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...
 
As my month-long holiday is coming to an end, I find it ironic how I take a vacation from my vacation (Australia) at HOME. But more than that, I realize how incredibly LUCKY I am to be able to do so - that my "home" is a vacation.

Granted, Sacramento isn't the biggest tourist destination (ha), but that's my original home and I will always always ALWAYS love it dearly. I got to be in one of my oldest friend's wedding, spend time with my family and play with my nephews that are growing all too fast (reality check, or should I say a slap in the face by reality: when they're around 20 years old, I will be 40!! FORTY!!). Anyway, I got lots of good family time in and got to see some old friends as well, which is always nice. I absolutely LOVE summer days in Sacramento consisting of BBQing, swimming, going to the lake and ending with the most amazing warm summer nights!
I was back and forth from San Diego to Sacramento a total of 3 times. That's three 8-hour drives & one flight. I didn't originally intend on going back and forth so many times, it just kinda happened. When I first arrived back in the States - 

OH and can we first talk about how I was reeeal reluctant to go back, BTW? I may or may not have been a little careless with my passport the week prior to flying home  so I might have an excuse not to have to go back (sorry America, but I looove Australia and I reallyy wasn't ready to go back to reality)

- I had landed in LA and then took a train to San Diego after hanging out with my mom in the horrible city that is Los Angeles (8 hours in the city really solidified my hatred for this place. From the exasperating traffic, to getting lost in the ghetto - thanks mom! haha - to rude employees at the train station.) After spending the 4th of July in not-so-sunny SD, I drove up to Sac for my high school best friend, Rosy's wedding. I drove up with my friend, Miles, and was close to deciding to just stay in Sac the remainder of my time in The States, until he ended up needing a ride back down to SD. 

My first few days back in SD were kind of a bummer. Everybody was pretty busy working & what not and I spent the weekend mostly by myself. The weather was perfect and I went on bike rides to the beach and ate all of my favorite food - alone. I decided to go back up to Sac early and then of course, my last 2 days in San Diego, everybody was around and reminded me why I love this place so much. It's funny because I was seriously questioning whether or not I ever wanted to move back to San Diego and then did a complete 180 and am now excited to move back here when I return from traveling. I guess loneliness will do that to you.

Anyway, I spent my last couple of days in San Diego wishing I wasn't going back to Sac and wanting to stay there. I had a flight from Sac-LA and then my international flight from LA-Melbs and so I decided last minute to change my Sac-LA flight to Sac-SD so I could spend my last few days back in SD. Talk about last minute plans.

So I made the drive back up to SacTown and spent more quality time with the fam. My dad came into town, which is a kind of rare occasion, so it was nice hanging out with him. And then my mom came up for my sister, Mallory's birthday a few days later and so we had a BBQ with each of them (one perk of your parents not being able to be in the same room as each other = more family events because of having to separate them). So here I am back in Sacramento and you can probably guess what I'm thinking by now - I just want to stay here instead of going back down to SD! (Yes, I sometimes wonder if I am clinically bipolar as well).

I literally thought of every possible way to just stay in Sac and worked out a pretty good plan, but decided last minute to just go back down. So now, I'm in San Diego on my last full day of vacation before heading back to Aussieland (and for some reason I'm inside blogging instead of laying on the beach...hmmmm...). And of course, I'm not completely 100% thrilled on going back (I may or may not have delayed getting my visa to enter back into Australia, at the chance that I may not have to go back). 

Not that I'm not incredibly excited to see Nate, but this trip back and pretty much my entire trip to Australia, has made me realize how much I love my home. How much I love California and honestly, America overall. And I've never been one to be super pro-'Merica. But I love this place - this country - and I love living right by the beach (No - Australia is NOT all beaches like how their propaganda leads us to believe!) I love cheap alcohol you can buy everyyywhere. I've missed my friends and my family so much. I'm LOVING watching the Olympics from America. I miss having a working iPhone (damn you AT&T for making it impossible to use iPhones with foreign sim cards!) I miss driving, In-N-Out, California Burritos, having toilet seat covers in public restrooms, Sacramento water (it tastes amazing! Although I may be a little biased since I grew up there), seeing all American sports on TV, driving on the RIGHT side of the street and the rest of the familiarities of home.

So as much as it seems like all I've done is whine and complain about where I am or where I'm going, from all of this, I've come to really appreciate so many things - everything really. Not only am I blessed to be able to travel to all of these places - my homes included - but they're all so amazing that whenever I arrive at each one, I don't want to leave. 
Overall, I had an amazing time catching up with old friends - one of the biggest things I've missed while being away is having a lot of friends. I've made a few good friends in Australia, but most of the friends I made at all have moved back home. I've missed the nights of going out with a big group and then passing out on a friends couch with the pizza guy banging on the door because your drunk friend ordered a pizza and then decided not to wake up when he came to deliver it. I don't miss getting hammered 5 nights a week (well, every so often I might), I just miss making crazy memories with friends. 

