It’s the Next Episode

Cue Dr. Dre.

Bringing this bad boy back!

I actually cringe when I go back and read my old posts, but this blog seems to be a good way to keep family and friends updated with the random stuff I’m doing.  I was surprised at how often my friends said they read it when I was in Asia for a year.

And the reason I want to “keep people updated”?

I’m headed to AUSTRALIA guys!

I’ve had one foot out the door since the moment I hopped off the plane from India at O’Hare back in May 2017.  I even had a teaching job lined up in Madrid.  Travel is such a drug.

But then I got a job, and I decided to give the whole “responsible” deal a shot.

THEN some friends I used to live in Thailand with let me know they were going to Australia on a working holiday visa and they invited me to come with.  Which I was on the fence about until I met up with them for a 2 week trip to Nepal.  We were drinking big phat Ghorka beers on a rooftop at our hostel in Kathmandu discussing the Australia trip and the words “road trip in a camper van” came up.  I was SOLD.

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View from said rooftop.  Kathmandu, you mighty fine.

 

So, after a year and a half in purgatory, AKA living at my parent’s house, I am OFF to Australia!  Not that it was that easy.  I had to quit my job.  I had to pass up the opportunity to move downtown(Chicago) with friends.  Life man.

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The full Australia squad with these dope ladies who ran our guest stay during a trek in Nepal last May.

What is a Working Holiday Visa?

Because Australia is AWESOME they have a visa anyone under 30(possibly 32 or 35?  I think they just raised it) can apply for.  It lets you stay in the country for a year, whereas a normal tourist visa is good for 90 days max.  Most importantly, it lets you get a JOB!  ANY job!  The catch is that you can only keep a job for 6 months maximum, and if you want to extend your visa for a 2nd year you have to do 88 days of farm work.

Such a smart move by the Australian government.  Australia doesn’t have a big labor force and they have a lot of agriculture, so they get crunchy people from abroad to come in and do it for them!  Depending how long I stay I might end up doing a little farm work.  I don’t think I want to do 2 years but one of my friends does, and I honestly wouldn’t mind getting down with some farm work for a bit.  It sounds like it could be interesting.

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Australia crew AGAIN on our Nepal trip, this time making momos at a Tibetan refugee camp

So what’s the plan?

I land in Brisbane mid-January, where I’m meeting up with my friends Nicole & Anna.  They’re being cool and doing a few days in Singapore first, but I had to pass because then I would’ve had to quit my job before the holidays.  We want to travel a bit before working, so we rented a camper van and are driving down the coast from Brisbane to Melbourne for a month.  Yes, we are in fact sleeping in the van, it has rough beds and a kitchenette in the back.  We’ll be staying at campsites along the way for showering/etc.

Nothing is set in stone of course, and like I said I like to roll with it, but I THINK our route is going to look something like this:

  • Brisbane
  • Stop in the Glass House Mountains
  • Noosa National Park
  • Rainbow Beach
  • Fraser Island
  • Springbrook National Park?
  • BYRON FREAKING BAYYYYYY
  • Port Macquarie
  • Blue Mountains!
  • Sydney
  • Royal National Park
  • Jervis Bay
  • Canberra
  • MELBOURNE our new home!
  • MAYBE the Great Ocean Road depending on timing, might save it since we’ll be living nearby

I’ve really only sat down and figured things out from Brisbane to Sydney and am STUCK on what to do between Sydney – Canberra – Melbourne, anyone out there have any good recs let me know!

Then we’re moving to Melbourne and getting jobs.  Maybe a potential visa sponsorship so we can stay in Australia long term?  Who knows!

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The whole crew in Kathmandu last May

We have to be in Melbourne by Valentine’s Day for a concert.  And I’m not putting any other dates on here because I learned that I put too much information on this damn blog when a ~fan~ AKA older British man showed up at my school in THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE RURAL THAILAND while I was teaching bearing gifts.  Nice guy, he wanted to volunteer at my school, and I really appreciated the peanut butter he brought me, but probably a harmless lesson in not making my location triangulate-able.  The internet can be a crazy place.  Mama O if you just read that please disregard it’s a joke I swear!

Do you have an apartment set up?

Dear god no.  I need to see a place before I pay for it, plus there’s always a possibility we’ll keep traveling a little after we get to Melbourne for the concert.  In Melbourne you can pay rent by the week, BLESS UP, so we don’t have to commit to a lease either.  We’ll just live in a hostel or an airbnb until we figure it out.  Really hoping to find something in  Fitzroy, a pretty trendy spot not far from the water, but that will depend on work and what Nicole and Anna want to do.

Stay in touch peeps, or better yet, come visit!

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