Saturday, April 19, 2014

That Champagne Life On Beer Money- Manchester, England

"As a collective we're all f#@ked'
-Alexi 2013

It seems we had slotted into our new home with ease, some may say a little to well. Sharing a flat in the heart of Manchester above a pub with four other fellow Aussies, Alexi, Burra, Budd and Jen, two crazy fun Kiwi girls Amber and Grace, our stylish Polish chef Paulina ,the fun and flirty Alex from the Solomon Islands and our three English managers Mark, Mags and Jenni was indeed a recipe for disaster. We all worked together, lived together, ate together and drank far too much together. We soon learnt that they were all just one big dysfunctional family and before we knew it we were adopted in with open arms and couldn't have been happier. 

We are all different ages from 19 to 29. We are all at different stages in our lives and although we all found ourselves in the exact same place in this moment in time we had all stumbled upon it so differently. One thing that was certain between us all was that we were all here for a good time not a long time and we weren't afraid to make the most of it. 

Most families break bread together, our family preferred to break glasses together but that was only if someone wasn't trying to flip tables, a messed up story in itself. Most of us didn't have more then a few pennies to rub together, with most of us working merely to pay rent and use the change for beer money, but this never once stopped us from making the most of this big city life. 

Sunday sessions were usually our favourite as it was the perfect time to unwind after working a hectic weekend together. With almost everyone being bared from at least one or two pubs and clubs in the city meant that we were limited to where we could venture to. Regardless our night's would usually start down at The Old Grapes, a local traditional English style pub run by Alexi's best friend Paul. Without fail I would always walk out of there in the same manner, blind drunk not knowing where I'm getting dragged along to next. Usually my next state of conscious is in the morning where I am too afraid to even get up, as all my fears and flash backs of the night before come hurtling back as I lie in hope that the carnage from the night before was nothing but a really bad elaborate dream.

Living in the hustle and bustle in the heart of such a great city can also take its toll. Thats why I take every opportunity to jump on a train and venture out to the near by village's and explore the countryside. With Rachael another Walkabout employee living in Disley just 40 minutes out of the city makes for a perfect escape route. Disley is a typical little English village with cobblestone streets, boat filled canals and green stretched fields. Venturing down to Lyme park is the perfect picnic ground where wild deer run free and the air is fresh and invigorating. Climbing up to the parks highest point overlooking the entire city of Manchester as the sun falls and the brisk night comes rolling in is the utmost perfect ending to any day. 

This was it, a new chapter in the making of our story. After months of endless travel, meeting and leaving so many great people and places I never thought I would see the day when I was happy to finally be settled down. Yet here I was in Manchester surrounded by some of the greatest people I have met on my travels, turning nights into mornings and making those life long memories that you tell your grandchildren about. It's true what they say, theres no place like home. Which now means to me, there is no place like Manchester. 

The Wanderer's Daughter xx

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