[Disclaimer, I know I haven’t actually sat down and written for the blog for many months now, I found that I lost creativity in the semi-mundane life on the farm. Much of what happened over the course of the past year, from Winter in Tropical North Queensland to Spring on the East Coast and Summer back in Melbourne has yet to be documented. I’ve got my creative bone back though and stories from these lost months will be surfacing].
So It Starts…
In February 2015 I flew 11,000 miles across the world from England to Melbourne with the grand plan of living in Australia for a year. I landed in Australia with a fresh feeling of excitement and optimism, my first few months were spent enjoying the end of summer in Melbourne, the warm days were spent exploring my new city; getting lost down laneways, eating amazing food, drinking my body weight in coffee and enjoying everything the city had to offer from Museums to giant Tomato Fights and Music Festivals.
Winter in Australia… It gets cold.
By the time April came round the weather had started to turn, I spent my days door knocking for an educational survey company; much of my days were spent in the outer city suburbs, having people yell at me and throw horrific abuse left, right and centre. Maybe door knocking wasn’t the ideal job, but it served a purpose for the time being. Once winter hit I decided to move from door knocking to handing out flyers outside train stations to commuters (every second of which I remembered that I gave up a perfectly good career in London for this), I couldn’t get my head around why I had moved out to Australia to work jobs that I couldn’t stand for a few dollars an hour, it wasn’t a good time of my trip here. However, my determination never wavered, I applied for better jobs with vigour. Not long after I started looking I got a break, a really lucky break, a job agency picked me up with a two week contract at a company for a really decent wage, seven days a week for two weeks, inside a warm office.
Once I received my first decent paycheck, with the memory of the way my fingers were turning blue from the cold in Melbourne still fresh in my mind, I drunkenly decided to get out of the city and booked a flight up to Cairns for winter; I had no real plan, maybe I’d find a little job up there? Either way, the Tropical North looked like an amazing option for winter. So with a week before my flight I moved in with my very good friend Korrina, to soak up last bits of Melbourne, Jazz Festivals, pubs, clubs and bars were frequented that week. By the time came for me to leave I was ready for a new exciting change of pace, I flew to Cairns at the end of a big night out in Melbourne with Pawline and Korrina, not remembering my flight, I found myself sat in Tropical, warm rain up the far North of Australia. I had arrived to the Tropics!
Cairns was a lot of fun, I was there for all of a few days before Pawline stated that she was coming up for a while to spend time in the ‘city’ with me. We had a great week enjoying what Cairns had to offer, until I realised that I needed to find a job quickly. Looking around it became apparent that farm work would be the best option; I went into a Travel Agent in Cairns (Happy Travels) and applied for a Berry Picker job, there were apparently ten girls who were all going to be moving to start Berry Picking the next day and I would be part of that group.
Winter working on a Farm…
It all happened so quickly, before I knew it, I found myself on a bus with a group of girls that I didn’t know, mostly people travelling together, mostly Welsh, all absolutely lovely. We found ourselves at Chewko Road in Walkamin, a small working hostel located near an avocado farm, a nature reserve and a couple of small mountains and not much else. It was here that I worked for three months as a berry picker, the girls who were at first strangers turned into my best friends, my family on the farm. I don’t want to go too far into my farm work here because there’s a post coming up about it, but I will say that without the amazing people I lived with down Chewko Road I wouldn’t have been able to complete my farm work.
When Spring Sprung…
Spring was starting to sprout over Australia as we finished up our Farm Work, I had decided to make my way back down to Melbourne via the East Coast with friends from the farm. Four of us, Becca, Mari, Shannon and I all boarded the greyhound and set off down the coast, stopping off at various locations, creating lasting memories that make me smile today. Again, I won’t go too much into this because there’s a breakdown of my East Coast trip coming up soon.
Summer back in Melbourne…
October flew round with surprising pace and I found myself back in Melbourne, I greeted the city like an old friend. I slipped right back into enjoying the life here, back with my friends Korrina (before she moved back to Tasmania) and Pawline. I worked a job as a Call Centre agent for an Education Company, the balmy weather slowly engulfed the last of the cool days as summer took full swing. I celebrated my first Winter Birthday with a group of my best friends, I spent Christmas day on the beach, New Years Eve at a rooftop party. Spending every minute with a group of people who I couldn’t even express my love and gratitude for, as my First Year Visa was coming to an end I got a note from the Australian Government, stating that I had been approved for a Second Year Visa. I’m not sure how long I will stay in this beautiful country before I move on again, maybe the year, maybe until it gets cold again, who knows. But I will say this, the past year here hasn’t been easy, sometimes it’s been ridiculously hard, I’ve had to deal with some pretty shitty situations, but through it I can sit here and write whilst I’ve got a big soppy smile on my face, I am truly happy. I’m so happy, I’ve got a group of beautiful people in my life, I’ve just moved into a lovely new apartment with my friend Liz (more about Liz later) and I’m settling into life again over here. I’m ready to see what the next installment will bring, waiting for it with the same excitement and optimism that I possessed when I first landed over here a year ago.
- Jobs worked over the past year: Eight, Sales, Office Work, Farm Work
- Favourite memory from past year: The Whitsundays & Whales on Great Barrier Reef
- Places lived over the past year: 4
- Distance Travelled: Approx 6,000km