Why Melbourne?

Monday, August 26, 2013

I felt that I had outgrown Auckland. It had been my home for almost seven years, since 2007. That is longer than you would spend in a NZ high school. Auckland was my university city and I was ready to find my young professional city. I knew Auckland too well. Auckland had become too comfortable.

from here
However, I have not always been in Auckland for all of those seven years. One year was spent in Paris, another half year in Seoul.. I have been on a constant move for the last three years. Having been away from my family and friends in my home country Aotearoa, I wanted to live ideally in another Kiwi city: Wellington, for its vibrant arts and food culture. But the capital city has strong winds and hills and landslides and earthquakes. Especially earthquakes. Christchurch, my hometown, is still trying to catch its breathe and stand up after Mother Earth went through a good rumble dance session phrase; it is not an experience I would like to relive.

The alternative, therefore, was Melbourne. It is a bigger version of Wellington, still artsy and a foodie's heaven. It is close enough from home that my loved ones can come visit more frequently than if I had moved to, say, San Francisco, or Milan, or back to Paris. Of course, there is also the advantage of less paper works involved. Being a Kiwi in Aussieland requires no special visa. I just packed and flew over, found a room, opened a bank account, got a job. I am now a Melbournite.
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Some friends ask me why I am always leaving. Why I don't settle down, as they have, and save. Save to pay off my student loan, to buy a house, to plan for the future. Why take risks? Some think I am living the typical irresponsible gen Y lifestyle: enjoy the now, worry later.

But upon leaving I am also always arriving. At my next goal. I plan and execute. I have never run away.

In high school I told myself I would return to France for a year to improve my French, after an all-too-brief two-month exchange programme. Gave myself six years. Then, you know what, I went back, exactly six years later. After university, I was offered an internship I had wanted. It would allow me to experience two cultures at the same time, French and Korean, as well as a taste of professional work in the sector of PR and Events management. I said yes on Friday, bought my tickets on Saturday, boarded for a 12-hour flight on Sunday, landed and started work on Monday.
from here
I know what I want and go for it. Each risk I take opens up so many doors I never even thought possible before. There are oh so many opportunities out there, still - places to visit, people to meet, foods and cultures to experience and taste.
from here
You don't need to be home to pay off your student loan. It make take longer with the higher interest rate, but I have a goal date for that, too, when I will be loan-free. It will be a happy occasion. It would be lovely to be able to own heavy coffee table books and lovely big wooden tables, in a house I can decorate however I want to. One day I will. Soon, but not yet. Home is wherever I find myself and the freedom to be able to pick up and leave at a moment's notice is something I value more for now.

Towards something I love and look forward to. Towards my goals. Right now, my goal is to stay in Melbourne for a while. I may even allow myself a coffee table book, or two. But not too many. Just in case.

Anaïs Nin said:
"I don't really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits."
I don't think all this is extraordinary, but I guess it is not the usual course of life most people take, either. My lifestyle isn't something I sought out, at first. I just reached out for my next goals and at times, most times, I was scared, but then I have a network of friends and family supporting me, literally all over the world.

I am incredibly fortunate.

This is how I plan for the future: through experience. Paving my own path forward, my way.
Right now, in Melbourne. 

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