Reestablishing your life after an extended period spent living out of a backpack is tricky. After the novelty of being at home wore off, I found myself searching for ways to begin a new life and coming up a bit short.
I fell into a routine of awaking near lunchtime, grabbing a bite to eat and hopping online to search for a job and a car. Amidst the half-hearted job search and perusal of used cars on Craigslist, I always seemed to have at least one browser window on a travel website or blog reading about travel tips, new countries to visit or other people’s adventures.
During this time I also caught up on all the television and movies I’d missed while I was away. Putting an end to my movie fast brought tears of joy to my eyes and I thanked the movie gods for Netflix! I even managed to develop a love for new series that I came across, which only added to my already long “To Watch” list.
I spent dinner catching up on foods to which I didn’t have access while traveling. A fan of Taco Bell before I left, I almost became infatuated with the fast food chain as I didn’t spot any franchises overseas and missed their greasy faux-Mexican goodness. I must admit that I also ate my fair share of takeout (back in the States again so it’s no longer “takeaway” lol) from Panda Express and L&L’s.
However, after a few months of this and some fun times with friends sprinkled in for good measure, I began to wonder if I was really doing the right thing? I’d applied to several marketing, public relations and non-profit jobs in Hawaii as well as several in the airline industry (one in marketing but mostly in in-flight service aka flight attendant). But the job market was pretty sparse, and I didn’t hear back from anyone. I don’t know if this was due to being under-qualified for some managerial-level marketing positions or over-qualified for the flight attendant gigs. Maybe human resources departments didn’t know how to interpret my career break and travel experience? It could’ve even been some karma because despite applying to these positions, I was apathetic about actually getting them.
At one point, I contemplated if I should take a waitressing job on just to generate some income while I kept searching for answers and trying to settle into this new life of mine. But, in the back of my mind, I knew I wouldn’t take this route because I had an Australian working holiday visa already paid for and ready to go. If it came down to being a waitress in Hawaii, I knew I’d opt for waiting tables Down Under instead.
Ultimately, this is the option I chose. So, just as soon as I’d unpacked most of my boxes, put clothes on hangers in an actual closet, and most importantly, started amassing a brand new shoe collection, it was time for me to pack them up again and put them away.
Once I had settled my immediate future, life became a countdown to my eventual departure. I could put off this dilemma of reestablishing myself for another year (more if I budgeted right) and instead look toward the horizon for the next big adventure. This knowledge seemed to pacify my restless soul, and I jumped whole-heartedly into researching how I would spend the next 12 months in Australia.