9 days living and working in Melbourne with my little sister. From our 18th floor apartment over the Yarra River, our adventures around the city, laneways, vineyards, chocolate factories and art - I loved every single minute!
My sister Jo is 8 years younger than me. Prior to her being born I’d had two brothers and I had wished on a star for a sister every night when I was little. And then I got one. But with an 8 year age gap our whole lives we’ve been in different places. I was moving out of home and at Uni as she was a teenager, I was having babies as she was having her 21st and she was having babies as I was starting a business. We’ve always been close (I can’t actually imagine getting through life without her) and we work together every day but this is the first time that we’ve both been in exactly the same space at the same time - when we went to Melbourne for a trade show and spent 9 glorious days working in Melbourne together. So here’s what happened when we lived and worked in Melbourne.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we were living a somewhat (ahem) unsustainable life. In fact at one point when Jo was lamenting how poorly our usual lives compared I did calculate how much we’d have to earn to live like this and we’d have to be earning $500k a year! We do not. But, let’s not let that get in the way of the story….
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we stayed on the 18th floor of the Pan Pacific hotel overlooking the Yarra River. We each had our own bathrooms and we had block out blinds that we could press a button and a floor-to-ceiling vista of the city and the river would reveal itself. We would have those blinds open from dawn until after midnight. Sipping hot chocolate at the end of a day and watching the gas brigades fire every hour from Crown.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we went out to dinner every night (and, those of you with children will appreciate this) we didn’t eat till 8pm! We found the most incredible restaurants all over the city and further afield.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we explored alleyways way past our normal bedtimes. Attracted like moths to fairy lights twinkling at the end of an alleyway, finding bars made out of containers there and wondering about the lives of the people that lived there and wandered through the alleyways.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we hired a rental car and headed out to the Yarra Valley with no directions other than the Getting Lost Girls Road Trip Edition and spent the day exploring chateau’s, vineyards, chocolate factories and spotting kangaroos on the side of the road.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we found art everywhere. From sculptures to graffiti to exhibitions to immersive experiences - it was all around us.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne it felt like the world around us changed so dramatically and yet seamlessly from one moment to the next - from the Italian precinct to Chinatown, to laneways to rolling countryside, to seaside.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we became obsessed with Lime bikes. We had the entire restaurant (full of people from the trade show) in hysterics the first time we tried to get on them in our long skirts and coats. But we figured it out quick! We used them to bike everywhere around the city and suburbs - taking them out to St Kilda to play the Cycling Edition of the Getting Lost Game. Each time finding so much more than we ever could have inside an uber.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we found the unexpected everywhere - giant pirate ships rising out from beside the conference centre we were working at and spell shops down the end of laneways that seemed like they could utterly cast a spell on us that would have us back at midnight when Jo and I woke to find we’d switched bodies!
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we worked long days at the trade fair - often talking so much that we lost our voice at the end of the day. We made so many new friends and learnt so much more about Australia working there (albeit briefly) than just visiting.
When we lived and worked in Melbourne we had no children dependent on us and no husbands to consider. But unlike when we were in our 20’s wondering if we’d ever be blessed with those things we knew that they were waiting for us at home so we could truly enjoy the rare privilege that it was to be without them for a small time, but know that we had them to return to.