Today was my final day in Melbourne. After calling this place home for more than a year, tomorrow I leave Australia and head for Malaysia for the next part of my pictorial journey through 2012, and indeed my life.
This city inspired me to begin this amazing adventure in travel back when I first came here at the start of 2010. So impressed was I with its thriving arts and culture, that I decided to make the dramatic step of leaving everything behind in the UK to pursue the dream of living in this vibrant and colorful city on the other side of the world.
I had wondered what todays picture might be, even put myself under a little pressure to try and find a scene that somehow captured everything that Melbourne has been for me since I arrived here at the end of a one way flight from the UK. However, as I wandered around, going about the last few things I needed to do before I leave, I realised that finding one picture to summarise Melbourne would be impossible.
Indeed it’s the vast spectrum of culture and life here that brought me to live in this city in the first place. From the painfully hipster streets of Fitzroy and Collingwood, to the tourist hotspot of St Kilda with its beach and array of shops and restaurants. From Richmond to Brunswick, Toorak to Northcote, the city centre to the beach huts of Brighton, there simply is no one shot that can capture what makes Melbourne such a diverse and charismatic place.
After enjoying my final cappuccino at Captains of Industry I walked onto Elizabeth Street on my way to catch a tram. As I rounded the corner onto Bourke Street the air was filled with the lively music of a four piece band called ‘Our Symphonic Life‘ who were busking by the tram stop. A large crowd had gathered to listen to their music on this particularly pleasant and sunny afternoon.
I took up a position on the steps of the GPO then realised that this is where it all started nearly a year and a half ago. Back then, on a sunny day not dissimilar to today, I had made my way to the city for the first time to walk its streets and introduce myself to my new hometown. As I turned a corner on that day I saw local singer songwriter, Jenny Biddle, playing in the very same place that I found myself today.
So as I sat there this afternoon enjoying the performance of the buskers it felt like I had come full circle, and that somehow I had found my way back to that very spot as if to come to terms with my leaving Melbourne and Australia.
After a few minutes, while the band played on, I stood up and quietly left the crowd without anyone noticing, after all, why would they. It seemed like a fitting end as I walked away with the sound of the band fading behind me and mingling in the air with the noise of these streets which I know I will always remember fondly.
Thank you Melbourne. Thank you, and goodbye.