17 May 26 is a life marathon…
I’m back! Ahhhh I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since New Zealand?! I still dream about that place.. But it’s not like I’m somewher horrible, Australia isn’t too bad ?
I’ll apologize now for the slight confusion of my last blog that I thanked everyone for their kind words. I did word it weird in saying it was my LAST adventure. I just meant last in terms of latest. My adventure will never be over. Even when I’m an old lady queen, wrinkled with a full metal knee replacement and a bionic ankle, I’ll still be doing weird and fun things. Adventure is in my soul.
I am in fact still I’m the land down under. After I returned to Brisbane I came back to my second home and favorite Australian family! I stayed at the Fields, (3rd removed cousins from my dads side that just seem like real cousins now) for around 2 weeks. I took it REAL easy. Like I didn’t leave their house for a few days cause I was just travel drained. I also like to think of it as letting the whole experience really sink in.
After a few days of being on auto pilot, I started moving. I went on morning walks with Liz, as well as going to a cultural event in south bank Brisbane. We attended Buddhas Birthday, where we watched a cultural show and walked around. I started working out in their gym, as well as started freaking out about what my next adventure would be.
So here was how my brain worked. Try to follow:
I am tired of living out of a suitcase and living in hostels.
I have a month and a half till returning back to the states (for a perfect little wedding and perfect little baby)
I have spent wayyyyy too much money.
I like home cooked meals.
I miss working out.
I have spent a lot of money.
I should probably make Money.
I want to have my own room.
Should I work?
Where should I live?
Should I stay in Brisbane?
I want to obtain a trait or certificate that I can show for my time here in Australia.
I want to get my advanced diving certificate. I’ll do that.
No that’s expensive and I don’t have enough time.
I’d like to be an outdoor educator take kids on hikes or tours.
Oh that program is 2 years. Can’t do that.
What about a fitness instructor? That’s what I should do.
No, it’s expensive and by the time I get it I’ll be gone.
I could work at a bar.
Hahahahahahahahahaha no, i can’t even stay up till 10pm
Let me play soccer for money.
Oooooh I’ll work on a yatch.
I’m literally crazy.
So as you can see my mind was working overtime. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do. Luckily my options were there I just couldn’t decide what I wanted to commit to.
I really did go to a training session for a premier women’s soccer league here in Brisbane. I had to borrow some girls cleats, buy soccer shorts from an op shop and laugh about what I was going to do.
The practice was fun and I still got the magic. But I decided that it would be expensive to buy all new training gear for 6 weeks of games.
Also, my knee and ankle are about as good as a rusted screw.
So I came to the realization again, that being a professional soccer player was not in the cards in this life.
After some in depth calls with my dad and sister and a written out list of things I could do in the amount of time I was here I decided to apply to be an aupair.
I posted a little blurb about myself on the Brisbane Aupair page and soon after had some contacts.
If you don’t know what an aupair is, it’s basically a live in nanny. Terms and conditions are decided with each family.
I started talking with a woman named Bec. She gave me some information about her family and their home life. We talked about what I did and what my plan was for the next 8 weeks until I left.
I decided I wanted to see the house and meet the kids before I made any decisions.
She has 4 little girls ages 7,6,4 and 10 months. She is also pregnant with a little boy who doesn’t yet have a name. Her husband Clint is in the Army and she is a stay at home mom. They moved to Brisbane after living in Melbourne and prior to that Adelaide.
I walked into their home unsure of what I was getting myself into. I never thought I would do something like this. But I am all for new experiences and adventure.
I sat down and right away the girls started chatting. Telling me stories, asking me questions, yelling at each other, showing me their toys. It was pretty chaotic. Haha
After a quick chat they sent me with what hours I would work and the pay I would receive. I wanted to have a think about it before I committed. But after seeing the look on Becs face and the need for an extra pair of hands in the house I couldn’t say no.
I moved in the next day.
I have my own room and bathroom. I get free food and wifi. I can use their car and ask for time off when needed.
My work hours are M-F 6:30am-9:30am and 2:00pm-5:30pm. So I get the mid day to do what I want as well as weekends off. On top of living for free I get paid $170 a week.
