Last minute fun

Trip Start Nov 21, 2008
Trip End Mar 31, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Monday, April 6, 2009

Today is my last full day in Melbourne and a wonderful time for some reflection of the last four months. Just thinking about it makes me happy since I've had such a truly wonderful time here. I've met artistic, interesting people and enjoyed sharing experiences, stories, and knowledge about who we are and what the world is, or can be.
I'm very pleased with the amount of things I've done in Victoria while here, and my to-do-list proves this. Quick recap, because it's fun to reminisce- Dandenong Mountain ranges, Yarra Valley, Meredith music festival, Grampian Mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula, The Great Ocean road and all the towns along the way, surfed a couple times, Cricket game at the MCG, several museums, mastered the CBD (downtown), not to mention living in an amazing house in the hippest neighborhood in town with some genuine flatmates that I much appreciated, read about 13 books on beaches/balcony/parks, went to the beach as much as possible, and held down a couple jobs. I knew pretty much from the beginning that I wanted to spend a good amount of time in Melbourne and I think that was a super smart decision on my part. This is a world class city and I don't doubt for a second one of the most liveable places in the world (although a bit too far from home for me to make it my home, don't worry Mom and Dad).
First starting off I adopted a sort of 'travelers mindset' and after four months in the same place I'm absolutley ready to embrace the act of physically traveling. I'm super pumped for 20 days in New Zealand. Almost every day I will be in a different town doing some cool activity and at the end I suspect I will be exhausted, feeling pretty broke, have the best scenery pictures, and memories to last a lifetime!
There's something about leaving that makes life more intense and has been so the last few weeks. It seems like everything has fallen into place here, and just when it does it's time to move on! I'm not regrettful of what I may miss out by staying I'm more excited from what I will find as I keep going.
Two weeks ago we had a party at the house I've been staying in. It was a sort of going away for another flatmate, Marc, and myself. Since it was earth hour we turned off all the lights and had heaps of tealight candles all over the house. It gave it a really cool vibe and the party was a huge success. It's been fun living in the house if only for the reason that anytime anyone comes over they gush about how great the place is.
This last weekend I went on a road trip with my work mates on the Great Ocean Road which is one of the most popular attractions in Victoria. The scenery was gorgeous but in a way the hype of it all heightened my expectations to such a level that I wasn't as blown away as I expected. The 12 apostles, of which there are only 7 remaining are immensley popular but the part I enjoyed the most was the Loch Ard Gorge, location of the deadliest shipwreck in Australia. The seawater and the high winds off the coast erode the rock away so that there are standing 'apostles', bridged rock formations, gorges, blowholes, tunnels and caves. It's the kind of nature that makes you feel small, but in a good way. The kind that's almost hard to take in.
We stayed in a small, hokey hostel in the very small town of Port Campbell. The restaurant attached to the pub stopped serving food at 8pm on a Saturday and no shots of alcohol after 10pm. That kind of gives you an idea of how small this town was. It was a good addition to the trip as I definitely felt like I was in an amplified version of Australia (or was it just the thicker accents?), quite different from the city!
Arriving back home on Sunday night I was exhausted. Somehow that changed over coffee, and next thing I know me and my house mate Claire are playing poker at the tapas bar down the street. Then we get invited to a 20's themed warehouse party. We rustled up some costume/outfits (I was so happy that I came up with a good outfit, especially considering I don't have a very big wardrobe) and headed to the warehouse location where we had to give the password through the slot in the door. Inside there was a gypsy band and everyone was dressed up, it was one of the coolest parties I've ever been to, and was lucky to have stumbled upon.
Well I'm off to cook dinner and see a comedy show before I pack and head off tomorrow.

PS: Some funny things I've learned that I thought might be interesting, especially for my little cousins.
-The letter 'Z' is pronounced as Zed by Australians and other nationalities.
-I ate a 'Persimmion' which is a fruit I've never even heard of before. It looked like an orange tomato and tasted -mild but sweet. Feijoa is a fruit I will make sure to eat while in New Zealand.
-I had also never heard of an Echidna but I saw one along the coast. It looks like a hedgehog.
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