Exploring Melbourne & Making Friends | Diary 002

When I first arrived in Melbourne, I stayed in a 4-bed female dorm for the first three nights that I already pre-booked from home. That’s how I met Sabrina from Italy that I still hang out with now and it was good to have a smaller room at the beginning of my stay.

It is pretty comfortable to stay in a smaller room if you want some privacy as well as staying in a female dorm as you can change clothes in the room instead of in your bed / in the bathroom.

But bigger rooms are obviously cheaper and I feel like after 8-10 people it doesn’t matter anyway. You just need some good earplugs and maybe a sleeping mask.

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Sunday 23/9

Today we decided to walk through the north of the CBD where some cool streets that are definitely worth checking out are located. One is Lygon Street, known as Little Italy where you find a lot of restaurants, especially Italian and from other European countries. Then we went to Brunswick Street in Fitzroy for the first time, which is now my favourite area to stroll around. It has a lot of awesome vintage shops, small boutiques, second-hand shops, cafés, bars & restaurants. Almost all the hip vegan places are located there and I am very excited to discover them more in the next days.

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Everyone I talked to in the hostel recommended the Queen Victoria Market for fruit & veggie shopping. It is super nice to walk around there and look at the yummy food they offer (at least when you like food shopping like I do haha). They don’t just have fruits and veggies but also cheese, spreads, meat, bread & a food court, as well as clothes, leather wear, souvenirs and more.

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As we went there pretty late we got some great deals on the produce and they also sometimes have bags of “not so pretty” or “not so fresh” produce for a lower price, so I recommend to look for those to buy cheap. I got a bag of tomatoes, spinach and 2 capsicums each for 2 dollars and 5 bananas for only 1$! I also bought the best hummus ever for 3$ which is not a bad price and it’s super delicious and homemade as well.

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Monday 24/9

In Melbourne and Sydney walks101 offers free walking tours where you only pay whatever you want at the end of the tour. I went there alone but got to meet a lot of other travellers along the tour. I highly recommend going there as it’s always great to learn some facts about the place you stay in, it’s cheap and a great way to meet others. There is another free tour in St. Kilda, a district of Melbourne at the beach, that I plan to do in the next days as well.

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After those 3 nights in the 4-bed dorm, I moved into a 10 bed dorm because it’s cheaper and you also get to meet more people. Of course, you never get along with all of them but at least the chance of finding someone you connect with is higher. You also meet guys (people of the other gender) more easily.

For the first week I stayed at the Nomads All Nations Hostel in Melbourne in the CBD area which was good to do most of the touristy stuff and very easy to go to all places as there is a free Tram zone in the Centre of Melbourne. The hostel itself isn’t super awesome, not very clean and some weird people but still alright to stay at, especially for that price (I paid 24$ for a night which is 15€).

The funny thing was, that I met a boy from New Zealand on the free walking tour and it turned out that he was in my new dorm as well.

I also had to go food shopping and went to Aldi for the first time here in Oz. It’s so fun that they have this German supermarket chain here and they have a lot of good stuff for a good price as well. Bought a ’nuts, seeds and fruit mix‘ to get some healthy fats by almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds as well as a sweet topping for my breakfast with raisins as well as ‚banana bread slices‘.

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Tuesday 25/9

After doing the free walking tour there were some places that I wanted to go back to alone, so that’s what I did the next day. I went to Federation Square, got a free Kombucha and walked through the small museum of Aboriginal Art (I’m not sure if I just didn’t found the right museum or if it is really that small haha).

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I walked through the laneways (that’s how they call the small streets with no cars here) in East CBD, as well as the Block Arcade and Centreway Arcade where they had a few lovely vintage shops and a natural soap shop.

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Wednesday 26/9

On Wednesday I went to Brighton Beach with Sabrina and a guy from Argentina who is from our hostel as well. We got there by train and walked along the beach and the neighbourhood, which is beautiful and so calm in comparison to the Centre of the City.

We were very lucky with the weather as well and even though the wind is quite cold, the sun was nice and warm.

The famous Bath Houses are located at Brighton Beach as well so we obviously could not resist stopping at the pretty ones to take some touristy pictures.

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Later we bought some lunch (olive ciabatta and olive hummus for me) and sat down at the beach to enjoy the sun and read a bit.

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In the afternoon Sabrina and I went to the Queen Victoria Market again as there was an Asian Night Market. There were a lot of food stands with Asian food, but very meat based and it was loud and crowded so we just walked through it and bought food in the supermarket instead.

