The first thing we were asked when we told people about our decision to Melbourne was “why?”. Here’s why:
Over a year ago, my mother took me for a girl’s weekend to Melbourne. “You’ll love it,” she said as we boarded the plane. The moment we arrived in the city I knew she was right. Everything from the food to the fashion, from the architecture to the transport, was bigger and better than I could have imagined.
I spent the next three days exploring the graffiti smothered alleyways, dreaming about the Victorian houses, trying coffee at numerous cafes, shopping at Zara and wandering along the Yarra. Melbourne has such a unique and diverse culture, which you only understand when you experience it.
Returning to Melbourne another two times that year, I continued to be blown away with the amount of choice available in the city. How the food catered to a wide range of people and cultures, how friendly the locals were and how affordable everything was.
Kiwis tend to get stuck thinking with a ‘small town’ mentality. Thinking our country of just over four million has all the opportunity in the world. Don’t get me wrong; it definitely has its perks! One of my favourite things about Auckland is you can walk down Ponsonby Road (similar atmosphere to Chapel Street) and know at least one person in every store. Yet, at the same time this for me was also one of the biggest downfalls, making it difficult to interact with new groups of people and learn more about the world.
Personally, I wanted to experience something bigger, make new friends, be exposed to new ideas and try a different style of living. I was ready to challenge myself by setting up my life again in a new environment and couldn’t think of a better place than Melbourne.
I met a couple of other New Zealanders who had already made the move and absolutely loved it. They talked about all the events, how much there was to do, and how the opportunities were endless. Most people I talked to planned on moving to Melbourne for around two years but ended up staying for over five because they loved it so much. This advice only confirmed my desire to move even more.
There is never a better time to chase your dream than now. I knew nothing was going to dramatically change any time soon at home and my heart was telling me moving was the right thing to do.
So I resigned from my job, recruited a friend, packed my bags and jumped on a plane to start the rest of my life.
That friend is me, Amber. I have always wanted to move overseas and experience living in a different country. It seems like something ever Kiwi has to do in their life. I’ve had itchy feet since my late teens and all of the travelling I’ve done hasn’t sated my desire, only made me hungry for more. My 3 week stint in Europe gave me a taste for exploring and discovering, my trip to Hawaii made me yearn for adventure and my trip to Japan instilled in me a desire to immerse myself in a world so far from my own.
I had toyed with the idea of moving to Melbourne a while ago, before I got my first full time job, but at the time it was one of those things for future Amber to think about. The desire to move away never left, but when Sara told me she wanted to move to Melbourne I felt the pull stronger than ever. I was newly single, I was coming close to being at my job for a year and had a bit of savings put away; apart from my job I didn’t really have anything tying me down. It sort of felt like now or never, so I asked Sara if I could move with her.
New Zealand will always be there for me, but I feel like Melbourne is a step in the right direction for me right now. Who knows where it will lead!
(5.30am at Auckland Airport… whose idea was that??)