Ohh Melbourne

Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start.

MELBOURNE! I’ve long been enchanted with Melbourne. They call it the Europe of Australasia. Australia’s Capital of Arts.  The Hipster heart of Australia. And it keeps winning the world’s most liveable city. I’d argue, as it’s so damn cold every time I go, but there is something that keeps drawing me back.

Melbourne’s attraction is subtle and experiental. I love the soul of the place. There’s a little bit of a rivalry between the North and South side, and have to say I’m all for the North. Maybe I’m a little bit hipster and bohemian at heart or maybe I just fancy things that are a little less polished, and rougher around the edges.

It’s an area that’s a little bit delighting to wander through… the creative feel, the street art, the quaint cafes, the eclectic eateries, the rustic vibes, the fashion, and the people watching. The food is wonderful, the coffee is good and everyone seems in the know about whole foods and green living.

One thing I did find extraordinarily weird was how cold it was, and yet no one wore a coat. They insisted on wearing light cardigans, even in the dregs of the night – in winter! I was baffled. Maybe the Melbournites have acclimatised to the freezing conditions. Or maybe they are just too hip to wear winter woolies.

Here’s a few photos back in June, freezing my tits off right at the start of Melbourne’s oh so brisk winter.

 

Hot Toddy + DJ + Artist

Hot Toddy + DJ + Artist

Shoe Shopping in Adundance

Shoe Shopping in Adundance

The Streets of Fitzroy

The Streets of Fitzroy

Immersed in Street Art

Immersed in Street Art

All space is utilised

All space is utilised

Friend!

This girl!

 

Clean eating travels

I write from my friend’s apartment in Bogota, Colombia reflecting on the gourmand side of my journey thus far. Melbourne, Los Angeles, Bogota have all varied greatly in their cuisines on offer.

In the last 6 months I’ve become a mild healthy eating nutter. I can’t say what exactly inspired such a drastic change, but once I felt the results of healthier eating I was a convert. The one problem with travelling though, is you can’t afford to be a fussy eater nor do you want to miss out on anything delish.

I stayed on the North side of Melbourne, just out of Brunswick, and saw a whole new side of the city. Vegetarism and Veganism are huge. Huge. I felt like every 3rd cafe or restaurant in Brunswick had a Vegan sign adorned with hearts and flashing lights. Raw food was also trending. Whole food stores littered the streets of every suburb I visited, and what pleased me most was all the green smoothies and fresh veggie juices on offer.

Kale rides bikes in Melbourne

Kale rides bikes in Melbourne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure exactly what inspires such a food movement, but I feel like it was fitting with the locals – there was a rustic, bohemian artist vibe. I visited Ceres an organic veggie farm, market and cafe. Here the children, chickens and even parents seemed to roam free. Unpretentious and happy with the simple things in life. Good coffee, fresh produce, and mismatched woollens.

The Ceres Veggie Garden

The Ceres Veggie Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles was a whole different story. It seemed to me, a place of stark contrasts. Diners and juice bars populated the streets. Huge meals typically hamburgers with fries seemed to be the go. There were of course variations, but these too generally involved white bread of mammoth proportions. I ordered the chicken salad once, but it wasn’t worth it. The chicken barely resembled meat, and plain iceberg lettuce isn’t really my thing.

Some lunch options on Venice Beach boardwalk

Some lunch options on Venice Beach boardwalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there were the juice bars. There were so many equally delicious smoothies I had difficulty choosing. I was given a full dietary rundown on the fibre, calorie and nutrition of each, and all of course were endorsed by some famous LA nutritionist I’d never heard of. The fact that the smoothies were described as “soooo filling” and the same price as a burger combo, made me wonder if these were in fact intended as liquid meals. Do the masses eat the combos and the rest smoothies? It is possible. My visit to LA was so fleeting, and the city is so vast, I think I missed all the hidden gems.

Smoothie lovers paradise

Smoothie lovers paradise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On route to Colombia I stopped in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and I found even the airport food was pretty impressive. As soon as I’d gotten off the plane I knew there was a Carribean flavour here. Afro-Carribean and Latinos voices sung out across the airport in Spanish. Menus boasted local flavours and fresh organic produce. This place was heaven to my stomach. I ate breakfast at 430am.

And now Bogota. My first meal was a steak with an egg and tomatoes on top, salad, potatoes and guacamole. It was so huge I couldn’t eat it all, and that rarely happens to me. There is definitely a strong American influence in this Colombian capital but you have the best of both worlds. Fresh fruit juice is huge, local superfood berries are in the rise, and the coffee is strong.. so I’m pretty happy. My Spanish isn’t quite good enough to request any of my usual orders but that’s probably a good thing.

