So, all your friends have already flown the coop while you slave away for your fourth and final year of studies. They’ve managed to score ideal post-grad jobs already, or started travelling to places you can only dream about. Finally, its your chance, classes have finished and you’re done. Free. Only, by choosing to live without a housemate in your last year your bank account resembles the crumbs of fluff in your empty pockets. This is how I found myself. How could I possibly itch the bug of travel after university?
Throughout my childhood in Far North Queensland, Australia, I dreamed of working on the dive boats – a simple and pure life, in the water and under the sun, and now my chance has come. I’ve packed up my entire life, said farewell to the closest friends I have ever made, and convinced my boyfriend to follow me back home to the Northern Beaches of Cairns.
One tiny hatchback stuffed to the brim with homewards, clothes, trinkets, eventually a bike, and a heart full of ambition to live out simpler days of no exams or assessment pieces in sunny Far North Queensland.
The next day, I landed a job with a highly reputable company doing day trips to the Great Barrier Reef, and my job was to ensure every single person on that boat got in the water and had an incredible time. I would take non swimmers, non-english speaking swimmers, and somehow convince them to grab hold of a floaty and let me guide them through my back yard of vibrant corals and curious fish. It was an amazing experience with a wonderful crew, but the days were long, really long; and with a fixed amount of pay for the day, it didn’t matter what time we mored up at the marina, it would still be another hour of cleaning, stocking, and filling up ready for another sunrise start the next day.
A few months passed and I began to get restless. Days off were scarce and my bank account wasn’t appearing to reflect my hard work and passion for this dream job, not to mention my relationship was hanging by a thread. Turns out, sleeping every chance you get doesn’t make a nice environment for romance.
Restlessness turned into rage as I realised I was once again, stuck, unhappy. Then it hit me- my mom was on the West Coast and we had never been. Both of us, Luke and I, had a raging desire for adventure and getting off the beaten track, so we decided to pack it all in and head across Australia to reach the West. 18 months later we arrived in Perth. 18 sweet, incredible, life-changing months and unfathomable experiences later.
If you’re lost, confused, and your friends seem to be the only people with their shit together, maybe its time to look for your own future, and realise nothing is permanent. Every decision you make can take you closer to finding peace with your life. Many nights were spent curled up in a ball regretting everything and comparing my world to everyone else’s, and even now I wonder if this is right for me. Don’t let comparison confuse your goals and dreams. Graduate, get your piece of paper, and do what you love until you find something else to love. And if travel after university is all you want, then get a job (or many jobs) in the industry to make this happen. Figure out the rest from there 🙂