I'd love to think that one day I will decide to just live in some exotic city like Nepal or Tuscany or something, but I honestly don't think I could permanently live anywhere but California.
 
I should have some sort of symbol or warning or something before each blog entry. Saying that the following isn’t a “travel entry” but more of a “life entry”. I realize that I started this blog to write about my travels, and I feel like I’ve done a decent job covering most of it thus far. However, I said in the beginning that I’ve kept a journal since I was in 3rd grade. And that I also stopped writing about 2 years ago. And so maybe it just feels nice to write again. Even if it’s about nonsense that people actually aren’t interested in reading. So I suppose this is my warning: this is more of a LIFE entry :)

Every now and then, I would go back on old journal entries and read them. I would always claim that I liked to write in a diary/journal because it’s therapeutic and don’t get me wrong, it really is. But I also have this guilty pleasure of going back and reading old entries. I’m not sure what I gain out of it, but it’s just nice to reminisce sometimes. Sometimes I read about old mistakes that I’m still making today. And as terrifying as that is, that I’m still not learning, it’s also amusing in a way.

Like I just said, I stopped writing about 2 years ago after my life got erased (dramatic pause) – via computer crash anyway. Luckily, I still had quite a few blog entries on my “Myspace” account, that I randomly decided to read this morning (& I put “Myspace” in quotes because it really is quite an irrelevant & seemingly juvenile site these days [Sorry Tom]…Although I’m still so reluctant to delete it ha. I’m telling you, I have an issue with letting go of the past). First of all, I can’t believe I actually posted all of those things for the public to read. Secondly, I actually was maybe getting at something. Some of the things I wrote weren’t half bad. I mean, they were awful and embarrassing and I would delete them if I had the balls to, but they were somewhat meaningful.

I read about my high school days and saw how absolutely obnoxious I was. I mean, I already knew how annoying I was back then, but seeing myself write was just way too blatant of evidence. Regardless, it was still rather entertaining. My favorite bits were (& when I say “favorite”, I mean “the worst parts were…”) about how I “hated drama” yet every single blog I wrote was about drama. There were perhaps 20-25 entries, all spaced out between my sophomore year in high school, up until my sophomore year in college. It was funny seeing how I at least matured a little bit but how the boy problems never went away. The last entry was my favorite. A completely inappropriate entry completely calling out a guy I had semi-dated for a year and a half. I think I made that one private after I finally got over him. I never had the heart to delete it because in all honesty, I did a pretty damn good job calling him out on his shit. (We're actually friends now, so it's okay).

I wish I had the passion, or maybe just the balls, to write about the things I wrote about back then. I suppose I’m a little more conscious to the fact that this IS the internet and everybody can read what I’m writing. I think back then I just didn’t give a shit. I envy that girl just a LITTLE.

It’s funny seeing how my life has just been a cycle of the same thing. And not in a bad way at all. I went through high school thinking my biggest problems were these 4 guys I couldn’t decide between. But I’m sure in 10 years from now, I’m going to think back on how stupid my problems were when I was 23. I managed to document the greatest milestones in my life, which I’m so glad I did. Graduating high school and moving away for the first time ever. Dealing with far too many deaths at a young age. Going to college and having the hardest time adjusting and all the while, just drinking my life away (sorry mom). Almost having to drop out and going through horrible “heartbreaks”. And then now here I am, about to graduate college and I feel just as vulnerable and immature as that 16-year-old girl that wrote about how “crazy” sophomore year had been. Everybody is leaving San Diego. I don’t know where to go after this. I’m almost scared to move back home because I don’t know if I have a home anymore. Well, I pretty much know I don’t. My friends are dispersed across the country, from Northern California, to Texas to Georgia. So where do I go from here?

I would love to keep traveling but is it because I want to travel, or is because I don’t want to grow up? Everybody else around me is growing up, it seems. I know I’ll eventually have to do the same. But then there’s still that other side of me that is saying I don’t NEED to grow up yet and I can travel and do what I want because THIS is the ONLY time I’ll be able to do it so carelessly and freely.

As much fun as it all is, I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing in my life and that I should figure that out. There’s this void in me that I’m not quite sure how to fill. But in all honesty, is a JOB going to fill that void? I highly doubt it. There always seems to be something in me that I’m missing, that I’m always trying to fill. Something I’m searching for. But maybe that void is just what keeps you going. Keeps you looking for more, keeps you hungry for life. Maybe it’s meant to be there forever so you don’t get too comfortable and set in routine. Maybe it’s not a void at all. Maybe it’s just drive to keep you from settling for anything but amazing. 



**I also took the liberty of stealing the title from an old "MySpace" blog entry (which was a quote from Donnie Darko or something). Funny how things from your past can help you figure out the present. Sometimes even the future. It may or may not be such a bad thing to want to hold onto the Past.