Hey Mate!!

That’s how they do it in the Land of the Roos – Kangaroos! Penning down my thoughts about my life as an expatriate in Melbourne made me ponder how to best capture it all in a few words where as my experiences have been anything but ordinary.

Having moved from India 3 years back as my partner was already working here was a great opportunity to restart – like a wish come true – New Country, New Culture, New Job, New Faces & Friends!

Melbourne being the sports capital of the world gave me tickets to The Australian Open, The Ashes at the MCG, Formula One, AFL – Australian Football league (yes they have their own version of Football – The Footie!) and Surfing.

Though not being much of a sports person earlier, I am now a convert and can definitely consider myself a fitness fanatic thanks to the open gyms by the white sand beaches, hikes with camping grounds and running trails at every park a Melbourne suburb has.

Heading Down Under (literally!), The Great Barrier Reef –Silent yet exploding with vibrant colours and life! Dreamlike is what it felt diving 15ft under the Pacific Ocean while we chased tortoises that curiously gazed up questioning our quest to follow them.

The diving experience was so surreal that it motivated us to get ourselves PADI certified. Our next plan is to take a caravan down the West Coast to dive with the humpback whales.

Melbourne has so much to offer. Every month, every season and every weekend is exploding with activities to indulge in. I believe that every person is an artist from within, but Melbourne is a city that takes it to an all-new level especially with its White Night Festival every autumn. Artists make the city’s buildings come to life with live moving projections – as if each building has a story to tell. Goosebumps!!

Now getting down to some pointers as an expat living in the Aussie Land:

  • Working in Melbourne is all about Networking – forms a big part in the job market in Melbourne. Many times you get a job by just knowing the right person. So a big tip might be to start reaching out and going for coffee catch-ups with people in your space even if they don’t have a job advertised.
  • Watch out for the erratic weather – Firstly the weather in Australia is opposite to what the rest of the world has, so June, July, August are our coldest months. Also, something I learnt with experience is that always carry an umbrella and a jumper handy as the weather can go from 40 degrees to 11 degrees in a span of 4 hours!
  • Must explore in Melbourne
    1. The Great Ocean Road
    2. Hiking at the Grampians– great way to see Kangaroos out in the wild and also experience glamping
    3. Graffiti Lane– In the CBD of Melbourne you can see outstanding murals painted. Few of the well-known lanes AC/DC lane, Union lane, Hoisier lane.
    4. The Royal Botanic Garden– heritage listed and as iconic place with age old flora.
    5. Evening by the Yarra– simply beautiful to sit by the Yarra river with the city skyline at the backdrop.
    6. Flinders Street Station – The architecture and lighting of this metro station is one of the best. Not to mention; during the Victorian era the design for our Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Flinders Street Station got swapped by accident and that is how it got constructed!!
    7. Watch the penguins – Drive to the Phillip Island and you will witness penguins when they return back from the sea for the night.

In retrospect, Melbourne has its own personality, which is very easy to fall in love with and make it your own personality and unknowingly this city has created amazing memories for me to last a lifetime.

Cheers to the unknown and where it will take me next!

The writer of this Guest blog is my partner in crime, my inner voice, my conscious, my best friend – Ankita Biswas. Ankita is a Bengali born and brought up in Chandigarh. After completing her schooling, she moved to Bangalore for her Under Graduation in B.Sc. from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore after which she decided to pursue her master’s in chemistry that brought her back to Chandigarh. Keen to be a part of the corporate world she pursued MBA from XIME, Bangalore.

She has worked as a Human Resource professional specializing in Talent Acquisition with Misys and KPMG in Bangalore before moving to Melbourne where she has been working in the recruitment industry for a Talent Management Company.

Her hobbies include yoga/exercising, traveling, gardening, reading and listening to music. She has recently started exploring the creative artsy side by indulging in paintings and doing bottle art.

Places explored – Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Italy, Fiji, New Caledonia and many sites within Australia.

Travel tips:

  • Travelling by itself is a joy. Not that I follow any tip as such but I always try to stay local to try and experience the culture of the cities I visit.
  • If you are visiting a place where English is not the main language make sure you are ready to make Google translator your best friend!

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