It’s one thing to say that you’re doing something drastic, like, “I’m moving to Melbourne.”
But to actually do it, is another thing entirely.
The 30th of January – “Moving Day” – finally came around, and to say I was anxious is an understatement.
My Dad and my best friend came to see me off at the airport. I was grateful that my entire family weren’t coming – airport goodbyes are bad enough as it is without being overwhelmed with all the people you’re leaving behind.
Once at the airport, I placed my suitcase on the scales and watched in angst as the numbers ticked up – 27kg, to 28kg, to 29kg. All the way to 31.9kg.
Thirty. One. Point. Nine.
Bearing in mind the absolute maximum for luggage is 32kg, I couldn’t help but laugh. Despite having paid for an extra bag, I had somehow just managed to squeeze my most prized belongings into the bigger case in under 32 kilos (someone must have been watching over me).
With the luggage out of the way, we waited at the airport’s bookshop café, tucked away from the corporate coffee shops and airport gates.
Not quickly enough, yet all too soon, the time came for me to board. So many things made it easy for me to leave, but leaving my family and the person I love behind made it one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
I hugged my Dad tightly and he whispered he was proud of me.
I turned to my best friend and I got my kiss goodbye.
It was a strange flight. I felt a mixture of anxiety and sadness, giddiness and excitement. One thing you should know about me is that I hate flying as it is, so I was relieved when we finally touched down in Melbourne.
I had a driver booked to take me to my Air BnB, which was located in Footscray. I don’t think the driver said one word to me the entire time, and I spent the ride gazing out the window at my new city.
Finally, we arrived. Aside from the fact that I had to lug my ridiculously heavy suitcases (plural) up two flights of stairs, it was a great apartment.
I had made it. The place was cute and cosy, clean and tidy. My room had a big queen bed and I settled some of my things around it. Then I burst into tears.
I was exhausted and alone and scared. Who could blame me? But I managed to pull myself together shortly thereafter.
Because what else do you do?
You have to pick yourself up, and you keep going.
I threw myself into the week, exploring bustling Melbourne streets, purchasing my MyKi card, doing my food shopping. It was so normal, yet so surreal. A difficult feeling to describe.
I guess it was just life.
Even when you experience change, life doesn’t slow down for you. It just keeps on going.
Priority Number One: Find somewhere to live. My Air BnB was only booked for one week, so I sifted endlessly through ‘Flatmates.com’ and ‘Fairy Floss Real Estate’ on Facebook, messaging everyone and anyone that suited my criteria.
On my first day, I saw an absolute shit-hole of a house, and one that wasn’t so bad. If I’m being honest, though, even the not-so-bad one didn’t feel quite right. I didn’t instantly think, “this is the place for me.” And shouldn’t you? Shouldn’t you feel that element of just knowing when a place is right? I had no idea.
The tricky thing about finding a home, in a busy city, at a busy time of the year, is that it is ridiculously competitive. Ads would get 40-100 comments alone, all saying “messaged you”. The seller’s inboxes must’ve been fucked, for lack of a better term. How, out of all of those messages, would I get chosen?
I took solace in having dinner with a friend who had also moved over from Perth, to discuss the struggle with someone who understood.
I woke up on Wednesday morning, my third day, to all of my inspections having fell through. And I started to Freak. Out. What was going to happen if I couldn’t find a place to live? I had a little cry, went back to sleep to avoid it all, and then frantically worked out a back-up plan.
The funny thing is, the next minute people started to reply to old messages. One minute you have 0, the next minute you have them coming out of your ears. You take what you can get.
A lovely girl had messaged me back on Facebook – out of pure luck I’d say – and we set up a viewing that day. Turns out someone else had bailed out, and I caught the train to Brunswick almost immediately.
The place was perfect, small and cute with a big room (where I could also purchase all the stuff from the girl moving out), in a great location with easy access to Melbourne University and two female roomies who seemed pretty lovely. I couldn’t believe it.
The girl’s agreed I was a good fit and it was settled (well, somewhat, we are still waiting for the real estate to pull through for us). But aside from that – I had found a home!
And better yet, I’ve now made some good friends from the whole process, and begun to decorate the room to make it mine for when I can move in.
It just goes to show that even when things seem dark and gloomy, there is always something waiting on the other side of that. You just have to believe it, and keep going.
Now I’ve been able to enjoy the city and focus further on my ambitions – applying like crazy for jobs on SEEK (I got offered one yesterday – yay me!) and strolling around finding the best Mexican, Spanish and American-style food I can get my hands on.
I’ve been going out for drinks with new friends, sharing laughs, watching Mean Girls and experiencing Melbourne’s St Kilda Festival (article here), even if it was freezing cold. Prior to that, it’s been very hot and humid here, and I’ve been craving the cooler weather.
Is it strange that I wanted the ‘Doom & Gloom’ weather? For some reason the overcast days and the rain inspires me in this city. Inspires me to live. Inspires me to write.
And I guess that’s why today I’ve found myself on this wooden bench in a warm little coffee shop in the Block Arcade, typing endlessly on my laptop and delving into my creative mind.
It’s finally starting to feel like home.