How to fly to Australia and visit a few of your favourite places in the world along the way

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So for the past month, I flew back to Calgary while Doran stayed in Melbourne since my leave of absence was over. Then I received an offer to work in Melbourne, so I resigned and spent the next 3 weeks preparing our condo for rental and packing everything to start a new career back in Australia. This is my step-by-step guide on how you can fly from Calgary to Melbourne and visit a few awesome places in between!

Step 1: To save money, book a standby flight back to Melbourne via two connections: one in Vancouver and another in Sydney. Remember to give yourself a few days just in case you don’t get on (eg. If you are supposed to start work Oct 5th, leave Sept 30).

Step 2: Have heartfelt goodbyes and start your journey to Vancouver.

Step 3: Find out that your flight to Sydney is somehow overbooked and there isn’t another flight until the next day. Show your standby ticket to the gate person and get scolded: “Absolutely not, no staff will fly on this flight.” Thank them without showing how devastated you are and head to the nearest hotel to rest while your boyfriend tries to figure out the answer to the question at hand: “Now what?”

Step 4: Flights from Vancouver to Sydney for the next few days look overbooked as well. New plan: Go from Vancouver to LA to Honolulu, then from Honolulu to Australia. Go to sleep and be happy that there is a plan.

Step 5: Arrive in LA and head over to the connecting flight to Honolulu in the domestic terminal in LAX. Meet a really nice Delta agent who comments on how fun you are by looking at your fun carry-on and bag tags.

Step 6: Don’t get on the Honolulu flight because it’s severely overbooked. You’re 44th on the standby line. That’s last place. Talk to the Delta help desk to see what you can do, only to find out the flight has been overbooked. Your checked luggage, however; somehow has a seat and has already been put on the plane to Honolulu.

Overbooked flights

Step 7: Run to the United Airline terminal to see if you can get on their flights.

Step 8: They are completely full for the day and overbooked too, so run to the American Airlines terminal to check there.

Step 9: Be sweaty and distraught while you go back to Delta to inquire about the extent of how overbooked everything is.

Step 10: Get lucky and find out someone cancelled their flight tomorrow morning to Honolulu. Pay for a confirmed ticket and be satisfied that you have a way to get to Honolulu. Thank the Delta agents for their help and sympathy.

Step 11: Things are looking up so why not get out of the airport (it’s 5pm) and go to Disneyland to lift your spirits?

Step 12: Rent a car and get stuck in LA traffic.

Kill me now.

Step 13: Drive up to a hotel in next to Disneyland so that you can stay as late as possible in the park. Talk to the hotel for rates and find out the park closes at 10pm tonight. It’s 8pm.

Step 14: Die a little inside and head to the only place that has Wi-Fi (McDonald’s) to lament your situation to your boyfriend on the phone and have dinner.

Step 15: Since all your toiletries are all in Honolulu already, head over to Walmart to buy some small travel stuff and an apple because dinner at McDonald’s is not filling.

Step 16: Have your Visa payment be declined at Walmart for the 15 dollar purchase. You’re already dead inside so this is nothing. Just ask to use the phone to call Visa.

Step 17: Visa has office hours? Apparently so, because they are closed. Head back to the Walmart cashier and say you don’t need those items anymore and head back to a Wi-Fi area (McDonald’s) to find a hotel.

Step 18: The cheapest hotel near the car rental place smells like marijuana, but be glad you have a place to sleep and collect call Visa again. Don’t forget about the LA traffic.

Step 19: Find out your card was fine and realise you could have used your Visa debit card. Again, no worries, you’re already dead inside.

Step 20: Wake up and head to Honolulu.

Step 21: Make the best of the situation and utilize the 18 hour layover in Honolulu to have a mini vacation. Reminisce about your last couple of times here. Eat an Acai Bowl, walk along the beach in Waikiki. Eat the best Japanese curry of all time (Coco Curry House) and enjoy your time at the Ala Moana mall.

Ahhhh, it's so nice to be back!

Ahhhh, it’s so nice to be back!

Yummy!!!

Yummy!!! (Acai Bowl)

Step 22: Wake up and head to the airport. Pray you get a seat from Honolulu to Melbourne.

Step 23: You have a seat and you’re on your way home, but just before you land, have the 10 hour flight be meal-less because apparently you have to pay extra for a meal. And be ignored by the flight attendants when the drinks cart rolls by. Watch other people eat.

