Postcard from the streets of Melbourne

I’ve spent the last week and a half job hunting, walking through every street, nook, cranny, and alleyway, or so it seems. But everyday I wake up and walk some more, and I’m always surprised with what I find, there’s always some hidden treasure to find in Melbourne.

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Today was probably the most intense I’ve had in terms of job hunting. I walked for 8 hours straight, skipping lunch and grabbing take away coffee so as not to waste time. I had quite a few impromptu interviews, even one instance where they put me behind the bar to prove that I could make Australian style coffee. I made it to 22 places, spanning 4 neighborhoods (most of which I walked), and I was able to drop off 13 resumes to those places who were in fact looking for staff. Clearly, I’m determined to stay in Australia, which I can’t do without acquiring a job in the next couple of months.

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Today was a day of walking down many dark alleys, some of which didn’t smell all too great, trying to find certain recommended places, some of which didn’t even have signs on the outside. All to find “the” places to go in Melbourne. I felt like some places purposefully list the wrong addresses, so that they can truly weed out the “real” cool kids.

And yet even with Melbourne’s hidden ways, I somehow found every place that was on my list today. At one point having to follow a random group of grungy looking girls through an unmarked doorway and up some stairs, hoping that it was the place I was looking for, and it was, oh it was so beautifully the place I was looking for, the epitome of hipster paradise…of course, I immediately asked if they were hiring. At other times, I found myself walking up 6 flights of graffiti covered stairs to make it to one of the best rooftop bars in the city and drop off my resume. Today has been an adventure, to say the least, but that’s Melbourne for you, and that’s what I love about it.

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Besides my blatant American accent, I feel like I belong here, at least at this time in my life. If I was a city, I would be Melbourne. Eclectic, all over the place yet having a methodical planning system to its madness. A little bit hipster, a lot artsy, and obsessed with everything music related and good coffee. Stylish in it’s own unique sense, energetic and always kept busy, yet never losing the laid-back vibe that is at its core. Different neighborhoods that make up the pieces of its personality, its versatility. Colorful. Hidden laneways and staircases that lead you to something beautiful, artistic, or at the very least intriguing. Architecture that cherishes the past, yet also funky modern buildings resembling the exciting present and future.

And I’ve realized that Australians, both the girls and the guys, are some of the most gorgeous (inside and out) people I’ve met, it must be in their genes or something.

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The strange feeling is the one I get when I think of the possibility of staying here, that is, for good. When I lived in Florence for a summer, even with how much I loved the city, I knew I had to leave it and finish my degree back in the States. With Melbourne, I could see myself living here for awhile yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments of missing Cali, especially springtime in San Diego, my favorite time of the year in that beloved town. I miss every one of my friends, and everyone who is carrying on with their own lives back home, but there’s something about Melbourne that sits so perfectly with me, at least for now. Maybe I’m still in the honeymoon phase of discovering my new city, we’ll see if I still feel this way in 6 months, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I still do. Maybe it’s okay to consider the idea of home to be the place that’s making you the happiest right now, and today I find myself happy here.

Some more pictures from today’s walk, to give you an idea about the streets of Melbourne.

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Tomorrow I’ll be grabbing lunch with a friend and exploring more of beachy St. Kilda, Thursday is ANZAC Day, and I got invited to my first ever footy game this weekend, so I’ll be looking forward to sharing more about all of those things and more in my upcoming posts. And, I’ll soon be writing about the beer culture in Melba, and my adjustment to living without my favorite IPAs (popular in the States, but not so much in the land down under).

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Mimi McFadden
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Mimi McFadden

Travel Writer/Blogger at The Atlas Heart
Mimi founded The Atlas Heart to create a community of travelers inspired to see the world. The Atlas Heart is a space where you'll find anecdotes on slow travel, craft beer, outdoor adventures, and all the eccentric bits in between that this world has to offer.
Mimi McFadden
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