3 things to remember before moving to Melbourne

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Moving to Melbourne permanently has been one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my life. It has not only brought so many opportunities for myself and my husband but it has also taught us that though we’re just moving down to Melbourne from Sydney, there’s a few things to remember before making the big move.

1.  Make sure you have a residential address ready when you apply for work

If you have been applying for work before moving to Melbourne and have been typing in a residential address that is outside of Melbourne, your chances of getting a response is very slim.

How do you get around this?

Ensure you have a residential address in Melbourne ready to put on your application form. Or if you are going to put in an address from a different state, make sure you personally call the hiring manager and tell them your plans for relocation. This will not only help the hiring manager remember you but it will also increase your chances of getting called for an interview.

Or if you would much rather spend time packing than looking for work, you can get the recruiter to do most of the searching for you. On Linkedin, there’s a plethora of recruiters eager to help even if you’re living interstate. So make sure you sign up and start networking.

 2. Work close to home or live close to work?

From my experience working in Sydney, if you tell a hiring manager that it took you more than 30 minutes to get to the interview, they will appreciate the time and effort you made to get there. The next question they’ll ask is if you would be ok with travelling more than 20 minutes for work.  As long as you show them you’re keen, have the right attitude and the right skills for the job, employers in Sydney have no problem hiring anyone that lives far from work.

However, here in Melbourne, after going through a few interviews, I noticed that telling a hiring manager that you plan to live in an area which is more than 20 min away seems to worry them. The managers that interviewed me always emphasised that it’ll be too far to get to work and may not work out. At first, I thought, maybe it was just me, however, after meeting a few Sydney expats, it became apparent that employers in Melbourne preferred candidates that already live in close proximity to work.

How do you get around this?

Tell them your plans for moving closer to work once you get the job. It’s as simple as that.

3. Think like a backpacker

Lastly, trying to find a rental place is impossible without a job. So if you’re left in the middle because no real estate agent will lease out a property to you while you’re looking for a job and you’re not successful in finding a job immediately, then you’re only option is to do something differently from what everyone else is doing.

How do you get around this?

If you’re like us – on a budget, with originally no family and friends here in Melbourne, the best way to get around this is to think like a backpacker on a shoestring budget: stay in a hostel or in a airbnb.

From my experience and other travellers’ experience we’ve met along the way, we have found that airbnb seems to work out more affordable most of the time rather than staying in a hostel here in Melbourne. It’s affordable and you also get your own room rather than sharing a room with 6 other people. Make sure you also look outside the areas where all the tourist attractions are, as the prices differ a fair amount. Remember you’re relocating, you’ll have plenty of time to be a tourist once you’ve secured a new job and rental property.

If you want to check out the differences between a hostel and an airbnb, check out my post “Hostel VS Airbnb” by clicking on this link  https://autumnbeats.wordpress.com/2016/02/24/hostel-vs-airbnb/ 

Until next time,

Autumn Beats.

The wheel keeps turning

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Geelong VIC (photo taken by Autumn Beats)

It’s been a year since we relocated to Melbourne. One year! I can’t believe it! It feels like we just arrived a month ago.

We have done so many things in one year compared to when we used to live in Sydney, in fact we have visited more museums, checked out numerous galleries, have been sightseeing, have eaten out at a greater number of restaurants and have probably been to more beaches in one month than we have done in one year back in Sydney – and Sydney is renowned for their great beaches.

I must admit I miss Sydney especially now that it’s summer. I miss our families and our friends that we have left behind. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we stayed in Sydney? Would we still be doing the same things? In saying this, I have to keep reminding myself the main reason why we left to give Melbourne a go.

This move has brought back memories of when we left the Philippines to migrate to Australia more than 20 years ago. The feeling of excitement of the things to come and the sadness that comes with it leaving the familiar place we call home.

Whatever the reason is for migrating to a different country or even to a different state, leaving family, relatives and friends behind is never easy. Settling in and accepting that you now have a new home away from home where you can’t just drive down the road to hang with family and friends is just as hard.

When I come to think of it, my parents did it, they packed their bags and left their homeland to migrate to a completely new country. My hubby and I are only one hour away by plane, however the sentiment is still the same nonetheless.

It feels like the wheel is turning again and I’m going through the same motion except this time as an adult not as a child, making my own decisions and not my parents doing it for me.  It feels like another chance at creating new memories again just like what I had to do when I was growing up in Sydney. I know there will  still be setbacks as life is never perfect and I know it will take time to build friendships or relationships just like how it did when I was growing up in Sydney, but I feel optimistic because I’ve been able to do it before. I know the wheel will keep turning as I know it always did for us when we  were in Sydney.

