It was painful to leave Emilie in New Zealand behind, knowing that we would not see each other for a couple of months at least. The previous 9 months we were together 24/7 and all off a sudden we should not see each other at all anymore. Sitting in the airplane and crying like a baby, I flew to Australia to visit a good old friend in Melbourne who I used to live with in the UK years ago.
Luke picked me up from the airport and he and his family welcomed me as their lost child. I felt very comfortable and was more than happy that someone would be providing shelter for me. From the outside I must have tried to look cool but inside of me I felt very sad and was terribly missing Emilie. I tried to focus on the new environment in and around Melbourne and what it had to offer. It is an amazing city with a genuine and highly sophisticated coffee culture which deeply impressed me day after day. The small alleys could have been also somewhere in Europe and people enjoyed life outside on the streets. I loved in particular the CBD of the city which is quite a hip place with many different restaurants, cafes and bars hidden all over the quarter. Furthermore, I loved the street art scene of the city which is highly creative and one will find a new piece of art after each corner… I was also surprised that public transport was for free in the city centre, wow! I only saw this concept in Kuala Lumpur before and was still impressed again by the generosity of the public sector.
Luke organised a river cruise with a boat which gave a great overview on the different sights of the city. Unfortunately it rained pretty much the whole time and we took the bad weather as an excuse to check out a super cool bar in a mall where we were watching people from the terrace. The same evening I arranged also to have a (or more) drink(s) with Jane, my former leadership coach from IMD and caught up with her in the coolest and hippest cocktail bar in town – I won’t forget the Espresso Martini which was hitting me like a rock 😀 Jane and I had an absolutely blast and talked a lot about life and what the future might hold for us. Forgetting all about the time, Luke was already waiting for me and we had a last drink all together. As we walked out of the bar and heading back home, I was sure that our decision to travel the world was right. There is no such thing as a happy coincidence…
The next days, Luke and his lovely family brought me to nearby beaches where we had lunch in beautiful cafes and restaurants, enjoying the life close to the sea. Since I heard already a lot about Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park and Luke never went there either, we decided spontaneously to do a road trip for a day into the South East of Melbourne. Again, the weather was really bad even though the weather forecast told us differently the day before. Luke just smiled and mentioned that the weather in the Melbourne area is just very difficult to predict. We still made the best out of the day, had a super delicious breakfast on our way and several short walks at a couple of beaches in the Prom. What was making the walks even more challenging was the fact I forgot my damn jacket at home, lol. I just had my black sweater on which had the same colour as my jacket and somehow I messed it up. 😀
Another highlight was a day trip to the top of a mountain with Arthurs Seat Eagle cable car in Dromana from where we had a breathtaking view all over the Melbourne bay area. Furthermore, we made a break at the Mornington Yacht Club to check out a coastal walk and the pretty boats in the harbour. When looking at the sea I suddenly saw something flashing out of the water… There… again and again. We saw a school of the largest dolphins I ever saw. I still believe they were whales but the locals tried to tell me differently, lol. Again, we were absolutely lucky to see such gorgeous marine animals just a couple of meters off the shore. When walking over to the peer in order to possibly see more, a fisherman was fighting with an apparently huge fish on his rod. I never saw someone catching such a huge fish before and we were again amazed by the luck we had today. When I thought this would not be possible to top anymore, we drove to Cape Schank for a short walk at the coast and the lighthouse. Perfectly timed for the sunset the whole scenery got painted in beautiful red and orange colours, making it a perfect end for that day.
After staying at my friends place for longer than I originally planed, I finally organised a rental car and approached my next adventure the following: The Great Ocean Road.
Social media has always been a topic my better half and I were discussing controversially since we wasted quite a lot of time on several platforms. In the end only due to the fact Luke and I stayed for so many years in touch we could celebrate our reunion. I am deeply grateful for his and his families hospitality and they will be always welcome to visit us wherever we will be in this world. Again, THANK YOU GUYS!!!!!!