As a child, I remember summer vacation lasting forever, but as an adult, a month is gone with just the snap of my fingers. 2016 came and went in a flash of passport stamps, currencies, and sleepless nights. I welcomed 2017 in with a few strangers I met at my hostel at some cheap club in Newcastle, Australia. Personally, I would have preferred to have gone to bed at 10 pm. But, it was fun. For a few hours.
On January 19th I celebrated my one year anniversary on the road. It’s incredible how much I have seen, experienced, and felt in the past 12 months. If you ever have the chance to take a gap year or work abroad, do it. It’s life changing as cliche as it sounds.
Most of January was spent working in the summer heat of the Australian summer. Working on a horse farm outside for 8 hours a day in almost 100 degrees every day isn’t for the faint of heart. The French Girl, who I was struggling to work with, finally quit because she couldn’t handle the hard manual labor and the heat. It wasn’t much of a loss.
I’ll be finishing up my last weeks on the farm in February before embarking on my final seven weeks of travel in Australia. I can’t believe it’s almost over.
My Great Escape Monthly Review
Where I’ve Been
- 29 days in Scone
- 2 days in Newcastle
- I pitched several websites. Most of my pitches were either rejected or ignored, but I did land one good paying travel article with World Nomads. In the freelance writing world, you strike out a lot, but you got to swing to actually hit one out of the park.
- My bank account is getting fat again. With lots of long hours in the hot sun on the horse farm and some big writing client projects, both my American and Australian bank accounts are getting fat again. And that makes me very happy!
- I went to the horse races! Scone is Australia’s horse capital with heaps of Thoroughbred stud farms around. I’ve never been to the races before so I was quite excited to go to the local track one weekend to see the races.
- I twisted my ankle pretty bad at work. I stepped off a hay bale after loading my truck, and my left ankle gave out on me with a few pops. For a moment while I was sitting on the floor, I thought my ankle was broken. Thankfully I was able to walk it off, but not without pain and soreness for two weeks.
- The intense heat of the Australian summer. Summer in Australia is no joke, especially in Scone. The average daily temperature is right about 90 degrees with about 30% humidity. I’m a cold weather girl. We get about three or five days at most of 90 degree days in Maine during the summer. But, I’ve always been very lucky that my body adapts well to the heat.
2017 started off with a bang. My freelance goal for the year is to make an average minimum of $500 a month. Since I’ll be traveling quite a bit in the coming months and then returning to the 9-5 life, I decided to make a realistic goal for the year. Of course, the goal is always to make as much as possible!
In January I grossed $1408. That’s almost three times my goal! The downfall of the freelance life is that I won’t see a lot of that money until late February or March. Why do clients feel that they can wait forever to pay freelancers? I’ve waited 6 months once for a client to pay me over $600 finally. Urgh!
- Transportation: $15.29
- Accommodation: $0
- Food and Drinks: $327.43
- Activities, Tours, & Fun: $69.12
- Other (i.e., doctors, cell phone, general living expenses): $305.47
- Business Expenses: $0
In January I spent a total of $717.31 or $23.14 a day. I spent a few days in Newcastle over the New Years holiday and went out to eat several times since I was in civilization. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, I did have to pay a $194AUD speeding ticket for going 5km over the speed limit from my Great Ocean Road road trip in September. Then I get a letter from the Victorian police saying they nominated someone else for the ticket and didn’t have to pay, so I have no idea what’s going on.
Favorite Photo of the Month
- Make at least $500 in freelance work
- Workout three times a week
- Pitch new clients
Books I Read in January
- Circling the Sun by Paula McLain – I’ve been reading this books for months. Well, I mean I’d read a few chapters, put it down, and read other books. I just couldn’t get into it. And then I did and loved it.
- No Place to Rest by D.L. Barnhart – This is another Amazon Prime free Kindle book. I’ve really gotten into the murder mystery books lately and I really enjoyed this book. I finished it over the course of a few days.
Favorite Quote of the Month
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
– Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain