Cairns update

Never mind WA for today. Here’s my Cairns update.

So, I have been settled in Cairns for almost a month, and now that I’ve got myself sorted, I figure I should let you all know what I’ve been up to.

After a depressing week looking for work and competing with a million other backpackers for jobs, I came very close to running out of money, and giving up. The day I decided to leave town and venture to greener pastures, I got a call from a travel agency in town who was looking for someone to start as soon as possible.

Two hours later, I had a job. My training involved two days shadowing the other agent, who had only started two weeks before me, and then spending a day out on the reef so that I could “learn the product.” After that, I was handed a password to the system, keys to the shop, and instructions to open the next day.

The first couple of shifts were frenetic and I was more than a bit stressed trying to learn the ropes, and working for a small business guarantees a certain level of unprofessionalism that I both enjoy and hate at the same time. Overall, it’s been alright. I now make in one week what I used to make in one day, but the chilled out lifestyle is more what I’m after than the money.

After finding myself a job my next order of business was finding a place to live. Luckily, the hostel I was staying at offered me a room in their sharehouse across the street, so a week later I upgraded from being a backpacker to a proper adult again, with a real bed (no bunks!) and an actual door – a door! – of my own.

My flatmates are lovely. A couple, Jo and Rich, share the master bedroom, and Laura, John, and I are all singles. The house is properly fitted with a large flatscreen TV, leather couches, and hardwood floors, with fans and AC in the bedroom, and a fully functional, homey kitchen. It’s almost like being at home. Not quite. But close.

So I’ve been settling in nicely. I’ve made a good friend, Nataleigh, who is quite lovely, despite her piercings and fire engine red hair, and we get on famously. She joined me on my trip up to Cape Tribulation on my day off last week, and we had a late night out together the week before that. It’s nice to meet someone who will be sticking around for a bit like me, since she plans to head down the east coast in November when I’m off to NZ.

I’ve picked up a bit of side work as well, doing an employee manual for the hostel in exchange for a couple weeks’ rent, and I might have a wicked job opportunity in Sydney for just a few days. But more on that when it comes through…

It’s my birthday tomorrow, and it seems surreal that I will be starting my 27th year as an aimless traveller in another country. I never would have thought this is where I would be at this point in my life, but coming to Australia this time around may possibly be the best decision I’ve ever made.

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