July was a relatively non-eventful month filled with lots of work and low-key fun. After living and working in Australia for the past few months, I was starting to get a little antsy. While I loved life on the farm, I was ready to fly the coop and travel for a bit.
I spent a lot of time with the horses and typing away at my computer. I did manage to get away from the farm to visit Wollongong and Jervis Bay, but I mostly stayed in Berry. The weather along the South Coast during wintertime can be hit of miss. Either its sunny and warm or it’s pouring buckets and windy as hell. There is very little in between. When it was sunny out, you best bet that I made the best of it outside with the animals.
August is shaping up to be a very travel heavy month so a relaxing, low-key July was just what I needed before the chaos begins.
Great Escape Monthly Review: July
Where I’ve Been
- 30 days in Berry, NSW
- 1 day in the air/Los Angeles, CA
- Alfie became a real horse! I’ve been working on a small Warmblood breeding farm in Berry for the past two months. There are several horses in line to be broke for riding. Alfie, one of my favorite horses, just started the breaking process when I arrived in Berry in June. I got to watch and help with his progress throughout my time there and during my last week on the farm, Jim, the trainer, was finally able to get on him and trot him around the round pen.
- I went diving! After months on dry land, I returned to the underwater world with Dive Jervis Bay. I was excited to discover that I could dive with seals about 45 minutes from where I was living. Unfortunately, the conditions weren’t that great, which led to me puking my guts out over the side of the boat, so we couldn’t dive with the seal colonies. Thankfully, we did find a couple of protected dive spots. I got to see a ton of “new-to-me” sea life, including Port Townsend sharks, weedy sea dragons, sea tulips, and even a few cuttlefish.
- I booked some serious travel adventures for the next few months! After being in one place for four months (actually two, but who’s counting?), I was getting antsy for new adventures. After my three weeks in the States, I’ll be back in Australia to explore Alice Springs, Uluru, Darwin, Canberra, and more of Sydney. Plus, I’ll be in and out of Berry for a week here and there to help on the farm. I’m excited finally to SEE Australia!
- My computer was seriously annoying me. I shouldn’t complain too much as my Macbook Pro has lasted me almost seven years. Over the past year, it has started to show its age and slowing down. Of course, the billion photos on my hard drive doesn’t help its speed. I knew its end was coming near, and I started to plan accordingly even before I left for my Great Escape in January. My goal was to buy a new laptop when I got home in August (Spoiler: I’m typing this on my NEW MacBook Pro). For a quick second, I thought I was going to have to buy a new one sooner after my computer crashed in Krakow, but she rallied back to life after a little repair. She’s still kicking and hopefully will have a new life soon enough.
- I started to get bored. I loved my life on the farm, but I began to feel a little isolated and bored. I was ready to break my routine and continue exploring Australia. I came to see Australia but barely left the greater Sydney area. I’m sure the next few months of travel will help treat my wanderlust before finding work again in November.
- I had an anxiety attack over a spider. I hate spiders. Like, I hate hate them. My little cottage was home to many smallish spiders that I would kill every night. In the back of my head, I kept thinking that “payback is a bitch.” Well, that bitch came in the form of a giant huntsman spider. Huntsman spiders are relatively harmless to humans, but they are big. This one was the size of my hand. I found it while brushing my teeth in my bathroom. I was home alone at the time and completely lost it. I tried to swap it into a box. That didn’t work. Then, I got the bright idea to vacuum it up. That only pissed the spider off, and it started to crawl around the ceiling until it finally hid in a light fixture. At this point, I was crying and hyperventilating so I spent in the main house. The next day I insect bombed the cottage. Twice. For good measure. I never saw the spider again.
The summer months are always slow for freelancers. I had every intention to pitch a bunch of websites and magazines, but then life got in the way, and I only sent out one pitch that was never answered. Bummer! I did pick up a couple of projects from Australian clients, which helped the monthly income, but, unfortunately, I didn’t meet my monthly income goal again. I grossed $806 for the month of July. Not too shabby, but not the greatest either.
- Transportation: $23.72
- Accommodation: $25.44
- Food and Drinks: $300.18
- Activities, Tours, & Fun: $1,080.19
- Other (i.e., doctors, cell phone, general living expenses): $129.38
*All numbers have been converted to USD.
July was an expensive month. I spent $1,558.91 in July. About 60% of that was airline tickets for my upcoming travels. Tickets from LAX to SEA to BOS to LAX cost me a whopping $491.30. I could fly roundtrip to Europe and back for less than that! Internal flights in Australia are just as expensive. I’ll be flying from Sydney to Alice Springs and then back to Sydney from Darwin. Each flight was about $200 USD. Sure, I could have used some airline miles, but I’m saving those for another day.
Favorite Photo of the Month
Alfie is such a handsome boy! How can you not be obessed with this face?!
Goals for August
- Schedule and write blog posts ahead of time so I can enjoy my travels at the end of the month
- Get professional headshots
- Hang with my dog!
- Pitch websites and magazines
- Buy a new laptop!
Books I Read in July
- The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson – This was another free Amazon Prime Kindle book. The book was quite interesting and certainly left you saying “WTF” a lot. I wouldn’t have read it if I had to pay for it, but it was decently written and kept you on your toes.
- Midair by Kodi Scheer – Another free Amazon Prime book. It was a quick read that left a slight bitter taste in my mouth. The book had a bit of a twist at the end, but otherwise rather predictable.
Favorite Quote of the Month
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ~ Susan Sontag
Until next time, safe travels my friends!