Officially deemed my “Melbourne Rollercoaster” appropriately describes the emotions of the past 2 weeks. Still only 2 weeks? Surely it must be more… but nope, just checked the calendar, two weeks and a day!
The good news is – I have a job! I applied, interviewed and was hired all this week, so that in itself has been a roller coaster. So today, between the interview and getting the call to offer me the position I went to the ATM to get money out for a coffee and my card wasn’t declined but instead said “refer to card issuer.” uh-oh.
So using my precious Optus minutes, I called my US bank and they told me they had cancelled my card and issued me a new one and sent it to my old Chicago address. How horrifyingly wrong that felt. I actually had money in my account and just couldn’t access it. On top of not having ATM access, I could no longer get online banking access to transfer money into my Australian account. Would my American bank help me do a transfer over the phone to my Australian account from the same bank? Of course not… you have to do it online.
With 30 cents in my wallet and $2 in my Australian bank account, I didn’t know what to do. So like any self-respecting woman would – I called my brother and whined. He was on top of it and wired me enough money to get through the weekend when I should be met with a new bank card on Tuesday. However, fuck! This is a whole weekend where I have to be money conscious because my lush account is inaccessible. Ultimately, it’s fine… everything is OK, just a quick little crisis that left me cut at the knees despite my honest efforts.
I usually do a good job of feeling confident and self sufficient. After all, I got myself to Australia via Fiji and have taken care of myself and had a lot of frivolous spending fun too. I managed to get a job within a week of looking, I’ve hostel hopped to 4 hostels because I haven’t been happy with the previous so I make the executive decision to move on. Through all of those minor victories something still feels off. I feel like I am missing something.
I realize now that my expectation and the reality of Australia were not on par. I expected to be whisked away to a far away land where sadness and loneliness fade away and there’s nothing but meaningful conversation while freedom pumps through my blood. What I got was living in a hostel with a bunch of 20 something year olds just waiting until it gets late enough to start drinking. Sex, drugs and rock and roll is too classy of a notion for these backpackers looking for one night stands, a cheap high and techno.
I blame it on the age, but I have to remember age is just a number, it means nothing about the quality of a person or the life they lead. I’ve learned this before… However I feel old because the antics that would once amuse and concern me now partly disgust and bore me. It’s nothing bad about these select people and there’s nothing bad about me – part of it was I needed to get out of the party hostel and into the one I’m in now, where everyone is working and it’s really like a nice share house… just with 20 roommates.
The night I applied for the job I had a quick heart to heart/vent to one of my roommates about how I’m not sure Melbourne is the right place for me. Being relatively disappointing since I got here, despite the fact it’s only been 2 weeks. I set out on an adventure and don’t feel like there is much of one to be had here, just yet. She recommended going to Western Australia, and a part of me is being pulled that way. However, I decided to come to Melbourne for a reason and I’m going to wait it out until that reason is clear.
Loneliness is a big part of travel. I wish I had someone here that I could unload all of my real thoughts, feelings and insecurities to. However, it’s a constant rotation of roommates and therefore friends. The little idiosyncrasies of the city are becoming more and more apparent. Love at first sight happens. However, love that comes with time is usually a love that lasts longer…
2 thoughts on “Becoming”
OK…at risk of sounding, what…old? But you say above, “Go ahead, say it” I will. Wherever we go we take ourselves with us…our quirks, our baggage, most of the stuff we were trying to get away from. Yeah, the sights and people are new and for a time that is good. But honestly? People are people no matter their language, cities are cities and life goes on. Duffy, I hear you wanting more. I hear you …dare I say it, growing up. When we grow up we look for something deeper and usually have to look deeper within ourselves to find it.
Haha That’s exactly the point, Jeri, that I’m (trying to) express. It’s not a taboo subject. That’s what’s so great about this experience, 6 years ago when I backpacked Europe it was fine to drink and be an aimless wanderer, but now that I’m almost 30 I’m looking for substance in my travels. It’s a really interesting juxtaposition – the life of freedom through travel against the need for substance. The challenge is finding that “on the go” and that’s why I’m here… and I’m growing up through experience! Always growing!!!