My daily duties include helping with breakfast and getting the two older girls ready for school. I feed and change the babies nappies when needed. I watch the 2 younger ones while mom drives the other two to school. I’ll do the dishes, vacuum and hang washing.
Then in the afternoon I help the girls with their homework, help with dinner and then that’s really it.
I’m just an older sister to 4 complete strangers!
But really, they are complete strangers, but they have been so wonderful. They welcomed me into their home and I haven’t felt uncomfortable at all.
Someone asked me if it was weird to just live with a random family… I quickly replied with no. But as we talked the words that came out of my mouth surprised me. I said that if I would’ve done this right off the bat when I first moved here in January, it probably would’ve been really weird. I don’t think my experience would be the same at all. But throughout the months of being thrown into dorm rooms filled with strangers of different genders, race, age and languages I have come accustomed to being comfortable with being uncomfortable. Isn’t that crazy?!
That alone was a WOW moment for me. When you put yourself in uncomfortable situations you learn a lot about yourself.
But now I know how to talk to strangers, what questions to ask. When to fake laugh or just nod and smile. How to sit in a room full of people and know nothing about them but feel comfortable even when it is sometimes, uncomfortable.
My off time during the day usually just consists of me walking 10 min to the gym, working out and then walking back and showering. The sense of routine has been kind of nice. Haha I never knew I would miss consistency.
My traveling days are over, other than small weekend trips.
For my birthday last week my family gave me two days off so I booked a Scuba Diving trip to an island off the coast of Brisbane. I left on Thursday morning at 7am and caught the ferry to Morton Island. When I arrived the beautiful blue waters made me feel at home. I made it to the Tangalooma Resort and checked into my dive. I had a few hours before I was set to go so I just took a long walk along the beach! It was beautiful.
In 1963, 15 vessels were deliberately sunk to form a break wall for small boats to anchor on the sand bar. They stick up out of the water and the sight is pretty neat. This also created an amazing snorkel and diving spot.
I had some trouble with my boyancey during this dive so I spent most of the time just trying not to float to the surface like a dead fish. But the dive was nice, we saw loads of fish and a large stingray. We swam through some of the ships and I enjoyed getting back to my mermaid self.
After the dive I showered and cleaned up. I walked and watched a Dolphine feeding and then Snuck away to have a peaceful dinner alone at a cute little Asian cousine. Well I thought it was going to be peaceful….
Other than the waiter making jokes that I was alone, a group of Asian tourists came and sat pretty much on top of me.
The waiter moved me to a different table and I ended up chatting with a couple that did the same.
The next day I got up and went for a sunrise walk. (I’ve sure missed those!)
I was all pumped thinking I was going to be able to parasail or kayak.
This lady hands me a page with a list of things I could do…
Look at your thumbs while you have nobody with you to play any of these lame bonus activites with…..
So that was disappointing.
I ended up just doing what a solo girl does on a birthday weekend on an island. I got a full body massage.
And it was sooooooo good.
I jumped back on the ferry that afternoon at 4pm and was back in Brisbane. It was so nice to get away because let’s be honest, I worked for like a week and I needed a vacation.
Sunday was my Australian birthday. I went to my other families (cousins) house for a full on family BBQ. I got to meet some more 3rd cousins and people that I just started assuming I was related to. We had great food and I was surprised with a traditional Australian Pavlova Cake. I had the birthday song sang to me and I blew out my candles. Although I wish I could’ve spent my birthday with my family back home I was so fortunate to have family here to love on me.
My dad, sister, Jeff, Shelby, Cindy and Sean did manage to make me feel like the luckiest 26 year old by sending me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers with a cute little note. Thank you again for all your love.
The family I’m living with smothered me in hugs and I was surprised with another cake and a gift.
I was overwhelmed with messages, texts, facetimes and Facebook shoutouts. I definitely felt extremely thankful on my happy day.
To have people you barely know celebrate and take the time out to make you feel special on your birthday is simply joyous. I am astounded everyday by the beauty in people and how many good souls there are in the world. I know I am loved and that alone is the best birthday wish I could’ve asked for.
26 is feeling good.
I’m happy, healthy and full of life.
And Im really beginning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable way my life has turned out.
“you have to find the place that brings out the human in you. The soul in you. The fire in you. The love in you.”
Here’s to another year of growth,