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Kein: writings in keinism

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Melbourne makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Melbourne, etc.

Your average next door Melburporean! I’m an avid basketballer, a (formerly) voracious reader of fantasy works, and currently run two sites: Celtics Down Under, which is an Australian fan site for the Boston Celtics, and The Pick and Roll, a news and opinion site focused around Australian basketball (NBL, WNBL, state leagues and overseas Australian players) as well as the NBA. My girlfriend and I decided to make the jump to Melbourne back in 2006, as she’d just gotten her residency. Needless to say, this was a pretty big decision, but it felt like the right time so we literally quit our jobs, packed our bags and flew over to make a fresh start without much in the way of plans for the future. In retrospect, this certainly sounded a little crazy.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I’ve always been a diarist of sorts; blogging merely represented a change in medium. From handwritten pages in my younger days to entries saved in the computer, I eventually made the move to Blogger in 2003, and subsequently WordPress in 2005. These written memories serve as a repository of my thoughts and feelings on various topics (tech notes, personal musings) over the years, and are a source of reminiscence on the days past.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

I love to write about what I think of as the right way to do things. It’s a little whimsical and narcissistic, but I refer to my ideas on life improvement as “keinian ideals”. Here’s something I wrote about parenthood last year. Learning patience is a road to maturity, and I talk a little bit about it in this post.

Tell us about the ways your new life in Melbourne differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

In my first year here, every sight and sound was a new experience in itself. The food was a huge change to the taste buds. The weather was no longer muggy and warm, but instead ranged from scorching to chilly, and everything in between. Most importantly, the people were just so different from what we were used to. Culturally, Singaporeans excel in brevity, which made for a huge contrast in communication.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Melbourne? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

Definitely not. I’ve always believed that change is a part of life, and that one should always retain an open mind with zero expectations on what lies ahead. In a way, it’s like being prepared for nothing, and yet everything. Had I known what was ahead though, I would’ve likely done it all the same way anyway.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

Can’t get a good joke right off the top of my head, but I’ve noticed alcohol is a great way to improve your (perceived) sense of humour. Depending on the amount of liquor imbibed, the night could end up with indelible memories best left untold.

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Melbourne?

  • Never be afraid to reach out to the people around you for help.
  • Public transport can be a pain at times.
  • The weather changes all the time - be prepared.

How is the expat community in Melbourne? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

I haven’t really focused on socializing with expats in particular, but rather on just getting to know people from various social circles.

How would you summarize your expat life in Melbourne in a single, catchy sentence?

Peaceful, fulfilling, and an unforgettable journey.

Alain Nguyen

"It was easier getting to know other expatriates in Melbourne with this platform and to share our previous experiences in Australia. "

Samantha Greene

"I love the idea of going out with other expats here in Melbourne and exploring the nightlife this city has to offer. "

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