12 Unusual things to do in Melbourne as a couple

12 Unusual things to do in Melbourne as a couple

 

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After living in Melbourne for close to two years, I have concluded that there are many unique and unconventional things to do here. If you are running out of ideas, I have compiled a list of what I believe are the most fun and interesting things to do as a couple (or with friends).

1. Picnic
Before you say that picnic is not an unusual date idea, I am going to say that you are right. I have included it anyway given the rising popularity of “Netflix and chill”.

Botanical Gardens, Fitzroy Gardens and other parks across Melbourne have some great picnic spots to enjoy the sun. (Hang on a minute…Melbourne? Sun? Is there even such a thing as sun in Melbourne?). Look…even if it rains out of nowhere (quite typical of Melbourne), at least you get to enjoy homemade food in the company of your loved one.

2. Musical/theatre/ballet/comedy show
It is not news that Melbourne is the “capital” of arts, music and comedy. You can always find something that suits your taste and satisfies your needs to get cultured. These make for great memories. Bonus tip, enjoy the views of Southbank at night.

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3. Mini golf
Mini golf is probably one of my favourite activities, possibly because I am terrible at it and have no hope of ever being close to winning. I have a blast every time I play! My favourite is probably the outdoors mini golf, but if you are into design and Instagram then Holey Moley is a mini golf place that you will love!

4. 3D art gallery
This is like those artworks that you see in the streets, which when looking from a certain angle give an illusion of a 3D artwork. Now imagine 100s of artworks like this in one place. When I first saw artworks in Artvo, I couldn’t believe the amount of hard work and talent that went into creating something as extraordinary as that. If you are creative, then options are unlimited, and if you are not, they will help you by roaming and giving you ideas of how to pose. So, pack your camera and off you go!

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5. Live music at a small bar
Whether you have just started dating or you have been with your partner for a long time, this is a great setting to fall in love with your date all over again. Imagine a dim light, great music, drinks and your loved one. My absolute favourite is Paris Cat, which is a little bar, offering the best live jazz/soul/blues music in Melbourne. You will enjoy it without a doubt.

6. Punting on the lake
This is unique to Melbourne. It is like a gondola but with a flat bottom part. You sit in it and get a tour of the botanical garden’s lake. Absolutely peaceful and relaxing. A good tip I should give is to aim to go either at a cooler time or at nights. My favourite is being able to get close to parts of the lake that are not visible from anywhere else.

7. Zoo
I recently mentioned this as a date idea to my friend and she was pleasantly surprised. That is when I realised that Zoo is a little unconventional thing to do. I would like to reassure though, that sun, animals and walks are strong ingredients for an amazing date. I love Zoos that have the most freedom for animals, in which you can pat and feed them.

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8. Tramcar restaurant
Melbournians not only take pride in the tram network but can also be quite creative with it. Trams are far from being modes of transport. They are an iconic part of Melbourne. They make Melbourne unique.

Now imagine dining at an intimate restaurant built inside a colonial tramcar which travels around Melbourne at dusk, offering the best of views. This is a memorable experience for the years to come.

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9. Explore Melbourne laneways and markets
Melbourne is known for its laneways and small, boutique shops. Even if you don’t intend buying anything, it is quite fun to explore the laneways and find interesting things. This may also come in handy if you are ever stuck with a gift idea. As for the markets, no Sunday passes by without art and craft or a vintage/retro market on. What is a better way than to stroll through them and find out each other’s likes and dislikes!

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10. Horse riding
There is a good reason that horses are involved in romantic scenes of Hollywood movies – horse riding is an amazing experience. When I was trying horse riding for the first time, the man who trained the horses said “Remember, you may not have done this, but she [the horse…I forgot her name] has done it a thousand times”. That put my worries aside and made me enjoy the experience as we went through the bushes and even saw some wild kangaroos!

11. Ice skating
To be honest, although I have included ice skating on this list, I am not entirely sure if it is a good idea to go on an icy date with your special one. You will see each other in most ridiculous poses and be doing the weirdest of movements (at least myself). This is assuming you are both learning it as a new skill. In saying that, if you are up for a challenge and are not bothered with showing your innermost Mr Bean, then go for it!

12. Explore Great Ocean Road (if you get lucky and explore it while it’s not raining)
Saying Great Ocean Road is beautiful is an understatement. If a long road trip along a picturesque view is your kind of thing, then you will love this experience. For me there were two memorable moments – one was seeing a full rainbow arc right along the ocean, and the second was looking at and photographing our galaxy. The latter is probably the only time I would give up a warm home and stand in a freezing cold – it is that magical.

