Melbourne | Prostitutes, Junkies and Life on the breadline

“Excuse me” I heard as I heard as I walked down the street home one night, “excuse me” the male voice said louder, I looked up knowing full well what to expect, “do you work here” he said, pointing aggressively down on the street, “no I don’t” I grimaced, before walking the 10 feet to my house, ah, life in Australia.

It’s safe to say that I’m well and truly settled here in Australia after being here for two months, I have a flat with three of my friends (Cerstie, Amy and Krissie) based in the ever colourful St Kilda, down a road which, by night is full of prostitutes, drug dealers and people who don’t look like they’ve had a grip on the real world since the mid 80’s; it’s an amazing place to live, never boring, something to always keep you on your toes; best of all it’s cheap (ish)! Which is an amazing thing in Australia, the most expensive country I have ever been to ($3 for an avocado?! get over yourself, I can grow my own, thanks).

To tell you the truth, the price of everything in Australia has totally shocked me, I knew it was going to be expensive but I just wasn’t expecting that it would be quite this bad. When I first arrived I stayed in a hostel which for a bed in a room of 12 beds, a big shared bathroom for the entire floor cost anywhere from $224 – $300 per a week, the price went up *that* much during my time there, I stayed in the hostel for about a month whilst my friends and I were setting up our lives in Melbourne, finding our feet and exploring the city. Don’t get me wrong the city is absolutely amazing, I’m totally besotted with it, it’s beautifully laid out, it’s calm, it isn’t overbuilt, there are green spaces everywhere, amazing bars, alleyways covered in street art and coffee shops hide between the main streets. The whole city has this amazing personality that I adore, I can’t get enough of it, unfortunately my bank balance can.


 Over the course of my two months here I went from $heythisisn’tsobad to literally $20, I had to live on basic rations, getting to the point where I was living on a pack of dried noodles and a cup of sugary tea to make sure I wouldn’t faint; I’ve had three jobs, from the appalling door to door charity sales, to the gut wrenching charity call centre to the door to door survey job I’m doing now. All a world away from what I was doing back home, a different universe from my old career, London city job, high heels, nice clothes and endless bottles of wine. What the hell was I doing in Australia living on the breadline?!

Before I got the job I’m in now, my money situation had become so bad that I was literally a few clicks on my computer away from having to go home, tail in-between my legs, battered from trying to make a life for myself on basically nothing. Despite how hard it got here the thought of going home made me so gut wrenchingly upset, don’t get me wrong I love my friends and family more than words can describe and miss them more than imaginable, but my dream of  a life of un-ended travel had been guiding everything I have done for as long as I can remember, it couldn’t be over so soon, could it?! The thought of having to leave Australia before it even really began left me in tears (yes, I cried, let’s blame it on exhaustion and hunger), I cried and cried until I thought my body would evaporate with dehydration, I had a few days to try and turn my luck around otherwise I was out of options.

Luckily, like most things in life, the very next day things started to turn around, I got the job to get surveys for a tutoring company, part-time for a decent wage, I know it’s not the dream, but it’s part of it, it’s all part of the bigger story, it’s all part of the grand plan that will propel my travels in Australia forward. I’m determined to not get down when the hard times come, that’s all part of the experience. I’m one of those horrifically optimistic people in most cases, I just need to remember how lucky I am to be here and how hard work, no matter how rubbish will lead to better things, bigger things. I’ve been in my little job now for two weeks, I have time in the mornings to write, to walk down to the ocean (avoiding the junkies), to grab a coffee and enjoy part of my day before I spend the afternoon working; it could be worse, it could be a lot worse


Hey, at least I’m not on the street outside my house… and you know what, I might just buy that avocado… every single cloud.

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Have you ever had your budget drop drastically whilst travelling? What did you do to change your luck around? Let me know in the comments below, you can also find travel chat over on Twitter and photos of Aus and my face over on Instagram, come join in with social media. Did you know that if you pressed that little follow button under this post you can get them emailed directly to you, so you never have to miss any times that I get mistaken for a prostitute again, join in on the travel fun!


9 thoughts on “Melbourne | Prostitutes, Junkies and Life on the breadline

  1. Justine of The Travel Lush says:

    This was a really interesting read. I haven’t been to Australia but I imagine the expense of things must be brutal to deal with, especially in comparison to Southeast Asia. And especially when you’re low on funds! I for one am so happy you found your current job. It might not be the dream, but you’re right, it’s all part of keeping the dream alive. And things will improve in time. I’m so happy that things are looking up. But $3 for an avocado? Don’t do it! 😉

    • hanwanderlust says:

      Haha, I know! It’s ridiculous! It was so painful to discover how expensive everything is here compared to Asia, I knew it would be, but $10 for a beer instead of $0.50 was always going to hurt. 😉

  2. Dennis and Wendy Sharman says:

    Hi Hannah we read your blog with interest and of course with some little concern, but we love your writings and look forward to more of the same, stay safe and hold your true friends close to you, have lots of fun and temper your day with judgement and mostly enjoy your life, May God go with you.
    Wendy & Dennis

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