He instantly said – “bob”, especially given my hair length as well. He showed me a few styles he think I can pull off but they were waaaay too edgy – also, you know it’s a fancy salon when they do and suggest edgy looks rather than classic, safe styles.

We joked about my hair and be basically said “Your hair makes you look like a single soccer mom from the 80’s.”

Ouch, but also true and here’s why:

LIKE, SERIOUSLY… DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY I HATE MY HAIR?!

I basically had a weird mullet thing and when I got to the gym and sweat, it basically warps around my neck. Also, the tiny little ponytail that I do at the gym is ugly af.


For someone that usually goes to cheap salons, holy crap did I noticed the difference in technique when my stylist was saving me. It’s soooo much more different than the usual techniques I see at the cheap salons do – seriously, how is it that they all have the same technique but fancy pants salons each has their own techniques to cutting hair?

All in all, my session took about 1.5 hours to finish and stylized. Leaving the salon, I felt soooo much comfortable having people look at me and just fell in love with my hair again. I no longer fuss about it and I’m no longer sinking in money in products that claims they help promote growth. I’m content enough to wait patiently now.

Claiming my Confidence Back

If you know me in real life, you’ll probably laugh and couldn’t believe that I was once often described as outgoing, fierce, confident, and even intimidating.

Shit, I can’t believe my peers used to describe as that as well!

Now, I’m often told I’m quiet. And you know, I wasn’t born loud and confident either. I was born a quiet and shy person and only started to come out of my shell when I got a job at Best Buy as a sales associate shortly after high school. Ever since that job, I felt like a different person but since turning 24, I sort of fell back to my old ways.

I’m quiet. I’m shy. I care about what people think. I don’t speak with my true voice. I hide my thoughts and opinions. I look down at the sidewalk when I walk. I don’t take as many selfies as I used to, or post videos. I get self-conscious and confused.

That’s not who I am. That was who I was back in high school.

A few months ago, shit hit the fan with Dan and our mutual friends group. I felt really betrayed by everyone in our group and I had enough of that “it wasn’t my place to tell you” bullshit.

During my recovery process, I felt like I needed an answer to the final question from this one girl in our group. I have put it off for nearly a month because I was afraid of her. I was afraid of what she would think about the whole situation. I was afraid of any potential clap back she might give me. I was afraid that she’ll talk behind my back and tell everyone how stupid she thinks I am.

But, I did it anyways and even when she was telling me the answer that I needed to move on and heal, I was still afraid of what she thought and felt about me and the whole situation.

During the recovery process, I also deleted my Facebook and Instagram, and evenย then I was still afraid and worried about what she would think of my actions. And it’s not just her, I was also afraid of another person in the group. I was scared that they’ll call me out for my actions, calling me immature and dumb. I was prepared to apologize for “going rogue” if I ever decide to log back into FB and Insta.

A few days ago, I saw this quote on Reddit and it hit home.

Why did I care so damn much about what this girl thinks of me? Why did I feel like I needed her approval in my life? If I wanted to delete my social media profiles, I shouldn’t have to explain or apologize why I did it. If she wants to tell people how much drama I am causing in the group, then go be it. I just didn’t know why I cared and worried over that. And it’s not just her but everyone. I don’t want to seek approval from anyone anymore.

After seeing that post, I told myself that I am going to reclaim my confidence. I want to be described as intimidating, confidence, and outgoing. Yeah, I’m quiet because I don’t have much to say but that doesn’t mean I want to lack confidence. People can be quiet and still give a strong aura.


An old friend told me that when you turn 25 and hit the “quarter-life crisis” you start to doubt everything and the confidence starts to wither away but it picks back up later.

I’m ready to pick up my confidence and erase my doubts. I’m tired of trying to please everyone and seek other people’s validating when just two years ago I was a firecracker. I’m tired of being afraid to live my life. I’m tired of being afraid to tell people my thoughts and feelings in fear of what they might think of me.

I’m ready to be my self again, and I’m reading to take a shit ton of videos and selfies.

The Grampians Trip | New to Melbourne Bus Tours

Hey, can you believe it? We finally got around to doing something touristy and leaving the city! It only took about 2 months to do so… lol.

On Australia Day (Jan 26th), we finally went on the long-awaited Grampians bus tour. I found this bus tour hosted by New to Melbourne on Facebook and it’s aimed towards travellers and budget travellers. We missed out on the early birds special and got the next tier which was about $65? I think early bird special was only $50 per person.

I mean… that is significantly cheaper than renting a car! I pushed Dan to join me on this bus tour because the reviews were great buuut… I think we’ll skip these bus tours going forward. We originally planned on doing two more tours with them but it’s not our style, despite the cheap prices.


I took a nap before arriving at our first stop, Beaufort, a small little town about 2-2.5 hours away from Melbourne downtown. It’s one of those towns with only one major main street as their downtown and everything is local. It was our first pit stop to grab some lunch and for the next 30-40 minutes or so, I just loved Beaufort. I don’t know why but I love small towns.

From there, it was only about 40ish minutes to The Grampians.

*Cue Country Roads by John Denver*

So, Grampians is like a national park in the state of Victoria and our first stop was Mackenzie Falls. It’s at the top of the park and let me just say… holy crap, it’s beautiful!

It’s a giant waterfall but the scenery and landscape were just so beautiful and peaceful. Everything was blue. The water stream was refreshing and cold on a nice 30 degrees day. It really was breathtaking and I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like this before.

The great Mackenzie Falls.

We then hiked a bit further down to get away from the crowds.

Does anyone else like copying their significant other? LOL.


Unfortunately, the tour started later than usual and the tour guide had trouble sticking to the itinerary throughout the stops so Mackenzie Falls was only about an hour… like seriously?! Only an hour to experience this beauty?

