Australia

Sunday Travel Links!

Every Sunday, we post a quick little extra for those of you who, like me, love to peruse the blogosphere on a Sunday afternoon.

You might be interested in…

(more…)

Advertisements

Alternative Melbourne in summer: What to do if you want to avoid tourist traps

Having lived in Melbourne’s inner northern suburbs for several years now, we are sometimes asked for ideas for travel activities and recommendations from friends and family members. While the Lonely Planet and other guidebooks are helpful, the people who seek us out are usually looking for something a bit different. Here are seven of our favourite places to point travellers to Melbourne to for fun and off-the-beaten-track activities in our city.
Eat at Welcome to Thornbury – a vibrant food truck park & bar in a converted car wash away from the city but accessible by tram. They have different selections of food trucks every night but always enough variety to satisfy everyone.
 
Friday nights at the NGV – see the National Gallery of Victoria in the evening with live music and a bar. Your $30 ticket includes the special exhibit (right now it’s Degas but that might change by December) and sometimes a special talk about the art on display.

(more…)

Changing plans: when expat realities interfere with dreams of travel

In our About Us section, we’ve alluded to the fact that we’ve been quietly dreaming about a BIG trip. As in, leave jobs and lives and material possessions behind and spend an entire year being untethered and able to travel at our own pace kind of big.

Australia is such a great place to live and work when you have goals like ours, because it’s both common and accepted to take long stretches of time off from your job to travel and still have that job to return to. In most industries here, there isn’t a need to quit your job to travel the world. So we felt like we were perfectly set up to take this leap in 2017.

Then… real life intervenes. Doesn’t it always?

We’re incredibly lucky to have had a (mostly) smooth and heartache-free immigration process here in Australia. It’s been very expensive, time-consuming, and stressful, but we’re just about at the point where we both have dual citizenship (Canada-Australia for me and Italy-Australia for him).

But that process of getting citizenship, understandably enough, takes time. I think during our initial trip-planning stages, this was time we didn’t really estimate correctly– we kind of assumed it would all work itself out in time. Until we realised about a week ago that it wouldn’t. There just wasn’t any way to stay in Australia until we both had citizenship AND go on a yearlong trip starting in January or April 2017.

Remember how M. is overseas in Europe right now? Yeah… that was fun, having a huge life-changing/relationship-changing discussion over Facebook chat with a major time difference. But we did some thinking on our own and some talking it out together and we decided that we would have to postpone the big trip until 2018.

So now here I am, waist-deep in a travel blog and we’ve decided not to travel for another year! I feel a bit ridiculous.

This was the point in the year where I’d planned to start posting updates on our planning process. We were meant to be giving away our furniture and asking for travel gear for Christmas right about now. Instead we’re wondering whether we should finally upgrade our cars (mine is from 1993 and may not last another year…) and trying to decide what kind of couch to buy when we move out of our houseshares.

Ultimately, though, this blog is intended to share a snapshot of our real lives as expats and travellers, and this is our real life. I guess there’s nothing much more realistic than having to wait to do a big trip because you need to stay in the country to get dual citizenship!

Anyway, lovely readers, I’ll still be blogging. I think this way we’ll be able to share even more– more about the immigration process, more about the trip-organising process, more about how we balance living our day-to-day lives while still planning to travel as much as we can.

We’re wide open for time and ideas now that our plans have changed– tell us, what kind of content would you like to see us write about in the next year?

My Best Tips for Long-Haul Flights

If you ask a North American what a long-haul flight means, most will tell you about the torture of a 7-hour flight to Europe or the time they spent 16 hours in transit to South America.

When you ask an Australian, that’s a short flight! A flight from Sydney to LA takes about 15 hours, and that’s not counting any other destinations on either side. Getting to Europe usually means going through the Asia or the Middle East for a longish layover.

Between the two of us, we’ve done dozens of these types of trips now. It never gets any less annoying, but I’ve found a few good tricks to make the experience of flying long distances a bit more bearable:

(more…)

Expat Regrets: 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Moving Overseas

I’ve been gathering documents this week for the final stage in my quest to finally stop giving my hard-earned money to Immigration: dual citizenship! Many thousands of dollars and about a half dozen police checks later, I’m finally going to be done with the anxiety of not having security in Australia. M. is in the same boat, with only his swearing-in ceremony left to go.

This doesn’t mean that we’ve decided to stay here forever (who knows what they’re going to be doing forever, anyway?) but it does make me reflect on the last 5.5 years in this sunburned country.

What I have I learned? Lots of positive things, for sure. But I’m going to start with a few regrets in hopes that others can learn from my mistakes.

(more…)

Eat Melbourne: Aussie Donuts and Coffee at All Day Donuts in Brunswick

Melbourne has recently had something of a renaissance of American food. With more people travelling than ever before and lots of great deals on flights to L.A., New York, and San Francisco, more varieties of food have made their way to our restaurants and cafés.

It’s not quite up to the standard of what you can get in a major city or down South, but there’s a huge variety of barbecue, burgers, po’boys, you name it popping up in my Aussie city. When I moved to Melbourne five years ago there were two diners and one bar that served U.S.-style meals.

As much as I adore burgers, the foodie trend I have really gotten behind these last two years is the rise of the donut.

(more…)