So I think it’s about time for a blog update. I’ve been in Melbourne for almost 2 weeks now. Damn. A lot has happened since I first stepped foot on Australian soil…
The trip to Australia went pretty smooth. In Schiphol they have these scanners now for passports so that you can go through immigration quicker. It’s pretty cool. Doing this big trip all by myself felt pretty exciting, but I was very relaxed about it at the same time. I’ve become very organized leading up to me leaving to Australia, and felt that I could handle anything thrown at me. Travelling alone rather than in a group is also a lot more interesting because you get to meet a lot more random people, and there’s a lot more freedom.
I always talk to the person sitting next to me in a long flight. I just find it more comfortable to break the ice straight away rather than wait. It’s always interesting to hear other people’s stories and share your own. They also make for pretty good plane chess partners 😉
After an 11 hour flight to Seoul, a 6 hour break, and another 11 hours (roughly), I find myself standing in Melbourne swiftly moving through immigration and having my baggage all ready and waiting. Putting my gear on, I walk outside at 5:30am in the morning thinking “now what”. I figured I’d just take a taxi to my hostel since that seemed the most straightforward option. I squeezed the driver for all the info I could get about Melbourne and living there, but didn’t seem like he was much of a conversationalist.
Arriving at the hostel, I dumped my baggage in the baggage room and decided to go exploring the city with my longboard. I definitely felt a little out of my comfort zone at first, especially with regards to the rules, and appropriateness of me skating on the pavement and other places. I walked through the city studying people and the energy of the city. The weather was kind of wet and gray but that didn’t stop me. I found a café and wrote a few pages on my Moleskine whilst sipping on a Latte.
Once I got comfortable, I felt I needed to do something purposeful so I decided to go back to the hostel and use the internet to find some accommodation. I used a website called ‘gumtree’ to find a few places I could call and visit so I did that, also sorting out an Australian number. I mostly burned time by skating across the city, chilling in some parks, and then skating some more. I guess I just needed time to adjust to my surroundings, and exploration through skating definitely helped me absorb it all in.
Melbourne actually reminds me a lot of Rotterdam, just a bigger version of it with more people. Holland is noticeably more orderly. You do get the feeling that you’re living ‘down under’ here in a city made by settlers, having a much more organic feel in contrast to the planned and calculated cities of Holland I’m familiar with (Almere and Rotterdam). It’s like I can feel the wildness of the outback in the city.
I found decent accommodation on the first day already, so was glad that was sorted out so quick. I still had 3 days left in the hostel so felt very relaxed and decided to use the time to explore the city some more. I met a Korean guy in my hostel who also skated, so we skated through the city at night past the river on the boulevard. City lights and skateboards. That was cool. We had a drink, and then went back to the hostel. I also met some French girls who I ended up chilling with a lot- Océane and Marion. I’ll probably see them some more too 😉
For the rest of the days in the hostel, I just spent time exploring and orientating myself in the city, meeting random people. I’ve never felt so controlled in my life as I do right now. Through getting to know the city better, I also feel like I’m getting to know myself better. At first I was unsure with how to behave but I realized that as long as my heart is in the right place, I can’t really go wrong. As long as my principles and virtues are steadfast, my actions will follow. It starts from the inside.
To be continued…