Last week I was hoping to get some time off work to travel to Uluru – there was no rota at work until Thursday so I didn’t know whether or not to risk it to go. Instead, I managed to pick up some shifts in Melbourne and stayed there for three nights.
Monday I did the three hour commute and got to work by 11am. I was invited out for “a drink” after work which turned into going to a rooftop bar and then finding out that the casino is in fact open all night, so I ended up working the next day on around 25 minutes sleep. I didn’t get asked if I went out the previous night, or told that I looked hungover so I’m quite impressed that I pulled it off.
After my shift and a very strong coffee on Tuesday I went to the cinema to see Jumanji which was better than I’d expected and then went to bed as I really needed to sleep. Wednesday, I worked and finished in the evening so didn’t really get the chance to do much.
On Thursday, I went to the cinema again to see Black Panther – been pretty excited to see it for a couple of months and whilst not the best Marvel film I’ve seen, was still bloody good. After, I got the train back to Geelong, where I had to wait an hour and a half for a bus as there were problems with the trains. One of the reasons I can’t wait to move on from living here is that I don’t want to rely on public transport to get around here as it’s shit.
Over the weekend I worked and have the next couple of weeks with more work than this week. My final shift is on the 4th, and I tonight I booked my flight from Melbourne to Alice Springs, a Uluru tour and a flight to Adelaide. After that I’ll be flying into Perth, Darwin and then Cairns, and depending on how I feel, a trip to Bali could be on the cards for a few days.
The year before last I took a tour of the Great Ocean Road. Using phrases like ‘the year before last,’ make me feel as though I’ve been in this country for bloody ages. When I was 18 I passed my driving test (first time!) and it seems such a waste to have a license and not use it. So, with four days off work I thought sod it, and hired a car.
Sunday, I took the bus to Geelong, bought some party mix and hired the car, then I drove to Torquay. The whole idea of me doing this was to get some time in a car and not so much seeing everything, so I stopped in Torquay for a bit, then a couple of other stops, and then finished at the Twelve Apostles. I was intending to also go to Apollo Bay, but I saw the car park and thought that there was no way in hell I’d ever be able to park in there. With that said, I did manage to reverse park successfully a couple of times.
The few days after I still had the car so I took it out locally – a couple of days I spent in Torquay and I went to an animal sanctuary nearby which to be honest was a bit shit. I spent a day in Torquay as I figured if I was going to lounge around all day I may as well go somewhere nice. It was a pretty nice day, though I found out that I may as well have not put sun cream on as my skin is now blistered -there wouldn’t have been much difference if I put vegetable oil on my right arm. A quick drive to Woolies to get some after sun was very much needed and a very shitty email was sent to the suncream company (response being “if you get burnt, discontinue use” – no shit!)
It looks like I’m off work until Friday or even Saturday. At the moment, I’m looking at going to Uluru but I will need to work my magic with cheap flights, and to be honest I’ve drank the best part of a bottle of wine tonight so that may have to wait until tomorrow. If not, I’m looking at going to Port Douglas and maybe Adelaide, and if that doesn’t work out I’m going to Melbourne. The week after next is my final week at work, so it may be more convenient to leave some places I’m intending to visit until I’m unemployed again, but I think I”m going to have the best month in Australia next month, making the most of not having a job as I know it’s going to be the final time I chill out, giving less shits than usual, before I find myself a job before heading to Asia.
Two years ago today I boarded a flight to Spain. What was initially “three or so months in Europe and then a year in Australia” got slightly out of hand.
When the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” came up at school, I’m curious as to what the response to the answer of “living out of a backpack in hostels, at one stage weeding farmers fields/packing and planting melons, being known to quit my job to travel and deciding which country to go to the day before” would be. It’s a pretty awesome path if you ask me.
It was such a change going from travelling through Europe to living in Australia, where I found it difficult to settle as in Europe you can travel not even two hours and experience a whole new culture. Here you can travel for ten hours and the culture is more or less the same. It’s coming up to halfway through my second year Working Holiday Visa now and I’m pretty happy with where I am and what I’ve done in the country, then at the end of July onwards I’ll be a full-time traveller again.