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In Sabrina’s hostel (that is my hostel now as well) they had a movie night, so I joined her – even though the movie was boring haha.

Thursday 27/9

The next day I spend a beautiful day alone in the south of Melbourne. I went to the Art Center of Melbourne and thought about buying a ticket to see the Australian Ballet perform Spartacus, but sadly the tickets were too expensive because I was too late, but I really want to go to a Ballet in Sydney in the Opera House for sure!

Afterwards, I visited the free zones of the Art Museum where they had many beautiful and super cute books with a message as well as some art souvenirs.

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I spend the afternoon in the Botanical Gardens, read on my Kindl* and enjoyed the sunshine!

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At night time me and the Kiwi guy from my hostel joined Sabrina for a Pup crawl in Fitzroy and it was a lot of fun. We also met two Aussie guys that we hang out a lot with now.


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I could not imagine at first that it would be so easy to meet people but especially in my second hostel in Melbourne, it was no problem at all and so much fun to play board games and talk to people from all around the world! → more in my next Diary post!

 

Off to Australia! 24 Hour Journey and my First Day in Melbourne | Diary 001

It’s already over one week ago since I said goodbye to my parents and flew to the other side of the world. I still haven’t realised completely that I am in Australia on my big adventure now. On the other hand, I kind of already feels settled here.

I have some friends and people to hang out with, I know where to go and what tram to take, I already saw a lot of places and I got used to speaking English very quickly.

Maybe it’s just because of the cold weather that it doesn’t really feel like Australia for me. Or maybe because I haven’t seen any typical Australian nature yet – cause the city of Melbourne could be a European city as well…

Now that I have a lot of amazing experiences and exciting things to do and talk about every day, I thought I would start writing a diary here on my blog to update you on what I am doing, seeing, eating and feeling.

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A few days before…

There was a time (around 2 weeks before my flight) where I felt a bit insecure. I had very mixed emotions with leaving all my friends and my family back home and being alone on the other side of the world. I got a bit scared about my safety and if I would find people to hang out with, if I’ll be able to find the way in a huge city like Melbourne or if I will get lonely and homesick. Of course, I was still excited about my adventure, but scared at the same time…

Luckily a friend of mine has been in the same situation two years ago and he could give me some good tips and ease my fears and doubts.

 

 

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A few days before my flight I wasn’t scared at all anymore. I kind of felt like in trance – I just could not realize that the time I have been waiting for for so long is actually there and that I’ll be flying soon. I packed my backpack but wasn’t really in vacation mood as I usually am when packing my bag for a trip. It was more like seeing someone else doing it – I didn’t really felt like I was present.

If you want to know what I packed and took with me for one year of travelling through Australia and Asia, have a look at this blog post!

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Wednesday 19/9

Backpacks where ready, I already said goodbye to all my friends and family (more about my last weekend with my best friends in my September Review) and drove with my parents to Frankfurt. We had a beautiful last dinner together and I had a last good sleep on German ground.

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Thursday 20/9

Early in the morning, we drove to the airport, I checked in my backpack, ate avo bagel for breakfast and had to say goodbye to my parents. This was for sure the hardest goodbye of all.

At 11 am my flight took off and I left my home. Luckily, I wasn’t sad at all – just excited for what is about to come. I flew with Qatar airlines which is a super good airline that I booked an open-return ticket with (which I highly recommend for long trips like mine because you never exactly know when you want to return).

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For my first flight to Doha I had a whole row to myself which was super nice and also the vegan food that I asked for before via email was the best plane food I’ve ever had!

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After 6 hours I landed in Doha and when we left the plane it was like a hot hairdryer that blows into your face, even though it was the late evening, it was still super hot. In my three hour layover, I just walked around the airport a bit and used their Wi-Fi to tell everybody at home that I landed in Qatar safe.

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Then I had to get on my 1- hour flight to Melbourne which wasn’t as comfortable, but I could still sleep pretty well and I watched some movies. The food again was amazing and I have to say that I really enjoyed my flights – nevertheless, they were long.

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Friday 21/9

On Thursday me and my backpack (thank god!) arrived in Melbourne at around 6pm. To get to the centre I had to take the Skybus from the airport which was 19$!! Only for a 20-minute bus ride. But I arrived at my hostel and quickly met my roommate Sabrina from Italy, that I still spend a lot of time with.

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Saturday 22/9

My first day in Melbourne was kind of overwhelming and I quickly felt like I didn’t like the city that much because it is busy, loud and lots of people. But I fell in love with the city more and more every day!

