Friday, December 28, 2012

Dear Australia,

I really like you. I like you a lot.

Love, Shauna

It all happened so fast. At one point while in Mission Beach, alone and far away, an idea sprouted and I planted it in Dad's head, but displaced it in the back of my mind to slowly germinate. I felt a bit lost, broke, and exhausted from traveling. I was at a point, again, where I wasn't sure which direction of life I was heading towards and any decision could waver the compass' arrow.* I just had a little over a month left in sunny Australia before my visa was up and I thought about just giving in and going home. All the decisions and options of what to do with the remainder of my time could easily be dissipated and solved if I just left them all behind and went home. Home, you may ask, is where? My flight back was booked on miles and Dad checked to see if they could be changed. The only options he could find were to fly either on Christmas back to America, when my family would be in Ireland, or on the 8th of January which wouldn't make any sense to leave just a week early. So, the idea to leave evaporated into the humid heat of northern Queensland and I continued making plans to get back to Brisbane and find a job. 
After dismissing all regional work, finally deciding I didn't want to spend the rest of my time here working towards a second year that I wasn't even sure I wanted to return for, I was set on finding a holiday job. I was flying out of Brisbane, I had friends that were there, it was close to the Gold just made sense to go to Brisbane. The only hitch was that I had promised to be in Sydney for Christmas and had made plans for New Years Eve there too. So, technically I had two weeks to work in Brisbane, a week in Sydney, then another 2 weeks of work in Brisbane. Who would hire me for that amount of time - even if I lied about how much time I had there? Sydney was too expensive that I barely gave two thoughts about looking for a place to stay and a job there. 

I didn't think it would be hard to find a job, given most places usually hire extra staff around the holiday season, but I couldn't find any job. I didn't even get any responses back. There were no appropriate jobs posted on seek or indeed or gumtree. I blindly wrote to places of interest, in hopes that they might like my resume or just need some extra help. I wrote to all the Irish pubs in the city - just to confuse them with my wonky accent. I printed out my resume and went around to all the hostels to ask if they were hiring. Everyone said, come back in the new year. I had a place to stay for free (I paid rent with tree-building beer cans) but I couldn't justify staying in Australia for a month, just for the sake of seeing out the rest of my visa, if I wasn't working and I was done with traveling. So the idea that was already planted in Dad's head and buried in the back of my head, began to flourish. It was hard to cancel New Years Eve plans and to think about not only leaving my friends, but the sunshine warmth of summer and to finally leave behind the entire year that was my Australian Adventure. But, once the idea developed into a realisation that I could spend Christmas with my family in Ireland, I was all set and started to check out. The fact that I could pull of a surprise and not tell Jess I was coming made it all the more exciting. Once I realised all this, I went back to happy holiday mode and decided to just enjoy and take advantage of the rest of my time in Australia, trying not to spend the dim remainder of my money, and to soak up as much sun as possible. I think also the fact that I was going to Donegal rather than flying back to America made leaving somewhat more ok. It wouldn't be easy to leave, but I was actually really really excited. 

* I think I should buy a Magic 8 ball as my indecisive compass. 

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