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25 Ways to Travel on a Budget
at First For Everything
So I've been back in Australia a week now. Spent a glorious weekend doing absolutely nothing but hang out with the boy, watch movies (including the Dark Knight Rises for the 2nd time), sleep and relax. Come Monday, Nate had to go to work and I was left with nothing to do, seeing as how my cafe job would have to wait another week since they had already made the schedule (which didn't include me). I decide to apply for a few jobs since I'm going to have to pay for SE Asia somehow.
I decided to go for the promotions jobs since they're rather easy, flexible and pay decent. I applied for three and the next day, I got a call back asking if I wanted to come in for an interview that day. At the time, I was actually out trying to find Nathaniel his birthday present. His birthday isn't until the 22nd this month but I decided it would be a fabulousss idea to get us some bikes so we can go bike riding! Although this plan doesn't seem super brilliant right now, as I look at the weather forecast and it's supposed to rain the rest of the week. Like it does everyy week.
Anyway, I go on gumtree.com and find tons of bikes around the price that I want. Yes, I'm getting my boyfriend a used bike for his birthday. Sounds pretty lame, but the idea is that we'll go on lots of fun bike rides together - that is, if the rain EVER stops. So my one problem - actually one of my MANY problems, is that I do not have a car. So my idea is that I get a bike within about 10km of my house so I can just ride it back home. The first place I go - and yes, this blog is now ending up being about my bicycle hunt rather than my "big kid job" - I end up really liking the bike and so I buy it. It fits me fine and if the seat is raised, it will fit Nate too, so I figure it's a good bike to start with. So I pay for the bike and was meaning to ask this girl - or any person for that matter - if I'm supposed to be wearing a helmet. I don't know if that's a stupid question, all I know is that in California, you don't need to wear a helmet when you ride your bike. In Hawaii, you don't even need to wear a helmet when you ride a motorcycle (random, I know).
So I text my friend Ash and ask him if I need to wear one. No response. I jump on the bike and see an older guy riding his bike and he's wearing a helmet - granted he's also wearing super short bike shorts with a matching shirt and helmet, so I figure this guy is just super hardcore. A minute later, I see another guy riding his bike without a helmet, so I'm like, wooo I'm in the clear! So I'm cruising down the street, headphones in, jamming to my music, thinking about how much I looove riding bikes and how free I feel and how it's going to be soooo awesome being able to ride my bike everywhere and then of course - I look over my right shoulder and I'm legit getting pulled over by the cops. Of course.
"Do you have some ID on you?" he asks. "Am I doing something wrong?" "Do you think you're doing something wrong?" "Am I supposed to be wearing a helmet?" And at this point, the cops are just laughing at me. Obviously I'm not from around here. I explain that I literally had just gotten the bike 5 minutes ago and that in California you don't need to wear helmets, etc etc. They didn't ticket me or anything (luckily). I just couldn't believe I got pulled over within MINUTES.
Anyway, I got one bike down, one more to go! So actually, as I was about to ride away, right after I texted Ash, is when this sports marketing agency called me about coming in for an interview that day. So I went in a few hours later and things went really well. There were a ton of people in there so I wasn't too hopeful I would get a call back, but a few hours later, they called me asking if I would come in the next day - today. They had explained that it was a sales job and that we represented a lot of major sports clubs in Australia, such as the AFL (Australian Football League), Special Olympics and so on.
Today, I went in and along with a couple interviews, actually went and job shadowed them. Didn't really seem like my kind of thing, unfortunately. Sales has never super interested me. We went back to the office and I spoke with another employee and she explained how the entire company works. Overall, there's a LOT of room for growth and you can do really well if you try hard and are motivated. And I actually think it's something I can do and be good at.
Unfortunately, this isn't the ideal job to get when I only have two months here until I start traveling for a month and then go back to The States. And they actually offered me the job at the end of all my interviews. I had a feeling I might get it because I was getting along with everybody I had met, and in my head, I said if they offered me the job, I would tell them I would have to think about it first. Of course when it actually happened and she excitedly offered me the job, I just said "awesome, sounds great!" which could definitely (and was definitely) interpreted as an acceptance.