My attitude for the future is that if I can’t do something in a pair of flip flops or if it doesn’t require me to put on some hiking boots (or in my case, my Nikes as I’m not made of luggage space) I’m probably not going to want to do it.
At the moment I’m probably around the halfway mark of what has turned into my round the world trip. Throughout the next year I’m going to be travelling through Asia, then back to Europe. After that I’m hoping to arrive in New Zealand, most likely on a Working Holiday Visa and after that I have to figure out how to do South America. From leaving Australia, I want to do all of this just with hand luggage.
My highlights? Spending over two weeks in Budapest, it’s my favourite place and I can’t wait to return. Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef. Getting stuck in a cyclone shelter in Ayr and getting featured in a few online articles, as well as having my parents watch me on BBC News in Spain. Some of the job opportunities I’ve had in Australia – a two week stint in Cradle Mountain and the Melbourne Races. My farm work, it’s hard to describe – the best worst time I’ve ever had. Attempting to jump into the bush on a roundabout after several beers, faceplanting, injured myself and still had the beer in my hand (also caught on video). Watching Barcelona play at Camp Nou. Hostel piss-ups. Exploring Berlin. Going to Japan because I felt like it. Driving the Great Ocean Road. Not having to put up with peoples’ bullshit. Going to see the Australian Open two years running – and seeing both women’s and men’s champions in 2018 play. That’s just a few of my highlights, anyway.
The past two years have been fantastic and I cannot wait for the next couple of years to unfold.
Monday was supposed to be chilled but halfway through the train ride into the city I’d realised that I forgot to bring a change of clothes with me (yes I’m being serious) so a trip to h&m was in order. Other than that, I had a few things to do and checked into the hostel. During the evening I was thinking about going to the cinema but there wasn’t a lot on. Instead, I went to the ACMI and saw a documentary in their cinema about Obama’s last year in office which was pretty interesting. There’s a few things they have coming up which look good, and will also be when I’m back in the city.
Tuesday, I started the day off being a tourist. First stop was the Queen Vic Market which wasn’t all that, then I went to the ACMI to have a look at their screens exhibition – it’s quite interesting and a good way to kill some time playing video games. Afterwards, I went to visit a friend at work then went off to see the Foo Fighters – I managed to get a really good spot in the crowd. Weezer were on first and I enjoyed their set but the Foo Fighters were awesome. Perhaps a bit too much with their guitar solos but it was up there as one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to.
Wednesday, I slept in and went to South Melbourne Market for a late breakfast – I had planned to take a day trip to Wilsons Prom which ended up getting cancelled – the weather was shit anyway. Spent most of the day chilling then saw a friend who I did my farm work with; was great to see her again. The whole hostel got banned from drinking goon within six weeks of me being there, then we had regular alcohol bans, for which everyone put the effort in to hide the fact that we were drinking, but other than that the ban was always ignored. After I left, apparently there was a “crackdown” of people drinking goon from coloured bottles/out of mugs so the backpackers would cut the string off of a teabag, stick the string to the cup and filled it with goon so it just looked like they were drinking a lot of tea.
I worked 22.5 hours this week. The next few weeks I’m not working a lot so it’s going to be four days off and around 30 hours I think. At the moment I have enough money saved up for Asia so I’m using work to pay my rent and to go towards my days off. The next four days I have off so I was thinking of going to Torquay, one of the stops of the Great Ocean Road. You can get there by bus but I thought sod it, I’ll hire a car and do the whole bloody thing. One of my hangups with driving I think is that I’ve always been hesitant with it as there’s an instructor who knows where I’m going and not myself – as long as I don’t go too fast I’ll be fine.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll be packing a bag, absolutely nothing booked bar the car hire. I think the plan is to do the Great Ocean Road tomorrow and just get back here pretty late, then the couple of days after go to the hot springs (apparently the best in the world, I’ll see how they compare to Budapest’s baths) and Phillip Island.
