I feel like I have been in Australia for forever, while simultaneously I feel like I’ve just arrived. It’s set in now that I’m not going back home. I have a job now, I have stable accommodation for the next few months. I’m settled. When I was moving to a new Airbnb or Hostel each week, or going on a road trip, my time here felt very much like a holiday. Now it’s just starting to feel like life. I realised tonight while walking home from the cinema that I am completely comfortable here. Normally, in a new place, I am a bit skittish about walking around on my own, especially at night. But I was walking through the dark streets for Melbourne suburbia, listening to 00’s pop tunes on Spotify and I just felt totally at home. It’s a nice feeling for someone who is constantly thinking about the potential dangers of every situation to finally be able to chill a bit!
Expectations vs Reality
Life in Australia has not been as simple as I thought it would be. I figured doing a working holiday here would be easy peasy. I’d get a job super quick and find a cool yet super cheap flat in the city and find a homely local coffee shop and so on. That has not happened. It took a good month and a half of job hunting to finally get a job as a cleaner. I applied for all the admin and retail jobs I could see but had zero luck and realised pretty quickly that I was going to have to lower my standards a bit if I wanted to make some quick cash. While being a cleaner is not the fanciest job in the world, I get to work with really nice people and drive around all over Melbourne and see some super fancy houses along the way. Most of which have a little puppy that I can cuddle.
Finding a job has been good as I was starting to get very lazy and spent a lot of time bingeing shows on Netflix over Christmas. Getting up and doing something productive with my days has really helped. Also there is a really lovely coffee shop that I discovered last Friday near my work that I have now been to four times. The owner is lovely and keeps giving us free cakes and pastries so I guess I have a local now? In saying that, having a Monday to Friday, 8am – 4pm job does make it more difficult to be spontaneous. I can’t just up and go for a day trip on a Tuesday anymore, anything like that needs to be reserved solely for the weekends.
What the Future Holds…
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do after Australia. I’m still not sure if I want to do the farm work to have the option to do a second year or if I should just go off to somewhere new. New Zealand? Canada? South East Asia? I don’t think I’ll want to go home yet though. It took me so long to work up the courage to get here, I might aswell ride the momentum for as long as I can. Besdies, going home without a plan would just land me right back into the crappy part-time job that I had before. If I can survive on odd jobs and seeing the world, surely that’s the better option?
As for what lies ahead for the next 10 months? I have no idea. Buy a campervan? Get a bike and cycle to Sydney? Go to Bali? I might even stop somewhere and fall in love with it and never want to leave. I literally, still, have no idea what this year is going to look like. But at least now that doesn’t terrify me. I’ve grown accustomed to not knowing what’s going to happen. Since being here, each time we have had to move house/hostel etc, we have left it to the day before. And each time it’s worked out. We have landed on our feet here, our housemates are so lovely and welcoming, and more importantly, there seems to be a never ending supply of tea! The fact that I’m sleeping on the floor and the three of us are sharing the one room is neither here nor there.
Seeing a Change
Personally, I feel like I have come quite a long way since being here. I am not a social animal, so constantly having to meet new people, and actively put an effort into making friends was a struggle, but I am getting much better. I am more comfortable striking up a conversation now and just feel generally more assertive. Next on my to do list is to actually put that assertiveness into action and start to make friends. I feel like travelling with friends has made me feel like I don’t really need to make much of an effort with others because I have them. But I need to push myself. Get out of my comfort zone. That’s what this is year is meant to be all about!
All in all, my first two months here in Australia have been jam packed! We have stayed down by the beach, in a cracking Airbnb in the city, I stayed in my frist 16 person mixed dorm room. Not to mention the 12 day roadtrip, the petsitting two beautiful little puppies for three weeks in December and now getting a job and a house. I didn’t think I would stay in Melbourne this long. By the time we move on we will have been here for 4 months. Then at least we will have some money saved and we can enjoy the remainder of our time here exploring.
Here’s to the next two months!