First thing I did was going to the bank to open up a bank account at get my card delivered to my hostel as quickly as possible and afterwards I just scrolled through the streets to get an idea of the city.

I felt like my jetlag wasn’t very bad because I wasn’t tired at all in the day, but the first 3 or 4 nights I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep for hours which was annoying but it’s all good now.

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The weather here in Melbourne is not as I wished it would be. I freeze even though I wear all the clothes that I have with my (longsleeve, sweater, down jacket, softshell jacket and a scarf). The wind is pretty strong and especially in the shades it can be freezing. We have around 16-18° Celsius most days and in the sun it can get warm, but I am probably just not used to the “cold” after this hot summer in Europe.

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What’s in my Backpack for One Year of Work & Travel in Australia

For about 10 months I’ve been preparing my work & travel journey. Reading books, blogs and talking to people. I scrolled through hundreds of articles about what to pack as a minimalistic backpacker, female backpacker, Australian backpacker or on a long-term journey…

I tried to filter what I think I will really need and use and gave my best on packing very minimal. My backpack contains 60l and weights 10kg (which is pretty good for my first time backpacking and without any experiences). In addition to that, I have a small 12l daypack that carries some extra stuff.

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Backpack

I bought this backpack because it was cheap in comparison to the brand backpacks and the quality felt good. It also has a back support that I could easily remove so it’s a lot lighter like that. It has many straps to adjust (too many in my opinion, but I could cut them off if I want to).

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For my daypack, I chose a small and unspectacular one because I am not carrying a lot on an everyday basis and I don’t like too many pockets and straps because they annoy me.

The size is good to carry my camera, water bottle, snacks, papers and wallet like I do every day, but for the plane (where I needed my laptop, pillow, kindle, food, water bottle, papers and more) it was too small and I had to take an extra bag with me on the plane. I also always carry one with me for when I go food shopping.

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Clothes

Luckily, I can replace some things in my backpack when my cousin or my parents visit me. For now, I have some more warm clothes like two hoodies, longsleeves and an extra pair of shoes that I’ll get rid of when it’s summer. Right now, it’s only around 16 degrees Celsius in Melbourne so I’ll be good with an extra layer of clothes.

With all my clothes I tried to stay in the dark colour palette (or it’s stuff that I don’t care too much about) so that I only need to wash one machine every week and not separate into light and dark laundry. I’ve heard that white and light clothes get yellow/grey so fast while travelling and they also get dirty so much more easily, that’s why everybody suggests to leave them home.

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The only ‘unpractical’ t-shirt I brought is my self-made tidy t-shirt, that I have to wash with my hands. But I love it so much so it’s worth it and one t-shirt is washed quickly in the sink.

  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 4 tops

I don’t have specific workout clothes or pyjamas with me because I feel like being okay with my regular clothes. I’ll just wear one of my comfy shorts for sleeping/working out and a t-shirt and that’ll be fine.

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  • 2 comfy shorts
  • 1 jeans shorts
  • 1 pair of long pants/jeans (very stretchy & comfortable)
  • 1 pair of flowy pants (sun protection on hot days)
  • 1 pair of long leggings (I wore them on the flight)

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Through reading all the blog posts I learned that you should never pack something that you are not sure about or that you can only wear on specific occasions. That’s why I tried to pack clothes that are practical and functional for every day (hopefully!)

  • 1 thin blouse (great sun protection)
  • 1 t-shirt dress (that I can always quickly throw over and be good to go)
  • 1 pretty dress (short, comfy and suitable for every day or special occasions)

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It was really hard to decide how much underwear I am going to take. Some people suggest to only take 5 and wash more often, others had 10 pairs with them so they don’t need to wash that often.

I decided to take 8 pairs so that I can wash around once a week and always have one pair as an extra.

  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 2 bralettes (because I don’t wear bras)
  • 1 sports bra
  • 2 bikinis
  • 6 pairs of socks
  • 1 pair of elastic stockings

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Organizing

I bought some drybags to organize my clothes and keep them together and I highly suggest that if you travel with a backpack otherwise, you won’t find anything.

I also got a belt bag and 2 more bags with me and I would even suggest taking 3 because I use them a lot. I got one for shoes and the other for food shopping and storage (because at the hostel you store your food in the kitchen area / in the fridge and you need to pack it in a bag).

