Melbourne Expat Diary blog series was inspired by the interest to read about the life happenings of other expat bloggers. I started writing my own version ever since I moved to Melbourne. I hope you enjoy reading the summary of the last 30days of my life, as a Melbourne expat, as much as I love writing it.
Happy New Year, you guys! I made myself experience more things and somewhat record it to ensure this year doesn’t fly like the years before. The result is summarized in this random, long, hopefully readable, life recap. I contemplated breaking it into two parts, but decided to stick with the ongoing theme. Buckle up and enjoy!
Melbourne Expat Life Highlights
I am writing this accompanied by the rare super blue blood moon. It’s magically gorgeous, you guys! As a Lunar Kutti, I feel so grateful to see and interact with it from our balcony. I also made a full-moon wish, here’s hoping that it will come true super soon 🙂
We went to Ballarat as the first of the 12 road trips we wish to clock in this year. It was nice, though not our favorite road trip. During this trip, I discovered the trifecta of Australia road trips, which I will share on this blog next week. So stay tuned!
The triple date with Manda, Sumit and our partners went smoothly. We ate a new variety of delicious food at the Black Toro and got to know each other better. Must do this kind of things more often!
Last week, I went to Jakarta, with a stopover in Singapore, to attend my cousin’s engagement party. I had a lovely time, packed with gatherings, eating and shopping. I also got to eat one of my favorite tropical fruits, rambutan. Gratitude-o-meter filled to the brim.
New and Favorite Things in Melbourne Expat Life
I have been a fan of Connie Wang from the first time I read her post online. Unfortunately, she didn’t have a personal website, hence I couldn’t follow her as my heart’s wish. Recently I stumbled upon another great post of hers on Cup of Joe titled My Beauty Uniform; ever since I started to follow/obsessively stalk her on Instagram. Still about Instagram, the most liked Kulture Kween’s IG of the month is a shot of frozen iced overlooking Chuzenji lake, Nikko, Japan.
Eric Kim’s post about photography new year resolutions inspired me to pick up the camera again. I went to a photo-walk on a Sunday; made new friends, snapped different angled pictures and immensely enjoyed myself. Remind me again why did I stop doing it last year? I plan to do all the assignments stated on the post throughout this year. Maybe I will blog about it too.
A colleague introduced me to a whole new world called Magic The Gathering and I am super intrigued. Do you play? Please teach me the basics!
Melbourne Expat Work, Lesson and Domestic Life
My Brazilian-work-cousin, Pedro, will be on annual leave, which means there will be no long-lunches and morbid conversations for the whole month of February. On the upside, this means I will able to save money on morning coffees. Also, Mama Kween packed a month’s worth meal in my luggage. I plan to use the saved money to get the Numinous tarot deck, something I have been eyeing since last year.
Kitchen update: I tried and failed at cooking my first South Indian dish, a super easy and simple spiced soup, called Rassam. I forgot to put onion which is one of the main ingredients of South Indian dishes! Instead, I put too much water, too many black seeds and cooked it for too long. Ugh! Let me try again on one of the cold Summer nights (yeah, Melbourne has cold days during its’ Summer).
This month I learned that preparation is the key; pushing myself to step outside of my lazy-comfort-zone gives a healthy inner glow and that the more I do things I enjoy the more fulfilled my life feels.
Melbourne Expat Minimalism and Purchase
I did a major cleaning and tidied up the South-East/money corner of our apartment which I believe Fengshui wise had been affecting our finances badly, as I couldn’t phantom receiving another credit card bill twice as much as my paycheck! Gah!
As the first step of abundant living and after being pushed many times by Amanda, I started tracking my expenses this month. In the beginning the revelation was pretty gruesome, but it made me treat my finances better. Other than flight tickets, my big purchases this month were an Indonesian origin pearls strand which I have been wanting for years, a Gorman dress which I wore for the engagement party and a bunch of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty products that stayed on the whole day.
Melbourne Expat Media Love and Internet History
I read, but didn’t love, Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and The Professor, though I appreciate the tenderness of the story, maybe because I couldn’t really relate to it. Back in Jakarta I finished How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits which I bought during the peak of my Francophile era, years back. I paused reading The Girl Who Lived as that girl became too whiny, but I will finish it because after all I need to know who killed her sister.
Another fave from Instagram this month: Bianca Sparacino and her poems. Oh, sweet lord, what a self-love powerhouse! I downloaded her book, Seeds Planted in Concrete, yesterday and am waiting for the weekend to savor it. Another book I am keen to read is The Perfect Nanny, but it shall wait.
