I guess this is the part where life abroad bites me in the butt and reminds me long-term traveling isn’t all a fairy-tale. Unlike the pictures your friends post from backpacking in Europe or the blogs you read about people jumping from town to town basically on an extended vacation, I’m out in Australia living almost the same kind of realities I would live at home. This means paying rent, buying groceries, spending way too much on alcohol, working, and saving money wherever I possibly can. The difference is, though, I’m in Australia. This makes these realities seem a bit more like an adventure and learning experience rather than a barrier stopping me from being where I want to be.
In order to face these new realities since moving out of my host family’s place, I’ve become a door-to-door fundraiser to rack up the money. That’s right – I’m literally knocking on doors 25 hrs per week so I can continue traveling from here. It’s not a piece of cake but it’s worth it. And it’s teaching me a lot… probably more than I want to know. The people I’m working with are fun and extremely exciting to be around though which is a huge plus. The guys training me now are both from the UK, one from Birmingham and one from Scotland. They recently moved up here from Sydney to start this new office and seem to have had a lot of success at a really young age with this fundraising gig. So since they choose me to join their team and people say I have the gift of gab, I figured I might as well give it a go. There’s no harm in raising some money for charities while raising some money for yourself too, right?
I’ll admit I’m missing the ease and comfort of the Au Pair life but it is exciting to be working with people my age, running all around the city and its surrounds together. Hard part is I can’t do much exploring while working more and trying to save money so the downside is its a bit of a less adventurous time right now but as I always say, work hard, play hard right?
Olivia and Leslie are in SE Asia right now having their play-time so James and I have been having plenty of quality time together when we’re not working. It’s been good to finally have a chance to try out the day-to-day together, even if it means we get on each others nerves now and then. Learning how to balance time for ourselves and each other while making sure we each get enough space has been interesting but overall we’ve really enjoyed each other’s company and continue to look forward to all of our upcoming adventures together.
More plans come together every day and as we get inch closer and closer to April, I get more and more excited to move on to new places and people. Of course at the same time, I am still enjoying Brisbane and still have things on my to-do list before leaving Queensland as it’s been my home away from home for almost six months now.
Friday night my housemates threw a party as an overdue “Housewarming” and it was a blast. Mostly 18-year-olds since they were Olivia’s brother’s friends but they made me feel young again and I loved getting to know all their friendly mates, and talk to them about traveling. It’s funny how the tables have turned and I’m now the foreigner everyone wants to chat with- it seems it wasn’t very long ago when I would meet a foreigner in Florida and ask them a million questions about their life. The boys all took turns DJ’ing which set a great mood and had everyone excited. James of course loved trying out his mixes he’s been working on, and people were digging it. After the party, James and I went out with some Au Pair friends, Caroline and Megan, who I’ve gotten to know, and we had an awesome time dancing away at a rooftop bar with people from all over. The night also ended up being a celebration of our housemate, Hugh, one of Joey’s good friends, who is now moving to Melbourne. We’ll miss his company and his style but look forward to hopefully catching up with him when James and I go down there in April!
I think about my friends and family at home all the time, and wish more than anything I could see them sooner but I know as soon as I return I’m going to have amazing reunions with all of them. For now, I’m living up and learning from this crazy year of my life as best I can.