Queen Victoria Market

March 2018 Expat Update

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Did you read our February Expat Update?

Another month flew by and already we are at Easter!  March really brought on the beginning of autumn in Melbourne.  Although Melbourne’s weather is quite mild, it still does experience four seasons (sometimes all in one day!).  The nights have started getting cooler and it is getting darker earlier.  But, autumn in Melbourne is a fabulous time of year with lots of sunny days in the low twenties too.

March was a pretty typical month for us with regular school routines, but also lots of opportunities to enjoy Melbourne and some lovely weekend getaways.  We really are committed to making the most out of our last few months in Australia and as I look back on March’s photos, I think we are doing a pretty good job at that.

School photo time

There are so many things we love about our life in Australia and I wrote a post this month about the things Canada should adopt from Australia.  I am planning a future post with the things I would like Australia to adopt from Canada.

March Highlights

NEW Travel More Case Studies

I wrote an article last year about different methods families are using to travel more together that received a lot of interest.  I talked about using parental leave to travel, taking an expat assignment overseas, doing a year-long round-the-world (RTW) trip and more.  This new case study series extends upon this post by profiling families using each of these strategies to travel more.  Twice a month, we publish an interview on our blog with a family so that you can learn from what they are doing and be inspired to make your travel dreams a reality.

Our first two went live on the blog this month:

My 3rd Triathlon

I have done 1 triathlon in each of the last 3 years and the one I did in March was my favourite.  It was about an hour outside Melbourne, on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula, at Mount Martha.  It was a smaller one and I felt much more comfortable during this one.  The night before I was feeling nervous and wondering why I sign myself up for these things.  But, I do love the sense of achievement that comes afterwards and the routine of training leading up it.

The aqua blue water views on the cycle made even the hills feel bearable.  The swim always makes me anxious, but I felt fairly relaxed on it this time.  Of course I love having my little cheering squad there encouraging me on.

Our Last Camping WeekendOtways Victoria

While it is definitely possible to camp all year long around Melbourne, it does start to get chilly.  We are hoping to squeeze one more camping weekend in before we go, but our March camping weekend might have been our last.  We headed out to the Otways which is a beautiful National Park along Great Ocean Road.  The rugged coastline, temperate rainforest and beaches are beautiful.

Koala in our campsite

Hiking in the Otways

We visited some of the Park’s amazing waterfalls and got to practice using our new toy, “Ruby” the drone.  The campsites at Blanket Bay are right on the ocean and I love falling asleep to the sound of the waves.  This area is known as the best place to see koalas in the wild and we even had a few living in the tree above our tent.  The kids had fun naming them and it is a pretty surreal experience to have them hanging around with us.  We also met some friendly families and the kids hit it off right away.  We introduced them to smores, which were a hit of course.

Ella’s First Concert

We love buying experience gift instead of material ones and for Christmas, we gave Ella tickets to see Ed Sheeran in Melbourne.  I was a little nervous how she would handle not receiving a physical gift, but she was absolutely ecastatic when she opened the envelope.  She has been counting down the days ever since.

It was such a fun night to accompany her to the show.  He put on an awesome concert and we were able to meet up with friends from school, making it even more fun.

Festival TimeMoomba

Melbourne always seems to have a festival going on and one that we loved last year was Moomba.  It is a bit wacky, with water skiing and wake boarding on the Yarra River through the middle of the city, a competition where contestants try to fly over the Yarra, fairground rides, a parade and lots more.  Moomba is held on the March Labour Day long weekend (strange isn’t it!) and this year we only went for a day, but it was good fun.

Staying Busy

Early in March we headed down to Torquay (an hour from our house) to give surfing another go.  I got to spend a few hours in the water and I definitely can see why people like to surf.

We love the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne and try to make it there every few months.  The produce is beautiful at this time of year and there are lots of wonderful snacks to tempt us.

The kids did the neighborhood business organization Easter egg hunt and were rewarded with giant chocolate Easter eggs.  Ella drew the golden egg and won us a $200 restaurant voucher – yay Ella!

Gavin participated in his first chess tournament through school and did a great job.  

Both Ella and Gavin have now participated in an interesting Aussie activity called “ice-blocking”.  You make a giant ice cube and ride down a hill on it.  It is definitely something we will have to try again when we go back to Canada.

Getting ready to go ice-blocking

Easter weekend was all about getting ready for our big Outback Australia road trip.  We enjoyed some meals with our neighbours and made a visit out to Hanging Rock, a local landmark with fun caves and rock formations to explore.

Hanging Rock, Melbourne

Testing out the drone

Travel Planning

March was busy further organizing our travel plans for July and August. Usually I love travel planning and researching, but finding affordable option for Europe in August is nearly impossible.  We like to travel on about $150/day all in, but doing that in Europe in August is definitely not going to happen.

We will be spending about a month in Indonesia and while we want to keep our time there somewhat flexible, we have made a few plans.  We are going to spend a week in Java doing a workaway where we will be hosted by a family and volunteer doing English instruction.  We are really excited about this cultural exchange opportunity and testing out this concept for our family.

Up Next

We are really excited about our Outback Australia road trip to Uluru and the Red Centre.   We will be working with Northern Territory Tourism and Britz Campervans, which we are really excited about.  There will be lots of posts on social media of that trip, so make sure you are following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Top Instagram Posts this Month

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