I’ve spent most of my life in one place, with occasional travelling that lasts a week or less and then I’m back to my comfort zone. Living in Melbourne brought me out of my shell and I learned a lot of valuable lessons.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability survey of 140 cities, Melbourne is the world’s most liveable city. Winning the title for the fourth year in a row.
And I couldn’t agree more. Transportation is so easy and safe, I can ride the bus and train within days of my arrival. My tip: Get your Myki, it’s an all around transportation card that you need to top up.
One of the many things that I love was the fact that it was safe to run around the neighborhood (no catcalling!). Another thing is how convenient it is for everyone because everything you need is accessible.
Shops, restaurants, entertainment, nightlife, museums, beaches, parks are well taken care of. You get the right balance that you need in life here. You can play sports, workout, etc. Plus fresh air + no humidity, white picket fences, garden in the backyard, the list goes on and on!
But with all these, I knew I still have to be cautious. I was told that there was still a bit of racism, and I understood what they meant.
Just like in any other cities, I learned to embrace the culture, explore and breathe everything in.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. I learned that I should broaden my horizon and live life like it’s my last day.
Money-wise, I learned that when exchanging your money to Australian dollars, it’s not possible to do it in a bank, as they charge you a hefty transaction fee. If you weren’t able to do it in the airport, the city has a lot of money changers or foreign exchange but make sure you compare their rates. I remember I had to bargain as the man was offering me a really low rate, when I explained that I knew how much it really should be, he agreed.
When buying souvenirs, don’t do it in a big shopping centre, go to Queen Victoria Market or to St Albans Shop.
I learned that each laneways in Melbourne offer something different and that you should check out the hidden ones around Little Collins, Bourke St, etc.
I learned that getting lost in the city wasn’t really a bad thing. I can easily jump into a tram and train since and that the stations go in loop. There was no way I could get lost. You can even rent a bike if you wish to.
I learned that the best month in Melbourne is December (Stereosonic!), January and February. Tons of concerts and events that should never be missed out on. Going to these places are always a must!
Fashion is everything. Food is glorious. I learned that Melbourne has the best clothes, beauty and health products and the food is amazing! I spend hours in the shops going through one aisle to another, checking each and every product even though I’ve been there the day before.
I learned that I should get rewards and loyalty cards from the shops that I go to. Similar to an SM Advantage card. I also learned that when there are specials, I should grab and buy those items because it really sells fast and cheap. No, we’re not talking about a 5% or 10% off, it’s 50% to 70% off! And when you have a card, you might get freebies too!
I learned that online shopping is so easy here. No need to worry about customs ripping you off. It gets delivered to your doorstep.
I learned to be more independent. There were days I knew I should have helped more in the chores but I wasn’t sure and I was scared I might do something wrong. I was scared to make people around me upset. I learned to be more observant and alert.
Most importantly, I realized that everyday, there’s a lesson to be learned and life will always find a way to teach us a thing or two.