You’d think I’d be used to change. Since March 2015 life has been a series of adventures. Waking up in new places, new faces, new homes, new jobs- it has been a constant flow of change. Yet every time change is imminent, I loose my fucking mind. I loose sleep, I loose patience, I get irritable and my hands sweat profusely as the anxiety settles in as though a permanent resident in my consciousness.

I have under two weeks left at Caritas (thanks to the 6 month per employer regulation of the 417 WHV). I won’t bore you with the details, as I’ve written about it in the past, but it has been an incredible learning experience and has ultimately led me to applying for a masters degree; yet another pending change in my life.

As a ‘backpacker’ you’d think that I’d be excited for change, perhaps even welcome it with open arms. But sadly, I am a creature of many comforts.

I enjoy stability and structure.

I don’t want to make new friends. I don’t want a tour of the stationary cupboard. And I most certainly do not want to wake up 15 minutes earlier to squeeze in breakfast before my working day commences. Desk breakfasts are not a newbie privelage; you have to earn those breakfast stripes.

Working for a temping agency, your future is undisclosed. Much like the horror of my farming days; you just never know what hand you’re going to be dealt. The uncertainty makes me uneasy. Will I like my new role/team? Will I have to sit and eat lunch alone? Will I get my own desk? (I’m very territorial), And the question that fills me with dread-Will I have to get off the train at Martin’s Place?

Please God, no.

The worst case scenario is that I don’t enjoy my next job. I wouldn’t be the first person on the planet to hate work and I should be happy that I have a fucking job. Realistically, nothing can be any worse than sorting potatoes 14 hours a day in any case.

Landing on my feet is something I have mastered over the years, like a cat with nine lives; So I really shouldn’t worry. But I can’t help the churning feeling in my stomache when I know that change is lingering. I try to embrace change and focus on the opportunities that it presents me to. That’s hard though if you’re happy in your job, love your colleagues and going to work feels more like a hobbie  than it does a chor (even if I do complain all day, everyday – but that’s just because I’m British!)

Food with the Caritas kids for Jonesy’s leaving party

As well as an upcoming job change I’ve also had a slight demise in friends in Sydney as people move on to their next endeavours. First Lucy and Elliot picked up and left for New Zealand, and then Catherine and Rachel returned to the UK. Next month my nearest and dearest Sydney gal, Alex, will be leaving and the following month another close friend of mine, Mel. Essentially all of my pals. CRY. (It’s hard to make friends in the big smoke okay?!)

On the bright side Georgie, one of my uni girls, is moving out to Sydney in September and I am extremely excited to have her here for the rest of my stay. Our friend, Kerry, and her boyfriend, Ludo, are visiting in October too; so at least I won’t be totally friendless.

Leaving/birthday drinks for Elliot and Lucy calls for one thing only- A brewery crawl!
Leaving party for Cath and Rach

Just before I smashed my phone into a million pieces

I wasn’t feeling quite so bubbly the next day-Enjoying fizz with Alex. You can find her superior and  much more interesting blog here- It’s A Melons Life

Alex and I celebrating Christmas in July like the true Brits that we are. NORTHERN BIRDS LOVE GRAVY!

Australia has been my ‘home’ now for 18 months, and I only have another 5/6 months left before I head home for good- yet another change that I am 100% not equipped for mentally. Will I find a job that pays more per hour than the cost of an M&S sandwich? Will moving back in with my parents feel like failure? Will my toes fall off during winter? I truly didn’t think that I would ever leave Australia. I expected I would fall in love with the place, and never want to return to the UK. Whilst I’ve fallen head over heels, it’s just not home here. It’s such a difficult and bewildering situation to find myself in.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve applied to go back to university to study my masters degree. Whilst no news is usually good news, in this instance the anxious wait is torturous. Put me out of my mysery, seriously! It’s not too late for me to become a stripper (well maybe 3 stone too late).

I decided one day at work that I want to take a career in the NGO sector seriously. My thirst for knowledge has grown stupendously in the last 7 months, and frankly I am as shocked as the next guy that I’m serious about further education.

‘Not a chance in fucking hell will I ever go back to university.’ (Glass, 2014) Eat. Your. Words.

The original plan to continue on to New Zealand for a year has been put on hold until further notice, whilst I figure out what the fuck I’m doing with my life. You could say I’m having a quarter life crisis. Torn between my Peter Pan lifestyle and a desperate yearning to purchase bath towels and a Yorkshire pudding tin.

When my best friend, Jodie, FaceTimes me from the UK, we go through all of her new ‘home’ purchases and it genuinely makes me giddy. She probably thinks I’m over compensating and disinterested in her ‘normal’ life but honestly, I am undoubtedly jealous of her new picture frames.

How do I know that I’m making the right decision returning home to study? Sould I be taking advantage of my twenty-something status, that grants me working holidays to the likes of  New Zealand and Canada? I can always resume travels once I graduate can’t I? I’m not really sure who I’m trying to convince here, me or you.

I’m heading to New Zealand in 7 weeks as I haven’t actually left Sydney since March. (This page should really be named something more apt like ‘Living in Sydney with Joey.’) Anyway, I’m hoping that a trip overseas reminds me why I’m ‘travelling’ as currently, I am well and truly trapped in Sydney’s web. Plus I haven’t skied in over 3 years so I’m eager to carve up some Queenstown powder with friends, Lucy, Elliot and Sally. 

Another change that I’m not dealing too well with at the moment is the temperature. Australia really does get cold- do not be fooled. Anywhere south of Brisbane at this time of year and you may as well have stayed in Europe. Some mornings it hits lows of 7 degrees and I can see my own breath when I exhale. I know that NZ will be much colder than this but I’ll be sporting a ski jacket and solopets: an ensemble that is everything but ‘Sydney’. I’ve invested in a fleecy blanket for my bed and layers are everyday essentials; quite the contrast to my winter in Darwin last year. I wanted to head back north for the heat, but I’m led to believe the cold isn’t going to last too long, so I’m staying put for now.

Winter coastal walks- it’s not all that bad I guess!

The Beetles got it all wrong…

Alex and I warming our cockles with some mulled wine

So change is looming and my nails cannot take a single bite more. I patiently anticipate a new job, new friends and a new start back in the UK towards the end of the year. But I’m kind of wishing I could hide in a room full of dingo puppies, and wait for this whole ‘adulthood’ thing to blow over. Much like this little fella.

Featherdale Wildlife Park Ft. 5 week old dingo puppies!


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