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In this list, I hope, you found something you would like to try out. If you have done any of these, I would love to hear your stories in the comments below! xxx

*Photography credits D.F.

A letter to my 15-year old self

A letter to my 15-year old self

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I am not here to tell you what will happen in your future. I am here to be next to you at the time of your life when you are going through many unknowns.

You are experiencing a lot of doubts about yourself and a lot of emotions about life. You are uncertain of what will happen in future.

I want to tell you one thing: your biggest dream will come true. That thing that you keep praying about will happen even if you can hardly believe it…very soon, just be patient and wait a couple of years.

Firstly, I want to say that I am proud of you for improving so much at school. I have noticed that you keep wondering why you are studying both English and Sciences. It seems that for your university entrance exams you only need Sciences, so why bother with English? You are exactly valid. But please trust me, the future has something exciting stored for you, and everything will tie together uniquely. Just wait and see, and be amazed how it all comes together. I am not going to spoil it.

(You will soon realise that things happen the way they do, not by chance but because they are meant to be happening that way, in that order, at that specific time. Just trust me.)

I want to commend you for being a proponent of justice and upfront with your views and opinions. Please don’t feel intimidated when people try to intimidate you. Believe in yourself. If you think that person is insincere, then they are. Your senses, in this regard, are not false.

Keep being a dreamer, keep writing in your journal because later on you will look back on those pages and see how winding your road was.

And for heaven’s sake get over it…being caught listening to music during your physics class with an MP3 player and pretending you are listening to what is going on in class is not the end of the world!!!

Sending you lots of hugs,

Your way more mature self, from an entirely different continent.

 

Let’s end this shopping frenzy…

Let’s end this shopping frenzy…

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Sydney Central Arcade: shops, shops, and more shops…

I don’t know about you, but I have a problem with conversations that start something like this: “So when do you plan on finishing your Christmas shopping?”, “What are you buying?”, “Have you got a shopping list?” and so on and so forth…

With Christmas being just around the corner, these conversations are becoming commonplace.

Why is it that Christmas is associated with shopping so much? And not only Christmas…Why is it that, as a society, we are so obsessed with buying?

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Three things that Melbourne beats Sydney in (and vice versa)

Three things that Melbourne beats Sydney in (and vice versa)

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Since moving to Melbourne, the everlasting question of “Is Sydney or Melbourne better?” keeps haunting me…wherever I go.

Mind you, playing safe and answering “Both cities are awesome” does not cut it.

“No, which one is better-pick one?” a typical Melbournian would ask, impatiently anticipating an answer that would give an immense satisfaction.

(I still believe that the reason I got my job was that I answered “Melbourne” in my job interview. I know. A little sneaky.)

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The book lover…

The book lover…

The cardboard said “Homeless, please help with ANYTHING you can. GOD bless”. It grabbed my attention right away…not because we don’t see enough of these cardboards around us, but it seemed to be floating in the darkness. I was almost convinced it was hanging in the air by itself when I saw the dark hand that was holding the cardboard…not dark-skinned, but different kind of dark…dark that is a result of eight long years living in streets.

I pulled a packet from my bag and handed it to him. He wasn’t too eager to speak. Perhaps he was tired. Or cold. He did mention it was cold, but I caught myself on the thought that it was one of the warmest and sunniest days. Or maybe he was too engulfed in the book he was reading.

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We remember and we demand!

We remember and we demand!

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Making my speech at the Armenian Genocide commemoration night in Sydney (2015)

April 24th, 1915, is etched as one of the darkest days in humanity…

Every year on April 24, I get shivers…thinking of innocent men, women, and children whose lives were destroyed by the atrocities of Ottoman Empire 101 years ago. One and a half million lives…and their generations were destroyed.

April 24 is the remembrance day of the Armenian Genocide, a historical fact that Turkey, unfortunately, continues to deny. Imagine Germany claiming that Holocaust never happened? It is absurd, isn’t it?

In fact, Adolf Hitler cynically used this phrase to justify his horrendous acts:

Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?

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Let’s treasure our bonds…

Let’s treasure our bonds…

Part 2

Have you noticed that as years pass by, the bonds and relationships that you have formed in different points of your life either break or weaken or get stronger? Over the years, our bonds change, either going downhill or blossoming into something beautiful.

I believe, the key is to be open to the changes that our bonds will undergo, be it negative or positive. When we realise that both broken bonds and stronger bonds help us grow, we welcome these changes wholeheartedly. Read more