So, it has been some time since I last wrote anything here. I’ll explain why that is in a little bit, but the bottom line is I’ve been super busy for the last few months and finding the time to sit down and catch up on everything writing-wise was difficult. In the interest of keeping my website going, I’m going to write one post right now to catch up to the present day. I’ll be skipping a bunch of detail when it comes to the rest of the Europe trip, so if you want to know more I’m more than happy to answer questions about certain parts.
The Rest of Italy
After Venice, we spent a few days in Rome, including a day trip to the incredible ruins of Pompeii and another day spent almost entirely visiting the Colosseum. We had to deal with all sorts, including train strikes, guys with knives on buses, political rallies, and thunderstorms. Along the way we did meet some great people as part of our Airbnb experience. Rome was definitely a place we felt like we needed more time to see properly.
From Rome, we went to Florence for another few days. This was probably our favourite city in Italy. It felt a lot safer, while still having some incredible things to see and do. There was a 90 minute line to see Michelangelo’s David, which, looking back on it, was totally worth it. That dude is huge. We found a sprawling leather market, ate a whole bunch of gelato and pasta, and ran around trying to reorganise our trip so we could get back to England as quickly as possible. Perhaps it was the stress of the way we were travelling, or some of the things we had experienced throughout Italy, but we were ready to head back to England pretty soon and be with family again.
We left Italy via a train along the Mediterranean coastline into the south of France. It was a long journey, but we stopped off along the way to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was a long day of sitting on trains, but we did have the company of a Brit and an Australian for most of the way and it was surprisingly comforting to be around English speakers again.
We spent three days staying at a slightly scary backpackers in Nice. We compensated for our accommodation by taking day trips along the French coast to visit Cannes and Villefranche. During our time in France we had almost perfect, sunny weather, and we definitely intend on revisiting France in general.
Back to England
After a rather hectic month in mainland Europe, we were very glad to return to Toni’s family in England. We spent most of the two remaining weeks there relaxing and recovering from our trip. This was interspersed with many great trips out and about with various parts of Toni’s family. Some of the best parts of this final stretch in England were seeing Stonehenge, attending a Shakespeare play in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, being taken to an Australian-themed bar by Toni’s English uncle, and visiting an old friend for a night out in a very small town.
I’d personally like to thank all those we visited during our trip, especially those who let us stay with them, those who fed us, those who listened to us worry about our trip, those who cheered us up when we did worry, and most especially of all, I’d like to thank Toni’s family for welcoming and accepting me.
And to all those who tried to convert me to drinking tea: I’m sorry, it’s just not for me.
After the trip, mate
We finally arrived in Melbourne for good in the middle of June. Toni started her PhD work about a week after we got back, so we moved pretty quickly to get the rest of our lives in order. Somehow, we managed to find an apartment near the city pretty quickly, and while I was still unemployed no less. It’s weird to think back to it now, but it took me about two months to find a job. I went to a lot of interviews, but there was one job I spent that entire two months chasing. I did eventually land that job. In case you’re wondering, I now test software for a promising New Zealand based company called Xero.
In amongst all of that, we found our way into the frisbee scene here in Melbourne, and we’re both now trying to get into high-level competitive clubs. I also attended the first ever PAX Australia, which was a three day video game convention.
I’ve had a birthday over here and my family flew over to Melbourne to celebrate it with me. We had a great week showing them around and catching up, and it was their first time to Melbourne.
A couple of weeks ago, I did something called Extra Life. It was a charity event where some 39,000 people played video games for 25 hours straight to raise money for children’s hospitals across North America. I managed to get $445, which was almost double my original goal of $250. The team I was on raised over $117,000, and the charity as a whole raised close to $4 million. I’ll write something more in depth about it soon, but I’m so proud to have been a part of this great cause.
I know for a fact I’ve missed a lot of detail in this post, but that was kinda my intention. I’ve been putting off writing, mostly because of the amount of stuff I hadn’t covered yet. This way, my writing’s up to date, at least in a very general sense. You can expect some pretty neat things soon, including:
- More writing! Yeah, I’ve been slack, but now that I’ve caught up somewhat, I’ll feel better about doing more writing.
- Some stats for the Europe trip! Think stuff like a map of all our train journeys, time spent on train journeys, and so on.
- A podcast! I haven’t worked out all the details yet, but me and a friend are pretty keen to start a podcast. More details will appear if/when this goes ahead.
- Maybe videos? I’ve been playing with some ideas for video game video stuff, as opposed to video game writing stuff. We’ll see.
See you again soon.