Moving to Australia – The First Few Days
I am a single, British girl aged 28 and 11 months, and after 3 months traveling around South and North America, I will now call Australia my home for the next year. I have heard all the rumors – the wages are way better ‘down under’ and it’s always sunny. I’ll admit – I have bought into the fantasy. I have dreams of hot Ozzy surfers with tanned arms and shaggy blonde hair cooking me shrimps on the ‘barbie’, while I sunbathe on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
I am entering Australia with no money, no job and nowhere to live. But I have a work visa, and a naive belief that somehow everything will work out just fine….
What can go wrong, right?
Wednesday 27th to Thursday 28th December
I’ve arrived in Melbourne. It was only an 11 hour flight from Hawaii but I crossed the dateline and somehow went forward in time. I am a woman approaching 30 years old. I can’t afford to jump forward in time. But here I am.
I’ve just spent Christmas alone in Honolulu, Hawaii. Which sounds great on the outside, and let’s be honest being lonely on a sunny beach overlooking turquoise waters isn’t the worst place to be. But the holidays are still no doubt the most depressing time of year to be single. Screw Santa and good will to all men, I got through it by drinking, cheers!
I arrived at the airport with hours to spare and partly because I had time to kill but mostly because I must be a masochist and love to cause myself pain I did a quick stalk of my most recent ex’s social media. See what he’s up to for Christmas. Big mistake. He’s moved on and dating someone new. Bummer.
I swear there should be a law that states that the person who broke your heart isn’t allowed to meet anyone new until way after you have. Wayyyyy after.
Had a bit of a cry at the airport and started panicking about the fact I am moving to Australia completely broke after 3 months traveling, with no job, and single AF*. Oh and to top it off the couchsurfer I was due to stay with when I arrived had literally just cancelled. So I will arrive with nowhere to stay. It’s off to the cheapest hostel I go.
*AF = as fuck, but this way it sounds like I’m not swearing in case my Mum reads this.
When I arrived at this cheap hostel, I realize that it is, of course, cheap for a reason.
Hostel’s exist on a scale. The great hostels are FANTASTIC. Imagine a house full of cool people, having awesome conversations and the best.parties.ever. But on the other side of the spectrum you have the bad hostels.
And bad hostels are TERRIBLE. They are dirty, full of weird people, with horrible lumpy bunk beds and of course there are people in the room who snore just as soon as you were getting to sleep. They are truly bad and trust me, I have stayed in some bad ones.
After realisiing there was no one in the whole hostel I could get on with (one guy was so drunk he peed all over the sofa), I accepted my fate and went to the shop to buy the cheapest food and drink I could.
2 dry sausage rolls and half a bottle of red wine later (for only 8 bucks, bargain!) I resign myself to the fact my first day in Australia hasn’t been the wonderful start I was hoping for, and decide to start again with new hope tomorrow.
I also re-joined the online dating app Tinder (there must be SOME nice boys out there still, right?!), and fell asleep on the lumpiest mattress in the world with images of new guys I haven’t yet met imprinted on my brain. I have another couch surfer set up for tomorrow, it will be nice to meet some locals and get out of the hostels for a while
Friday 29th December
The couch surfer cancelled. I am not having good luck with coushsurfing at the moment, so it is the Hostelling life for me, but this time I am going to go to a much nicer one.
I’ve moved to a MUCH nicer hostel, Urban Hostel in South Melbourne, and am feeling positive. It is $25 (Australian dollars) a night but it is only for 2 nights and after that I have a couple of couch surfers set up.
For those of you who have never couchsurfed, I strongly recommend it. You sign up and create a profile on www.couchsurfing.com, it costs $30 for the year and is well worth it. Once you have your profile you are then able to search for and connect with couch surfers who are able to host you. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands in each town or city, and they are people who love to travel too and want to meet other travelers and swap stories. The standard unspoken rule is that you stay with a couch surfer (which is free) usually on a couch but both times I had a bed, and you offer to buy or make them lunch or dinner, as a way to thank them. I did couch surfing in Mexico and Hawaii, both fantastic experiences with awesome people, locals, that can give you the insider knowledge to the area.
After leaving my stuff at the hostel, I wander off to go get a job and an Australian mobile number. The number was easy, I started a contract for 12 months with Vodafone for $30 a month. Okay maybe I should have a job first before I start signing 12 month contracts, but that is for future me to worry about.
I then walked to a job agency which I found listed on google. So far so good. After a 25 minute walk in the rain (weather in Melbourne is bi-polar, it changes every hour) I enter a high rise building and go into the lift, I need to go to floor 11 to get to their office. Unfortunately you can’t operate the lift without a keycard, so I got no further than the lift. At this point I decided the best thing to do was to go eat a burger, then go back and apply for jobs online.
There are so many Europeans and British people in Australia on their working visa. It is such a common thing to do and I am no way unique in this decision. Because there are so many people looking for work that stay in hostels, most hostels here have some form of job board where companies can advertise available work. I had seen one advertised for customer service work in the shit hostel I stayed at yesterday, I have emailed them. There are also some jobs listed at this hostel, although most of them are for food trucks, sales, or laborers, none of which are my ideal future careers to be honest.
To distract myself and because I have decided to be super proactive in my quest for the perfect life here in Oz, I have organized a tinder date for tonight. Wish me luck.
Saturday 30th December
I woke up accidentally super hungover. The date went well last night, we went for drinks at the Casino which really reminded me of being in Vegas, the place was huge. Not only did I not get lucky at the casino, I wasn’t lucky in love either. I guess he wasn’t the one for me although he could potentially become a friend here. Never a bad thing to have too many friends. After the date dropped me off back at the hostel I noticed the hostel bar was still open, so accidentally drank lots more beers. Well, it is Saturday after all.
I spent most of the day in bed watching Netflix, I will start looking for loads more jobs again tomorrow, I promise.
To Follow My Adventures Head to @girlstravellingsolo on Instagram and Facebook and check back next week for the next installment of the blog.