We Weren’t Born to Follow

My trip is going way too fast!! And I still have to catch you up on everything I did before I left Australia. Work was pretty quiet during the last few weeks, and I didn’t even get work during my last week there. On the day after I wrote my last blog, I did another photoshoot. This was for a local company who would be selling their t-shirts on Amazon, and the photographer who did my graffiti shots a few months ago asked if I’d be interested in being a model. Of course I said yes, cause when else would I be a model on Amazon? The pictures were posted a week later, and I even got a couple of free t-shirts as a thank you! The next day, I didn’t get work either so I did some shopping and then Sarah and Sabriena came over to help me make some chocolate chip cookies. When everyone else finished work, Nathan, Alexa, As, and Jessica came over to have cookies and Nanaimo bars on the patio before we met up with Kitty and Ryan for taco night at Saint Lucia. After dinner, we all went back to my house again for a short visit before everyone went home. That Saturday was Bon Jovi!! It was such a warm day so I walked to Big W to do some shopping for my trip, and then I met up with Alexa in Richmond for a drink and dinner before I went to the concert. The concert was so good, and he kept everyone entertained!! I decided to avoid the train station after the concert since it was so crowded and instead, I walked about 20 minutes to try to catch the tram. However, I JUST missed it and the next one wouldn’t be for 20 more minutes. I decided I would start walking until the next one arrived but an hour and a half went by and no tram came. Before I knew it, I was already home with some fresh blisters on my feet. The next day was my last day with Alexa since she’d be leaving to go on a trip to New Zealand. A group of us met up at Town Hall to get a picture taken with Santa since it would be the last time we’d be all together for awhile. Then, we went out for lunch before a smaller group of us went ice skating. Air Canada made the first summer skating rink in Melbourne and lucky for us, it was cooler that day so we still got to skate (as they had to close down the rink many other days since it was too hot). It was just As, Alexa, Kitty, and I so it was a smaller group and surprisingly, the Aussie was the best skater out of all of us! I think the last time I went skating was likely when I was about 15… We all made the entire 45 minutes without falling, so we were quite proud! Unfortunately, the poutine stand was closed by the time we finished so we went to an ice cream shop called Dex2rose and sat there for a couple of hours, visiting and enjoying our ice cream. We then went for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant and then decided to head back home. On the way to the tram, As suggested that we go to the Myers windows since they do a Christmas display every year. In front of the windows, there was a fire truck and as I jokingly said I should hop on, one of the firemen waved us over and let us sit in the front and try on the uniforms. They were so heavy! We even got to carry the oxygen tanks and hold the tools that they would have to carry in a fire situation, so we had a ton of extra weight added on. I was sweating even though it was a cold day that day! After about 45 minutes of talking with the firemen, we finally took a look at the Myers display. This year, it was an Alice in Wonderland theme but it was actually pretty creepy. Then it was goodbye for me and Alexa, who has become one of my closest friends in Melbourne so it was tough knowing it would be a full four months until we’d see each other again.  

