Angela Paynter, from Hobart, Australia - in Melbourne three months
While Bass Strait may be the only thing separating us, Tassie to Melbourne is still a big jump. Angela Paynter’s husband David moved from a role with Cricket Tasmania to work with Cricket Australia in Melbourne, and they’ve settled in Glen Iris with their two sons.
“The constant noise is probably the biggest difference I’ve noticed,” says Angela. “Wherever you are in Melbourne, it’s never completely quiet.
Despite the city’s hum, Angela has been pleasantly surprised by life in her new city. “I didn’t expect it to be so green. There are so many parks and paths for riding. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming here, and really helpful too. Melburnians seem to be quite open to making new friends – maybe it's because more people move in and out.
“I do miss access to food straight from the farms. We have great farmer’s markets all over Hobart and I do think our fruit and veg are better, as well as our specialty foods. It’s a lot more expensive here to go out, and for kids’ activities like swimming lessons. The clothes shopping here is amazing though – plenty of Tasmanian people pop over to Melbourne to shop.
“I’m still getting used to sharing the road with trams. The driving rules around tram tracks are quite confusing and I’m surprised there aren’t more accidents. Getting around on public transport has been great though. People have been so polite, offering seats or help with the pram. I haven’t travelled during peak time though, and my husband says it’s hell.
“I didn’t realise how hot it would get in Melbourne in summer. We have the odd 30-degree day in Hobart, but not days and days of extreme heat. I found it really hard to cope with.
“Melbourne’s museums and galleries are fantastic, and so wonderful for kids, especially Melbourne Museum’s children’s area. I’m really excited about getting out to the theatre and to some of the big shows that you’d never get in Hobart, as well as AFL games.”
Victoria Schmidt, from Pforzheim (near Stuttgart), Germany - in Melbourne two months
A student exchange program at Gold Coast University in 2016 sparked Victoria’s love of Australia. “When I got home, all I could think about was getting back. Now I’m here with a friend from home. We’re sharing a room in a share house in St Kilda. I’m working in a bar on Acland Street.
The first day in Melbourne, I had no idea where to go. After a few days, I started to really, really love it. It’s the best city I’ve ever been to in my life, and I’ve been to big cities like New York. It’s the vibe. It’s artistic, there’s so much live music and the gardens are beautiful. The street art is so cool.
“It took me a couple of weeks to get used to the Australian accent but I’ve really adapted. At work, I try to sound like a local for fun. I say ‘G’day’, and I use the word ‘heaps’ a lot!
“Melbourne people are open-minded and not as judgemental as Germans. I can wear what I want, look how I want. Stuttgart is so conservative and you have to dress up to get into clubs. Here, you can go out in sneakers and wear little makeup. The city feels welcoming and accepting of different cultures and beliefs – there’s a nice energy. Stuttgart has big problems with racism and it makes me sad.
“The hardest thing I’ve found is getting to know Melbourne people well. They have their own lives here, their own friends and families and it’s hard to reach out. It’s much easier to get to know travellers.
“In Pforzheim it’s very hard to be vegan, but here every restaurant seems to have vegetarian or vegan options or they’ll change dishes for you.
“I find it hard to get around Melbourne. Places are so far apart. It takes a long time to get into the city on the tram. The price for a daily ticket is okay if you’re going a long way, but if I’m just doing short trips I try to walk.”