Most people reading this will have already heard from somewhere else, but, for the record: on September 10th, I’m running away to Australia, probably for a year.
I have no commitments keeping me in Britain. I have no job, no rent, no more exams to do, a girlfriend who’s actually marginally closer to Oz than England.* If any of the legal jobs I’ve applied for come good – and while I had an interview with one potential employer which went very well, I don’t think the vac scheme I had with another is going to lead to a job, and a third I initially had high hopes of is screwing me around on whether I’ve even got an interview – I’d still have a year free, because they recruit two years in advance, one of which would be spent studying. But even if they don’t, I’m thoroughly sick of this country’s job market, and I want out.
I missed the boat for JET by a few months, and would probably find living in Japan incredibly difficult anyway; besides, the money’s not what it used to be thanks to rates of exchange. Teaching English in Korea looked more promising in terms of dosh and opportunities, but the language and culture barrier was intimidating, and as with JET I really don’t know if I have the temperament of a teacher. But in Australia they practically speak English, and the money is potentially excellent; minimum wage is $16 (nearly £10), and unlike here they actually have jobs. The Australian government offers foreigners something called a Working Holiday Visa, which lets you work as much as you like for a year (though no more than six months in any one job, which is fine by me). And if I’m going to do a menial job for the next year, I’d rather do it somewhere warm for twice the money I’d be getting back at home.
And I want to do this. I want to get up and go somewhere where nobody knows who I am, I want to travel and explore. I didn’t really do the Gap Yah travelling thing; I worked in a chip shop and unfucked myself from A-level misery. And this is the best chance I’ll get.
I have a plane ticket to Sydney, a visa, an excellent travel-bro, a fistful of dollars and a week booked at a youth hostel. After that, I’m just going to see what comes. Letters from the far side of the world to follow.
*Though only marginally! I was slightly surprised to find that Melbourne is only 1000km closer to Tendo than Bristol, though thinking about it, Japan is in the northern hemisphere, and Australia very emphatically isn’t.