World

9.26.2013

One Way Ticket: A Melbourne Local

If Sydney had a bohemian, eccentric, weird sister, it would be Melbourne. The city is a notorious hub for cool culture, a destination rich with creative energy that excites the masses. What some argue Melbourne lacks in landscape, it makes up for in just about everything else: fashion, music, street art, coffee, better coffee, homegrown boutiques, hidden laneways and bustling street-side cafes. Here in Melbourne, down a random alley covered in graffiti and up and up flights of stairs is a rooftop bar covered in astroturf and multicolored umbrellas. The beats are funky and accents are spoken from around the globe. Down and down those stairs, around the corner and through a secret garden is a discreet drinking caveat you’d only find by accident. The one-time pop-up bars are so trendy and cool they become as permanent as the paint-splattered walls. These are the typical things that give Melbourne its appeal, and for a self- diagnosed, semi-jaded traveler, it makes it the ideal city to root in.

One year and three weeks have passed since my first intrepid departure from America. That’s 386 days with a backpack. My title as nomad, vagabond, on-the-roader feels the length of my entire lifetime. My previous self manifests itself only in memories. Time has a funny way of changing our perspectives – sometimes seducing once-open minds to become less eager and less curious. "To travel" has ceased to describe what it is that I do. The act of settling and unsettling, only to do it again in another city, another country, is simply living my life. A wise man once said that travel is most gratifying when the two become indistinguishable. What he failed to acknowledge is the underlying danger of indefinite travel – the possibility of becoming worn by experience. That is when our perceptions of something magnificent is subconsciously judged in comparison to everything magnificent we’ve already seen, and everything beautiful and inspiring in the world begins to blend together.

After that one-year anniversary, I yearned for a wake up that called for something beyond tourist maps or city guidebooks. I wanted to wake up and know a city effortlessly. In my search to maintain a subsequent level of thrill when travel stops being travel and becomes relative, Melbourne was the obvious answer. No copious amount of worldly experience could dull a place filled with such innovation and charm. So as snow begins to fall on the East Coast of America I’ll be hanging out under the Australian summer sun, sharing the cultural bliss of a city that gives New York a run for it’s money with all of our friends at Milk Studios.

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