I have now been in the city for three months and unlike when we visited in November things have gone right this time. We have been able to build a life here we enjoy. We have found jobs, built friendships, found bars we like, settled in to an apartment and even started to follow the footie – Melbourne’s number one sport. Here are my top seven things I love about living here.
- Our Apartment – We were lucky enough to find somewhere in the Southbank area on the edge of the CBD. On the sixth floor of an apartment building with a swimming pool, gym and garden terrace in the building for use to use it – living here certainly feels like a life of luxury. I would never in a million years imagine we could afford a place like this, but here we aren’t paying over the odds for our shared two bed apartment. It’s affordable, modern and perfectly located for enjoying the city life of Melbourne.
- Melbourne Events – Be it the comedy festival, F1 grand prix, or just a big AFL game there is always something going on in the city. The range of events is vast with plenty of free activities to attend throughout the month, along with the ticketed events. Big on music and getting the city together for an event it is no wonder people love to live in Melbourne especially in summer. With events ranging from the suburbs to all over the CBD – I feel this city really has something to offer to everyone.
- Laneways – I have already written about some of the laneways I have come across but there are still so many I don’t know about. I love sitting in these tiny tucked away places knowing above you in the high buildings life is still carrying on. I love watching the people coming and going from the cafes. People going about their everyday life or tourists stopping to photograph everything and getting lost. I like feeing that I’m neither a tourist nor a city slicker and having the time to watch the city go by.
- The Southbank Area – Day or night this area feels alive and inviting. With speakers constantly playing music, people laying out in the sun and by night staring at the flames which go off every hour. Shooting huge flames high in the sky lighting up the area and letting off an intense heat. The bars always seem busy with drinkers and dinners no matter the day or time. Street performers draw crowds late in the afternoon making me wonder for a moment if I’m back in Covent Garden, London. Most importantly from here you get some great views of the city.
- The Beach being right on your doorstep – A tram away to St Kilda and a train ride away to Brighton beach or if you are feeling adventurous it is only a day trip away to places such as Phillip Island, The Great Ocean Road or just the peninsular of the bay. Even as winter is closing in it is nice to get out of the city, breathe some fresh sea air and just admire the sky line from a distance.
- Street Art – I love how much street art is in the Melbourne CBD alone and suburbs like Fitzroy and St Kilda offer more of an ‘Arty Scene’. Entire streets of graffiti can be found down the lanes of the CBD. Hosier Lane is probably the best one – located just off Federation Square. Just wandering around the city you are bound to come across all kinds of street art. A few weeks ago I found an open art project set of by Flinders Station inviting people to share on the boards in chalk ‘what happiness is’ to them. I thought it was a really cool little project to have by the station.
- The People – I mean this one is mostly true for Australian people in general more than Melbourne but to a Brit girl it is really noticeable the way people are. You just don’t get such friendly strangers in the UK and if someone is rude to you here then that is even more noticeable! Everyone is so friendly, polite, and helpful. When we first arrived here back in November it was the kindness of a stranger that helped us to get the correct change for the tram and which one to get on. These days I’m pretty comfortable finding my way around but a local won’t hesitate to stop and help if you are stuck, every time the kindness and friendliness of people makes me think twice about the attitude of British people.
I have another three months left in this city to explore, try new things and really get to know this city that felt so big and scary when I first arrived. It just shows how much difference having friends and a steady income cane make to the way you enjoy life.