First Month In Charters Towers

Celebrate what you’ve accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed – Mia Hamm.

I cannot believe that a whole entire month has gone by already, and that my travel life has changed drastically within that time. I went from travelling from town to city every couple of days, staying in different hostels every couple of nights, seeing and doing a huge array of different things every day, to working the same hours, day in, day out, six days a week. That’s not to say it is a terrible thing (edit: it is). Towards the end of my east coast trip I was needing the quiet time and some stability and routine in my travel life. I have definitely got that.

I practically have my own flat where I live as I am the only worker here – apart from the owners. That’s a lovely place of solitude for when I just need my own space. I can have it now, whereas in the hostels there was always some distraction instead of having me time. I miss the distractions. The down side of living alone is it can get pretty lonely the majority of the time too. I get fed also. Bonus. Therefore, I don’t really spend any money, meaning I can save for the next part of my trip – which I keep changing my mind about.

Days off are the best.

I have to say, it’s definitely been a rollercoaster. There have been plenty of happier days alongside the sad days. There have been a lot of tired and boring days, over the rare exciting ones. I did get to see a rodeo though! That was pretty cool. I’d only ever seen them on films and TV shows before so it was amazing to feel the ambience and cowboy spirit. I’ve felt like this isn’t what I imagined doing when I said I wanted to travel Australia, and at the same time, I’ve had hours where I’ve loved chatting to people in the bar. One woman I met was originally from Nottingham before she emigrated to Australia fifty years ago; another regular couple are also “pommies”, originally from London having made the move forty years ago; and more recently, an Irish man working here.

Looking back, it has gone pretty quick, compared to that first week when I was sick and feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Now, I keep thinking what is the next step? Where to from here? What next?

I have learned quite a bit about different views, and how Australians in smaller towns think and do things. Some people are no different from home, the kinds who hold up the bar day in day out with funny remarks and political statements (most of which I definitely do not agree with), and I’ve learned that everybody knows everybody despite it having 8,000-12,000 people. I like that part; it reminds me of the pub at home.

I’ve also learned some things about myself: that I definitely do not put up with the “pommie” crap that most Australians belly laugh about: it’s funny the first five times you hear it and after that the joke loses its shine. I’ve learned that it’s the norm for older men to still make sexual jokes about women in front of you, no matter how uncomfortable they make you feel. I’ve learned that as much as bar work can be fun, it’s not for me any more after October. I want to invest my time into writing and doing things that I love. I knew it before, but I thought maybe I’ll just get a bar job whilst I get on my feet. Now, I’m more determined to not let that happen. So, Charters Towers has that to pat itself on the back with.

Escaping every day life with books.

Here’s hoping the next couple of months of working and earning money for the next adventure fly by.
Love, Faye x

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