I always have a good time with good friends, no matter what we do. My friend Melody is one of them, we’ve been friends for donkey’s years. During our tomboy years we rode around on her BMX, we secretly camped out over the park all night, we ran a muck at the local kids disco and have had many other adventures. When she moved to Perth in Australia at the age of 15 I was devastated and thought I’d never see her again. However, we’ve managed to see each other at least once a year since the big move which I think is pretty awesome, a true friendship right there.
I recently stayed with Mel, her boyfriend Shaun (who I went to school with too) and new addition to the family, baby Joey. I was stoked to finally meet Mel’s little one and what a cutie he is. I get a bit nervous around children, not really knowing how to act but I seemed to feel comfortable around Joey, like it all came naturally. Maybe it’s my age or the fact Mel is a good friend but I enjoyed countless cuddles and play time. As much as I love playing auntie Helen, sleepless nights and zero alone time is not something I want to embark on just yet!
It was great hanging out with Mel who was on maternity, which meant we got to spend quality time together despite outings needing a fair bit more organising than our previous adventures. I never realised how much planning and preparation leaving the house with a baby involves. We managed it though and went for a picnic in Kings Park, walks along Perth’s many sandy beaches and lunch at some new local cafés including Tropico which was my favourite of them all.
In Perth I also got the chance to meet up with Claire who part-owns Gili Meno Eco Hostel which I helped set up in Indonesia on last year. We had a great lunch at Flora and Fauna in Northbridge and a walk in Kings Park. Meeting her reminded me that it’s always worth the effort to meet up with friends in different places across the world because having good friends internationally makes travelling a million times better.
After countless lunches, coffees and sunsets it was time for me to say goodbye and head East to my old stomping ground, Melbourne. Although I was sad to leave Mel and co, I was excited to see what new eateries had popped up and savour. I truly missed Melbourne coffee because no where in Australia does coffee quite like Melbourne.
I was also excited to spend time with KK, my good friend in London who will be joining me as bridesmaid at Kate’s wedding in December. It’s been over a year since we enjoyed a glass of wine together and we certainly made the most of it during my week with her. I was lucky enough to catch up with most of old Melbourne friends, many whom I first met whilst travelling South East Asia last year.
I couldn’t resist taking KK to my favourite dessert bar Om Nom for a late night treat. Their desserts are not only a work of art but they taste pretty incredible too! A must when visiting Melbourne!
On the days KK was working, I wandered the city’s laneways immersing myself into Melbourne’s unique culture drinking plenty of coffees along the way. I could never get bored in Melbourne as there’s just so much on offer, mainly involving fantastic food and drink which is why I love it so much.
Luckily the weather was pleasant during my stay so we ate doughnuts from Shortstop in Carlton Gardens after gelato from Pidpipó (my favourite!) on the walk to the gardens, haha. My favourite dinner was our last, a Mexican feast at Chingón Cantina y Taqueria in Richmond. I highly recommend trying this place which started life as a food truck. Try to get a table outside if you can!
I had a great few weeks in Melbourne and Perth and could have quite happily have stayed in both but it was time for me to leave the country. My first year Working Holiday Visa and what a fantastic year it’s been. I certainly don’t want to spend time on a visa out of the country so until Kate’s wedding, Christmas and New Year are over I won’t be starting my second year in Australia. There are around eight weeks until I need to be back in the UK so I couldn’t resist a couple of extended stopovers on my way home. First I’m heading to Indonesia to visit friends and indulge in some much needed relaxation after station life. Then I spend five weeks travelling Japan which I am unbelievably excited about, a country I’ve wanted to visit for sometime. So I have the next three months planned at least 🙂 then who knows where in the world life will take me. Wherever it is, I hope to share with you, as always, some very interesting adventures!
Living life, loving Australia,