Well, I’ve come to the crossroads folks. No longer am I an Au Pair on the working holiday visa but just a gal living (and working soon) in OZ on a visa before I set out for the next adventure. I’m completely moved out of my host family’s home in the suburb of Ferny Hills and now find myself in close quarters with the hustle and bustle of the Brisbane CBD. I’m so grateful for the opportunity Camille and Mark, my host parents, gave me to experience Aussie life in such an intimate and unique way. It will be awesome to continue to keep in touch with them and watch the boys I looked after grow up over the years. And ~fingers crossed,~ maybe I’ll get to host them in the U.S. one day.
But here I am now, no longer living with two middle-aged adults and two toddlers, but with five other people around my age. I feel so fortunate to have close enough relationships here that I didn’t have to find my own place but rather just moved in Olivia’s house, where James is also living, and am chipping in for rent. It’s a pretty drastic transition from living in the burbs with a family free of expenses but one I was ready for.
Of course I’ll miss the kids I looked after and bonded with for five months, and the benefits of the job (like not having to pay for rent or groceries) but this new phase of life in Brisbane, Australia is already hitting me with all kinds of new challenges and adventures. Learning how to live in a city and get around on public transportation nearly every day is a new learning experience, for example. Long gone are the days of driving around my host mom’s car when I need something…
Aside from sorting out my living situation, I’ve been job searching to save up money before leaving to travel in a couple months and just recently accepted a fundraising job for a company called PFS, Pro Fundraising Services. The job itself is really basic, just fundraising for a variety of charities PFS partners with, but is meaningful work at the end of the day and should be a good way to meet more travelers as a lot of backpackers take on these jobs.
But don’t worry – the realities of life haven’t taken the wanderlust out of me yet. Just this past weekend James and I took a ferry from Brissy to Moreton Island, a huge island just off the coast with no roads but plenty of unique features, for a little escape and exploring. We went for an overnight trip so we could camp and make the most of our trip out there, even though it’s possible to do a day trip as well. It was amazing. Right after landing on the island, we walked down the beach we were camping at, and hiked up to what is called “The Desert,” on the island. It looks exactly like a desert except it is surrounded by greenery. There were massive sand dunes that we struggled walking up and then got an adrenaline rush running down. On our way back to the water, we were treated with the most spectacular sunset – the sun bright as can be, with colors of blue, orange, pink and purple scattered throughout the sky. We soaked up every bit of it in as we swam in the bay and smiled about the magic of the moment. The next day we spent relaxing, swimming and taking advantage of the amenities at Tangalooma Island Resort before heading back to the main land. What a way to spend a weekend…
So here goes Part 2 of my Australian adventure before the backpacking to Tasmania, New Zealand and Southeast Asia begins in April. Wish us luck and as always, peace and love my dudes.