So now here are my issues: Do I take a job where I won't be able to make a lot of money right away (when I'm trying to save money right now for traveling)? That also has reallyyy long hours? But it will definitely pay well in the future. But if I go home, then there won't be a "future" and then 2 months could potentially be wasted. Granted, I'll probably learn a lot, but it's not really fair to me or the company to spend two months here to just quit after not even getting anywhere. And so if I decide NOT to go home, then that means...I won't be going home. And I DO want to go home. I have friends visiting for a month in December that I'm supposed to show around California. And that was just always the plan - to go home for the holidays. But if I stay, it could turn into a really good job because it IS a really good opportunity. But then Nate's visa expires in March and he might not be able to stay in Australia either way. And also, am I really ready to have a big kid job? I still wanted to keep traveling. i wanted to go teach English in Italy or Spain or somewhere in Europe. I don't know if I'm ready for real responsibilities. But I DON'T want to be working at random cafes/restaurant the rest of my life. And working at a million different restaurants doesn't exactly improve my resume.
Decisions, decisions. Training starts on Monday so I have a few days to figure it out. To grow up or not to grow up...
I've officially & FINALLY gotten over the homesickness. I tried reeeal hard to hide it before, anyway. I probably cried for the first 48 hours straight and then off and on for a week after that. Along with missing everybody back home, I absolutely HATED my living situation. But that's why I wrote "if you don't like something the way it is, change it, or change the way you look at it".
Long story short, I hated my house - it's old. It's dirty (& being in a different country has really brought out my germaphobia-ness). It's dark. & it smells. I unfortunately had already paid $1800ish which really converts to over $2000 US (first month & a half of rent + bond). So I had to find someone to fill my spot. I also had to find somewhere else to live. Finding somewhere else to live seemed to be the hard part but luckily, a spot opened up at the International House, which is kind of dorm like, in the sense that it's all students and closer quarters, although it's in more apartment style buildings. But they're newer and nicer and I was down.
So it turns out, the hard part was finding someone to fill my room. After posting my room on Gumtree (their version of Craigslist..a not as good version of Craigslist...I miss Craig) half a dozen times, I was ready to give up and the IH said they would only hold my room until the end of this week. And so I figured I was stuck here. Until this guy, Steve, wanted to come check it out after I posted the last ad I said I would post for this room. My landlord happened to come right when he was checking it out (my landlord loooves to come here unannounced. & she also loves to use her own key to get in and invade our privacy) and they ended up getting along great and that was that - he signed a contract & now I'm FREEE :)
So now the challenge is finding a new place. Yes, the IH is ideal and I have friends there, but Nate gets here tomorrow and I feel like I can only sneak my boyfriend in (AKA have him live there) for so long. It might be different if I got to know my roommates and they were all fine with him staying a while, but I can't really just show up with two of us. So today I am off to look at places closer to the city in the Richmond/Burnley/Hawthorn areas. I'm hoping they work out & I figured if I'm going to be paying so much (IH is NOT cheap), I may as well be in an area that is closer to the city & to potential jobs we [hopefully] will get. YAYY for change & things working out :)
My family told me I should just suck it up and maybe the place will grow on me. But I've just been miserable here. Miserable as in I don't walk around the house without shoes. Miserable as in everything in the kitchen is sticky because all the cabinets and drawers are so old. Miserable as in I barricade myself in my room and I have a slight (okay HUGE) fear that Huntsmen spiders are about to attack me. So why stick with miserable if you can make some changes yourself? Okay yes, the place got a little less miserable after a while, but still bad nonetheless. If I'm going to be spending maybe a year in this country, I'm gonna do it RIGHT and make the changes I see fit.
& PS - if you are a future student that will be studying abroad in Australia & going to Deakin, do NOT use Burwood Student Living unless you want landlords that act like your parents (she legitimately has come to my house unannounced about 6 times now, has gone through our stuff and told us to clean up after ourselves, calls us at 7/8 in the morning etc). I guess I got the shittiest house and there are nicer ones that they rent out, but I wouldn't want to live here because of the landlords, PERIOD. Just a heads up:)