So it has been just over a month since I left Canada and I’ve spent three weeks of that time days in my new home, Melbourne. When I left Sydney it was sunny and hot. I was wearing a light shirt and leggings. However, when I arrived in Melbourne it was rainy and windy. I’m not going to lie, I was not impressed. Lol! Wasn’t I in Australia?! It’s suppose to be hot all the time! I have to accept the fact that Melbourne has four seasons and I just happen to be catching the end of spring. I can’t wait for the summer heat! There are days when it gets to 40 degrees. I welcome that kind of heat but most people here tell me I’ll be eating my words. We’ll see…
So this is Melbourne!
Right now I live in an area called Collingwood.
It is one of the more trendy areas with a lot of cafés, pubs, restaurants and boutique stores. Plus I’m really close to the CBD (central business district) or what Canadians would call downtown. It’s an ideal location but this is only temporary. My friend Mitch and his partner have been so generous to let me stay with them while I find a new home. It has been fantastic living here and I have the opportunity to really explore the city and pick an area where I’d like to live. So what have I been doing since I arrived? Well I’ve been trying to keep as busy as possible. I’ve spent a lot of my free time just walking and wandering. I’ll walk until I’m hungry and then find a place to eat. Then I’ll keep walking until I’m thirsty and grab a hot chocolate or frozen yoghurt. Yum yum yum! It’s been a great way to see the city. I’ve been fortunate already to have two beach days in St. Kilda. It’s so lovely down there! There was a trial membership with a local gym so I signed up for that and I’ve been going a few times a week. It’s a way to ensure I don’t show all the treats I’ve been eating.
So what are the top things I’ve noticed about Melbourne that are different?
1. Where I live is an abundance of wall art or in most cases graffiti. A lot of it doesn’t really look like anything but there are some awesome pieces here and there. Melbourne is known to be more “cultured” than most places in Australia so that’s one way to show it.
2. I’m still adjusting to the fact that Australian’s drive on the left side of the road. I still look right to cross and I’ve almost been hit a few times. I’m sure I’ll start driving soon but for now I’m relying on the busses, trams and trains. The transportation system is much better here than in Calgary or Edmonton (IMO) which makes it easy to get around.
3. Food is noticeably more expensive. I’m not exaggerating. Fruits, veggies, meat… all my money has gone to food. Eating out at a restaurant is even worse. You can find nights that have specials of course but I went out for a traditional Australian dish, chicken parma, and that plus a cider was $36. Yup. It wasn’t even a fancy restaurant. That may have been a tad on the expensive side but for a dinner I would eat at Joey’s for example I would pay about $27-$30 with a non-alcoholic drink.
4. There are certain words and phrases that seem odd to me. For example, instead of saying “how’s it going?” or “How are you doing?” Australians will say “How you going?”. Of course there is the common phrase we are all familiar with “G’day mate” and they also say “reckon” a lot. Most North Americans would say “think” instead.
5. There are kangaroo street fights.
I couldn’t stop smiling. This isn’t common but this happened in New South Wales a few days ago. I wonder if there has ever been a beaver brawl in Canada? 😀
Overall, it still feels like Canada. Some days I’ll wake up some days and think I’m in Calgary. The weight of this decision is slowing becoming a reality to me. Moving to me didn’t seem like a big deal. First, because God told me to go and second, I had already moved from Edmonton to Calgary. In my mind, moving to Australia was the same thing. The more time I spend here I can’t believe I did it. I definitely have moments where I sit and think to myself, ‘what the heck did you do?’ and not having a job yet or a permanent place to live can get discouraging.
Two weeks ago the sermon at the church I attended was on transition (which couldn’t have come at a better time). The pastor had talked about the recent loss of her home during the wildfires earlier this year. Her home was burned to the ground. Not a single thing remained. So she spoke about that time being in transition to rebuilding her family’s life again. She had this definition for transition:
You aren’t where you used to be, you aren’t where you want to be. But you are where you are and generally you don’t want to be there.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m not living in Calgary anymore where I was comfortable. I don’t have a life here in Melbourne yet with a job, my own place to live and a friend circle. I’m in this weird place where I’m just here. Waiting. Waiting for companies to call me back, looking at flat after flat finding nothing that fits my needs or my budget, not having friends to go hang out with for a coffee or go to dinner with. I’m just alone. I think one of the reasons it’s so easy to get caught up in circumstances and throw a pity party is we often mistake the transition for the destination. Where I am now isn’t how life is going to be forever. My story isn’t done yet and God’s intention is that we would be stuck transition. I may not have control over my circumstances but I do have control in how I respond to them.
As a Christian, I believe that nothing in life is by chance. God is working behind the scenes 24/7. I may not understand what is going on and how this will all work out but what I do know is that my God is a good God who loves his kids more than anything and wants to bless me in ways beyond material possessions. So I hold on to His promises. Promises that will never change because God never changes.