The next week, I got work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Little did I know, Wednesday would be the very last day that I’d ever get work. On Monday night, I went to Rent: The Musical, which was pretty good. It was nice that it was Christmas-themed, as it’s been extremely difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit this year, which is actually quite surprising. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the most Christmas-y person ever. I’ll start playing Christmas carols in November (or sometimes October), and I’ll always bake up a storm. This year, it just hasn’t felt like Christmas for me. I was actually more upset in June and July and started feeling sorry for myself because everyone would be celebrating Christmas without me. And then I’d remember that it’s June. So I think next year, I’m just going to celebrate Christmas in July because the weather is cold and gloomy, and it just feels more like Christmas. It’s been so weird seeing Christmas trees and hearing Christmas carols everywhere I go.. That weekend, I spent the entire day in bed on Friday night and on Saturday because I was feeling sorry for myself that I was leaving Melbourne. Yes, I was upset because I’d be going on a 4-month trip. I really didn’t want to leave my life in Melbourne. On Sunday, I spent half the day in bed and when I FaceTimed my parents and they said I better go out and do something, I decided to meet up with Ryan for drinks. We met at an Irish pub on Chapel Street and stayed for a few hours and then walked to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. We had this weird poutine-like dish, which was fries with fried chicken, gravy, mayo, and sriracha, and we had to eat it with chopsticks. The cool thing about this place was they had a board game room, a Nintendo room, and a karaoke room. Since it was Sunday, we got to do everything for free so we played a few rounds of Mario Kart, and then sung some karaoke. It was a fun day! 
On Tuesday night, I met up with Jess, Kitty, and a couple new girls for taco night. It was actually in a hostel but the deal was if you buy a drink, you get free tacos until they run out of ingredients. We ended up getting two each, which was more than enough! On Wednesday, I ended up doing another photoshoot. The photographer wanted to do one more with me just for fun, and as a thank you for doing the t-shirt shoot. As soon as I realised I wouldn’t get work that day, I texted him and then went home to get ready. We met after lunch and went to the botanical gardens, where we took a bunch of shots. We were approached a couple of times asking if we had a permit (which I didn’t realise we would need) but since it wasn’t a paid shoot, they let it go. After the photoshoot, I quickly went home and heated up dinner, then headed over to Ryan’s to have a couple of drinks before going to Shania Twain! I had bought my ticket a loooooong time ago, and spent $110 to sit in the fourth-last row of the stadium, nearly as far away as you could get from Shania. Ryan had wanted to go but by that time, tickets were about $250. I got an email from Groupon a few weeks ago saying that there’d be a discount on Shania Twain tickets so I sent it to him and he ended up spending about $80 and got a seat in the first level. I wasn’t too happy about my ticket! We decided that we’d try to sit together, so I sat in the seat next to his and then when those people came, we’d move to the row behind and then when THOSE people came, we’d move to the row behind. By the time we moved three times, I was like, “Okay, I think I should just go to my seat,” but the people around us were like, “No, keep going! This is entertaining for us too!” So we tried one more time. And we made it through at least half of the concert! But then at about 9:30, the people came to take their seats 😦 I moved back to my seat for the rest of the concert. Shania did a really good show and did a ton of outfit changes! However, she didn’t do an encore and she didn’t sing some of the classics cause she was singing too much of her newer stuff. But it was still a great concert! On Thursday, I had to move all of my stuff out of my flat. I had booked a car from Car Next Door, which is essentially what it’s called – if your neighbour is at work and not using their car, you can go use it and pay by the hour or the day. I paid for two hours, which was $7 per hour and then I had to pay for kilometres on top of it, so it ended up costing less than $20. I woke up and got ready, hauled all of my stuff downstairs, went to pick up the car at 10am, transferred everything into the car, drove to Nathan and Sabriena’s house, and Nathan and I unloaded the car. I stayed for a bit to visit, then left with a half hour to spare before realising that the car didn’t have a quarter tank of gas in it (which is required when you return the car) so I frantically searched for a gas station, added ten dollars, and drove it back just in time. Unluckily for me, that day was the first day in a long time with rain. Not only that but they said that we got a month’s worth of rain in that one day. So you can imagine how soaked I was by the time I got home. That afternoon, I went to get a haircut and then I met up with Jess for all-you-can-eat hotpot. We only ordered food once, but we ordered so much and couldn’t even eat it all! That night was Jess’ last night before going back to Canada for the holidays, so it was nice to spend one last night with her. 
The next day was my last full day in Melbourne! I spent the morning getting my bag ready for my trip and packing up the last of my things (which I left at my flat). Then, I had to go pick up my travel card, which is a story on its own. You see, if I want to use my Aussie bank card while travelling, I’ll get charged $5 every time I withdraw money at an ATM. I researched other travel cards and found one that wouldn’t charge me at all but when I went to that bank, they said they’d have to make me a profile and in order to do that, I’d have to prove that I’d be in the country for at least six months. When I explained that I wouldn’t be able to do that until AFTER my trip, they said that they wouldn’t be able to give me a card. My bank has a travel card which still charges $2.50 per withdrawal, but at least it’s better than 5. I ordered that card online and they told me to pick it up at the Balaclava branch in five business days. However, when I went to the Balaclava branch the next week, there was a sign on the door saying that the bank was permanently closed. I called the bank and was on the line with them for at least an hour before they finally resent another travel card to a different location in central Melbourne, on Collins Street, but I’d have to wait another five business days. So on the fifth business day (right before my haircut), I went to the bank to pick up my card. I had to wait about 10 minutes for them to check and then they asked, “Are you sure it’s at this location?” “Yes, they said on Collins Street…” “We have three locations on Collins Street.” So then, since I had to go to my hair appointment, I called the travel card centre on the way there and asked which location. The next day, I went to go pick it up and they had no idea about my card. The branch was supposed to close in the next hour and luckily one of the bank tellers sat down with me to take all of my details. “When do you leave for your trip?” “Tomorrow morning…” He called the travel card company, who confirmed that the card was sent there so he said he’d have to issue me a new one. However, I’d have to put $200 onto the card in order to get it (even though I had already put $500 on it when I ordered it). I FINALLY got my card so I left in the pouring rain (it was literally another month’s worth of rain in 15 minutes) and met up with Ryan in the closest coffee shop we could find, just so we could get out of the rain. Once the rain died down, we headed back towards my train station, where we stayed until they closed. Kitty joined us for dinner, and then Sarah came later after she finished work. Then, I had to say my goodbyes, go home, and get up a few hours later for my flight, which I’ll write about in another post. Hope everyone had a great Christmas! Love always
We Weren’t Born to Follow – Bon Jovi

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