The complex maze of streets. The cafes and bakeries and quirky stores in the complex maze of streets. Indian food. Fabrique cardamom buns. Weekend markets. My flat’s proximity to the Southbank weekend markets. Christmas markets. Churros and waffles. Pret a Manger ham and cheese toasties. Itsu dinners. The abundance of museums. The abundance of free museums. The public toilets in the free museums. Not being a tourist in a city full of tourists. Navigating through the crowds without Google Maps. The walking culture. The tube. Big Ben at night.
After spending a week in Melbourne, I can confirm that it is Australia’s culture and style capital.
Located at the southern tip of Australia, Melbourne is Sydney’s hipper, more urban counterpart, with street art around every corner, laneways filled with hole-in-the-walls, and trendy boutiques spouting experimentally chic styles.
Melbourne possesses a creative energy that makes you feel alive. Walking down the CBD grid, you feel connected to the heart of the city and the electricity that makes it run. A short train outside the central district, you come across picture-perfect beaches like St. Kilda’s, as well as cool, quirky neighborhoods like Fitzroy.
Imagine coastal cliffs as far as your eyes can see, boulders as large as the shoulders of giants, and twelve tempered rocks as headstrong as the tide. This is the Great Ocean Road.
One of the world’s most scenic coastal routes, The Great Ocean Road is a natural marvel with dramatic coastlines, rugged cliffs, and rolling waves. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Melbourne, but for the chance to see the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge, it’s worth it.
I’ve been obsessed with street art for some time now.
There’s something about the bold colors and big curves that satisfy the senses, the wild strokes that excite the brain’s neurons. It is a freedom of expression, without a concrete set of rules, yet there is also precision and planning in creating the art.
Perhaps what makes street art even more poetic is that it is temporary. A piece of art can be there one day but gone the next; it can be replaced by another restless soul, desperate to make a statement for those will see, and listen.
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” – Samuel Johnson
I’ve been studying abroad in London for a month now, and I must say, it’s everything I dreamed about and more. It’s been hard for me to sit down and catch my breath because there are so many things I want to do, and I’m afraid that if I pause and reflect it’ll feel as though the whirlwind dream is over. At the same time, I’m afraid that when I write I won’t know what to say or I’ll have too much to say and that my words will be inadequate.
Below I’ve compiled a list of my most memorable thoughts and encounters in the month thus far; though the words won’t do my experiences justice, hopefully they’ll give you a glimpse into my life here in London.