It’s not over yet. Or, I’m not sure if it’s over yet.
Let’s backtrack. I started this blog in 2016, when I was sure that 2017 would bring a year of adventuring. Then life intervened. I tried to keep this blog going, because we definitely never stop travelling, but my heart wasn’t in it in the same way in had been– or in the way it needed to be in order to run a blog on top of a full-time job. So I put it aside, and two years in a row I thought carefully about whether I should pay my yearly fee to WordPress to keep the blog going, albeit without any posts. Clearly, I decided to keep it.
So now, two years later, we’re ready to go. 2019 will finally be the year that M. and I spend travelling South America. We’ve got our leave approved from work and our one-way tickets to Buenos Aires booked, so it’s really real this time.
How does that translate to this blog? I’m not sure yet. I’d like to get back to posting, and I do think there’s a gap in this super-packed travel blog market for our tips and experiences. But will we have enough access to internet and free time to make this a viable project during our unsettled year? Will I want to be stopping along the way to share our lives, or should we just concentrate on living them? If I do start the blog up again, how will it be similar or different to what I started more than two years ago?
I have no answers to any of those questions. But I do have that one-way ticket to Buenos Aires, and that’s enough for me right now.
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.
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:
Excellent news for those of us who love television: the US networks are about a week away from premiering many of our favourite shows for another season. I’m personally looking forward to Masters of Sex Season 4 and I’m still waiting for M.’s return from Europe so we can start Stranger Things.
In honour of the most wonderful time of the year, I’ve rounded up 11 (couldn’t stop at just 10!) of the best travel-related episodes of my favourite TV shows, as well as their real-life locations that are officially on my travel bucket list.
Friends – Season 4, Episode 23: The One With Ross’s Wedding
The gang head to London to see Ross get married, leaving a pregnant Phoebe and heartbroken Rachel behind. While Chandler and Joey explore London and get on each others’ nerves, Rachel decides to fly to the wedding to tell Ross she loves him. A classic!
Monica: “You guys, hurry up! The flight leaves in four hours! It could take time to get a taxi! There could be traffic! The plane could leave early! When we get to London there could be a line at customs! COME ON!”
Chandler: “Six hour trip to London– that’s a lot of Monica.”
I think we felt like we’d slowed down mentally and emotionally when we reached Ulaanbaatar because it was just a slower city than Hong Kong, but we really didn’t. It wasn’t until several days into a trip to the Gobi desert that we realised how exhausted we had made ourselves. That’s reflective of our personalities, though– I don’t admit to myself that a To-Do list is too long until I’ve spent all day working through tasks 1-7 with 10 left to go; M. has to be delirious with a fever of 102 before he admits that he’s sick. Maybe next holiday we’ll try to do something that tunes us into our emotions and energy levels.
Anyway. Here’s what we did in Mongolia for just under two weeks:
Next time you travel, try taking a book or two that you got at a secondhand bookstore and leave it behind somewhere for someone else to find, whether you liked it or not. You never know what someone else might think of it.
I discovered so many great vintagey children’s books on my travels when I was a kid, and M. and I always try to duck into at least one used book store on our trips. Have you ever found a gem (or a stinker!) while on holiday?