We arrived in Australia after having spent 3 months in Southeast Asia. We didn’t really realize how exhausted we were until we got to Melbourne. It was a much-needed breath of fresh air (no pun intended) from the dirty, crowded streets of Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. There was a design and music scene that immediately reminded us of home, a variety of food (including salad!), and we were planning to meet some friends of our friends from home. The only downside to our Australia experience was how expensive the cost of living is. Being from NYC, we didn’t think we’d ever be surprised by the prices of things…but we were very wrong about that. Luckily friends of our friends knew someone who was going to be out of town for a couple weeks, so we got an apartment for just $200 a week. We originally wanted to explore the entire country, but after realizing how big it is, and how poor we were, we decided to save our money and finish strong in New Zealand. Hanging out in Melbourne for two weeks ended up giving us a great impression of Australia though and we can’t wait to go back.
After a day or two of exploring on our own we finally got to meet our friend’s close friends who live in Melbourne. Over the course of two weeks, Paul and Dan and their unbelievably cute daughter Ikey invited us over to their apartment, took us to the Heide Museum of Modern Art to see the work of Louise Bourgeois as well as the Head Full of Snakes magazine launch party, and to the beach. There is nothing like being shown around by people that live in and love a place as much as Paul and Dan do Melbourne.
About halfway through the first week that we were in Melbourne, another good friend saw on Instagram that we were in Melbourne and connected us with his good friends who run Tokyobike Australia. We got to meet another amazing family who quickly became very close friends. Fuyuki, Yuki and their 2 year old son Eito are Japanese and moved to Australia after traveling for a while. They have since opened two Tokyobike stores and were generous enough to supply us with our very own Tokyobikes while we were there! Melbourne is the most incredible place for biking, the roads are huge, there really isn’t any traffic, and there aren’t many hills. Our bikes were absolutely amazing, so comfortable, so easy to ride, and so beautiful. Rumor has it that Tokyobike will be in NYC soon, and I cannot wait to get mine. Fuyuki and Yuki took us out to lunch, cooked us a traditional Japanese home cooked meal and took us to some of their favorite places in the city.
Before we left, we had the amazing opportunity to go out to dinner with all of our new friends! It was a really special experience being able to connect these amazing people who had done so much for us. After Southeast Asia we were feeling particularly homesick. We had both been through a lot and were really missing the familiar. We could not have had a better, more inspirational, and motivating experience in Melbourne and it came at the perfect time. We left excited for New Zealand and with a bunch of new friends!