What I learned from living abroad

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.

Myki Australia

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.

Tram Melbourne

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!

Jogging in Melbourne

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.

Melbourne Park

Just like in any other cities, I learned to embrace the culture, explore and breathe everything in.

Train Station Melbourne

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.

Melbourne City

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.

Laneways in Melbourne

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.

Bicycles in Melbourne

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.

Armin Only Intense Melbourne
Listen Out 2014 Melbourne
Henry Saiz Melbourne Hole and Corner

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.

Coles Melbourne

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!

Cotton On Australia

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.

Chel Inumerable Blog

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.


  1. Melbourne definitely looks like a great place to live in. I have lived in Manila for most of my life, stayed in Africa for almost 2 years and half a year in California but after that I don’t think I want to leave anymore haha. Seriously, maybe it’s the food. But I wouldn’t mind visiting Australia, I think I know some people there. Love the idea of renting bikes to get around.

  2. I enjoyed visiting Melbourne. I have stayed in Atlanta, Georgia for 2 years and I agree with you. Living overseas and out of our comfort zone forces one to be independent and self-reliant. Thanks for sharing the pretty shots of this beautiful city!

  3. I visited Melbourne a few years ago and I love it there! Especially the cool weather and clothes by Australian designers (but manufactured in China). How long were you there?

  4. I’ve visited Melbourne last yr when my friend was still staying there, but I didn’t quite like it…. I find it’s just a more expensive, less crowded and more boring (in terms of city life) place compared to my country. But my friend simply loves it there and hates it back home. I guess it’s up to individual….

  5. Pooja kawatra

    Melbourne definitely looks beautiful place. Last year i went to sydney and loved the open space which we dont get in singapore. Loved shopping at coles quite easy to do it. Thanks it will be of gat help while planning a trip.

  6. What a pretty and charmed life. Melbourne is such a clean and peaceful city. I am glad to see the place through your photos. I still cannot imagine myself living abroad. The provincial life in the Philippines is still my kind of life. But, I would want to try to stay in abroad for a month or so.

  7. Living abroad is hard / fun. Hard because you are new to everything but fun to explore :) And so true you’ll learn how to be independent and it will be for our own good.

    Melbourne is a very nice place and would love to visit it again. Been there twice because my Aunt lives there and mom wants to see their place.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I envy you so much, the sense of independence with your surroundings(place now), gradually becoming aware that you have also influence others, and also to understand that you can be wrong and learn from mistakes from being away from families and friends.
    And embracing new cultures and new experiences is a key part of the change process. Cool and congrats for being tough!

  9. I have not been to Melbourne, Australia. Your post encourages me to try my luck coz some friends applied for migration in Australia trough the point system. Now I’m considering it.

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