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The Third NYE in Melbourne

In October I fretted over what to do for the New Year's holiday. My office would be closed and, having such limited vacation time, it seemed like a waste to just stay at home and do nothing. I considered my options - Croatia, London (again), Poland. They all would require a degree of planning that at the time I didn't have the patience or general time to dedicate to it. My eyes lingered on the flight calendar showing me all the possibilities for a week's vacation and finally I said forget it, I'm just going to Melbourne.

This was my fifth trip to Melbourne, the first was New Years 2018. Each time I return it feels more and more familiar to me. So much so that I didn't even think of writing about my time while I was there.

So what does one do on their fifth trip to a city? Well all the things you enjoyed the other times. I spent my days in the sun sipping Bundaburg and my nights at lovely dinners or sipping cocktails at the delicious and uber trendy Above Board until the wee morning hours. When the weather was too hot to bear I retreated indoors to the Casino where I watched a great movie (Knives Out), wandered around, got carded even though it's 18 to enter, and had the chef's omekase at Nobu. My normal routine was to leave my AirBnB around noon, after working all night and trying to take a nap while the sun beat down on my face, head to the grocer to get a drink and some snacks or breakfast/lunch, then make my way to the park where I'd find a nice bench in a not too sunny part of the park and watch the people walk by or read my book or even nap on the bench if the work day had been particularly hard. My new coworkers find it just as odd as my old coworkers that I would willingly trade a nights sleep to be in meetings, on Slack, and typing away from 2am until 8am. But I did it for nearly half my trip without complaint.

Most importantly on this trip I was finally able to breathe (despite the smog from the Australian wildfires) and unwind from the stressful six months I had. Starting a new job is never easy, especially when you've been at the same place for a few years. This new job in particular has brought with it a whole new set of challenges and the return of a lot of old ones that I had already conquered. I'm a manager now, of sorts, and the lead of my team. It's a position I always found myself in by circumstance but never before on purpose or with any kind of authority. Unfortunately it didn't mean leaving my previous responsibilities behind and only expanded upon them. Then a few weeks before my trip I found myself with yet another job placed on my plate, this one with industry changing capabilities and a hyper aggressive, nearly impossible, deadline.

I didn't realize how tightly I was wound up from work until I found myself, after a bit of a false start getting into town at the crack of down and not being able to drop my things at my AirBnB then being saved by Bren who let me leave my luggage with him and use his apartment as a waiting room, sitting outside of Alimentari eating breakfast. Full of delicious food and coffee I exhaled and felt lighter somehow. The next day as I sat in my favorite park sipping my favorite ginger beer in the brilliant sun with the cold wind on my face, the last bit of stress dissipated into the air.

For New Year's I headed into the city with Bren and got to see the fireworks for the first time ever. Three trips for NYE and it took booking a night at a bar on the south side of the river to see them. It was absolutely worth it though, surrounded by everyone staring up into the sky and looking all around us as the sky lit up with multiple colors shooting off from the top of the skyscrapers.

By the time I was back on my plane on January 6 I thought I was leaving much too soon. I look forward to the year when I can have two summers again and be where things move just a smidge slower and the sun is just a bit brighter.


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