This weekend is a long weekend here in Melbourne, marking a chilly start to winter. Melbourne has lived up to its reputation this week as being cold and wet, and my adored hometown has already thrown in a couple hailstorms for good measure.
Many Australians would’ve already started a hibernation process of sorts, like rugging up and staying indoors by a cosy fire or heater. Though, this can lead to spending long and uninspiring periods of time being housebound. Wintery weather shouldn’t be an excuse for the travel to cease, and there are many ways that a winter can still be filled with fun and adventure. I like to call it creating a traveller’s winter of content – three months filled with fun travel experiences to get you out there and making the most of it. Here are just a few ways to create your very own traveller’s winter of content.
Make a list of restaurants and cafés you’ve always wanted to experience…and go!
Travellers are known for their insatiable ability to try new things. However, when at home, some travellers like me can get caught up in a rhythm of visiting the same spots. Melbourne is a melting pot of cuisines and new eating destinations are popping up constantly; I struggle to keep up with the amount of new establishments sometimes. What tends to work is to create a list of all the places I want to try and start making some bookings.
Aside from your ol’ faithful for a good coffee, why not make a list of the places you’ve never tried. Book in a few nights with you and a partner, or book a bigger party with close friends and make a fun night out of it. I’ve always enjoyed booking in a Friday night at a new culinary spot to give me an official end to a busy work week, take a night off cooking duties and tick a place off my ever-growing list. Plus, it’s lovely to cosy on up and unwind over a comfort-food meal and a glass of favourite beer or wine; a winter-warming experience in its own right!
Get into the spirit of local events and festivals
Winter doesn’t always mean riding off events or festivals held outdoors. For me, winter means experiencing some of the most unique events Melbourne has to offer. Last winter, I experienced the Belgrave Lantern Parade to celebrate winter solstice and friends of mine invited me to join them on a walk through inner-city backstreets for the Gertrude Street Projection Festival.
Check Facebook pages and news sites that cover your city to discover unique events and festivals this winter. You may need to rug up in a big, warm coat, gloves and a beanie to brave the cold, but think about what you’re missing if you didn’t go? You can always finish off your experience by grabbing a post-event coffee at a nearby café you’ve never experienced before to warm up.
I’m already keeping an eye out on what’s happening in Melbourne and I’m thinking about booking myself in for the Winter Night Market at Queen Victoria Market next week.
Book in a long weekend getaway and a B&B stay
If you’re already cosying up on the couch in front of the fire at home, then consider moving your hibernation to a more desirable destination. Booking in a long weekend at a B&B in an unexplored destination is the perfect opportunity to add more travel to your traveller’s winter of content. Not only can you stoke the fire or cuddle up in a luxurious bed and gorge yourself on home-cooked meals, you can also head out and explore the small town or village you’ve travelled to.
I’ve enjoyed travelling to towns such as Shepparton and Beaufort – both within a couple hours’ drive home – and experience two of Australia’s vegan B&Bs. Heading to a B&B means you can switch off the technology and truly absorb yourself in leafy surrounds. For me, a B&B weekend away also means long and peaceful walks along backroads and visiting small businesses for local supplies such as chocolate, wine, berries and olives.
Consider heading off for a destination hibernation
Melburnians are all too familiar with the concept of ‘destination hibernation’. It means booking in a quick mid-year break to a destination in northern Australia that’s a little bit warmer and sunnier. Being one who doesn’t always enjoy the cold, I’ve been known to book in a few of these destination hibernation escapes. The laid-back and relaxing coastal town of Byron Bay has been on my list a couple of times, not to mention the glitzier destination Surfers Paradise and an island getaway on Hamilton Island near the Great Barrier Reef.
What a destination hibernation provides travellers is the chance to bulk up the Vitamin D supplies, get the body out on brisk beach walks or casual daytrips in a hire car to secret inland spots. It’s a great way to reward yourself with a mid-year recharge after a busy start to the work year too.
Are you inspired to create your own traveller’s winter of content? Or, you may already be well on your way? I’d love to hear about your plans in making this winter a traveller’s winter of content.