1) We were able to fit all of our clothes/other stuff into seven suitcases, just as we did when we moved to Melbourne. I have no idea how we didn't acquire a zillion things, but I did end up getting rid of about four bags full of clothes before we left, which helped to create some more space. We intentionally furnished our apartment with IKEA and the like knowing that we would get rid of it before moving back to the States, so we weren't that attached to anything. We stayed with our friends Matt and Lauren on our last night and somehow managed to (barely) fit all of our stuff into their car. They graciously took us to the airport early Saturday morning, which was much appreciated. This is a super low-quality photo, but it illustrates the extent to which Lauren and I were literally unable to move in the back seat.
2) The move doesn't quite feel permanent yet. I still feel like we're just on a visit back home and will return to Melbourne in a few weeks. I think this feeling will probably subside when we make our next move sometime in September and are finally settled into our own place. We've been staying with family, which is great (and free!), but also not permanent-feeling. Plus, our stuff is still packed away in suitcases for the most part, which makes it feel even more like we're on vacation.
3) We avoided jet lag almost completely, partly because we arrived after dinner time and were able to stay awake late enough to get a regular night's sleep. We also headed straight up north for a few days and were pretty busy and active the whole time, which I think is key. If we would have been hanging around on the couch all day Sunday I'm pretty sure we would have fallen asleep.
A few things we're loving about being back in the States:
- AIR CONDITIONING- We were welcomed back to summer in Minnesota with some high temperatures and even higher humidity. It's cooled off now, but the super-cold stores and restaurants were definitely appreciated on those hot days. Australia just doesn't air condition like we do here!
- TARGET- A legit selection of food, clothes, home goods, toiletries all in one place. I've missed it.
- FRIENDS AND FAMILY- I've gotten to see a lot of friends already and have spent a ton of time with family, which has been the best part of being home so far.
- ONLINE SHOPPING- Free shipping! Amazon!
- TV- Okay this isn't important at all, but it's nice to watch some of my favorite shows in real time instead of a day or so later.
- TIME ZONE- I enjoy being in the same time zone as most of my family and friends again. On the flip side, I'm now in a totally opposite time zone to my Aussie friends, which is weird and annoying. Can't win 'em all I guess.
And a few thing's we're missing about Melbourne:
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT- I hate driving. Being home for a week and a half has reaffirmed this (extremely warranted) hatred. I would much rather sit on a tram, which is now not an option. Boohoo.
- CITY LIVING- We're in the suburbs right now staying with our families, so we're definitely missing city life, but no matter where we end up, we likely won't ever live in the heart of such a vibrant and walkable city again, which is sad! We'll see what happens, but our place in Melbourne can't be beat.
- FRIENDS- Our friends in Melbourne are amazing! We wouldn't have had such an enjoyable two years without them and we miss them all already.
- THE FOOD- I'm not sure there's any city in the world with a food culture like Melbourne's. The quality, diversity, and sheer number of restaurants is insane.
- THE VIBE- This one is vague, but those of you who have lived in/visited Melbourne will get what I'm talking about. When my friends in Australia asked me what I was going to miss most about Melbourne, the best answer I could come up with was the overall vibe/feel of the city. It's big enough but not too big, concentrated enough to walk the whole downtown area, safe and clean in comparison to similarly-sized American cities, easy to navigate, near the beach, and filled with interesting architecture, laneways, restaurants, museums, etc. Plus, there are so many different inner suburbs/neighborhoods to explore that each have their own unique feel. I'm fairly confident Melbourne is the best city in the world and we're definitely missing it!