The Best Weekend ever in Melbourne! | Diary 003

This weekend was by far the best time I had on my journey until now! It was an amazing weekend, so much going on, so many new and amazing people I met, lots of conversations, laughs and all in all a wonderful time – I enjoyed every single moment!

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Friday 28/9

Friday was a very exciting day as I got to meet my AuPair parents for the first time! They spontaneously flew from Brisbane to Melbourne for the football final (will talk about that later) and so I got to meet them for breakfast and it was so lovely. We really connected and I am so happy I found them and get to stay with them at least for one month.

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We had the best Avo Smash Toast at ‚MockTurtle‘ I’ve ever eaten in my entire life and talked a lot. It was so great to be able to meet them and we really got along with each other so well, that I am even more excited to be their AuPair now!

Because it was a really rainy and cold day I just stayed at the hostel after the meetup, did some laptop work and drank tea…

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In the afternoon I went to ‚The crown‘ hotel with the guy from New Zealand to walk through the biggest casino in whole Australia. A friend told me to do so and it really was crazy! We walked through the whole building for about an hour and almost got lost in there because it is so huge! There is not only a casino and hotel there but also several restaurants, a food court, a shopping mall and clubs in one building.

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Saturday 29/9

Saturday was a very exciting day for the whole city: The Australian football final took place in Melbourne, so the city was crowded, and my hostel fully booked.

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That’s why I had to change hostel and moved into a 12-bed dorm in The Nunnery a much cooler hostel in the hip and alternative area of Melbourne called Fitzroy. Sabrina already lived here, so I knew it was awesome, only a bit more expensive (35$ per night ~ 22€). But it’s definitely worth it as the people here are much cooler, it’s located in the hip and alternative area and I’m excited to explore all the vintage shops, little boutiques, cafés, bars and restaurants. Also, most of the awesome vegan places are located here as well.

So I just had some last pancakes in the hostel, grabbed all my belongings and moved.

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In the afternoon the West Coast Eagles played against Collingwood (a district of Melbourne). As my AuPair family originally is from Perth the supported the Eagles and so did I. We went to the pub together with a group of boys from the hostel and watched it there. They explained us some rules and it was a lot of fun watching it – luckily, the Eagles won!!

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Afterwards, we were hungry for burgers, so we went to Lord of the Fries, an Australian all vegan fast food burger chain. It isn’t very expensive (as most eating out places are) and it was so delicious! Very unhealthy, fried, fatty and salty, but amazing. I got a “fish burger” and sweet potato fries and I’ll for sure come back if I crave something unhealthy!

The boys took us to the theatre to watch ‚Bogan Shakespeare‚ which was very funny but also kinda hard to understand so Sabrina and I sometimes looked at each other when everyone else was laughing and were like “did you get that?” haha.

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Sunday 30/9

On Sunday I went for breakfast with my AuPair mom again before they leave back to the Sunshine Coast and it was so lovely! We went to a small café called ’slowpoke‘ in Fitzroy, had amazing breakfast and good conversations. I am already very excited to meet the kids and be their AuPair next year!

This time I didn’t go for Avo toast because I knew that they couldn’t beat the first one, so I went for buckwheat granola with coconut yogurt, almond milk and pears which was super yummy.

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Afterwards, Sabrina, me and some boys from the hostel went to Queen Victoria Market again to buy fruits and veggies and I had some carrots and hummus before we went to an Escape room. I’ve never done that before, but it was so much fun! A lot of numbers and codes and not always easy to understand in English but I’ll for sure do that again.

Afterwards, we make a veggie roast together (one of the Aussies is vegan!) and then spend the night at the hostel playing board games which was a lot of fun and great to learn more vocabulary.

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What I Eat in a Day in Melbourne as a Backpacker on a Budget #1

Now that I am travelling I want to show you what I eat as a (mostly) healthy, (mostly) vegan Backpacker on a budget in Australia!

I hope you are excited for some super easy, cheap and quick recipes and meals as I don’t want to spend too much time or money cooking (and I also don’t have the nicest kitchens in the hostels). But I still try to mostly eat homemade food as eating out is crazily expensive. If I do eat out, I like to go to cute little healthy cafés that offer vegan food and I’m okay spending more money there, rather than finding the cheapest takeaway pizza in town :D

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The prices

The first hostel I stayed in offered free tea, coffee, rice and pasta as well as free pancakes in the morning, so I tried to use that to save money.

