Higher

I’m sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve written a proper blog post… life has just been so busy!! Over a month has went by, and now I only have two and a half weeks left in Melbourne before my Asia trip. Since I last wrote, I’ve been averaging about 3-4 days of work each week, so my work has greatly diminished this term. Part of it is due to there being no available schools, and part of it is due to me deciding I don’t want to wake up at 5:30. I won’t go into too much detail about what I’ve been up to, as there’s been a lot, so I’ll skim through each week.

I finally got work after four weeks of not working the day after I posted my last proper blog. I ended up getting 3.5 days of work that week, which was better than nothing! On Thursday, I met up with my friend Carlos to have free burgers! Since Prince Harry was in the city that day, a restaurant was offering their Prince Harry burgers for free – great deal! That weekend, I planned a Dinner Club outing, where we went for Korean Barbecue. They have a charcoal grill on the table and then they cook whichever meat you order right in front of you. That night, it was me, Jess, Alexa, Victoria, and a new girl who literally arrived in Melbourne that day from Canada, Liah. The food was so good, and we actually didn’t end up eating it all because we were so full! Alexa, Victoria, and I somehow decided to go out for drinks afterwards and ended up having a good night. The next day, I met up with Jess to go to the market and then we made our way to Sophie’s going-away party (she moved back to the US, but will be back in June). The bar had a ping-pong table and even though I hadn’t played since summer camp, when I was about 14 years old, I somehow ended up winning my first two games (yay!). On Sunday, I met up with Alexa to go back to the same market that I had went to the day before. We then walked to the Italian Festival, went out for dinner, and then sat in the park until sunset. 

The next week, I got three days of work. Since I didn’t get work on the Tuesday, I was finally able to go to the Chinese Embassy to pick up my passport. I got there 30 minutes before the office opened and there was already a line of people waiting to go in. On Thursday, I didn’t get work either so I went to three stores until I finally found a pumpkin. You’ll never believe how much it ended up costing me… It was on sale for $2.50/kilo but it rang up to 17 dollars!! That night, we went out for As’s birthday (As is Australian and he actually lives on a farm right outside of Warragul – he met one of my friends when they were travelling Thailand so naturally, he joined our group). On Friday, Alexa and I met up with some people who we had met at a bar a few weeks ago – David, Rory, and Ebony. We all went for dumplings, and then had drinks afterwards. Then on Saturday, Alexa and I went to a travel expo to try to find some good deals for trips. Afterwards, I felt extremely inspired to plan even MORE trips, but

David, Me, Alexa, Ebony, and Rory

I’m still trying to resist the temptation (at least for a little while…). 

The first week of November, I got four days of work! I even got to work at a secondary school twice, which is now almost unheard of. That weekend was Alexa’s birthday weekend so on Friday night, we (Sabriena, Nathan, Victoria, and I) went to her house for cake and drinks. Some people went out afterwards, but I decided to take it easy and go home, since I never have the energy to go out on Fridays. On Saturday morning, we (Sabriena, Nathan, As, and I) met up at Alexa’s for bagels and mimosas, and then met up with Ryan at Afloat, which is a bar on the Yarra River. We then walked along the river for ages until we got to Matthias’ house, where we had Caesars (yay!), and then took the tram to Chinatown so we could go for dumplings. Afterwards, we walked back to Alexa’s for more cake, and then everyone headed home. Sunday was spent trying to get everything ready for Cup Day, which is a horse-racing day in Melbourne, and is an actual Bank Holiday. I was also doing research for my Vietnam Visa and found out that I couldn’t get a visa-on-arrival or an eVisa because the entry point that I’d be using wouldn’t accept them. Therefore, my only other option was to go to a Vietnam embassy and get a visa there. However, all of the Vietnam Embassies were outside of Melbourne, so I’d have to mail my passport (which I was extremely nervous about). I had to get everything ready for that application so I could send it off that week. Luckily, I just got my passport back this week with the visa, so now I can breathe again! 