As much as we would all like to stay in the same place and be with the same people to celebrate only the good times, the wheel keeps turning, life goes on. We can’t keep dwelling on the past and wishing for things to stay the same, that’s just not how the wheel of life is. Whether we stay in one place or not, things change regardless. The wheel keeps turning.

Until next time,

Autumn Beats.

Is this little tart really worth all the fuss?

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Hubby and I was walking around Melbourne Central early this month and noticed there was a long queue of people lining up to get into a tiny store. I wasn’t quite sure what was going on and what all the fuss was about until I got closer to the front of the line and looked up at the name of the shop “Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart“.

Not having a clue what they were at the time, I peeped through the big glass window and saw these delectable looking tarts and with a sweet aroma of baked pastries coming out of the shop, it made me contemplate whether it was worth lining up in the queue.

As we were pressed for time, we decided to go home. We returned to the shop the following weekend, however by the time we arrived, they were closed. The time was only 3pm and the advertised closing time was 5pm: they were sold out.

Feeling disappointed we went back the following weekend with more optimism – surely all the buzz would have slowed down by now right? – wrong – they were sold out again!

Now feeling even more determined to get our hands on these little tarts we decided to go back on a weekday early in the morning with a mission to not leave the centre without trying these tarts. Upon arrival, we managed to get in without too much wait and bought four tarts.

Taking my first bite into the freshly baked tart, the first thing I loved immediately was the pastry followed by the actual cheese filling itself. The pastry had the right amount of hardness without crumbling into little pieces like other pastries usually do when you bite into it.

The cheese tart is a soft, very creamy and delicate cheese texture with a very subtle sweet flavour – in fact the pastry was actually sweeter. It was a different tasting cheese tart to how I imagined it. I thought it was going to be a lot sweeter but it was the perfect mixture of sweet and saltiness without the contrasting flavours overpowering each other.

Do I like it? Yes! Was it worth all the fuss? Yes, it is! We had two tarts each on the first day (one after the other) but in my opinion it was too much to have in one go – I think one tart is enough in one sitting to fully enjoy this delectable Hokkaido cheese tart.

 

Until next time,

Autumn Beats

 

Bruno taking me back to the early 80s and 90s

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Photo from Warner Music Australia

While I was wandering the movie aisles of JB Hi-Fi looking for dvds my ears perked to the songs being played in the store. I couldn’t believe it, I was head nodding to the beats and rhythm of the early 90s. I haven’t heard songs influenced by the early 90s RnB that is produced this well.

Soon I was humming to the entire song and absolutely fell in love with every song I had heard so far. I went up to my hubby who was looking for vinyls and mentioned how the song was taking me back to my hey day and felt complete nostalgia for my love of Rnb music while growing up in Blacktown (west of Sydney) and the good times and happy memories the genre brought me while growing up.

The songs from the album kept playing and my mind was then so focused on the songs playing through the loud speakers that I didn’t even realise I was just wandering aimlessly in the store while head nodding to every song. I went back to hubby again and I just had to express how much I love the songs that was playing and mentioned perhaps it’s Bruno Mars playing? Then I thought…mmm…maybe it’s not. It sounded like he had a much higher pitch than how I’ve normally heard him in his other songs.

The next song played again and I just had to ask the staff what album was being played? He disappears for a few minutes and voila! he returns with the new 24K Magic Album by Bruno Mars.  How can I doubt my own assumption? I LOVE BRUNO MARS!!!

I’ve never felt so much excitement over an album in a very very very long time. If I was still in the 90s, I probably would have rushed home and waited for the song to play on radio and recorded it using a cassette tape and repeated it over and over again until I could afford to buy the album.

Now that I work full time and today was payday, I bought the album without hesitation. As it turned out, it was only released today (November 18th 2016). I ended up buying the vinyl that comes with the digital download.

We listened to the entire album as soon as we got home and I can honestly say I love every single song.

There’s a strong influence of early 80s and 90s RnB and new jack swing. Don’t get me wrong, it still has Bruno Mar’s original, fun and creative flare. The song arrangements is sure to get you groovin’ to the beats and singing to every song. As a friend has recently said to me “Bruno Mars just does it right all the time” and I couldn’t agree more!

So if you love your rnb and new jack swing – buying this album is a must!

Until next time,

Autumn Beats

Sculptures amongst the Dandenongs

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Have you ever felt like you needed to be “arty” to walk into an art gallery?

Growing up, I never really saw myself as an artist not did I ever do well in painting or drawing or even creating sculptures. So the thought of going into an art gallery felt like I needed to have a bigger purpose such as a planned excursion rather than simply appreciating art. I always felt like I was never “arty” enough to boast about appreciating beautiful artwork even though I’ve always admired the beauty of art.

I appreciate the beauty: whether it’s architecture, paintings, sculptures or different  styles of photography. I guess you can call me “a timid lover of art”.

