Things I Won’t Miss When We Leave

As we dip below the two-weeks-to-go mark, I find myself being prone to extreme bouts of excitement. Every time someone mentions the beach, I casually mention that I will soon be frolicking along the pristine sands of Koh Tao’s beaches. Whenever anyone talks about how bad work is, I interrupt by mentioning I only have a week of employment left. Any time somebody tells me their New Years resolutions, I one-up them by exclaiming that I will soon be trekking through the Himalayas. It’s safe to say I’ve become a bit of a douche… but in actual fact I’m just really excited. I have so many amazing things planned for this year that I can’t help but burst out with all the things that Jo and I are doing and the places we are going. Along with all the excitement I have about the plans that I have ahead of me, I am also pleased to be leaving some things behind. Here is a list of a few things I am more than happy to say goodbye to:

Work

Pretty obvious, I know, but employment has been a major source of stress for me in the past year. I have worked some terrible jobs. All of the worst jobs I’ve ever had have been in the past year. I worked in an Apple call centre which was renowned for firing half of its staff on one day and recruiting new employees the next. This day was playfully referred to by employees as “Black Friday”. I worked night shifts at a backpackers hostel and had to deal with drunk travelers vomiting in their rooms and starting fights with me because I couldn’t open the smoking balcony at 2 am. I worked as a debt collector and dealt with a lot of people who took pleasure in stealing money and hurling unwarranted abuse at me (I maintain that I was one of the least pushy, most agreeable debt collectors in history). I finished by working for Telstra, a company that provides awful training, little to no support and is rated the best telecommunications company in Australia purely because all the other options are just that much worse. Farewell corporate employment, I can’t say you’ll be missed… not even a little bit.

Renting

Another huge, expensive, laborious source of stress. Jo and my living circumstances throughout the year have been horrific. We have lived in 5 separate houses/apartments. Two of these places were actually just us crashing at my sisters apartment and in the bedroom of one of Jo’s friends while she was away on holiday. Luckily enough, we managed to find a place to live that was close to the city and our places of work. So it was a bit of a bummer when the real estate changed and the new leasing agent gave us an eviction notice for unregistered occupants. The old real estate were aware of who was living in the house and had given us 3 months to sign onto the lease, but the agent who took over the property, Amber Meads, wanted us out and didn’t give us the same opportunity. We later found out that Amber’s in-laws had purchased the house for her and her fiancé to move into, hence the necessity for our immediate removal (she only gave us a week to vacate). What a nice lady, said no one ever. We’ve had stable accommodation for the past 6 months now, but looking after and cleaning an old house is a lot of work, and it’s a responsibility that Jo and I are happy to leave behind on our journey. Goodbye awful real estate agents, expensive rent, and housework!

Routine

Wake up at 6:30 am, press snooze on alarm, go back to sleep, continue pressing snooze until 7:15 am, drag limp and lifeless body out of bed and into the shower, spend 8 minutes trying to get the water temperature “just right”, give up after being burnt several times and have lukewarm shower, have bowl of cereal, get dressed, ride bike to work, do anything but work, eat 2 minute noodles for lunch, finish break and continue maintain the facade that I am a good employee, finish work, ride bike home, cook pesto pasta, consume pesto pasta, spend 30 minutes deciding what movie to watch, watch movie, go to sleep. This has been my routine for pretty much every weekday for the past 6 months. It gets old, really fast, but it’s cheap and easy. So easy that I’ve now found myself in a difficult rut. I’ve become a large blob of inactivity. Aside from my daily bike ride to and from work, I feel lazy, unmotivated and dissatisfied with myself. I can’t wait to shake old habits and feed my mind, body, and soul with what has been severely lacking for so long… spontaneity and variety.

How Expensive Australia Is

Australia is ridiculously expensive! I don’t think people outside of Australia truly understand how quickly this country can drain your bank account. Everything costs more than it should. Transport, food, drinks, rent, amenities, utilities, clothing and pretty much anything you can think of is overpriced. It’s crazy how easy it is to burn a hole in your pocket just by going out for a burger or a drink. We live about 5 km away from our workplace in Brisbane City and to catch the bus to and from work costs us $7.50 ($11.80 if you purchase a paper ticket). My sister recently moved from London to Brisbane and was astounded at how expensive it is here in comparison. I was shocked at being able to book 10 days of accommodation on Koh Tao including 6 scuba dives for only $280 (that’s just shy of a week of rent for Jo and I). On the bright side though, if you badly injure yourself or become deathly ill, Australia’s pretty cheap.  Hooray for health schemes and hospitalization!

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Feeling Stuck

Everybody has been there. It’s a feeling of being stuck in an endless cycle. A cycle that you feel powerless to escape. You have to work to earn money. You have to earn money so that you can afford to do the things you want. You don’t earn enough money so you have to work more and more. You don’t have time to do the things you want to do because of how much you work. You can’t stop working to do the things you want because you won’t have enough money. You stop doing the things you want to do so that you can save more money. Before long you’re looking down the barrel of a life spent doing anything other than what you want because of the need to prepare. The need to prepare for the fraction of your life where you are supposed to enjoy yourself, but are less physically and mentally able to: retirement. I know that working is an inevitability. I can appreciate the necessity of money. But I refuse to resign myself to a lifestyle that requires sustained complacency and the postponement of my own  dreams and ambitions. I don’t plan on retiring. I plan on not having to because I have lived a fulfilled and enriched life full of wonderful experiences and amazing memories. It will be refreshing to not be around people who choose to accept an unwanted circumstance and do nothing to change it. It’s going to be invigorating to be surrounded by people who have taken the plunge and are following their dreams.

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