 

Hasta Pronto Colombia!

It is done.

I fly — AUCKLAND —  MELBOURNE — LOS ANGELES — BOGOTA — where I’ll spend arround a month in Colombia. The rest is open ended, but planning to sail to PANAMA and meander around there & COSTA RICA before flying from there back to LA, then home.

2 months. 8 weeks. 56 days.

I can do anything. It’s a liberating thought.

The Caribbean, the Amazon, colonial towns, tropical islands — it’s all going to be happening.

In 3 1/2 months I’ll be taking off on a trip I’ve been contemplating for years. Dreaming, pondering and finally the timing seems right. I’m not 14, but I am on the #YOLO band wagon. And while I haven’t conned anyone into joining me, there will be a few friends along the way.

This will be my 3rd time to South America, the love affair continues…

I never made it to Colombia, but it was rated by all the traveller’s I met along the Gringo trail. Central America also sounds my kinda place.

I love the Latino culture – the mix of passion and tranquilo. I feel at home amongst it, and with my curly brown hair and olive skin I blend right in until I speak. I definitely need to work on my Spanish.

Been that side of the world before? Love to hear your thoughts. For those readers who travel vicariously, MANY a photo to follow… Like my blog on Facebook for photos and posts along the way 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/keshafayblog

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New Stuff

I like things and stuff. In particular new stuff, but I also like old things. I prefer other people’s old stuff, but I like to hang on to mine too just incase.

I seem to get in a perpetual cycle of accumulating new stuff, and forcing myself to rid myself of old stuff. It’s great.

Look here’s all the shopping I did in Melbourne. I went over with one carry on bag, and it magically turned into 2. I’m really good at buying things.  New jeans, new shoes, new shorts — new things make me happy. Old things get well, old.

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Here’s some of my old stuff. I kinda hate it. Even though it’s kinda the same kinda stuff as my new stuff, they’re newer and more exciting. So I throw out the worst of my old stuff. Here’s a few bags I’ve been collecting for awhile.

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I feel good after giving away that stuff to charity, so good, I think maybe I need to buy some new things. I start browsing online. I dream of all the stuff I may need. I browse collectables. I stumble across vintage posters —  those I think I really do need. I don’t have anything like that yet. And so the accumulation of things and stuff continues.

And it’s Christmas time! So I’d better go and buy some new things for other people! My only problem is everyone seems to have all the stuff they need already. And so I race around like mad, with all the hundreds of other shoppers, all of us looking for things and stuff for people who already have plenty of things and stuff.

And so I’ve wrapped up all my new things for everyone for tomorrow. And I can’t wait to open my presents and get more stuff, I just hope it’s stuff I like.

Inspired by the comedian George Carlin

On Melbourne and Pony-Tailed Men

They say Melbourne is the Europe of Australasia. It was in Europe I first noticed the urban pony-tailed man, and it seems this trend has made it to Melbourne. This fetish has long been a bit of a weak spot for me.

One train, one lost stumble, and one tram later I found myself on Brunswick Street — home of the Melbourne Hipsters and alternative folk. Despite being rather mainstream myself, I felt quite at home here. It reminds me of East London, memories ago, where the neighborhood is cool, but the local folk are cooler yet.

First stop was some café about a cat, which it turns out, is in fact a bar. How fitting. The local joint is decorated with two barristas, both sporting the dirty blonde ponytail with exactly the right amount of facial hair. They’re not the West Auckland pony-tailed bogans, but more the urban chic man — wearing clothes that make even me envious.

And it turns out the streets of Brunswick are littered with such specimen. I find it strange I’m eyeing up the male’s wardrobe selects more than the local ladies. Perhaps in another life I wish I were a hipster male so I too could don my brogues, twill pants and a ponytail.

Luckily the female shopping turns out to be almost on par with the males. Before long I have an array of shopping bags, and an eclectic mix of summer niceties.

I’m a bit of a sucker for old buildings, ivy and anything visually aesthetic. The surrounding streets and alleys are exactly the type of place I like to meander. It reminds me of Europe summers gone — wandering aimlessly, mapless but not lost, just perusing and exploring as my fancy is taken.

Despite the rain, and intermittent sunshine I was quite taken by Melbourne. Yet of all the places I visited here, Brunswick Street resonated best. Be it the quaint cafes, boutique shops, trendy eateries or pony-tailed men — I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s the hint of familiarity, reminiscing the carefree days of youth travelling through Europe.

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On the Great Ocean Road

Two girls. A swanky car. Rugged coastlines. Endless corners. A salty breeze. Dappled light. Spontaneous giggles. Delving chats.  Stark wilderness.


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The Great Ocean Road, Victoria, Australia.