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Now that we’re living in Melbourne, I feel that it makes it easier for people like myself to be exposed to more creativity and beautiful artwork without having to be put into a box that you’re “arty”. I love feeling this way because I think art is for everyone and is equally appreciated by people from different career backgrounds.

One example is William Ricketts Sanctuary that Symon and I stumbled across while driving around the Dandenong Ranges. The sanctuary is an outdoor gallery showcasing William Rickett’s sculptures capturing the essence of Rickett’s connection with the aboriginal people, culture and the environment.

As I walked amongst the park surrounded by fern trees, I was in awe of his sculptures carved into the rocks and felt so connected with nature. The park is perfect for a quiet reflection whilst appreciating and understanding the realities portrayed by his sculptures.

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Until next time,

Autumn Beats.

Music will always be the heart and soul of Melbourne

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At Federation Square – Main Stage

 

We were taking my family around Melbourne on a cold winter night, it was slightly drizzling  and while we were walking from Crown Casino, we could hear music playing from a distance. Not having a clue to what was happening in the city that evening but the closer we got to Federation Square the more my ears filled with soul music and excitement.

My head was noddin’ to the beat of the drums and the groove of the bass, soon enough we knew we were in for a treat despite the cold weather. We hurried our way to Fed Square and there it was a full band performing an array of hip hop and RnB music to the public for free.

Though the instrumentals were covers that most people (those that love hip hop and rnb) knew, these artists are that good-it was like watching an international act holding a free concert for everyone-who knows? they probably were international acts  and I didn’t even know.

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At Crown Casino – Lobby

Prior to seeing the band at Fed Square jam out to soul music, my brother, hubby and I was chilling out in the lobby of the Crown Casino while the real adults were playing the pokies.

While we sat  in “The Waiting Room” sipping our tea and coffee and devouring delectable desserts, music was playing in the background with just the pianist and the singer with her shaker. There’s just something about the sound of the piano playing and the singer singing in the background-I’m not sure what it is, but I find it so soothing and calming.

The Waiting Room is definitely one of the best places to hang if you’re not keen to have a full meal at the casino and still enjoy the classy ambience of Crown Casino.

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Bastian Killjoy at Grumpy’s Green

For those not keen to sip on tea or coffee, Melbourne has an array of live music venues and Grumpy’s Green is one the places to visit if you want good live music.

The photos above were taken at Grumpy’s for the Young Diggers Dog Squad Charity Event who’s musical line up was helped organised by one of Australia’s talented hip hop artist – Saki.

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Tahu Dubs at Grumpy’s – For the Young Diggers Dog Squad Charity Event

 

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Transform MC at Grumpy’s – For the Young Diggers Dog Squad Charity Event

So there’s no excuse for hibernating in winter. There’s plenty of events to go to, and if it’s too cold to go to Fed Square, then head into one of the live music bars in Melbourne to warm up your souls with live music coupled with your favourite alcoholic or non alcoholic beverages.

If strong alcohol is not your preferred choice, then The Waiting Room  would be the place for soothing jazz combined with desserts, tea, coffee or maybe even champagne if you prefer.

Whether you’re out and about in Melbourne for other reasons, just like us, you will most likely stumble across music when you’re least expecting it: music will always be the heart and soul of Melbourne.

 

Until next time,

Autumn Beats

 

 

A city that cultivates individuality and style

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High Point Shopping Centre

(Photo by High Point Shopping Centre)

I can  truly testify to the statement that Melbourne is the fashion capital of Australia.

This is simply because Melbourne showcases so many more different varieties in fashion items whether by the major fashion retailers or the independent emerging designers. They truly cultivate and support individuality and style whether you prefer the bohemian look, urban wear or high end fashion style. Everywhere you look, there’s no stock standard style where you’ll feel left out if you looked different from the rest. In fact looking different from everyone else is encouraged and supported.

In addition to their array of styles, they also seem to constantly have sales on – it’s endless!

One of the sales I truly enjoy is when they have an even bigger sale for one day in addition to all the other sales – example, High Point’s Shopping Day where the entire shopping centre will open from 9am to 10pm. This is not even their shopping night which is on Thursday and Friday.

We’ve been to one of these shopping days and I must admit it felt like Christmas and a massive festival inside a shopping centre. There were DJs everywhere spinning the decks from the food court to some of the most sought after fashion retailers. There were events for kids and families.

So if you want some serious shopping with so much more variety in style, selections at a good price with a touch of entertainment, Melbourne is the place to go!

Until next time,

Autumn Beats

 

Out of my cave and back in the blogging game!

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It’s been 4 months since my last post and I think it’s time to get back into the blogging world if I actually want to take blogging seriously.

So it’s now spring and winter has come and gone – and guess what? we survived the so called freezing Melbourne winter everyone’s been telling us about.

