The Return to Sydney

After my 3 months in Tasmania, I couldn’t await my return to Sydney. Boarding an early flight from Launceston, I was anticipating seeing friends, and most of all, Tam, once again. I didn’t have to wait long – Tam was waiting for me at my gate, having somehow convinced Airport security she wasn’t a threat…:P

It was a fantastic reunion. She planned out everything that day, from getting my favourite gelato to an amazing homecooked dinner. Fish pie, chips, and veggies, with wine.

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Missing the Little Things

Having travelled nearly non-stop for around 16 months, one can get a little travel-weary. Not to mention you start to long for a few things that are pretty standard in a ‘normal’ life – routines/patterns, an income, and a space to call your own. I would find all of these in Sydney.

For routine, being a part-time employee for Kathmandu did mean that my hours would change each week, but even then my manager Karen usually kept some structure to the schedule. Namely, I’d almost always have Monday and Saturday off, I’d always work Sunday (1.8x pay that day!), and I’d average between 20-30 hours of scheduled work. I specify scheduled work here because I’d often get a call asking if I could cover another person’s shift – assuming I wasn’t doing anything, I was happy for the extra hours and money.

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Settling Down

So I had a job…but where was I to live? This was actually more difficult than the job part as it turned out.

Hostels in Australia had definitely lost their lustre for me. Unlike their often small, clean, convivial, warm and enjoyable counterparts in New Zealand, the hostels in Australia tended to be large, dirty, bland experiences filled with drunks, miners or just obnoxious people. Not to mention expensive – room rates in Sydney were exceptionally high, usually well over $30/night for a bed in an 8 or 10 bed room. It wasn’t a great environment to spend time in anymore and one that I was keen to escape in Sydney. So once my training started, my room search began.

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Laying the Foundations for the Months to Come

I’ll be down in Tasmania for the next 3 months, so I’ve got a bit of time to *finally* get caught up with what all happened in Sydney and why I’m now down in the little island state of Tasmania.

So onwards to Sydney! I already chronicled my first week in Sydney through earlier posts here – I was playing the role of tourist at the time. But I thought the city was fantastic and was the first place I’d found in Australia that made me really want to sit down and stay a while. So I started combing through online resources for jobs. Except unlike Melbourne, here I was much more focused. Whereas before I’d apply for pretty much any job opening I thought might hire travelers such as myself – cafes, housekeeping, retail, reception, sales, etc….this time I focused more on an area I might enjoy. Travel and outdoor gear. I applied to a few travel agency positions, at backpacker focused travel shops and several outdoor clothing stores.

While I was wandering around the empty streets of Canberra I received a phonecall. An interview in Sydney with one of the largest outdoor retailers in this part of the world: Kathmandu.

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False Start

It’s been a while since I did any meaningful updates, but that should change shortly as I’ve left Sydney for the time being and am down in Tasmania for the next 3 months. I’ll chronicle my time in Sydney (finally), but I’ll just write a post on what I’m up to right this moment. I’m working to extend my Working Holiday Visa for another year, as I want to spend more time in Sydney with my girlfriend Tam (whom will feature in my Sydney posts, once I get around to them!). In many countries, you would simply apply online or in person and be granted an extension. But not in Australia. To qualify for a second year extension, you must do 3 months ‘qualified’ work in a rural area before the government will allow you to stay. With that in mind, I chose a vineyard down in Tasmania to help out at for 90 days, owned by a Hungarian family. I lasted 3 days.

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