On Monday I was off again so I decided to go to the tennis again – I wanted to see a big match. Sunday evening at work I kept checking my phone to see who was playing where and at what time, and once I saw it I booked my ticket. It may have been halfway through service whilst plating desserts…
My internet right now is very limited so I can’t post any pictures or Google the names of the players I saw. The first game was a womens singles which was pretty decent, then the Kerber game which was a great one to watch – it was very close at a few stages and I probably would have been swearing at the TV if I was at home. The final game was Federer – pretty sure everyone knew he was going to win and by this time it was hard to concentrate on the game having spent around four hours prior watching tennis and travelling two hours to get there. It was great to see him play though, just a shame that I couldn’t have seen Andy Murray play, though a few years ago at work I did actually walk past him.
On the way back from the tennis I tried to get the last bus from the station to get to the place I’m staying at. Missed the bus as the train was delayed so had a $60, 40 minute Uber. I’ve been waiting for something to go wrong as it’s been a while since something has – the last time being when I cut half the tip of my thumb off at work in August. Would rather have an expensive Uber over that.
Since November I’ve not had a lot of days off – one per week, or less. This week I have four days off, which I think is more than what I had in all of December. Tomorrow I’m off to Melbourne and just chilling in the city then Tuesday I’m off to see Weezer and the Foo Fighters – can’t bloody wait. Wednesday I’m going to be a tourist and go on a day tour of Wilsons Prom, then back to work on Thursday. Sunday, I’m off again so I’ll try and be a tourist around here but it’s pretty hard to do without your own transport. I think my job is finishing up at the end of next month though I’m not too sure, but I’m excited for it to quieten down and get out and about a bit more.
On Monday I travelled down to Melbourne to watch the Australian Open. With me being 23 and built like an old woman I had to go and get my neck sorted out once again, so had to leave earlier than I would’ve liked. Since Mid-November I’ve worked six days a week and now I’m struggling to get out of bed at 2pm to get the 2.25 bus to work.
My ticket was for the Margaret Court Arena; the first game was the womens, Wozniacki vs Buzarnescu and second was the mens King vs Tsonga. As I was there early, I thought I’d go and find somewhere that sold Pimms, and it turns out that Pimms isn’t a thing during the tennis here. Absolutely distraught. So instead I had a beer and something to eat whilst watching one of the games on an outside screen.
Tomorrow I’m off work so I’m off to the tennis again – got a few good games including the Federer one. Since I moved here I’ve not been on a night out where I’ve written myself off so I’m really up for giving zero shits about how much money I spend tomorrow.
Work has been pretty much the same as the past few weeks – had a few busy days and a couple of days where it was so hot I don’t know how I managed to do eleven hours in the kitchen. It makes the UK heatwaves of 23 degrees look cute. Done a fair few hours too so I’ve not really had the chance to research a heap of Asia but think I’ve got a really good plan of what I’m doing in Australia soon. From the end of July this year I’m planning not to work unless it’s an opportunity that I can’t turn down until I’ve seen the world, which will be maybe more than a year and I can’t bloody wait.
Once again, I have worked a six day week; I think I’ve done them every week bar one since mid-November and I’m not too sure how many more I have to go. The money’s going to go a long way but I really am feeling as though I need a break. Luckily, I have a couple of breaks coming up, just not too sure exactly when I have to pack my backpack again.
This week I had Monday off which wasn’t very exciting – I can’t really get anywhere without using the bus so I woke up at 2pm and went out for breakfast. One night during the week we had a night in at the house I’m staying at. I had been looking at moving here as a chance to be a bit sensible but instead I went to bed at 5am and had to be up for work at 10. Whoops.
Also, I saw that the Australian Open starts tomorrow and have a ticket. I booked up before everything got announced but should be seeing a couple of good tennis matches. With this job, I hadn’t been expecting to be able to make it but am glad to be proven wrong. The downside is that I have to get from the CBD to work which is a two and a half hourish commute.
My seventeen days of work in a row came to an end so I had a well-needed day in bed. It was 35 degrees outside and I had to pop to the shop; opening the front door was like opening an oven. In the city it reached 43 degrees and actually got so hot there were traffic delays on a motorway as the road itself started to melt. I got sunburnt. Again.
