• TraceyCltn

    So I thought I would share with you the story of one of many little road trips we took as a family - those restless spirits are still raging strong.
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    The kids are like that too you know, I’m only worried what’ll happen when they come of age, I have a feeling there will be no stopping them. Anyway, I have to say that revisiting your hometown is truly a unique rollercoaster of emotions, and at first, I had no idea it would affect me that much.
    That’s why out of all the trips we took so far, I want to tell you the story about how we returned to Melbourne for a short, weekend excursion. It was a spur of the moment decision really, one we can attribute to Mike. The entire decision-making process was quite intricate:
    Mike: “Damn. You know what I could go for right now?”
    Me: "Oh God. What?”
    Mike: “Those insane frozen yoghurts we used to get over at Chapel Street, remember?”
    Me: “Say no more.”
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    Long story short, we unglued the kids from their smartphones, ordered our plane tickets online, rented an Airbnb (mind you all of this is happening on a Tuesday afternoon) and scheduled our insane excursion for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Plenty of time to revisit Melbourne, and more importantly, the neighbourhood we used to call our home, South Yarra.
    Now, South Yarra as a whole is very near and dear to our hearts, as it is the place where we used to live and spend countless hours roaming about, exploring, and making happiness appear out of thin air. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by a surge of emotions when we landed at Melbourne airport, realising that although this is no longer our home, a part of me will forever remain in those streets and sunny afternoons spent enjoying life.
    So, South Yarra. First of all, it’s a beautiful neighbourhood, or inner suburb as they would call it. You’ve got the Yarra river to the north, the breathtaking Fawkner Park to the west, and more importantly, a vivid and vibrant community residing among numerous artisan bakeries and coffee shops, pubs and, being a very old neighbourhood, beautiful historic architecture dating back to the 19th century.
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    Immediately after we’ve dropped off our things at Ellis St we plotted our course towards our favourite shopping centre in South Yarra and drowned our collective faces in the art pieces that are their local fruity, chocolatey yoghurts. After we’ve had our fill, quite literally, we decided to reminisce about the old days by taking a stroll to the Yarra river itself and lying about on the beach (it’s more like an adjacent patch of land next to the water), soaking in the unique feeling Melbourne gives you.
    The next two days we spent not only exploring the district but the surrounding neighbourhoods as well. We went to Fawkner Park, and you should too, on Saturday for a whole-afternoon picnic where we ate and naturally acted out all sorts of shenanigans. I say shenanigans because Mike and I thought catching a ball would be the height of our physical exertion, but naturally, the kids had other plans.
    Mike and I actually had some time for ourselves, believe it or not, as we had left Catherine in a day-care centre up in the shopping mall, and Viki and Sara were old enough to go on about on their own. So Mike and I went to our old street, sat in our old café where we used to read, laugh and talk for hours on end. It was magical. Just as I pictured it would be. We’re a bit older, a bit calmer I suppose, but our love seems to be as young and juvenile as it ever was.
    If nothing else, this trip has shown us just how much we still love each other, and our little devils too. Until next time, Melbourne, you will not be missed, because you have a special place in our hearts.

    posted in Melbourne Travel Discussion read more
  • TraceyCltn

    Hi everyone, I wanted to share our story now we have arrived in Australia, I hope this is OK!

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    Let me tell you, raising three little girls and an overgrown baby (that’s my wonderful husband) doesn’t leave much room for other exuberant activities on a daily basis, especially if you consider the fact that everyone’s constantly home. Hubby Mike works from his laptop, helping companies all over the world market their products, and me, well, I do everything else.

    Granted, we work well as a team and I love the man to bits, but at the time, our sizable apartment in downtown Melbourne was slowly becoming everything but, alluding to the proposition that we needed to change our address in the near future, even more so since little Catherine came along.

    We had the advantage of working from home, and Sara and Viki were home-schooled so there was nothing stopping us from packing up and finding our own perfect corner of the world somewhere the kids could grow up happily and find their own way, some day.

    The entire notion seemed so wonderful and I wanted nothing more than to grab Mike by the hand and explore where our future happiness lies – thankfully, Mike is one of those alpha, proactive male specimens and rather than settling down somewhere else in a familiar setting, he said “let’s pack the kids and find out what’s out there”.

    Do you now get why I love the man?
    We took the kids, rented a trailer, packed our stuff, and in less than a week, we were on the road. Now, as much as we both love nature, we quickly agreed that we want to raise the kids in a city, to let them socialize and grow up in a vivid and vibrant environment. Naturally, we had no idea where that was going to be, and after a week of research, we started our Australian road trip.
    Our first stop – Sydney. We’ve actually been to Sydney several times in the past and we pretty much knew the setting we were driving into.

    The kids loved going there, and I must say, if we hadn’t taken the chance and resumed our exploration further up the coast, we might have stayed there for good. We spent a good month in Sydney at my friends’ house, with several trips to Canberra in hopes of finding some new, alluring mystery that would entice us to fall in love with the capital and call it our new home. Whilst breathtaking, Canberra did not spark a fire in our hearts and I could tell that the kids were adamant that Sydney was the greatest city in the world.

    Just as we were considering moving into a beautiful house in Northwood, yet again our restless spirits would give us no peace, so we packed our things and headed for Brisbane. There were two major reasons why I wanted to go there. First, I’ve read numerous times that the Gem of Queensland is one of the most liveable cities in the world, and I wanted to experience it for myself.

    Secondly, I wanted the kids to socialize more and start public school, while little Catherine was reaching kindergarten age and I’ve heard that child care in Chermside, in the northern part of the city, was some of the best in the country.

    Words could not describe the look on our little girls’ faces when we arrived in Brisbane, and I would bet the same could have been said for me. Mike was trying to keep his cool, as he always does, but I felt in my heart that he had fallen in love and that we have found our new home.

    We stayed at a rented flat in Bulimba for two whole weeks, exploring the city and falling in love deeper with every step we took. After a week or so of exploring and negotiating, we found a beautiful house near Hamilton Road in Chermside, and enrolled the little devil to start her kindergarten adventure next year.

    Everything simply fell into place, and I’m just thanking God that our kids aren’t teenagers, because this story would have taken a very different turn, much sooner! Sara and Victoria are a bit uneasy about starting public school but I know that they are going to love it, and as for Mike and me, we seem to have found the flame that was never really lost – it just needed a dash of mystery to make it into a raging fire again.

    So, wish us luck for the future, and whatever you do, keep following the feeling that makes you smile!

    posted in General Travel Discussion read more

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