A (Wo)man, A Plan, A Canal… Australia

Okay, so that’s not quite how it goes. But work with me here; wit is a hot commodity at ten o’clock on Tuesday nights.

I thought that I’d start out with a little background while I work out the kinks of this whole abroad thing that I’m currently obsessed with. I created this blog primarily as a tool for myself to keep my thoughts straight and ensure that I keep on keepin’ on with my plan – as I’ve often been prone to dreaming big and then letting it fall to the curb – but I hope that I can find some friends and maybe even bounce ideas off of others in a similar boat.

I think it started the same day that I realized that I had preferred office supplies. I like this elastic band. That was the thought that got the cogs spinning. That’s a nice elastic band and this office clearly doesn’t mess around. In my defence, it was a fabulous elastic, hardy and pliant. It dawned on me that this whole desk job thing really doesn’t do it for me when I came to similar terms with the fact that I have a favorite type of paperclip. This is not the life I want to lead. Not that it’s a bad gig; it’s just that I can’t even begin to imagine sitting at a desk from now until forever. I’m only twenty-two, though the view when I turn from my desk has it’s perks.

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The biggest part of it all is the commute. Being confined to a desk all day isn’t something that I would go bragging about, but I’m not opposed to any sort of work and a job is a job. It’s that forty-five minute subway ride on the TTC that does me in; standing compressed from all sides, jostled from the moment you step on the platform until the moment you return above ground. On one occasion, my cubicle neighbour had caught the train before mine despite the fact that we’d entered Union Station together. She’d pushed and vaulted her way through the crowd and into the train while I watched with disdain as her bag of tortilla chips were crushed between the closing doors. How can anyone be in such a hurry? I can’t image pushing and sneaking around others just to advance to a place you’ll reach regardless. I went through a phase at thirteen years old, which in retrospect is unsurprising given my current mindset, where I repeated time and again to my friends that I didn’t understand why nobody took a second to look around and see the world as it passed by. Everyone is always in a hurry and it’s multiplied ten fold during rush hour where all the rules of life are thrown out the window, especially the ones pertaining to how we react to others around us.

So there I was being corralled onto the next train when it pulled in not thirty seconds after the previous one, being pushed from the back and sides and staring blankly at the ad in front of me, thinking for the millionth time that this isn’t for me. “Work and travel in Australia!” claimed the ad featuring young, floppy-haired people jumping on the beach. Yeah, that’d be nice. If only.

But wait. That would be nice. Why couldn’t I do that? Why shouldn’t I do that? Could I do that? I’d done research on working holiday visas before so I wasn’t entirely naive when I went home to crunch some numbers that night. As it turned out, I could do that.

After about a week, true to my form, I was trying to push the idea from my mind. It was too out there for me; I’m not an out there person and everyone knows that. I have student loans, a decent job, and a comfortable albeit work-in-progress life. No, no, giving all that up would be silly and probably irresponsible.

Then I hopped on yet another subway home and stood like yet another sardine in yet another tin, staring at the same travel down under ad that had sparked me the week before. No, no, that’s silly. Forty-five minutes later as I walked from the bus stop, I was still wrestling with idea and spitting out reasons why embarking on a working holiday in Australia wouldn’t fly. In front of me strolled an elderly couple at a snail’s pace, and at right about the same moment that I noticed just how slowly we were moving, I noticed the woman’s backpack. It was emblazoned with the Sydney 2000 olympic logo.

I took it as a sign. Australia is staring me in the face yet again, and if I can’t get away from the idea I might as well run with it.

Have you ever had one of those undeniable signs?

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3 responses to “A (Wo)man, A Plan, A Canal… Australia

  1. Thanks for following my blog. I wish you the best on your travel endeavors to Australia.

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  2. I definitely believe in signs. It can become a self fulfilling prophecy though, because I am sure I look for that sign that means the thing that I want to happen should happen. But I’m cool with that, after all that is a sign in itself right?

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    • A sign from my own mind or a sign from elsewhere in the universe; I’ll take it! You’re exactly right – we have no choice but to take it because a sign is a sign and if it gets us mobilized, it’s done its job. Chances are there to be taken.

      Thanks Jan, hope you’re having a stellar day!

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