Melbourne is a third date city. You need at least three dates to know even a little bit about it, and by the time you’ve decided to move on, that’s just when things get interesting. It has nooks and crannies galore; little alleyways to wander down and discover the 139th new coffee shop that promises the best coffee in town. And wow, was the coffee ever good. Every time.
My first night was a blur of raindrops and dumplings. Exhausted, I crashed. But I awoke excited to see what else was out there.
My first day was spent bumbling through, finding Seven Seeds café upon the recommendation of Tucker, my long lost friend, who I can’t wait to see in Brisbane. Seven Seeds was everything a café should be. Bustling, delicious, warm, and filled with chatter. It was a San Francisco hug halfway across the world. The day continued with more wandering, writing, and café visiting. It ended with the glorious Night Market. Every city should have one.
My second day took me out to Phillip Island in search of Little Blue Penguins. I didn’t realize how starved I was for conversation until I joined that merry bunch of travelers. It was nice to speak to people in my situation. Some were young and here for school or here on their gap year, unsure what life would hand them, still thinking they had control over their entire futures. There were couples and families, friends, and solo travelers. We were open books, sharing stories of travel, tips and tricks for upcoming cities. We stopped many times along the way, first to visit a kangaroo, wallaby, and koala sanctuary. I got to feed many kangaroos and wallabies. My favorite was Roger because he held my hand while he ate. Roger is a Kangaroo Island Kangaroo. He was charming. He’s our guide Sean’s favorite and I can see why. You can tell by the smile on my face that it was fun to be that close to such a wonderfully, charmingly, odd animal.
This is my last day here. I think I was unkind to my hotel. Yes, it was gross and noisy and strange and broken, but it was home for the last three days and I’m still sad to see it go. I’m sitting here in the lobby using up the last of my two hours of allotted Internet time. It cost $10. Money is relative when traveling. It becomes a means to an end. It feels like a giant Monopoly game, but the stakes are real. I’m playing with hours, because time is money, and my time has increased in value exponentially over the years, and I don’t just mean my hourly rate. That has grown too, but now my knowledge of time, it’s importance and value, the fact that you have just so much of it and you don’t really know when it will run out, that is what I’m talking about. I find that liberating and exhilarating. It’s why I’m here. Spending my time instead of wasting it.
I’ve passed through the jet lag. I’m on Aussie time, just in time to do another time jump to New Zealand. But that’s okay. I’ll sort it out. One more afternoon in Melbourne first though. Off we go.