For the last 7 weeks I have been in the middle of nowhere. Nothing to do, barely any Internet connection and virtually a million miles away from any civilisation so my sincere apologies for not keeping you updated. What have I been doing with my time you may ask? I’ve been Orange picking in a little town in South Australia. It has been my own personal hell. The scratches from the thorns, the ache in my hands from griping them so hard, the insect bites and the flies that seem to be magnetised to you – none of it has been what I would call pleasurable. Everyday between the two of us we pick two tons of oranges! It takes 6 – 8 hours and at the end of it you get little money and a massive 29% of tax slapped upon what you have earned. Thank you Australia! The heat gets unbearable, the bags you pick seem to get heavier and heavier and the bin seems to never fill no matter how much you pick. You get plenty time to think when picking, but to be honest by the end of day two I was bored of my own thoughts. There’s only so much you can think about after all and with the only thing to look forward to is pulling a sticker off of your countdown chart your thoughts are limited. So after 7 long weeks I am ecstatic to leave. We’ve picked enough oranges to fill the town twice over, we look like we have a major issue with self harming and occasionally we have worries for our mental health – you know its getting bad when you start yelling at an orange.We get to say goodbye to the hayfever, the continuing tree’s and the town that has robbed us blind of our money. I would love to say it’s been a pleasure South Australia but it really hasn’t. What’s next for us? We are heading to the Great Ocean Road for a well deserved break and then on to Sydney to get a proper job! I thought coming to Australia, we would be living the dream all the time but as far as the regional work goes it’s more of a nightmare. So for now goodbye fruit picking and a big thank you to the Australian Government for making the visa requirements so back breaking. We certainly look forward to carrying this work on next year…..
My visa has just got granted. Within a mere 6 minutes the immigration gods decided my fate and have allowed me to begin planning the adventure of a lifetime. In those 6 minutes between the payment being taken and the application being successful my head filled with questions. Of course I know I am doing the right thing, I have wanted to travel for what seems like forever, but being myself, the ever optimistic, terrible thoughts ran through my mind. ‘What if something bad happens at home?’ ‘ What if I hate it?’ ‘What if I run out of money?’ ‘What if I can’t recreate my mum’s roast chicken dinner?’ But if I lived my life by every “what if” I wouldn’t get round to doing anything, I wouldn’t get the most I possibly could out of life and I would most likely end up in this dull and boring little town forever. Now that thought terrifies me more than any of the silly little doubts I have about this great adventure; so it’s time to embrace this new opportunity and make the most of the time I have left with my friends and family. The visa process was the most important, yet the most easiest part out of the way. All types of tick box questions, checking if you were a criminal, critically ill or a general psychopath – a no to all of them. ” Do you have any dependent children?” Now it was this one that stumped me. I don’t have a child, but I do have a boyfriend, who like the typical male, acts like a child. Is this a yes then? He will depend on me to be the sensible one, to make the most important decisions. But then again I will depend on him to stop me blubbering uncontrollably at leaving the majority of my wardrobe, let alone the people I have to leave behind. Weighing this up it’s an obvious no to that question too. Now 6 minutes goes incredibly fast – I was expecting it to be weeks to hear any kind of response, which sadly means I have to start the boring stuff. Flights, bank accounts, tax numbers, I can’t honestly say hand on heart that this excites me but lets face it once all that’s over and done with the route planning can begin, not that I think we will stick to it with my map reading skills! Now travelling has one big fat tick against it on my “what I need to start doing asap” list, it’s time to see if I can combine, or at least make a start on the career side of things. Hopefully I can do a combination of two, after all it’s all about the work- life balance isn’t it?