Thursday, March 25, 2010

2010: THE YEAR OF THE TOURIST.







We've been living in Melbourne for 3 years now, and I confess I could be living anywhere in Australia.

It could be a small country town, the outback, the hills, even overseas. I don't get out much. And if I was to be exact, everything I do is limited to a 20km radius from my home.

What prompted this sad realisation was when my step-sister was planning her family holiday to Melbourne late last year. And as part of her preparation, she did what any wise person would do: she asked a local. Little did she know that the 'local' couldn't have been more clueless.

Anyone who knows a little bit about Melbourne, knows there is much to do in this amazing place. Why, it's The Third Most Liveable City In The World. There's festivals, the outdoors, Great Ocean Road, Wineries, Festivals, the Food, Music, Penguins, Grand Prix, Trams, Shopping, Puffing Billy... the list goes on and on.

And what do I know? A small region of Melbourne's eastern suburbs.

Thrilling, I know.

Although I've lived in Melbourne before, 10 years ago does not count as Current Knowledge. And the final straw was encouraging my sister and her trusting family to catch a tram to the city to reduce parking costs when there is now Flat Rate Parking (have $5 anyone?) every Sunday. And it rained that very afternoon. Did I mention the weather is something else Melbourne is famous for?

So I've decided that this year is going to be Year Of The Tourist. Yes, I'm going to be a tourist in my own city. I'm going to seek and destroy, search and conquer, live and let live... you get my drift.

So, we've been to the Zoo (twice now), visited the Surf Coast (for a wedding I might add), done Puffing Billy, even visited the Melbourne Aquarium.

And as part of our touristy existence, we've also decided to explore the Melbourne waters.

We bought a boat.

And although it seems a little extravagant, we just love it and are already reaping the rewards.

Its Maiden Voyage was this week, and we popped over to Phillip Island. We were a little nervous at first as this was the first time we launched a boat by ourselves. And new to this boat thing, we also didn't have the right attire (you know all white, or navy stripes, goofy cap...), but it felt so good and so right.

As well as this being the Year Of The Tourist, I think the past few months has reminded me I was a person with interests other than children before, well, I had children. I use to love skiing, bungee jumping, camping, travelling and having a nightlife that didn't involve breastfeeding.

So, I'm excited about this boat because it means more skiing, and the exhilarating stuff that water sports give me. Okay, I won't be bungee jumping anytime soon, but perhaps there will be a sky dive or a hot balloon ride just waiting to happen.

Melbourne, here I come.