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Great Escape Monthly Review: April 2016

In Australia, Great Escape by KatelynLeave a Comment

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Welcome to the Land Down Under!

After months of waiting, I finally landed in Sydney, Australia on April 3rd. After a whirlwind week of exploring Sydney with Ultimate Oz, I spent about a week and half in Sydney looking for a job and catching up on writing, which I’m still horribly behind on.

During my first month in Australia I got to meet a kangaroo named Josie, sail through the Sydney Harbor, experience the joys of Tinder (sarcasm), and begin work at an Olympic Eventing stable outside of Sydney. While I was looking forward to traveling Australia to sail the Whitsunday Islands, dive the Great Barrier Reef, and take in the epic red sunset at Uluru, I knew I needed to stay in one place for a while once I got to Australia.

I waved goodbye to my new friends as they caught the bus to surf camp or rented a campervan to chase the warm sunny days north up the East Coast. As much as I wished that was me setting off into the sunset, settling in one place meant I could catch up on sleep and writing and put my damn socks and tee shirts in a draw instead of living out of my backpack.

Great Escape Monthly Review

Where I’ve Been

  • 3 days in Abu Dhabi
  • 20 days in Greater Sydney
  • 10 days in Maraylya

Grand Mosque Great Escape Monthly Review

The Highlights

  • I finally made it to Australia! – After months of waiting, I finally landed in a country I’ve spent half a lifetime yearning to visit. My week with Ultimate Oz was great, but I was totally ready for some quiet time afterwards. And, of course, to find a job.
  • I visited the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi – The highlight on my first three months of travel was by far my visit to the Grand Mosque. I’ve seen photos on the mosque on social media for ages and I couldn’t wait to see its beauty in real life. While I think the mosque was ridiculously expensive and a little over the top (I mean there are starving children and people dying of AIDS all round the world), it was money well spent as far as architectural and handcrafted design beauty.
  • I gained a couple of new clients – While I spent about a week and half in Sydney looking for a job in the city, I managed to catch up on client work and also gain a couple of new clients. Overall, it was a great month for freelancing that I hope to continue going forward.

The Lowlights

  • I struggled with time management – I was able to catch up on a lot of client work while I was staying in Sydney, but as soon as I moved to the horse farm, I struggled to find the time to write. I worked from sun up to sun down and by time dinnertime rolled around, I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. Farm is tough. Since the farm was a high performance farm, it was also high stress. While I generally handle pressure and stress well, it was beginning to take an emotional toll on me.

Josie UltimateOz

Monthly Income

April was a great month in terms of freelance writing. I finally achieved my goal of grossing over a $1000 a month! I managed to gross $1084.05 in April. As I previously mentioned in my March review, I took on a couple new clients at the end of March.

Of course, I started making an Australian income as well at the farm, which I use to pay my living expenses and travels around Australia. However, I won’t be disclosing that amount, as I want to focus on my freelance business. Plus, I would have to convert the AUD to USD, which just makes me depressed.

Monthly Expenses

April was a relatively inexpensive month. A welcomed changed from March where I saw over $2000 leave my once well-padded bank account. While I have more than enough money in the bank to last me for months, I get wary when my amount dips under a certain threshold. Time to find a job!

  • Transportation: $24.76
  • Accommodation: $389.44
  • Food and Drinks: $366.73
  • Activities, Tours, & Fun: $17
  • Other (i.e., doctors, cell phone, general living expenses): $318.49**

*All numbers have been converted to USD.

** My “other” category has now changed to include items such as osteopath visits, cell phone and Internet bills, and general living expenses that one would expect as an expat.

I was lucky that my first week in Australia was essentially free. My Ultimate Oz experience was part of my prize pack from the Go Overseas contest so all I had to pay for was some food and drinks. After that, I spent two weeks in and around Sydney before heading to the horse farm where I received free housing as part of my compensation package.

I find food to be expensive in general in Australia. Fruit and vegetables in season are relatively cheap. Meat is expensive, but it is oh so good here! Hello bacon! Cadbury chocolate is going to be the death of me…

I spent a total of $1,116.42 USD or about $37 a day in April.

Favorite Photo of the Month

[img] Grand Mosque Great Escape Monthly Review

Each of the three chandeliers in the Grand Mosque were handmade in Germany and consist of millions of Swarovski crystals.

Goals for May

  • Continue to learn and grow my knowledge on the horse farm
  • Continue to pitch and find new freelance clients
  • Put myself out there in the dating game again

Books I Read in March

Fail! I didn’t open one page from any of my books this month. I was too focused on catching up on work and then too exhausted from the farm work to even think about it.

Favorite Quote of the Month

“If you want to go fast, go alone.

If you want to go far, go together.”

-African Proverb

Until next time, safe travels my friends!

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