The next week, I only got three days of work again. This was because Tuesday was Cup Day, which was a holiday, and then I decided I wouldn’t go to work the day after Cup Day. Tuesday was such a fun day! Unfortunately, it rained for the majority of the day, but apparently that happens every year so we were just sticking with tradition. We all met at Victoria’s house at 8:30 that morning for breakfast and mimosas. We were planning to leave by 10 but the rain kept getting heavier and heavier so we didn’t end up leaving until about 11:30. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean that the rain had stopped. We had to walk to the tram, which was about ten minutes away, and we all ended up getting drenched! There were 3-4 inch streams of water going down the streets and most of the girls were wearing their heels. It was definitely an experience! We finally got to the race courses at about 12:30 and as soon as we got there, the rain stopped (thank goodness!). We found a spot to sit at in front of the finish line and had a nice picnic before the race began. I’m pretty sure there only ended up being about three races, and most of us didn’t understand what all of the hype was about, but it was still fun being there! Before the last race, it started pouring rain again so the majority of the group went to the indoor bar while Liah and I waited for the rain to pass, and then stayed to watch the last race. We met so many people while we were there, which made the experience that much better! After the race, we headed towards the concert and met up with everyone else at the indoor bar, where we stayed until they closed. Right at 7pm, the place cleared out so fast, as the bouncers didn’t give us any time to even check to make sure we had everything. On Saturday, my flatmates in London (Amanda from New Zealand and Sam from the UK) were in the city with Amanda’s mom so I met up with them at Victoria Market that afternoon. I then went shopping for shoes before meeting up with Sam and Amanda that night. We went to a pub by my house and then went to a restaurant called Saint Lucia for dinner, which is probably one of the best meals I’ve had in Melbourne. They had mac & cheese donuts (that you dip in cheese) and then we got jerk chicken in waffle cones. The spice of the jerk chicken balanced out the sweetness in the waffle cones so well; it was amazing! After eating, we went to go to Jungle Boy, which is a cocktail bar behind a sub shop. The sub shop looks like Subway and then it has a fridge that you have to walk through in order to get to the cocktail bar. However, there was a huge line when we got there so we ended up talking to the guys in front of us, who asked if we just wanted to go for drinks at the pub next door. We stayed there for quite awhile and then went to Lord of the Fries for poutine. Sam and Amanda went home, and Alexa ended up coming to meet up. Her flatmate was at a bar that charged $25 cover and I refused to pay, especially since it was already 2:30 and I wouldn’t be staying for much longer. While we were walking out, a guy who was in line asked where we were going and I said I wasn’t going to pay the $25. He said, “Come with me,” and paid $50 for Alexa

Amanda, Sam, and Me

and I to enter the bar! Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t pay the $25 myself because upon spending ten minutes there, we both realized it wasn’t our kind of place and we decided to leave. On Sunday, Sarah, Sabriena, Jess, Alexa, and I went for high tea. I ended up finding a Groupon for half price, so we filled up on scones, macarons, cupcakes, sandwiches, and more. We were so full by the end of it! Alexa, Sarah, and I went to Afloat afterwards to enjoy the sun.

The next week was my first (and only) full week of work this term! On Monday night, we had our monthly Canadian wing night. We had our highest turnout so far – I think about 15-20

High Tea

people showed up, which was great! On Friday after work, I met up with Alexa at an outlet mall to try to find hiking shoes and a rain jacket for my upcoming trip. I then met up with Victoria and Jessica for all-you-can-eat dumplings, which were so good! I had started feeling sick beforehand though, so I decided to head home right after dinner. On Saturday, I met up with Alexa, Sabriena, and Nathan at the train station to take the train to Warragul. We were spending the night at As’ farm and then spending Sunday at Wilsons Promontory. We arrived in Warragul at about 2, and As picked us up from the station and took us to his farm, which is absolutely beautiful! We went to Noojee to check out a bridge, and then we hiked Toorongo Falls. We also met up with two of As’ friends, who joined us for the hike and for dinner afterwards.

Me and Sarah at Afloat

After our hike, we headed back to the farm and all worked together to prepare dinner, which ended up being so good! We then just watched a movie and went to bed at about midnight. I was sharing a room with Nathan and Sabriena but as soon as I went to bed, I had such a difficult time breathing. As has three cats and two dogs, and I think being in an enclosed space was having a big effect on me. I hadn’t felt this way in ages, and it was to the point where I felt like if I fell asleep, I might not wake up again. Since we had to get up at 7am and I didn’t get to sleep until after 2am, I figured I would probably just have to go back home the next morning. After struggling for about an hour, I grabbed my blanket and pillow and snuck out onto the couch, where I slowly started being able to breathe normally again (yay!). The next morning, we were up bright and early so we had breakfast, made lunches, and I loaded up on as much coffee as I could. We packed everything up and did the 2.5-hour drive to Wilsons Prom. We started off at Squeaky Beach, where the sand squeaked beneath our toes. It was so cool! While it was sunny out, it still wasn’t quite warm enough to go swimming (except for As, who went out and enjoyed himself), so the rest of us lied on the beach and enjoyed the sun. We then drove to a picnic table, had lunch, and then had to catch a shuttle bus to take us to Mount Oberon. The hike up Mount Oberon was a steady incline and lasted for about 50 minutes. Once we got to the top, the view was so worth it! We stayed up there for quite awhile before we got scared that we’d miss the last shuttle bus back to our car. Once we got back down, we drove back to As’ farm (this wasn’t the original plan but Sabriena had forgotten her bag with her house keys. However, it was nice to go back to the farm!). On the way back, we stopped at KFC for dinner but then when we got to the farm, As’ mom had prepared us all dinner as well! We were already so stuffed, but tried our best to eat as much as we could (I failed miserably). After dinner, we played a game and then drove back to Melbourne. I didn’t get home until midnight, so I decided I wouldn’t be getting up at 5:30 the next morning.

