This journal was written as a physical diary by me during my gap year. I am typing this up to share my gap year experience. At the beginning of travels I was 22. I travelled with a friend (Kieren) and anybody else involved will be introduced during the journal. For more details, check here.

To spend a year in Australia, we got working holiday visas. These allow up to 1 year of travel and work in Australia. Find more information here.

Check out the previous instalment here.

The Melbourne portion of the journal doesn’t always go day-by-day because I got a job to save up for future travels so I neglected the journal a bit. There will likely be less photos (sorry!).

30th October 2017

Hottest day in Sydney yet – 34 degrees!

We flew from Sydney to Melbourne Avalon (approx. 1.5 hours), then took the SkyBus from the airport to Melbourne city centre, known as the central business district (CBD). I’d found a good deal on so we checked into The Great Southern Hotel, rather than a hostel. It feels so good to have a double bed and a private bathroom!

Plane ticket from Sydney to Melbourne and SkyBus ticket into Melbourne CBD.

We had an explore around the Docklands then went to UBar, the Nomads Hostel Bar. Josh (Kieren’s friend from home) is also in Melbourne so we met up with him here and had a couple of drinks.

31st October – 7th November 2017

I haven’t written in a while because I managed to get a job almost straight away (3rd November) at Renzo’s Italian Bar and Restaurant on the Docklands. I applied for the job on Gumtree and Renzo rang me almost straight away asking if I could come in for an interview/trial shift. I have 8 years of waitressing experience so that really helped! The first week in Melbourne was spent working a lot because I wanted to make a good impression. I really enjoy working here so far – it’s a family business, I get a lot of free pizza, and everyone seems really nice.

(a) Renzo’s Bar Business Card from journal. (b) My favourite pizza at the restaurant – tomato, prosciutto, rocket, extra virgin olive oil, burrata. Only my favourite pizza chef Gus would make this for me.

We didn’t stay in The Great Southern Hostel long – we just sort of moved around to get the cheapest places!

  • 30th October – 1st November – Great Southern Hotel
  • 1st Novmeber – 3rd November – Nate’s Place Backpackers
  • 3rd November – now – Nomads All Nations Hostel

We’ve decided we’re going to settle in Melbourne for a few months to save up money for our next travels. I love Melbourne so far! We’ve decided to get our own place (or at least rent a room) so we’ve been looking. We’ve done 3 viewings so far but they keep getting given to other people.

Kieren also got a bar job at All Smiles (which is right opposite Renzo’s). It does events, like weddings and corporate parties.

Other than work, here’s some other things we’ve been doing:

  • Exploring the CBD and Docklands
  • Free pancakes at the hostel every morning
  • Lots of free food at work!
  • Lindt chocolate (amazing hot chocolate)
  • Chinese in China town (dumplings!)
  • Carlton Gardens

(a) Hot chocolate from the Lindt Chocolate Cafe. (b) Sunbathing in Carlton Gardens.

8th November 2017

Incredibly successful day! We found somewhere to live! It’s in the Docklands so is a 2 minute walk to work for both of us! It’s a double room in a flat with one other person. The room has an ensuite, private balcony, and the building itself has a BBQ area of the room and so many facilities – gym, pool, jacuzzi and tennis courts! I really didn’t think I’d be living in such luxury as a traveller! We move in on the 20th November, so we’ll just be staying at Nomads Hostel until then.

This was actually my first day off since arriving in Melbourne so we got the tram to St Kilda. There’s a lovely beach and a high streets with shops/cafes/restaurants and a lot of cake shops! We walked along the pier to find that there are wild penguins! They’re known as ‘Little Penguins’ are are supposed to be the smallest penguin species in the world! Sooooo cute!

(a) St Kilda. (b) ‘Little penguin’ in the rocks of the pier.

We went to a bar to play pool with a couple of people from the hostel (Sam, from Birmingham, and Tessa from Belgium).

9th November 2017

I went to Queen Victoria Market with Sam today. It’s full of very cheap fruit and veg, and typical tourist souvenirs. I love it though!

I worked for the rest of the day but after work I went out with two of the other girls who work there. Romina is from Italy and is another waitress, and Emilia is from Australia and is the apprentice chef in the restaurant. We went to a rooftop bar, not sure of the name, then The Spice Market. This club charges $10 for entry but that includes a drink when you get in. Pretty cool place and I had a good night!

Check out the next instalment here (available 1st March 2021 9am GMT).