  • 1 drybag 6l (for underwear, socks, bikinis)
  • 2 drybags 12l (one for bottoms & dresses, other for t-shirts & tops)
  • Deuter belt bag
  • 2 eco-bags

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Shoes

I’m probably not going to carry 4 pairs of shoes with me for my whole year. I plan to get rid of my converse when the weather is warmer and I am wearing sandals a lot, but until then 1/3 of my backpack is shoes…

  • Running shoes (that I can wear for hiking and long walks in cities)
  • Converse
  • Sandals (I know, not the sexiest kinds of shoes but they are super comfy and I already got used to them)
  • Flip flops

It’s hard to tell what you will need at the end of the day because you never know where you’ll end up and what you’ll do, but I still only packed clothes that I knew I will wear a lot. If I will miss something I’ll just tell my parents to bring it or buy it here. That’s so much better than taking way too much stuff with you and carrying it around without wearing it and I already got used to wearing the same stuff almost every day.

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Toiletries

I got a toiletry bag that you can hang which is super practical for hostels where it can be wet or gross sometimes. My towels are super thin, quickly drying micro phaser towels and I got a small one ( 30 x 50 cm) and a big one ( 75 x 150 cm ).

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For shampoo, shower gel and face wash I decided to skip big plastic bottles that are heavy and used up quickly and bought solid soap bars instead. I find it super practical on one hand and it’s also so much eco-friendlier and better for skin and hair because it is all natural.

My face wash is by The Body Shop and I use the “Duschbrocken” from a small German start-up brand that is shampoo and body soap in one. I already used it three times and I love it – the smell is amazing (I got “Frieda Früchtchen”), it feels super moisturizing to my skin and hair because it contains a lot of natural oils and I can’t even tell that I used it at all because you only need so little product. My hair feels really great using it and it doesn’t gets greasy more quickly than usually.

I decided to only take a come with me and so far it’s been alright. If I miss it too much, I’ll just buy one.

For shaver, period hygiene products, deodorant and body lotion I also went for the eco-friendly version because it lasts so much longer and is more practical in many ways. I’ll talk about that in another blog post about eco-friendly & minimalistic beauty products for travelling soon!

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  • Duschbrocken (shampoo & body wash) (*PR-Sample)
  • Face soap
  • Shaver (plastic free!)
  • Shea butter as body butter (in the Body Shop container)
  • Toothbrush (plastic free!) (*PR-Sample)
  • Toothpaste
  • Wolkenseifen Deo crème
  • Coconut oil (in a little container)
  • Lavera face moisturizer
  • Come
  • Hair ties
  • Menstrual Cup
  • Nail scissors and nail file
  • Eye Brow Pen (only “makeup” I take with me)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand cream

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Medicine

I only took a few things with me because you don’t have to be prepared for everything. In case you really get sick you can buy whatever you need. Also, I would suggest to not take a whole package with you – it’s just not necessary.

  • Nurofen painkillers
  • antidiarrhoea medicine
  • Eye drops
  • sore throat tablets
  • plaster

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Food

You aren’t allowed to take most food to Australia, but packed food is alright.

  • Many oat and dried fruit bars
  • Vegan chocolate
  • Instant Oats (I didn’t end up taking it with me bc I was afraid they wouldn’t allow me to bring it because it contains nuts, but they didn’t care a lot so I should have brought it…)
  • Chewing gum
  • Cinnamon
  • Veggie Broth
  • Reusable water bottle (1l)
  • 2 food containers (750ml and 450ml)
  • Camping fork-knife-spoon
  • Vitamin B12 drops
  • Vitamin C tablets

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Important Documents

  • Passport
  • Drivers licence & international drivers licence
  • Visa
  • Flight documents
  • vaccination certificate
  • Some Australian dollar
  • important addresses & phone numbers
  • copies of important documents

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Other Stuff

  • Wash paste
  • Locks for lockers at the dorm room
  • plastic zip bags (to store and organize all the small stuff)
  • travel neck pillow (that you can blow up)
  • Earplugs
  • Sleeping mask
  • Pen & pencil
  • notebook

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Electronics

I tried to minimize my technical gear, but you just need some electronics if you plan to take some pretty pictures and videos.


That’s everything I took with me to Australia! I will for sure make an updated version after a few months to see what I had to buy or what I didn’t need and gave my parents.

What is something you could not travel without?

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* Dies ist ein Affiliate Link. Wenn du etwas über diesen Link kaufst, bekomme ich eine kleine Provision und du unterstützt mich und meine Arbeit. Der Preis ändert sich für dich dabei natürlich nicht. Danke!