Full on, not necessarily because I've been super busy every waking moment, but because moving to another country - particularly one on the other side of the planet - takes up a lot of head space. So does reconnecting with your boyfriend after 5 months of being apart. Oh, and finding then starting a new job, that's pretty full on too.
These are all things that have happened since 18th March when I touched down at Gold Coast airport. I was collected by my boyfriend of a year and, after a couple of days rest at home, we headed to Byron Bay for a long weekend and some privacy. (He lives with his brother and his brother's girlfriend.)
Any anxieties about finding we didn't fancy each other anymore once I'd got here immediately dissolved the moment I walked into Arrivals. Everything was as it had been when it had been really really good. So, a stunningly beautiful mini-break in Byron under our belts, which I won't write about now - that's a post in itself about where to go and what to do - we returned to Brisbane. It was gorgeous weather in the high 20s-early 30s every day.
I was still working 3 days a week for a charity back in the UK as Editor of their magazine - CALMzine - and website, but it wasn't long before I started to think about work in Australia and what barriers I might encounter when looking for it, e.g. limitations to working rights on the working holiday visa, no Australian experience. I'd made a list of a few charities worth approaching based on my skills and experience, some of which were based in Queensland, and, a couple of weeks into my stay, I called the first one on my list. I explained who I was and why I was calling and asked to whom I could send my CV. The receptionist received my CV after I hung up the phone and it made its way through to the General Managers from there.
The following morning, I received an email from a GM within the charity saying, "They say timing is everything, and in this case it really is. I'm hiring for a role. When can you talk on the phone?"
Just over a week later, it was my first day in the new job, just 1 month after arriving in the country. Getting clothes appropriate for an office, getting to grips with public transport there and back, figuring out how to do 'life admin' like food shopping, cooking, laundry while working full time again, without a car and being based in deepest suburbia with virtually nothing within walking distance were all challenges from then on. Not to mention finding time to have some fun!
There's enough 'life admin' involved with being an adult in your country of origin, let alone a new one, with Medicare, Super and a Tax File Number to set up. Here's a post covering the nuts and bolts of what you need to do after arriving in Australia.
Running along in the background of all this were health complaints that had followed me all the way from the UK: I was and still am experiencing horrid digestive problems. From time to time, these would really get me down, they still do, so I've been seeing a couple of different Doctors and a Naturopath since April. Over here, IBS is 'diagnosis by exclusion', so all other possibilities need to be ruled out first and, since I'm now iron deficient, I'm doing some tests to try and determine the cause.
We're heading into winter now, which means chilly mornings but, thankfully, warm days still in the 20s, so the fact that I have virtually no warm clothes with me isn't too awful. Brisbane is perfect for me from the point of view of weather; sunshine-filled blue skies mean there are regular outdoor yoga events and a general emphasis on activities that are good for you, which was a major factor in me coming here in the first place.
So, that's a little update from me. Tell me, how are you??