This is a bit of a difficult post for me to write.
I’ve had all sorts of thoughts and feelings whizzing around my head ever since we first landed in Melbourne and I’ve really struggled to put my finger on them. It’s so hard to put words into a sentence when the feelings you’re experiencing are so alien, and sometimes the feelings aren’t even there at all. But I think this post will explain why I haven’t written many posts about Melbourne, so I guess I’mma try and explain why.
Ever since I left the UK I have been in my element, having new experiences and meeting some great people in a country on the other side of the world. Every part of New Zealand to me felt like home, and maybe that’s why I’ve never felt homesick. It didn’t matter where I moved around in the 12 months I was there, for every new place still felt like home. With every move my need to see more, explore more, grew and grew. For a long time I had this ‘I’m going to travel FOREVER’ attitude, but since leaving New Zealand that feeling has changed.
Melbourne has been a bit more difficult for me. It’s been a lot more overwhelming, and I can’t help but wonder why. On our first afternoon, after a 3am start and landing in Oz at 8am, we sat on the beach with a cider and I had a little cry. And I tried to explain to Dave what was wrong but I just couldn’t. For anyone that knows me knows that having a little cry is very unlike me, which made the whole event that bit more unnerving. What was wrong? WHY was I sad?
I love cities, but had living in small towns with hardly anyone else living there for the last year made me fearful of big cities? Was it being back living in a hostel, surrounded by people 24/7 rather than having our own space? Or did I just miss the quiet of the countryside, with just hippies and sheep for company? I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
I really like Melbourne. I mean it, I really like it. It’s fun and charismatic and there is something new to see/do/explore all the time. No two days are the same and weekends start off being, ‘we’ll just chill out, have a quiet one’, to being ‘we did THIS and THIS and we went to the theatre and worked for Adele and blah blah blah’. For the first time in a really long time I feel like I’m living a fun life, doing fun things and I’m enjoying planning ahead. But I still don’t feel at home, and there’s still a small niggling feeling in the back of my head that makes me feel unsettled.
I think what it all bottles down to, the main reason I’ve really struggled here, is because it is so hard to find work. I mean it’s not, if you’re happy to work in McDonald’s or stand in the street taking abuse from strangers as you try to raise money for charity (fundraising = hated.every.minute.of.it). But when you just want a nice little office job, or a call centre job, or just a job in a cafe serving dear old ladies little cakes and cups of tea then it’s all of a sudden like you’re applying for a job at the best law firm in New York or summin. I know it sounds like I’m overreacting but it was almost like without being able to find a job I just panicked. Like I couldn’t find my purpose here, and I thought I was just going to be stuck in the hostel 24/7 with drunken eighteen year olds, watching my bank balance go down day by day. Ridiculous, maybe. But I couldn’t help how I felt.
But one month in and I feel a lot better. And I mean A LOT better. In the last two weeks I have managed to find a job that will pay the bills. After putting up an advert on GumTree, and ignoring the ‘cash for a handjob?’ and ‘Plz can i worship ur feet?’ messages, I came across a man that offered me a little office role sorting out his data base. Just having two weeks of 9-5, feeling like a human in a routine again, has changed everything.
All of a sudden I feel a lot better about Melbourne. I still don’t think I would ever call it home, and I really don’t think I could live here forever but for now, yes. I feel a lot better, a lot happier. As if now I can finally start enjoying myself.
I guess I’d never realised until this episode that travelling can be really hard, really isolating. But I’ve learnt that in time, and in trusting the universe (thanks for that one Karen!) everything does turn around and it will all get better. When you feel overwhelmed and panicky at being in a new place you’ve just got to take a few deep breathes and be patient, because eventually everything will become good again.
In time things always get better.