Yes their autumn and spring is colder comparable to Sydney but the Melbourne winter itself wasn’t actually as bad and as depressing as people made it out to be. In fact I will highlight that we have had some pretty good sunny winter days and our rain was not torrential.

As long as you’re prepared for winter and don’t dress in silly outfits that’ll freeze your butt off then you’ll be fine in fact you’ll get to enjoy wearing all the stylish winter boots, jackets and berets without looking like an eskimo because winter in Melbourne is not as cold as some winters in other parts of the world.

Until next time,

Autumn Beats.

So how cold does Melbourne really get?

When we first relocated to Melbourne, it was in the beginning of autumn and the weather was bliss! I don’t know what other people are going on about Melbourne having four seasons in one day and how it’s always colder than Sydney, but I absolutely love the fresh and mild autumn weather all day long. I couldn’t even fathom how cold it could possibly get.

My family, friends and colleagues and my husband’s colleagues at work have all warned us of the cold winter months in Melbourne. Apparently, it’s dark, cold and really depressing. A client even mentioned to me over the phone that she left Melbourne specifically for that reason.

I begin to wonder, how cold can Melbourne really get? My imagination is running wild with blizzards and snow storms throughout winter now. Surely it can’t get that cold?

Fast forward to mid Autumn, I met a nice lady from work who was originally from Sydney – (in fact she was from – Parramatta!) So I asked her; “how cold does Melbourne really get?” and she responded “oh, it gets really really cold” so of course I asked if there were blizzards and snow storms? She responded that it wasn’t quite blizzards and snow storms but when she told me it was as cold as the Blue Mountains during the winter months, I knew without any further doubts..yep that’s cold!

We always go to the Blue Mountains in winter whenever we had relatives from the Philippines as the Blue Mountains was our usual tourist spot aside from taking them to the Sydney Harbour and the Opera House – I still remember trying to walk up the steps all the way to the top to see the “three sisters” and it was that cold that I couldn’t feel my feet and my knees were shaking from the cold, I can’t remember if it was because I wasn’t wearing the right winter clothing or if it was just really that cold.

Then just my luck, two days after being told that it was as cold as the Blue Mountains, I had my first taste of the cold Melbourne weather – it’s not even winter season yet! It was that cold that I had to wear my beret, hooded jumper and hooded puffer vest just to stay warm. Thank goodness I had my beret in my bag and decided to wear a hooded jumper and hooded puffer vest to work. Not exactly a very corporate attire but the hoodies were the first  outfits I saw and decided to stick with it since I didn’t have time to mix and match my outfit.

As you can see in my photo below, it was cold!

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So this post is a shout out to all my family, friends, colleagues and randoms on the street that has warned me of the cold Melbourne weather and doubted your warning! I believe every single one of you now and accept that Melbourne really does get cold!

I’m now preparing myself for the cold winter months that’s yet to come. I still haven’t experienced the “four seasons in one day” business though, but I guess I’ll experience it soon enough.

Until next time,

Autumn Beats.

 

 

Opal VS Myki

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What is an Opal and Myki card? Both cards are smart card tickets that you use to travel on the public transport by loading value/money onto it.

So which one is better? New South Wales’ (NSW) Opal card or Victoria’s (VIC) Myki card? Whether you live in NSW or VIC, I think both cards are pretty much the same – they both serve the same purpose and that is to get you from A to B by tapping on and tapping off.

The main difference would be the price chargeable to passengers per trip or per day.

The Opal card charges for the distances travelled. The further and more you travel per day, the more expensive the fare will be and this is charged each way. So for example, if you’re travelling for approximately 10-20km one way, the train fare would be $4.20 (non concession adult fare) during peak times. So therefore, if you travel to work for approximately 10-20km then back home again for another 10-20km, your total travel fare would be $8.40 per day.  If you decide to travel more than just to and from work, the price would be more than $8.40 per day.

The Myki card charges for the total travel time per day. So if your travel time for the entire day is less than 2 hrs, the maximum you would have to pay is $3.90 (for non concession adult fare). If your total travel  time is more than 2 hrs (regardless how often and how far you travelled in the metro line, the maximum you would have to pay is $7.80. In addition to this, the fares remain the same whether you travel during peak times or not.

In my opinion, the Myki card is much better than the Opal card in terms of price. I say this because if I choose to live further away from work to save on rent, I may not be able to save on travel time, however I am able to save on travel fare. With the Opal card, if you choose to live further away from work for cheaper rent, the price of the train fare may offset the savings in choosing to live further away from work and end up costing approximately the same as renting closer to work. So in the end, you not only don’t save travel time, but you also don’t save on travel fare using the Opal card.

So the Myki card is the winner on this one!

Until next time,

Autumn Beats.