On Monday, I decided to have a baking day so that I could give some to As to thank him for letting us stay at his farm. I worked three days last week because I didn’t end up getting work on Friday. On Wednesday, I met up with Jess, Liah, and Kitty (another Canadian who recently moved to Melbourne) for drinks. Then on Thursday, I went to Sarah’s house to celebrate her two-year anniversary in Australia. It was actually planned as a goodbye party because she was having difficulties getting another visa to stay in the country, but thankfully, everything turned around for her that week! On Friday, I had another baking day, and then on Saturday, I went to the outlet store again to check out the Black Friday sales. On Sunday, Alexa, David, and I decided to drive the Great Ocean Road. Alexa and I met up at the car rental place at 8:30 and left at about 9. We picked up David, went to the grocery store, had breakfast, and headed towards Torquay. The weather wasn’t looking too great for us during the week but that day, it was perfect! The sun was out during the first part of our trip so we got some great pictures. We stopped at tons of lookouts, but my favourite would have to be Teddy’s Lookout in the small town of Lorne (also loved the town!). After we finished all of our first lookouts, we had to drive about 2.5 to three hours to get to the Twelve Apostles. During our entire drive, it rained. We went from green-hilled fields to rainforest to dry desert-like areas – we seemed to see every type of terrain on this one drive! As soon as we got to the Twelve Apostles, it stopped raining – it was amazing! The Twelve Apostles were nice (although there aren’t twelve of them), and then we went to Loch ard Gorge, The Arch, and London Bridge. By the time we got to London Bridge, it was already 7pm so we took the highway back to Melbourne. We stopped in a random town for Subway and then we arrived in Melbourne at about 10:30. However, there was a bunch of construction so by the time we finally got through the city, filled the car up with gas, and dropped it off at the car rental, it was already after 11:30. Again, I decided I wouldn’t be getting up at 5:30 on Monday.

On Monday, I did everything that I needed to do to plan for my trip. I finally got my hiking shoes and rainjacket, and I planned all of my appointments that I would need before I leave. That night, a big group of us decided to try out Boozy Bingo, which is held at a hostel in Saint Kilda. Naturally, that meant that basically everyone there was completely drunk, which is probably why our table had the upperhand. We had to pay $5 for three boards and they play four rounds with different prizes. The first two rounds, we had no luck. I figured I should probably go home, but the last round was to win all of the bingo money (which was $1100!), so I was determined to power through. I ended up winning the third round, which is a free upgrade to a double ensuite room at the hostel! This actually ends up being perfect because my flight to go to China is on a Saturday morning and I’ll have to put all of my stuff into storage (including my pillows and bedding) on the Friday, so I was wondering where I’d sleep Friday night. So now I should have a place! During the last round, everyone in the room (except our table) was too drunk to function, and Sarah ended up winning the 1100 dollars! We’ve decided that we’ll probably make this a regular event, as we seemed to do quite well. However again, by the time I got home and went to bed, it was after midnight so maybe it won’t be a good habit to get into. Anyway, today I decided to finally write a blog post and then I’m sure I’ll find other things to do in order to keep myself busy. The next time I write, I’ll probably no longer be in Australia – the time is going by way too fast!! 😞 Hope everyone’s doing well! Love always

P.S. I’m writing Christmas cards this week and I’d really like to send some to my blog readers, so if you’d like a card, please send me a message with your address! 💕