I watched Top Of The Lake China Girl instead of sleeping on the plane from Tokyo. It’s a murder mystery highlighting an usually overlooked social problem, peppered with blossoming friendships, flawed, but strong layered characters, especially the female lead, Elisabeth Moss. Also, Nicole Kidman as a middle aged mother looked utterly gorgeous in the show. I highly recommend it, you guys! I also tried to watch Wolf Creek, recommended by Fafa’s hairdresser, but there wasn’t enough murders and too much cowboy stuff, so I left it half way.
Fafa and I started watching Somebody Feed Phil recently. Phil is so adorable! I appreciate the way he enjoys food from different parts of the world, so much so that I want to adopt him as my stepfather. Also, the show makes me want to visit Portugal. Another TV show we watch together as a part of our couple activities is The Good Doctor. I like it, but not as much as Fafa does.
I am making an effort to leave comments on the blogs I loved and read regularly. I figured it’s time to establish bloggers connections and to show them that they have a fan-girl out there. I also worked on publishing a number of old blog posts. I must say, compared to 2008, the grammar and writings have improved.
A virtual super enthusiastic waves to fellow Boss drinker, Ken. A self-proclaimed womanizer gaijin, Ken is the blogger behind Japanese Rule Of 7. I have been following him for a while, thanks to Bloglovin’, but his latest post, Sunday in Japan made me read through every single article on the 27 pages blog. Another blog that I am currently binge-reading is Austin Kleon‘s. Once done, the next blog-binge-read will be Seth Godin‘s. Do you follow them?
This month, I wrote about my Japan fever, wish granting Daruma doll and the magical memories of January 26, including the one which happened this year; the most expensive meal I have paid for and bubble tea and my friendship with Amanda; I spent my Sunday thinking whether I am wasting it? I also wrote about my road trip to Wangaratta and Kiwirail. I didn’t write many new posts this month. Even though I want to say that’s because I have been busy living life, the truth is I have to manage my time better.
A few favorite articles: It may be 31 days late to welcome, celebrate and honor the new year, but I love all the ideas and believe it’s still applicable any time of the year. Even more so now in honor of the blood moon. Some creative ideas to support an author other than buying their book. I think we all can relate to the lasting mental torture of a lost job. As a gym newbie, I truly appreciate the value of short Audiobooks.
I have a number of podcast recommendations this month, mainly true crime ones, but instead of writing it here, I will share it as a part of 2 of true crime podcast post.
Melbourne Expat Next Month
As mentioned earlier, I realized that the more I do things, instead of lazing around, the happier I become. So I packed my February with more activities.
I took up the #100HappyDays challenge and promise to reward myself with something relevant after I successfully post happy pictures on Instagram every day for 100 days. You can follow my IG to hold me accountable or better yet, why not join me? I am going to update the Day One Journal app daily, even if it’s just a picture and a sentence. I also joined a book club with a monthly meeting schedule near the office.
I plan to incorporate yoga at home into my weekend schedule. I have bought the mat, the spray, the pants and downloaded the app; #basicbitch. I just need to stick with it and occasionally boast my effort to Vi, who inspired me to take up yoga this year.
Lastly, in honor of Valentine, I vow to wear lipstick daily this month.
Speaking of Vi, next week I will be meeting her and her mom here in Melbourne. On the same weekend, I am throwing a Galentine party in our apartment, this time I invited the Tree of Trust sisters.
The week after that we are celebrating Valentine, you guys! My plan is to treat Fafa a nice dinner at a restaurant of my choice, which I believe he will enjoy, on a day close to Valentine. That way he doesn’t need to think or plan or do anything on Valentine for a change. Let’s see how does he feel about it when he reads this.
Over the Valentine weekend I will be on the plane to Melbourne to Singapore to Chennai to Goa to attend my gorgeous cousin’s wedding. Two days later, I will be taking the same routes to come back to Melbourne. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself?!! I can already imagine operating in a low bandwidth mind-groundless soul-dead tired body when I go straight from work after the damn long flight. Exactly how I felt last Tuesday when I came straight to the office, with a big luggage in tow, after a stopover in Sydney accompanied by a cancelled flight.
But, for now, I shall focus on the happy wedding and spending quality time (cue cousins sleepover party) in Goa. Speaking of which, have you been to Goa? Would love to get some recommendation on what to eat/see/experience there, within a 48 hour window.
Melbourne Expat Wanderlist: -.
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