When I think of Melbourne, I think of street art and coffee. When we visited last summer, it did not disappoint! Today, I want to relive one of the best tours I have ever been on – the Melbourne Street Art Tour! This was a tour that I booked through AirBnB. If you haven’t explored AirBnB’s experiences section – check it out! There are always incredible adventures to be had that are led by locals.
This tour was led by a local artist who worked with Blender Studios in Melbourne. The tour was a few hours long and led us through alleys and streets I never would have known to go down. Not only was the art incredible, but so were the stories that accompanied the art!
The tour began in downtown Melbourne and ended at the Blender Studios, which was a treat in itself. We got a tour of the studio and got to speak to the artists and owners. Not only that but there was complimentary beer, kombucha, and snacks!
Now let’s get into the art!
We began in legendary Hosier Lane. Hosier Lane is a famous street in Melbourne, known for its ever changing street art. The energy of the area was high and the smell of fresh spray paint was plentiful. Not only was there spray painted art, but there was also object art (not really sure how else to describe it). The artist leading us pointed out the concrete art that lined the streets.
The creme de la creme of Hosier Street was a piece done by Adnate. This is a 23 meter tall mural of an aboriginal boy. The detail absolutely blew me away.
The tour continued down to Flinder’s Lane, where I got to meet my second Banksy piece. Excited was an understatement.
There were plenty of other spectacular pieces in the area as well! The first piece stood out because it extended to the floor as well! I loved how whimsical it was. The second one was just really cool looking, IMO. Perhaps it would make for a cool tattoo?
The last stop on the tour before we went to Blender Studios was Pesgrave Place. The art we saw there was unlike any street art I had seen before. Lots of it was 3D and there was a fun section where the art was all under frames, as if it were a museum.
Last, but not least, was our stop to Blender Studios. By the end of the tour, most of the other participants had left so it was just us and our tour guide. Honestly, this was my favorite part of the tour, and I feel like the others missed out! As I mentioned earlier, they had snacks and drinks. We got to see everyone’s studio and buy pieces from them directly!
If you couldn’t tell already, I loved this tour! If you have the chance, you should book it. It’s worth every penny and it goes back to local artists! If you’re interested in other posts about street art, check out this one from my trip to New Orleans!
2019 – damn were you a year. Like everyone else on the planet, there were highs and lows and days that just felt fine. 2019 brought me lessons, laughter and my fair share of tears. 2019 brought me travel and adventure with the people I care about. So before 2019 melts into the other years, I want to reflect on what happened and what I learned.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you probably understand the role that travel plays in my life. It’s always been important to me, but it’s importance grew during my first two years of teaching. I wasn’t able to find much joy in my day to day life, so I escaped by planning trips. Maybe it’s my vice or my coping mechanism, but honestly, I’m okay with that. 2019 was a travel heavy year for me.
In January, my husband and I wrapped up our road trip through Texas, during which we learned that pick-up trucks take a LOT of gas and that creative pursuits are worth spending time on. This year also brought me to New Orleans with one of my best friends, where I saw my first Banksy piece and binge watched too much Yummy Mummies.
I had two trips out to Denver to see another best friend of mine, one of which had me gambling for the first time (I lost a whole $10). The other trip brought me to New Mexico to see the hot air balloon festival, which absolutely blew my mind.
For spring break, my husband and I ventured to Italy, where we ate some delicious charcuterie boards, but were overall not that impressed. We did get some dope matching tracksuits and made some pasta from scratch though!
During the summer, we traveled to Singapore, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. Of those places, New Zealand is the spot that truly took my breath away. As my husband says, cities are cities are cities. New Zealand, however, had nature that we don’t get to see very often.
I rounded out the year with a trip to Spain with my mom. It was great to be able to spend quality time with her, especially as I grow older and life gets busier. While we did get on each others nerves, it was a trip that I will hold dear to my heart.
2019 was the year that I finished my first year of teaching outside of Teach for America. It was the first year I didn’t hate what I did. When I decided to teach for a third year, I was nervous. What if it wasn’t where I was teaching that I hated, but just teaching in general? Thankfully, I discovered that I love teaching. I love working with kids and seeing their excitement when things click for them. I finally can say that I love what I do. I am so grateful for that – how many people can claim the same for their jobs?
I was unsure if teaching was the right path for me, so I completed a fellowship on career choice this spring. While a lot of paths seem interesting to me, the fellowship reinforced my decision to stay in the classroom, at least for now. It was great for me to be able to have dedicated time and space to really think out my career plan. To be honest, I don’t have much of a “plan” at the moment. All I know is that I am happy teaching right now, so happy I will remain!
2019 was also the year that I bit the bullet and got my real estate license. My husband had been encouraging me to get it for quite some time, and I finally sat down and did the damn thing. Working with real estate on the side allowed me to work skills that I don’t generally have to work while teaching – like talking to adults! While I didn’t do much with it this year, I look forward to what kind of endeavors it brings in the future.
The older I get, the more important quality relationships mean to me. This year, my husband and I celebrate four years of marriage and five years of being together. I would say that this year brought us so much closer to one another, through the hard times and the good times. Leaving 2019, I feel more confident than ever in my relationship with my husband and excited to see what the future holds for us and our growing family.
In terms of friendship, I invested in the relationships that mean the most to me and drew myself back from those that did not bring me joy. The older I get, the more I realize that one or two solid friendships is all I need. If I’m not truly thrilled for a person when good things happen to them, then I know that I can’t be a true friend to them. 2019 is a year that brought me a tight circle whom I truly trust and care about.
I worked on myself a lot this year. For the first time in a long time (maybe ever), I felt comfortable in my skin. I attribute a lot of that to hot yoga. One of my friends convinced me to give it another shot and I fell in love. The fact that in one hour, I can sweat, meditate and grow stronger absolutely amazes me. The funnest aspect of yoga is watching myself improve. To see my body move into positions that it previously couldn’t made me think about how incredible the human body truly is. While I’ve had to take a break from hot yoga during the pregnancy, I am excited to head back in 2020!
In 2019, I also invested in my health in other ways. I (very casually) took up meditation and mantras, and found peace and relief through acupuncture. My body and mind had gone through quite a lot this year, and I am grateful that I found coping mechanisms to help me rise above it. Listening to and making music helped put my soul at ease. Books helped me get lost when I needed to escape the most. Writing played a role in my self improvement as well. While few people may read this blog, every time I post, I feel relief. Writing makes me feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I hope to do more of it in 2020.
Overall, 2019 has been wonderful to me. I had new experiences, both good and bad. I felt low so that I could feel really high. I surrounded myself with people I love. I became a better version of myself. 2020 has a lot of changes in store for me (cough motherhood cough) and I’m excited for it all. But for now, I pay respect to what 2019 brought me. Cheers to 2019, and to 2020 vision.