Besides what I was thinking, the food in the supermarket isn’t that much more expensive than in Germany. Some things obviously are, especially produce that have to get shipped from far away. I tried to mostly shop my produce at the market (for example the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne) as they offer cheaper products that aren’t as fresh anymore or at the end of the day.

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Here is a list of the food I bought and how much I spend on them:
  • 12 tomatoes                                2 $         1,30 €                 market
  • 2 red bell peppers                     2 $         1,30 €                 market
  • 5 bananas                                   1 $         0,70 €                 market
  • Hummus                                     3 $         1,80€                  market
  • Salt                                               2 $         1,50 €                 Coles
  • Olive ciabatta                             4 $         2,50 €                Coles
  • Olive Hummus                          5 $          3 €                     Coles
  • Canned Kidney Beans           0,75$        0,50 €                Coles
  • Soy sauce                                    4 $         2,50 €                 Coles

Next time I definitely should buy my soy sauce as well as tofu for example at an Asian supermarket. They are very popular here (because there are also a lot of Asian people living in Australia) and it’s a lot cheaper there.

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Some prices look crazy at first, but 12$ are actually 7,50€ which is the same price as in Germany for the vegan B&J… but I’m for sure going to try all the flavours when my parents visit me :P

Day 1

This wasn’t actually my first day in Melbourne, but the first day that I took pictures of my food – just to clarify that!

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As I already said, my first hostel offered free pancakes with maple syrup every morning. I wasn’t really happy about that on one hand, because I planned on trying to eat completely vegan, but on the other hand, they were yummy, free and quick to eat before leaving the hostel to explore…

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At the market, I bought this amazing self-made hummus and 4 little loaves of bread (there is no English name for „Brötchen“! :D ) and I dipped two into the hummus for lunch.

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The first meal that I cooked at the hostel was this easy rice & veggie dish. I cooked rice with some salt, mixed the veggies under after the rice was nearly finished and added some veggie broth. That’s it! Not super great, but cheap, healthy and easy.

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Day 2

Another day I slept in until 10:30am and there were no more pancakes. I cooked rice with more water than usual and „overcooked“ it to make it very creamy and sticky rice/porridge texture. Then I added lots of cinnamon, mashed banana, apple, raisins and some nuts.

It might seem weird to try to save money on something inexpensive like oats, but as cheaper you eat on most days, as more often you can spend more money on going out! :D

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Because I had a late breakfast, I just had two oranges as a snack and ate dinner early.

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A combination I just recently discovered is pasta with a hummus sauce and veggies. That’s what happens when you are a backpacker: you can’t buy a large variety of food otherwise it will go bad and you have to use it up before you leave a place – so you have to get creative and buy food that works in many meals.

So I just cooked some free pasta from the hostel, mashed some kidney beans, chopped tomatoes, olive hummus, fresh baby spinach and veggie broth and heated it up.

Throwing different ingredients together and making it a delicious meal!

 

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Day 3

I was very lucky, that my AuPair family that I’m going to stay with in May came to visit Melbourne and we were able to meet each other.

And I was even more lucky, that we went to a café to have breakfast that probably has the best ever Avo smash toast in whole Australia! Only ate this one until now, but I can’t imagine that it can get any better (and my AuPair mom agrees in that and she has already eaten many Avo toasts!)

Sadly I forgot to ask for a vegan version as I was a bit nervous that morning, but it was so yummy and so much variety in one dish – lots of mashed avo, good bread, tomatoes, cucumber, balsamic vinegar, mozzarella cheese & poached egg.

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That day I got gifted Kombucha on the streets as a sample. It wasn’t really a great flavour, but in general, I really like Kombucha.

 

The amazing breakfast kept me full for long, so I had another early and big dinner. Leftover rice with veggies where I only added some pak choi and soy sauce as well as fresh capsicum on the side. As a dessert, I had some sweet rice with applesauce and raisins.


You can also always follow me on Instagram to see what I am up to, where I am, what I’m doing or what I eat! 


Another part of what I eat in Melbourne will follow soon! Including another great breakfast with my AuPair mom and way to much eating out as there are so many awesome vegan places here in Melbourne! :D

 

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!