So we hopped on the bus and visited our next stop, The Balconies that overlooks The Grampian, I suppose.

This was a mediocre stop. The view was great but definitely not worth cutting Mackenzie Falls short.


And ten minutes away was Reed Lookout (I think??? lol). This was literally the dumbest thing because she only gave us 20 minutes to experience this lookout, and the best lookout was 1km always. Like, it would take 15-20 minutes alone just to walk back and forth from the lookout to the bus.

Sorry! This panorama wouldn’t rotate T__T

The last stop at the bottom of the Grampians was this kangaroo park. Unfortunately, it’s weather dependent and it was a hot day so the kangaroo park was empty. I think that sort of stricken a chord with Dan because when you look back retrospectively, we didn’t have to rush all the stops and could’ve experienced a bit more.

The next and final pit stop was in a town called Ararat where we stopped for some dinner. We had Nando’s planned (since we get dropped off right in front of it after the tour) so we just ordered some fries and drinks at McDonald’s to keep us satisfied until Nando’s.


So, all in all, the itinerary was planned for 9am to 9pm and we got back into the city at 8:45pm despite having a late start… I mean, I disliked the tour enough for me to actually be happy to have it end earlier than anticipated.

Don’t get me wrong – The Grampians was a beautiful experience and trip but the bus tour thing is not us. And New to Melbourne could really tighten up their game.

The tour guide was late to greet us. The bus was late to arrive. The bus driver was haggard and needed to take breaks on the side of the road. We stopped at a hotel to pick up another passenger’s mom?! And every stop was cut short to ensure we arrive back into the city at 9pm.

Not worth it. Crammed in a bus, our legs were tired and our shoulders were stuff, and when we arrived at our stops, we barely had time to fully stretch our legs and enjoy the views.

Sure, it’s $50-65 but for a once in a lifetime experience, I think it’s worth it to chuck out some money to rent a car and do things to your own desire and not wait on anyone else.

Oh well… lesson learned for our next road trip!

My First Australian Open!

Last week, I went to my first ever Australia Opening… actually, make it my first tennis game ever. If you don’t count any games I’ve watched my classmates play back in high school.

Dan has been doing some work at the AO and decided to grab some court tickets to catch this event. I didn’t know just how big an Australia Opening is until my colleagues were talking about it. When I mentioned that I’m heading there on Sunday, my colleague, Charlotte, was telling me how much I’d love the atmosphere and Dan thinks the atmosphere would be pretty cool for me as well.

We went with our roommate, Tiffany, and her brother, Tom. When we first arrived, we walked around the grounds filled with yummy vendor stands and shops.

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOOOOOVE visiting souvenir shops so when I saw the Fan Shop, I dragged Dan in. He did warn me that all the Australia Opening swag is hella expensive so just how expensive? A damn baseball cap costs $40 and all it has is ‘AO’ embroidered on the front.

We got tickets to Margaret Court and I watched some legendaries played. They must be legendaries but I had no idea who they were, lol.

After this, it was the Women’s Double.

After that, it was a break before the Women’s Single match. We went to this BBQ pulled pork vendor for lunch and made it back to our seats in time for the Women’s Single match.

So, prior to the Women’s Single match, the court was rather empty. But when this match was starting, the entire court was nearly filled seat to seat. I think this was the “title match” for ticket holders to Margaret Court.

I remember this match because everyone was talking about it! It was the match between Danielle Collins and Angie… something, lol. I don’t know the players but I believe Angie was world’s #2 and she was knocked out by Collins under an hour! At that time, Collins was #14 in the world.


Since Collins smashed the match fairly quickly, we were pretty much out of our seats as fast as we got there. I mean, it was a good match but Tiffany made a good comment saying we spent money on these tickets and sort of wish we got to see more tennis.

We were about to head home until we decided to watch another big game outdoors since we don’t have tickets to see that game. It was a good experience to see how so many Aussies would just hang out with drinks and food and catch some good tennis.


Overall, it was a great day and a nice real Aussie experience! I learned a lot of tennis as well and can see how much of an addictive game it can be to watch.

We Went Mini Golfing! | Holey Moley Golf Club

Two Mondays ago, Dan and I got kicked out of our place because the water heater broke and the plumber and real estate agent came to repair it in the evening. Our housemate isn’t actually allowed to rent to couples, and our names aren’t on the lease, so we weren’t allowed to go home until 7PM-ish.

So, what is something to do on a Monday evening? Indoor mini golf, of course!

We planned on going mini golfing earlier but Dan got super tired so we saved it for another day. Plus, it was sooooo much cheaper to go on a Monday than a Saturday ($10 per person vs $22 per person).

It was such a cool little joint! First of all, I couldn’t believe this building housed mini golf, lol. I was also surprised to see two bouncers at the door but I guess it can get pretty rowdy with the crowds and drinking. The joint also has a small bar and dining area in the back.

I think I’ve only done mini golfing once or twice in my life and that was back at some shitty neighbourhood carnival, haha. Recently, I’ve been going to Top Golf down in the US for the past two years thanks to my work’s conference and it’s always a blast! I was super excited to see a Top Golf commercial for Australia but it’s on the Gold Coast and we don’t plan on exploring that area until closer towards the end of our trip.

We have ten rounds and each of them has a different theme. My favourite one is this ass Trump themed round, and the goal was to get the ball through the wall.

At the end of the night, Dan won by three points. I think he was pretty surprised to see how close our scores were since he has no idea that I absolutely love Top Golf.

How cute is this plants vs zombie theme?!

And yes, we also came home to a nice working hot water tank again ๐Ÿ™‚