Step 24: Arrive in Melbourne 16 hours before your first day of work on Oct 4.

Thanks Doran!!!

Thanks Doran!!!

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A Hop, Skip and a Jump

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We haven’t really talked about our Australian adventure in a long time, so let’s just jump right into it.

In February we went to Melbourne’s White Night festival (in Canada we call it Nuit Blanche… it sounds so fancy in french). It’s basically an evening of art, high def projections and music. There were a tonne of really neat things to see, but the highlight of the night for us was in the State Library of Victoria. Normally it looks like this:

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However during White Night, it turned into a magical place like this:

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You can see a magical video on my Instagram post. (Amazing right?)

Skip on over to March, Doran and I went to our first “meet up” with this group that apparently loves dumplings. The group was called “Kung fu dumplings”, but the meet up was at a Thai restaurant. We met some pretty interesting people, but we didn’t eat any dumplings. Despite Jinda Thai becoming our new favourite Thai place, I was disappointed that we didn’t even have any dumplings.

We then bought tickets to see Pitch Perfect at the Moonlight Cinema, but got rained out. Bought tickets to see Birdman at the Rooftop Cinema the week after, but got rained out. So we went to see Mean Girls the next day at the Moonlight Cinema and it was great.

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The lady in the blue blanket, in the picture, kept sitting up through out the movie. Why rent a bean bag chair, if you’re not going to lay on it. Her silhouette was also accented by bats flying overhead. I had a great time, but Doran just said that he’s “over it”, so I don’t think we’ll be doing this again in the near future. Outdoor cinemas, you get a 8.5/10.

And so this brings us to this past weekend. Our friends from Canada decided to do a massive vacation that started with a week in Sydney, then a cruise from Sydney to New Zealand to a bunch of Polynesian islands (like Bora Bora) then ending in Hawaii. Doran and I hopped on over to Syndey for the weekend to see them and have a mini vacation as well. We even joined them on a day tour of the Blue Mountains, which to me, was really more like the Blue Canyon.

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It’s beautiful, isn’t it. Apparently, the oils from the eucalyptus trees in the rainforest below scatter the light waves in such away that it gives a blue hue to the mountains. Hence the name: Blue Mountains.

And that pretty much gets you to today. Thanks for reading this big update!

We are going to go for another adventure mid April, so look for another update later this month!

(Oh and if you’re wondering how my drawings are going, here’s another collage.)

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Where does inspiration come from?

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So now that I have finished taking notes on the principles of design, it’s time for the fun part. Which apparently has become the hard part as well. When you have free reign to do whatever you want, in terms of creating a portfolio, it is basically impossible to find a place to start. So after sitting and staring for what seemed like hours, at the blank page set before me, I decided to start drawing Disney characters.

Then came deciding on what characters to draw….

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I can’t believe how hard these characters are to draw!!! I have a new found respect for animators back in the day who had to draw every frame!!!

So It Begins

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Today, I’ve received the last of 5 books I placed on hold from the library (one of which looked like it came from the 70’s, so I promptly returned it). Now it’s time to read up on design and see what I can learn from these tomes. If you have any suggestions on reading material, let me know in the comments!

First book: Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden and Jill Butler

Eric Studying 160215Big thanks to Doran for buying me a super special Mickey Moleskine Sketchbook. Now I’m super motivated!!!

 

A Sudden Spark of Motivation

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“Success comes from complete isolation” – said no one, but creativity can sometimes arise from times where all you can do is be left with your own thoughts. I have been been “sequestered” at home during my time looking for a job here in Australia and it has exposed Doran to sad displays of desperation, sorrow and tears as I am curled up in a ball in the bed. However, there can be moments, like today, where I climbed over that wall of defeat and landed in a powder keg that’s giving off sparks (thank you Bonnie Tyler) of motivation.

As most of you know, my dream career is to become an Imagineer. It has become evident that this time away from home is a great opportunity to work on this dream. It’s only take me THREE months to figure that out. So after some extensive research and self discovery (read: finding a way to get over rejection emails), I have decided that one of the many paths I can take becoming an Imagineer is to become a self taught graphic designer and to build a massive portfolio showcasing my understand of the industry and skills.

I’m going to blog about it to keep me motivated and, in a way, to be held accountable. I’m going to attempt a weekly update on my journey and I hope you will all support me or laugh along with me as I go.

To start I’m going to the library to read up on design theories. Wish me luck!