To say the least, selling most of your belonging, packing the rest in a suitcase, quitting your job and leaving all your wonderful friends and family behind is pretty tough. Let alone having to endure a 17 hour trip to the other side of the world alone. However all these obstacles I conquered, yes it was hard to say goodbye but I was so excited for my Australian Adventure.
A week and a few days after getting to Oz, I found myself repacking my suitcase, ready to travel 4 hours down the Highway to ‘The Great Southern’ of WA. I had landed myself a job! Not only that, it was a job on a farm. I was so excited I would be getting my 88 days done and I would be able to extend my visa. I was so proud of myself and eager to meet new people, that I never thought about the new challenges I would face, especially as I had never worked on a farm! I thought I had a good idea of what it would be like…I have been to a ‘farm’ to see the animals… you know the ones you go to when you are young. But I have never been to an actual working farm; 4,500 acres, 1,500 cattle, 2000 sheep and A LOT OF MUD! Culture shock! It was a world away from what I know, sharing a cosy 2 bed flat with my beautiful mum in England, 20 mins from the city. The first few days, I just didn’t know what to do or how to feel, everything was rather overwhelming, so I just put my blinkers on and got on with the task in hand. Over the last few years I become very good at putting my guard up and not letting on when I’m out of my comfort zone but inside I was struggling and for the first time since being in Oz I felt quite along way from home.
I have to say I am one very lucky girl; The family who own the farm are lovely, I couldn’t of asked for a more welcoming bunch to live and work with. Despite there being 6 excitable young children under 8 years old, the hard part for me was getting over the fact that I was on a farm and unfortunately things get dirty. Mud gets everywhere. For those of you that know me, ‘OCD’ may come to mind. Although I know I don’t actually have OCD (well I may have a very mild case), I do like things a certain way and I love things to be extra clean. Basically, I was so far out of my comfort zone I may as well have been on mars. But I know this experience will be so good for me and it will also help me to get over my inclination for things to be immaculate all the time. Even I get on my own nerves sometimes with my ways and I don’t want to be a mum ( in the future, just to clarify!) who won’t let her children get messy or a person who makes people feel like they can’t relax when they come to visit.
I’ve now been on the farm a month and I feel that I’ve made huge personal progress. Although I’m still tidy and clean, which I know I always will be, I’m not so bothered if my room isn’t really tidy, or if I get muddy.
Although I’ve made good progress breaking down one barrier, there is another obstacle I haven’t quite yet conquered and that’s settling into new beds/ places. I suppose it kind of links in with the above, but I really struggle to stay in a new bed/ place. I’m unsure why as I’ve never actually had a bad experience, however I do seem to have become worse as I’ve got older; although I’m not as bad if I’m staying with family or a close friend. But again this is something I need to get over and fast because in 16 weeks time I will be travelling around the east coast of Oz, staying in hostels. I’m not going to lie the thought does send a ripple of panic through my body but again this is going to be good for me.
So with the hostels peeking over the horizon and my many challenges I’ve had to overcome, I’ve devised a few ‘rituals’ / tips I use to help ground myself, adding peace and calm back to my mind and body.
- Take a step back – With ‘mess’ or when I start to feel overwhelmed, I’ve learnt to take a moment and to step back, reassuring myself everything will be ok.
- Enjoy it! – I tell myself to ‘enjoy the moment’ a lot… take everything in… everything is an experience. Life’s for the living! Things can be cleaned or cleared up later.
- Keep you childhood bear close! – I’m 24 and I still have Honey Bear and I’m not embarrassed by it. He’s a piece of home that I find comforting, he’s been there my whole life and is probably the most well travelled bear on earth!
- Listen to music – I’ve downloaded a Nature Sounds App where you can use different sounds to create a relaxing track. It helps me relax and concentrate; it also gives the room a calm atmosphere.
- Breathe – Deep Breathing helps a lot whilst I’m constantly reminding myself that this is going to be GOOD FOR ME!
Hopefully I’ll continue to grow and break down some of my many barriers I’ve built up over the years, I feel happier already in myself for doing so. The few barriers I’ve written about in this blog post are only a couple of the many reasons I came to Oz. I came to Australia to find myself again, to find a better, happier version of me and to push my boundaries.
To explore the uncharted waters, to go on an adventure, but most importantly to enjoy life and every experience that comes with it!