Work has gone really well, definitely the best team I’ve ever worked with. In a way, it’s a shame it’s a temporary job as I could really develop my career there, but I’d rather go travelling – what a first world problem. I’ve been doing the cold starters/pastry section which is really easy and the fryer section which I prefer, I just don’t like cleaning the fryers. Especially when there’s three of the bloody things.
On my day off, I booked up to go to Africa. I saw that the company I’m using are allowing people to put a deposit of $1 on a trip so I thought to put a deposit on, then I compared the prices to the UK website. The UK website was £200 cheaper, and I accidentally paid for the whole trip rather than just a deposit. Whoops. So, I’ll be leaving Australia I think four days before my visa expires, then from South Africa I think I’m just going to make my way to South East Asia and work my way up towards Europe, so I need to book a flight from Melbourne to Zimbabwe and then from South Africa to Malaysia. Don’t really want to have to leave Australia, but I’m so bloody excited to travel.
For the past couple of weeks I’ve had my own room which I’m actually really bored of already. I’ve spent a lot of time in hostels and I’m seriously considering just living in one again. Since I started travelling, I’ve not really had my own space so I’m used to that anyway. I’m quite mindful that by the time I get back to Melbourne I’ll have five months left on my visa and I’d rather be paying $170/week max to live in a hostel, have a laugh and not give a shit than $220+ for my own private room and be bored after a week. The only problem being that I will have limited WiFi and won’t be able to have a Netflix binge as and when I please.
I’ve moved around two hours from Melbourne and don’t have the internet. I used the data from my phone to post this, but probably won’t be updating again until I leave here. Work is going pretty well. If you count moving here on boxing day as work as moving was quite an ordeal, especially so with a hangover, Friday will be 17 days straight of work.
I have some really good plans for this year; I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned a fair few times what I’m intending to do over the next few months. Between now and July I’ll be working with a few things thrown in to stop me from getting bored – the reason why I stayed an extra year was to get paid a better wage so I can do some serious travelling, which I’ve been looking into over the past few weeks. When I’ve researched it properly I’ll be going to Africa for a couple of weeks to see the southern part of the continent on a tour, then I’ll also know whether or not I’m going to visit England. After Southern Africa I’ll be doing the whole South East Asia backpacker thing, hopefully just with hand luggage as recently having stuff just really bloody irritates me. I’ll be taking my time with that, then I can look at New Zealand and where I can go from there. I’m not really planning on working because I don’t want to, unless I get a once in a lifetime opportunity, but may have to in New Zealand as it’ll be an expensive one.
A fair few people must be thinking that I’m going to have had enough of the lifestyle that I’ve been living soon and want to go back to the UK, settle somewhere and focus on my career or something. Sure, sometimes it may be shit but I’ve come to learn that if something goes wrong then it’ll be funny in a few weeks at the most, and I’m hoping to settle in Australia after travelling anyway. I wouldn’t really have it any other way, all I want to spend my time doing at the moment is chilling out and seeing the world, and I’m working hard now so that I can do it in a few months time.
Had a bit of a chilled out week this week. Work wasn’t too difficult but didn’t really do that many hours – I was so pumped to get three days off this week after having three days off in the past three weeks, but I had to work one which was pretty unnecessary.
On Monday I did the 1000 Steps Walk in the Dandenong Ranges, really nice walk but wouldn’t recommend doing it on a 32 degree day. On a scale of one to my farm work in Queensland as to how sweaty it was, it definitely was up there.
Friday night I went out with a some friends and when I got back in, the people who I rent this place from invited me and the others in the flat out with them. Yesterday, I was off which was probably for the best and today I worked a few hours and just chilled for the rest of the day and am going to have an early night.
Tomorrow, I’m working which I don’t really mind too much as I’m getting paid some pretty nice penalty rates, then am off to a friends house afterwards. Boxing day I’m moving so have been pretty busy getting all of my shit together. I’m a bit gutted to be moving as I wanted to see a bit more of the city, but having worked and gone out so bloody much over the past month it hasn’t really been doable.