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!).

23rd November – 27th November 2017

I’ve been so busy at work – I’ve done 48 hours in the past 4 days! The one thing that I managed to fit in other than work and sleep is breakfast with Emilia* at Arbory.

*a friend from work

28th November 2017

Today, we bought Christmas decorations – baubles, tinsel and fairy lights! All that’s left to buy now is a small tree and some advent calendars.

We went to the Royal Botanic Gardens and they were very pretty! We read our books and lay on the grass in a small meadow. Definitely going back to explore more.

Tonight, we had our first BBQ in Melbourne! Mahesh (who owns the apartment and stays in the other room) offered to pay for all the food and drinks as a welcome gift. It came to $80 so I’m glad I’m not paying! We had chicken skewers (BBQ, hoisin and lemon and herb), prawns, mussels, calamari, halloumi, potatoes, and nachos with salsa and homemade guacamole. We’d also bought sausages but were too full to eat any! It was a lovely evening and nice to get to know Mahesh a little. He’s originally from India and is in Melbourne for work.

(a) Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. (b) BBQ on the roof. (c) Shrimp on the barbie.

29th November 2017

Both me and Kieren had another day off so we went to St Kilda Beach. It was incredibly hot (36 degrees). My beach towel was in the wash so I only had my sarong to lie on but because it’s so thin it was too hot on the sand. We ended up having to lie on the grass behind the beach. We went for a mikshake at one of the many cake shops on Acland Street (the main street of St Kilda).

(a) Strawberry milkshake on Acland Street, St Kilda. (b) View into Melbourne city from St Kilda.

30th November – 3rd December 2017

I’ve mainly been at work but here’s some things I did do:

  • Bought advent calendars for me and Kieren
  • Put up a little Christmas tree in our room with lights/tinsel/baubles – had a great time decorating the tree while listening to Christmas music!
  • Went to a club called Brooklyn with Emilia and Romina

(a) Christmas tree in our room. (b) Advent calendar. (c) Night out in Brooklyn.

4th December 2017

I had a lovely chilled day off – I went to the gym, went in the jacuzzi and read a book. The weather isn’t great at the moment – we even got a text about flood warnings. Not what I thought when I moved to Australia.

I bought some Australian Christmas cards to send home –

  1. Koalas hugging Christmas tree
  2. Santa lying on the beach
  3. Santa and Rudolph going surfing
  4. Santa and Rudolph having a BBQ

Tonight we went to an incredibly cool bar called Storyville, which is based on fairytales and stories. It’s so cool inside. My first cocktail was Polyjuice Potion, then I had one called Through the Looking Glass. My final one was New York Peach (James and the Giant Peach).

(a) Polyjuice potion cocktail. (b) Through the looking glass cocktail.

5th December 2017

Me and Kieren went to Mill and Bakery for breakfast. This is a cute cafe/bakery really close to the apartment. I got a ham and cheese toastie, a hot chocolate and a mixed berry Danish pastry. The best Danish pastry I’ve ever had!

We then went ice skating at a local ice rink (about 10 minute walk from our apartment). This was so fun but I’m so bad at it! I’m sure I used to be better!

(a) Breakfast at Mill and Bakery, Docklands, Melbourne. (b) Ice skating.

In the evening, Kieren was at work but I had the night off. This was the first day since arriving in Melbourne that he was at work and I wasn’t. I decided to go out with Emilia so we went to a fancy restaurant called Gradi in Southbank. This is in the Crown Shopping Centre. It was definitely super fancy because the waitress but my napkin on my lap for me!

We got calamari and octopus, followed by fillet steak with balsamic reduction and mussels in cinzano sauce with grilled bread. We just shared it all and it was amazing! Definitely not feeling like a typical traveller right now!

Romina* then met us and we went into the casino for a drink. I got a lovely strawberry daiquiri. I got the tram back to the Docklands and instead of going straight home, I went to All Smiles (Kieren’s work). The shift had finished so they were just having a drink on the balcony and I joined them.

Drinking cocktails at the casino in Melbourne

Strawberry daiquiri at Crown Casino, Melbourne.

*a friend from work

Check out the next instalment here.