It’s officially autumn in Melbourne! I’m not complaining though because it’s warm enough to go out in a tank and tee but not hot enough to burn your eyeballs. I love the crisp mornings and warm afternoons!
Dan and I are starting the countdown to the end of our Melbourne trip and as each day rolls by, I am getting more and more excited to leave.
I am just sooooo done with living with roommates. Seriously. I think I’m going to write an entry on living with roommates when I get back home.
I particularly don’t enjoy one of my roommates right now and I guess because I know I’m out of here soon, my tolerance for his bs is shrinking and shrinking.
For example, he decided to shave his head in the backyard. Not a problem.
However, when you don’t clean up your hair… that’s disgusting. I mean, I like to eat outside from time to time so seeing blobs of hair is hella disgusting. His logic was “the wind will blow it away”. We’ve had a few windy days and they’re still stuck on the ground!
Since we have limited time left, we decided that every time we go out to eat, we’re going to hit up a new place. Dan and I have the tendency to return to restaurants if we love the food but I’m putting my foot down and told him we’re going to try new restaurants going forward.
Oh yeah, I finally managed to buy tickets to Avengers: End Game! Dan wants to catch it in IMAX before we go so I legit – kid you not – spent an hour or so refreshing the website until I successfully managed to get tickets for us. We’re catching it on April 25th!
The more I think about it, the more excited I am for this movie, lol. But seriously, the struggles to purchase tickets online is real.
By the time this post goes live, Dan and I will be on our Great Ocean Road road trip (God bless the scheduling option!) so I hope you have a fantastic weekend!
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.
I’m writing this journal with a tummy full of delicious sushi after our late Valentine’s Day dinner that we just returned from.
Can I just say… what a week! It went by tremendously fast and my wallet is begging me to stop spending. The fact that this week consisted of Dan’s birthday and Valentine’s Day didn’t help, and last week was UFC night (which I’ll blog about sometime this week!).
Last weekend, we dropped by Gelato Messina on Chapel Street after watching the Alita movie (which was somewhat decent… about a 7/10). It was recommended by Charlotte and Sophie at work and we were in Windsor so we mind as well check it out.
The gelato is probably the best I’ve had so far in Melbourne! The place is dark (like a nightclub to be honest) and there’s no lineup or ticketing system. It’s pretty much like ordering at the bar where you just have to catch the shop associate’s attention if you want to order.
On Wednesday, it was Dan’s birthday! He turned the ripe ol’ age of 29… lol.
As a gift, I got him the Huawei P20 phone. He hasn’t owned a quality smartphone since his Galaxy Note died so I thought it would make a nice gift, especially since we’re travelling and he has mentioned a few times that he wished he had a better smartphone to take better pictures. I’m honestly blown away by how far phone cameras have come to be!
That day I also left work early to hit the CBD to pick up another surprise and his Valentine’s Day gift as well.
I picked up Uncle Tetsu (his favourite dessert) and a pack of Corona beers.
It turned out that his work finished at 3pm and they took him out for some drinks until 5:30pm so when he came back home, he was a little tipsy.
We ordered Chinese food as his birthday dinner and our Greek roommate poured him some very strong Greek vodka so, by the end of the night, he was a goner.
This drunken photo of Dan is going into our scrapbook because it’s the only photo I have of him on his birthday!
The next day was Valentine’s Day! Happy belated Valentine’s Day to all my readers!
This year, we decided to keep it super simple with a budget of $50. After work, we ordered mediocre sushi and watched some Parks and Rec.
I got him two of his favourite League of Legends Funko Pops. He has a third one back at home that his best friend got him for his birthday so it added well to his collection.
For my Valentine’s Day gift, Dan got me a gift card to a fancy salon to get my hair styled properly. Ever since I started growing out my pixie cut from the summer, I became very self-conscious because I believed the barber didn’t know how to cut and style pixies properly so it has left me with an ugly shape and blob. I have it scheduled for March 2nd so I’m super excited to get my hair fixed!
Today, we slept in until 11am and had a very late brunch, followed by a late gym session (my legs and glutes are soooo sore!). We decided to hit up our favourite sushi place again and while it’s supposed to be Dan’s late birthday dinner, he changed it to be our late Valentine’s Day dinner so that was very nice!
Since I got him those two Funko Pops, I caved and went back to EB Games to grab my two Golden Knight boys 😛
Anyways, it’s getting late so I’d end this post with a funny picture of our third roommate, Charlii.
Oh boy, it’s the week before Valentine’s Day (and Dan’s birthday)!
I won’t lie – this year, I haven’t planned anything for his birthday or V-Day. I think it’s because we’re travelling this year and agreed that it’s not worth blowing money on these two days… plus, we also don’t have any friends to celebrate it with, haha.
I called in sick to work so I had the day off today. Headaches are the worst, and they’re even worse when you drown yourself in painkillers and they still won’t go away!
I spent today looking at grad school. I’ve been having this itch lately to go back to school and my colleague, Sophie, told me there are Master programs out there that don’t require a thesis. The only reason why I’ve never considered a Master’s program is because I don’t believe I could ever complete and defend a thesis. I wouldn’t even know what to write my thesis on. I would rather do projects and essays than write a thesis.
So, I’ve compiled a list of potential Master programs to take when I settle back at home. I’m looking to do it online so I can balance work and not take any more student loans either.
My roommate Tiffany purchased these gluten-free Lamington (like a chocolate cake with coconut). They’re soooo yummy so I took a picture for reference. They would make a good Aussie gift for our friend, Tiffany back at home.
Last Friday, we also went to the famous Crown Casino in the city. I’ve seen it a million times and finally got to go visit it. I don’t know why but even though I have no clue how to gamble aside from hitting the slot machines, I love casinos. The atmosphere is fun and they got pretty cool lounges.
The Crown Casino really reminded me of Las Vegas. It’s so much better than the casinos we have back at home.
Prior to hitting the casino, we stopped by Viva Kebabs for a Halal Snack Pack (HSP) which is equivalent to the Canadian poutine but with tons more toppings. It’s fries, with melted cheese curds, meat (usually chicken and/or lamb) and a bunch of sauces. 10/10 would order again!
I withdrew $20 and Dan withdrew $100 so in total, we lost $120 that night. Didn’t hit a single row in my slot machines and Dan lost his playing blackjack.
The highlight of that night was when we both had to go to the bathroom. Like anywhere else, there was a line up in the women’s. By the time I came out, I found this girl full on hitting on Dan.
So, it’s really rare for me to get jealous when it comes to Dan and girls. I didn’t go bat-shit crazy on this girl. I just stood there and laughed at the entire situation and basically waited until Dan finished telling this girl off. When she turned around to see me, she literally was yelling “is this her?!”.
Like, yep – this is me. Dan said she was trashy wasted, lol.
I’m taking this weekend to catch up on blog posts and write some of my own. There are a few I got in mind and just need to transfer it on to “paper”.
Also, our local movie theatre is having an early screening for Alita: Battle Angel movie! We’re catching it tomorrow night at 7PM and I can’t wait to spoil it for those back home (lulz jks).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