August 3, 2018

Twelve Months In: Sabbatical Recap "What Now?"

Well, it’s now August. A full eight months have passed since I’ve taken the time to post an update. I started typing a few posts out, and started loads more in my head… but clearly, none of them went anywhere. So I think it is safe to say I have no future as a travel blogger. I’m going to have to come up with another way to work remotely and on the road. Any suggestions are welcome.

Yep, I'm still alive! And appropriately dressed for Mt. Kosciuszko.
Didn't expect to encounter snow in Australia...
So my 365 days in Australia have come and gone, and I’m still here 😁. I know I promised quite a few people back home that I would be back in Chicago after exactly 365 days, but if I’m totally honest I never believed that. And I think the people who really know me didn’t expect it either. At this point, I’m not ready to come back to my former reality. 

As of right now, I’m planning to spend another two months in Western Australia on a tourist visa. Initially, I was on a working holiday visa which granted me exactly 365 days in the country, and the right to work (with a few limitations). A few weeks before my working holiday visa ended I applied for a basic tourist visa, as I knew I wanted to spend a bit more time in Australia before moving on. After a quick jaunt to Bali, so my new visa could activate, I am back in the Perth area for the next eight weeks. After that, I’m off to New Zealand for a bit.

My plans for New Zealand are pretty much non-existent but I’ve been granted a similar working holiday visa for a full year. At the moment I have limited travel funds due to an unplanned trip to Greece for the Yacht Week, so I’ll have to start off my New Zealand adventure with a few weeks of work. Ugh, the horror! 😝

The one thing I do have planned in New Zealand is a festive Thanksgiving! I have a fabulous group of visitors, my #travelingtoddies, scheduled to meet me on the South Island for some exploring the week of Thanksgiving. My tentative goal is to work until they arrive so I have plenty of funds for excursions. So, I guess I at least have a very rough draft of the next four months. In the next coming weeks, I'm going to try and lock down a job, hopefully with an outdoor tourism company. Guys, I'm so outdoorsy now. 

So that’s where I’m at right now. I have a tentative date of leaving Australia to head to N.Z. and really that’s about it. And that my friends, is about as good as it gets in the backpacking world when it comes to plans. When I look at the solidified details, really I have nothing. And I am not panicked about it (not yet at least) 😁. And though most people don’t want to hear it, I don’t have a timeline of when I’ll come back to the U.S. (sorry Mum). I’m not completely broke yet, so I’m going to keep going until my travel funds are totally depleted.

I'm still trying to mentally process all the things that have happened in the past year to try and summarize what this sabbatical has done for me. My plans changed, there were goals I didn't meet, epiphanies that didn't happen... lots of things to think about. When I can actually verbally explain it all I'll try and get that out in my sabbatical recap Part Deux. Until then guys!

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