How I Discovered cheap ways of having fun in Australia
As an international student, I felt lonely most of the time. I lived on my own which was pretty expensive, to begin with. I could see other people of my age enjoying their time while I was alone most of the time. Since I didn’t want to spend my money only to have fun, I was spending most of the free time scrolling down my Instagram feeds. And oh how all of them are having the time of their life. But, since I started hanging out more with my friends, I discovered some cheap ways that are so much fun to do.
My friend circle includes 5 members with 3 different nationalities. I am Italian, two of them are Indian, and the other two are Mexican. All of us were once talking about how to have more fun with fewer expenses. Our daily routine involved college and work and crashing into each other’s place sometimes. We did nothing but talk and went out to eat sometimes. Then things started getting boring and we met each other only once a week.
One day it was one of my Indian friend’s birthday, so he invited us to his place. I went there with no expectation and a pen as a gift since he liked writing so much. When I reached there, all of my friends were prepping for a delightful Indian feast that we were soon about to devour. Preparing food together was never so much fun. We cooked some delicious butter naan, chicken tikka masala, pulao and other yummy dishes that I don’t even know the names of. Anyways, my whole point is, I never thought we would have so much fun cooking together and then eating it together. We learned so much about Indian cuisine, the spices, and out of all, it was not expensive.
The next weekend, we decided to go to the beach for some fun under the sun. We had a little session of mini volleyball. It was quite refreshing and energizing considering how my backache is easily triggered. We had some refreshing coconut water and slices of watermelons which cost less than what we expected. I treated my friends that day. That was the day I realized that we should do this more often. The daily routine of work and study was exhausting our mentality towards life and it was about high time we took a step to be happy.
So, we started meeting up more. We promised to have takeaway dinner every Friday and at a fancy place on the last Friday of every month. On weekends, we would go to the beach, go picnic at a park, and also explore each of our interests. I found out I was good at handicrafts and also found it therapeutic. I also made some more friends there and we would share our ideas of what we want to do in the upcoming project of selling our handicrafts for charity.
We all love food and we have frequent programs of house parties with our theme of national dishes. Sometimes we would end up making our fusion dishes. I invited them over for some meatballs and spaghetti and they all loved it. I also made some garlic bread and fruit salad for dessert. It feels amazing when your guests enjoy the party that you are hosting.
Sometimes we go to the farmer's market, thrift stores and old cafes. Somehow all of these moments have brought us together and we are always together when any one of us has a bad day. I even decided to move in with my Mexican friends now.
Australia is full of festivals. It is amazing how diversity brings so much closeness that you couldn’t even find in your native country. The love and openness for different things in life make the moments cherishable in every way. There is always something different and to be honest, I love how surprising life can get.
It’s like I almost forgot that I am living alone in this foreign land. Back home, my parents are happy because I seemed happier than ever. Having fun is not at all about money only. You can still find ways to enjoy with fun ideas, friends or even discovering your hidden talents. You will find enjoyment out of the most unexpected things. Who knows what this journey as an international student has to offer? You might even learn something new about yourself as I did.