Higher – Kid Runner

Who I Am

Yesterday, it finally hit me how bizarre my life is. For me, I’ve always just been living my life, so I found it so weird (and somewhat uncomfortable) when people were intrigued with the way I was living it. Many people have expressed how impressed they were, or how they’ve felt inspired when they’ve heard my stories. As I’ve never really thought of it as being a big deal, I’d usually just smile and shrug it off. But for some reason, yesterday I think I saw my life through an outsider’s eyes and all of a sudden, I felt somewhat shocked about how I’ve been living my life. Six months ago, I didn’t know the group of friends that I have in Melbourne now – I had a completely different group of friends in Warragul. And six months before that, I didn’t know the group of friends that I had in Warragul – I had a completely different group of friends in Saskatoon. AND six months before that, I didn’t know the Hudsons friends that I had in Saskatoon – I had a group of friends in London. For the last two years, I’ve changed locations at least once every six months. Actually, this is the longest I’ve stayed in one country without leaving (even on holiday) since 2014, and it’s only been nine months here! I’ve changed houses (just five times in the past year), I’ve changed cities and countries, and I’ve changed friends. That’s not to say that I was unhappy in any of those places, by any means! I went through a one-month depression after leaving London – stayed on the couch all day everyday, and refused to talk to anyone. I was devastated when I left Saskatoon and second-guessed myself multiple times on whether or not I should go to Australia because I loved my job and the people I worked with (and told everyone I’d be back in six months). I was so sad to leave Warragul because I had finally gotten myself settled in Australia for the first time, and had an amazing group of friends (I mean, come on, I stayed waaaay longer than I needed to). And now I’ve only been in Melbourne for three and a half months and I’m already petrified about leaving for my Asia trip. I think that for the first time in my entire life, I have mixed feelings about going on a holiday. I’m so excited to see and experience new countries, but I’m also scared that when I come back four months later, everything will be completely different. I’ve already done this multiple times with Saskatoon and had to learn to accept that things wouldn’t ever be the same as when I left, but do I want to do this with Melbourne as well?? In a way, I’ll be starting all over again. I’ll have to find a new house, and some of my friends may be gone doing their farmwork (or gone completely!) so I might have to find new friends as well. So the question that’s going through everyone’s head (including mine) is what has created this urge in me, to pick up and start over every six months? I mean, it DOES get exhausting after awhile. But the message that my friend sent me keeps ringing through my head (and I’ve written about it before): “You have this wonderful drive to be someplace other than home. Some people can’t leave home. You make home wherever you are.” And I guess she’s right. Even though it’s SO hard to take that first step, once I get settled with a house and a job, everything else sorts itself out. I’ve made amazing connections with multiple people everywhere I’ve gone, and have made friends that will last a lifetime. I still have people who I haven’t seen for over five years, or even over ten years, and we’ll still message or FaceTime each other to catch up.

I always yearn for new experiences. I never want to fall into a routine. If I start wasting my time doing the same thing everyday, or fall into the trap of coming home after work and watching tv, I know it’s time to move on. That was the habit that I got into while in London, as well as in Saskatoon. It still hasn’t totally hit me in Melbourne, and maybe that’s why I’m uneasy about leaving for Asia. I want every day to be a new day. Today, I walked to a beach after school because it was 20 minutes away, so why not? The other day when I didn’t get work, I went and picked up a pumpkin to carve (and you’ll all drop your jaws when you found out that I paid $17 for it!) because why not (other than the price)? I don’t think I’ve ever had a weekend without plans since I’ve come to Melbourne – there’s ALWAYS something going on, and there will ALWAYS be someone willing to go along. I’ve really started putting myself out there since I moved to Melbourne because it was so difficult to meet people when I was in London. I’ve started monthly Canadian wing nights, I’ve started Food Clubs – where a group will go for dinner every 3-4 weeks, and I find every event to invite people to. And all I have to do is post on the Melbourne Canadians Facebook page asking, “Anyone want to go to the Ukrainian Festival?” or “Anyone want to go for wings?”, and 9 times out of 10, at least one person is interested. Or I’ll just write my friends. But I’m sure my friends are annoyed with me constantly writing, “Hey, wanna go here?” “Hey, wanna do this?” all the time. I just want as many new experiences as I can get! I started falling into the TV habit before I went on my holiday to Tasmania so since I finished my holiday, I don’t allow myself to watch any TV shows. The only exception is if I’m having dinner and have nothing else to do, and in that case I’ll only watch a 20-minute Modern Family or Big Bang Theory episode – none of that 42-minute stuff cause who takes 42 minutes to eat dinner anyway? (In reality, I probably do since we all know I’m a slow eater). Life is meant to be lived! Even though I guess my way of living is a little out of the ordinary, I know I’m enjoying every day of it. And I encourage everyone else to do the same! Find something new to appreciate every single day, don’t sweat the small stuff (or even the big stuff for that matter), and create new connections wherever you can. Ask a co-worker to go for drinks, say hi to someone at the pub, be vulnerable! It might seem weird to people at first, cause our society has started getting used to being more closed off with the amount of technology that’s around. But if someone puts you down for being too friendly, then there’s something wrong with them, not you. Only you can create your own happiness, and your own story, so write a story that’s worth reading about! 😊

Who I Am – Saivs