Between the bush fires, lack of work and an eventual beaten down self esteem I really haven’t managed to sit down and write an update for a couple of weeks. I say managed but I really haven’t felt like it, which isn’t normal – It has been the most testing couple of weeks since I moved to the other side of the world.
Let me take you back to my mindset around September last year. I was working for a company I really didn’t want to work for just so I could save up enough money to make this move happen, I was working a lot of this time in the rain, under pressure and with people who thought they knew best. I was simply counting down the days until I was able to pack it all in and follow my dreams. Move forward five months and the situation I find myself in feels the same but in the whole is a lot different.
Two weeks ago I didn’t work a single day, hour or minute. This wasn’t down to me suddenly becoming a lazy arse or switching roles with a Melbourne housewife, juggling kids and cooking everyone tea whilst cleaning up their mess – there were bush fires. Bush fires that raged through Melbourne, stripping bare hundreds of homes, claiming lives and in turn damaging peoples livelihoods for the foreseeable future. This wasn’t down to as you might expect a couple of weeks of temperatures constantly reaching 40c it was caused by months of no rain, months of the ground drying up creating a natural tinder that was just waiting for that one little spark. Scary stuff! Read a news article from the time HERE. Thats not all. To add to all the fear and panic around town it was soon revealed that nine out of the 20 biggest fires at this time, were thought to be deliberate, caused by arsonists which if you ask me is a whole new 18+ blog post. The fires luckily didn’t affect the any of the families I have met or worked for since moving here but they were very close, close enough that the home I have been working on was under a cloud of smoke and close enough for me to say…It’s OK I will stay at home and wait it out. It wasn’t an easy decision. I hated it! I was sat at home begging for the fires to be put out so I could get back earning money but it didn’t happen and my mood soon slipped.
I will be honest I haven’t really enjoyed the work I have been doing over of the last few weeks, its been quite sporadic in that I never know what days I will be in work and what days I will be sat at home, which is not good enough for anyone. This is down to various reasons which I cannot disclose but reasons that are out of my hands. It has been getting me down and making me contemplate if I had made the right choice and after the fires I decided I had seen enough.
The weekend after the bush fire outbreak myself and Emily (my other half) sat down having a Sunday beer (or two) and I told her how I was feeling and Emily felt exactly the same. Then it hit us. In the five months we have been here in Australia, following our dreams all we have looked for and all we have done is get back into the 9/5 jobs that we came here to get away from, whether it was a subconscious security thing I don’t know but this was not the plan. After a long discussion and a couple of drinks later we decided – no more! (insert vision of me slamming pint down whilst saying such things in a posh English accent, possibly with a moustache) we both worked our bums of to get here to travel and experience new things, not to settle down and work and work and work. That is why, to cut a long story short in just under three weeks we’re packing up the van, and hitting the road.
Destination – Lambino Cattle Station – South of Alice Springs – AKA – Outback Australia!
The new plan is to become ‘Workaway’ers’ if you’re not sure what this means then head over to the website HERE. ‘Workaway’ is a website where you create a profile and in turn offer your services all around the world in return for accommodation and food. I have a friend back home that has been travelling Europe for the past year using the website and has had the most incredible time so we thought why not us. On the other side of the screen companies, families you name it create a profile and advertise their work. It ranges from babysitting in the Yorkshire dales to restoring period properties in Italy to working on cattle ranches right here in Australia. There are so many options to choose from and all you have to do is be honest and you get to travel the world.
On the 1st April (no joke) we will be starting our month long placement on a Cattle Station literally in the middle of nowhere just south of Alice Springs, learning how to rear cattle, learning the ins and outs of farming in outback Australia and finally learning more about Australia as a country rather than a beach. This might seem a little farfetched but hey, life is for living.
In the days leading up to our cowboy hat adventure we have set ourselves some time to enjoy, relax and travel a little bit more. 20 days of driving, surfing and sightseeing (and maybe a little drinking) we’re hitting the world famous Great Ocean Road, taking if through National parks, towns and villages, eventually making it through Adelaide and then up into the unknown outback.
It is going to be one ek’ of an experience and one that will be obviously documented right here on The Apprentice-Ship. There is a lot planned for our next 5 or 6 months here in Australia, which I am not telling you about yet but trust me, there are going to be some stunning pictures and videos heading your way and no 9/5 jobs!
(P.S note to everyone else – if you’re ever planning to take a road trip into outback Australia don’t watch Wolf Creek or Wolf Creek 2. I have and well even though I know it is complete rubbish it still makes you think)