Sunday, December 21, 2014

Today I:

  • Called the Lane Cove Council about a job I applied for (two weeks ago). "Junior Shelver" at the local library was the official position. I have ALWAYS wanted to work in a library and was hoping they'd hire me on for some casual work until February. The woman in charge of hiring only just returned from leave, so I'm not out of the running yet. As instructed, I'll call again after Jan 5th, if I haven't heard anything. 
  • Mailed (via International Express Post) my US taxes to H&R Block in Kansas City. A word here about the US. I'm not impressed that they make their ex-pats file taxes and potentially owe money not earned in the US. I file my Australian taxes - why should I have to also file with the US. Because it's the law. So, ok, I'll do it. The least they could do is make it easy, but NOOOO it's the most complicated thing I've ever seen. I'm thankful to H&R Block for offering ex-pat services, even if at a hefty fee. 
  • Booked some Gold Class movie tickets for Christmas week. I was given two expired tickets by the owners of my house sitting house in the hopes that I could sweet talk my way into the cinema. Job done (only it didn't really take any sweet talking because they had a one month grace period). For those of you who don't know, Gold Class movies are in reclining, over sized seats. You can order food and drinks to be delivered throughout the movie. I always order a drink at the beginning and coffee towards the end (usually with dessert) but regret it at the end of the movie when I'm busting. Still, it's a great Christmas treat!
It is a gloriously warm day. I think I'll read a book and take a nap. Ahhh. Now this is a Monday.
My adventures begin by house/dog sitting for three weeks in Colebee NSW Australia. The house (and dog) belong to very good friends of mine. The dog is an amazing 8-year-old black lab named Jake.

I am lucky enough to have the use of my friends' car, which is fabulous for getting around, since I sold my car back in September and have been using public transportation ever since. To be honest, Sydney has great public transportation options. You can get nearly anywhere by train or bus - even way out to Colebee. But having the car for a few weeks is a luxury I am happy to have. I will end up using the car tomorrow to go Christmas shopping, and on Christmas Day to join another friend's family Christmas dinner.

For the most part, I plan on staying in the house, except for regular long walks with Jake. It's the perfect place to unwind after years of work routines. I can curl up with a book or watch Cricket on TV. I even finished the LOTR trilogy (for the first time). It took me 8 days, but I did it. There's also no shortage of good weather, it being the start of summer.

Today, I caught up on - a brilliant website. If you've never heard of it, go check it out. It is great for travel advice and inspiration for setting and reaching goals. The gem today was a video on how much it costs to travel the world. Of course it depends on which continents you go to, or how you decide to live when you get there, but it was a great baseline to familiarise myself with.

Also, I've been looking into WWOOFing. Volunteer work on organic farms. Usually, one works for 4-6 hours a day in exchange for a room and meals. The thing that appeals to me about it, other than the obvious "free" room and food, is that WWOOFing would give me more time in another country with guaranteed interaction with the locals. I love the idea of putting in some hard work, getting to know people and maybe even learning some new skills (and/or languages - at least phrases).

I have about two months before I fly out of Australia and start my travels. Two months feels like a long time to be without income, if I'm not out exploring the world. I know I'm only two days in, but I'm already antsy. Perhaps that's the residual work/job routine still in my blood, but I hope and plan on relaxing into this sabbatical of sorts.

p.s. As a writer, I feel like I haven't found my voice for this blog yet. I guess I'm feeling entirely out of sorts, but I'm happy to be writing again.