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  • Writer's pictureRene

Why I'm grateful for the last 19 months in Melbourne

It's been a really long, but interesting, 19 months! The lockdown of travel worldwide has impacted so many of us all around the world, and we all have stories to share. Many of which we should be grateful for.

Here's mine...

I returned to Australia March 2019 for a regular visit with family and friends and to attend a wedding. Little did I know that the return flight I had booked to return to my home in beautiful Thailand, was going to be cancelled.

At first, honestly, I didn't really put too much thought into it. Flights change all the time and I wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere. I was grateful to be in Melbourne with friends and family I loved.

The first month was fun, but then shit got real. Forget that I couldn't travel... the weather started to cool down.

At this stage, I had been living in Asia for almost 5 years, and had been traveling worldwide, chasing the sun for about 20 more. I had avoided winter in any country, except to ski in Japan, for years. I was not ready to face a Melbourne winter, and certainly not ready with my 1 suitcase of light clothes that I had travelled to Australia with initially.

Still believing that 'any day' I would be able to travel to return home, I refused to buy clothes, clothes that I already had in wardrobes at home, in Thailand. Besides that Melbourne was in strict lockdown so there was nowhere to go anyway.

I lived in gym gear, and a selection of hoodies thanks to my sons wardrobe. That was good enough. I felt grateful that the situation bought us closer together. That gave him a chance to reverse the roles and look after his mum. It was cute.

It's always great when you 'visit' friends and family but that can get tiresome. I was grateful for the extra time I had to spend with those I loved, but there comes a point where you tend to overstay, or get sick of staying with other people, so I had to rent an apartment, a furnished one because I had no intention of residing in Melbourne again.

My apartment had tenants that I didn't want to move out, so I booked an Airbnb. I rented for a month, then another, then another. After 6 months of that I rented a bigger one for 12 months. It was a luxury pad, had great views and all the comforts, but it was still temporary.

That year went really quickly. I walked a bit, exercised a bit less, ate a lot, drank more, and managed to escape sleepy Melbourne as often as I could to stay in the country.

Lucky for me, I have a cottage on a family property in the Macedon Ranges, so a day trip to Daylesford, Echuca, Bendigo or even Ballarat wasn't out of bounds for me. I felt grateful.

Nearing the end of 2020, I lost one of my best friends from cancer. I spent 10 weeks with her bedside in hospice. It was a heartfelt time. I was grateful to be in Australia with her as she transitioned from caterpillar to butterfly 🦋 RIP Ana 🙏❤

Come Mar/April.. slowly windows of life started opening up in Melbourne and we could live a little - but I stress only a little!! We were still living ridiculous lockdown laws and limited to what we could do, who we could see and when we could do it. Honestly, it was stupid!

Late July '21 one of my sons had a serious 'accident'. He was hospitalised for months - 101 nights to be exact. I spent 80% of that time bedside with him, virtually living in the hospital. So again, if I need to be grateful for the pandemic, it was because I was here to care for him during a time which almost cost him his life, twice. I'm grateful he stayed strong and fought so hard. I'm grateful he's alive today.

I recently moved from the Airbnb into a beautiful, waterside condo in Docklands, Melbourne, well at least for 12 months. During the day I see so much activity along the Yarra River, and see many boats come and go from Docklands Marina. At night I can see the lights from apartments along the Yarra River flicker off and on. It's so calming and relaxing.

I'm so grateful to be able to walk along the river to the Arts Centre, to the restaurants at Crown, stroll down Collins St, or to the city to find a cosy cafe tucked away for a discrete date in the city.

My apartment is so comfortable, and my visitors feel very much at home. I'm grateful that I can share my space and have time to enjoy Melbourne while I can.

It has been a long and interesting 19 months that I'm grateful to have come out the end in good health and be able to travel internationally again.

As I write this blog, I am sitting poolside in my villa at Phuket. I have my 3 furry friends, who were very excited to see me, beside me and we are watching the most beautiful sunset over the Argean Sea.

I am so grateful for the life I chose and for who I have become. A life rich of travel and experience is a life I wouldn't trade for anything.

Thank you to the wonderful gentleman, without you, this wouldn't have been possible.

I am so grateful for the opportunities then, and for what is ahead for us all in 2022 and I look forward to joining you, somewhere fabulous, soon. ✈ ❤🙏

Please contact me to discuss meeting in 2022. I offer a discrete travel concierge service, with discrete fly me to you arrangements worldwide.

Love, Rene x

International Travel Companion

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