It was only a dream, a dream that seemed to be so far- fetched and impossible. Through time, I was able to accomplish a part of that dream little by little. I am still dreaming but planning and pursuing at the same time, because you will never know, what seems to be so unreal and impossible becomes the other way around. ~ Jhes
It was my first personal travel out from my own pocket and I was so glad that my friends and I decided to take our first trip to the Land Down Under – Australia.
Our first stop, Victoria – a state in south-east Australia and most popularly known for its capital, Melbourne, home of my all-time favorite long stretch Great Ocean Road with its prominent landmark – The Twelve Apostles and not to mention the vineyards in Yarra Valley. If you have limited time to explore, these are my top 3 in Victoria!
Back in 2012, my travel buddy and I, first visited Australia and we first headed to Melbourne. The city’s quaint vibe got me from the very first time I laid my eyes on the city from the Tullamarine airport and that same vibe kept me interested during my stay.
Melbourne is known for its bar hopping action (I only went to one and it gave me the ultimate shock of my life, don’t ask) and very European atmosphere. The weather is a little bit unpredictable, it can be an early morning sunshine, stormy or rainy afternoon and freezing cold in the evening. So, if you plan to travel, you need to make sure you are ready to the fickle weather in Melbourne. Nevertheless, I prefer living here than in Sydney.
The city is basically just walking distance and there are a lot of cafes, bars, famous landmarks and it is a haven for foodies.
If you prefer to buy where the locals buy their fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, then head your way to Queen Victoria Market. You can find nearly everything here, from fruits, vegetables, meat, spices, clothes and so much more. It is a one stop shop for the locals and it is worth your visit and make sure to find the right timing as this place can be a little bit hectic in the morning and closes as early as 2PM on some days as well.
Unfortunately, we only had a limited time to explore and see the whole of city center as we allotted more time for our Great Ocean Road trip (which was actually a good idea), but definitely, the connection with the city is there for me and made me want to go back.
I was so excited for the 2 days and 1 night Great Ocean Road trip. We booked a group tour because you need to drive to see the whole stretch of the Great Ocean Road that is 244 kilometers long.
This was the highlight of my Victoria trip. I saw a lot of amazing photos about GOR online when I was planning the trip and I cannot believe I was able to see the stunning view myself, witness the most amazing surfing coastline, take photos and really just enjoy the trip.
The Great Ocean Road trip will give you one of the most amazing road trip with an exquisite and stunning view of one of Australia’s spectacular coastline. You will also have the chance to visit the following famous landmarks along the way.
- Port Campbell National Park – 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and Gibson Steps
Aussies living near this awesome place is very fortunate, indeed (and I am envious!). Our guide, Damien, did an awesome job showing us and made the trip fun and exciting! When you travel most especially with a group, you will meet a lot of people, from different places and it is fun to talk and share stories with strangers.
After the road trip, from stunning, picturesque coastline view, we headed to Yarra Valley for 1 full day of wine tasting!
Yarra Valley offers a wide range of cellar doors with very distinct approaches and styles in wine making. As far as I can remember, we went to more than five cellar doors and I can only contain as much wine during that time. So without telling the whole story, you know what happens when you are a bit intoxicated.
We went back to the hostel happy and drunk! I never really expected that I will enjoy wine tasting because I don’t drink wine that often, and occasionally, I prefer bier than wine, but all in all, the trip was awesome!
Looking back, working so hard for a year and spending the hard-earned money to something extraordinary, where you can meet other people, know yourself better and realize that there are more to life than what you have imagined, is all worth it.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
So, for those working for 8 hours and 5 days a week like myself, there’s still a chance to see the world. It maybe slower than how others make it, but you will eventually learn the rhythm when and how will you manage your time and spend your vacation leave to a worthwhile adventure.
It is never too late!