Ready! Set! Travel!

The last two months in Melbourne have been fun!  The weather wasn’t the greatest when  we initially arrived, but since then we have learned that Melbourne is the city that can have four seasons in one day.  So on any given day it can be raining, hailing, sunny or bitter cold and windy.  Melbourne is a really interesting city with great markets, restaurants and shopping.  There is always something to do.

Since arriving we have:

Sold the Baby Buddha.  It wasn’t as heart wrenching as we thought it would be.  The first couple to look at it, bought it.  They were a very cute british couple who were looking to take the same route we had just completed.  The night before we sold it, we were in the city running some errands and we accidentally parked in a “clearway”, which means after 4 pm there is to be no parking on the streets because of rush hour traffic.  Well there were many signs on the post and we got confused and didn’t read the sign properly.  After coming out of the store and not seeing the Baby Buddha we realized what had happened.  Now what?  Who do we call?  Where is the van that we are supposed to sell tomorrow?  After making a few calls, a taxi ride to the impound lot and a hefty $322 fine, we got our beloved van back.

We also have been volunteering at a local restaurant, Lentil as Anything.  It is a non-profit charity organization that operates as a vegetarian restaurant with a pay-what-you-feel-your-meal-is-worth.  There is a donation box where you slip in your “donation” and make a wish.  It is a beautiful concept.  All staff are volunteers except a few persons, like the head chef and the owner.  Jeremy and I are responsible for waiting tables, making teas, coffees, clean up and anything else they ask of us. The food is delicious!  It is going to be difficult to say goodbye to this place.

In addition to our volunteering, we have moved into a hostel on work exchange.  This means that we work for three hours a day in exchange for our accommodation.  The hostel is in the heart of the city in Melbourne.  It is so nice to have toilets, hot showers, 4 walls and internet!  We have wonderful roommates that we  enjoy spending time with.  Labonya, our roommate, graduated from The University of Melbourne with her Masters Degree and invited us to her ceremony.  It was fun to be part of something so special.

Our original plan was to visit New Zealand after Australia.  Plans have changed!  We leave for South East Asia in 24 days!  This will be a completely different experience for both of us.  Our first destination will be Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Travel time: 8 hours.  I imagine though we will feel like we have been transported to a whole new world.  We are ready to embrace it with open arms.  After Malaysia we fly into Thailand.  Then we travel overland to experience …Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.  I never expected to travel to Asia.  I don’t think it ever crossed my mind until I met other travelers who have just loved it.  So we listened, read and researched our new journey.

A new year is just around the corner, along with new adventures and experiences.  The land down under has been amazing to us.  The friendships that we have made will last a lifetime.  Every single person has made an impact in our journey.  It will be difficult to step on the plane without tears but I know in my heart I will be back to visit Australia.

I wish a very happy and peaceful New Year to all my family and friends! With love and hugs! xxx