Happy Days

One year ago yesterday I booked my trip to South East Asia. Today it is Diwali. Tomorrow it is New Years Day (Bestu Varas). Tomorrow is also Halloween and as many of you know, that means it is my birthday. It is the first time I’ve ever experienced any of these things without seeing my family… or you know, like, be in the same country as them.

If there as ever going to be a period of time that I was going to feel homesick, it would be now because there is so much family-related stuff going on, and I’m not physically a part of it. Don’t worry. In actual fact, I feel great. Of course I miss everyone at home, and nothing compares to a hug from your mum, but I’m thankful that I have a job and a really lovely place to live. I have a wonderful group of friends both at work and outside. I get to talk to my parents every weekend and have a huge amount of well wishers on Facebook and WhatsApp and all manner of other methods of communication, so I feel as if I was at home just like any other year.

img_2934A friend of mine came over for the afternoon, we made a wicked cheesecake and had some lunch; we watched Doctor Who on Netflix and talked about the geeky things that we like, but have no one else to talk about them to! He brought candles and it made me feel happy when there was one sitting by the sink (there is a reason behind that, just don’t ask me what it is…!).

For those of you who have been following my exploits from the very beginning, I understand that right now, I’m not really giving you much excitement. I mean, compared to making my own jewellery, or archery or ziplining across the Mekong, right now, there isn’t that much going on. I’m keeping my head down, trying to make some decent cash and the weather hasn’t been all that great and therefore I’m spending more time indoors. As the sun sticks around for that bit longer each day (seasons are backwards here in Aus, as I’ve had to remind a few people recently! We’re moving into summer whilst the Northern Hemisphere is moving into winter), the rainclouds have started to clear away a little, I’ll start getting out a bit more and show you what this beautiful city has to offer. They say Melbourne is the most liveable city in the world, and I’m still getting to know it. As I discover more about it, I’ll let you know. For now, Happy Diwali. And check out my TV.

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Living the dream…

I need to start with a deep and heartfelt apology. I haven’t posted a blog in such a long time, and I’m genuinely sorry about that. I didn’t think that a few weeks with no updates was going to be too much of an issue, but I’ve had messages on Skype and Facebook and Whatsapp and all sorts of other social media and emails from people checking that I’m still okay that I really wasn’t expecting. Thanks everyone, but Thierry and I are doing pretty good.

We’ve actually been really busy in the last six weeks, hence the radio silence. We arrived in Melbourne on 1st September 2016 and today (Thursday 20 October) officially marks six weeks. In this time, we’ve moved three times, tried my hand at two different jobs and experienced a whole manner of weather systems. No joke, in the past week alone I’ve had days where the temperature has hit 24, and I’ve also had days where it has hailstoned so hard, it actually numbed my fingers to my yellow Cambodian umbrella. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant experience.

I’ve also made a bunch of new friends, reunited with familiar friendly faces and even met family members of good travel buddies! While it may seem to you that I’ve been whiling the time away, I can assure you, that isn’t this case at all!

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I’m now settled in a great part of town, a 10-minute train ride to the city and a 5-minute walk to the office. I’m not going to say too much about my job, but it is a working holiday visa (WHV) staple, selling door-to-door (which is still a thing in Australia, would you believe it?!). Perhaps even more surprisingly, it was both much easier to find a job and more difficult to excel at it, than I had originally expected. The cafés and bars are so put off when you tell them what kind of visa you have. Unfortunately, years of unreliable (at best) and down right rude (at worst) backpackers has resulted in the hospitality and retail industries being incredibly wary of hiring people who are likely going to leave at very short notice. Regardless of the fact that I was incredibly open with everyone that I spoke to and even put my available dates in writing, I still didn’t get a single call from any bar, restaurant or café. Which left a limited selection of jobs available to me: charity fundraising (which I tried and failed at); promo work (which can range from standing outside a supermarket with samples of a new energy drink, to wandering the streets dressed like a slice of pizza, handing out flyers for some new pizzeria); or door-to-door selling (which I’m doing now).

For people who know me pretty well, I talk a lot, right? Like, my stories are more long winded than my blog posts. Whilst this is really good for chatting to people in their doorways, walking their dogs, pushing their kids on the swings, holding a screaming 7-month old while her dad looks through the iPad… I’ve been finding that I have been talking myself out of sales! Now that I’m a couple weeks into this new job, I’m learning every day that less is DEFINITELY more, and keeping things simple is the way to go. Today I even got some beautiful prints from an artist who said it was a pleasure having a conversation with me! How lovely is that?!

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The people that I work with are really great, and though the turnover can be pretty high, the good ones stick around so you can actually make friends, and I can finally say that I am actually looking forward to staying in Melbourne until Christmas when things will start kicking off again, and I’ll have more exciting stuff to write about. For now though, I’m content that I’m going to be living the dream.