May was a tough month for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. In April I accepted a groom/stablehand position at an Olympic eventing stable about an hour outside of Sydney. I was excited to be working with horses again. Heck, I was just excited to be employed again!
I consider myself to be a tough cookie and hard worker. This job turned out to be way more difficult than I expected. The work was fine. I loved the horses, but the head rider? Not so much. We didn’t communicate well. And, the hours were also long, which left me with little time to write and focus on growing my business.
It wasn’t a bad month all around. I got to see some of Australia’s best horses and riders compete for a place on the Olympic team. I got to hold a genuine Olympic gold medal. And, I learned so much about high-performance horses and myself.
But, I was certainly glad when May ended.
Great Escape Monthly Review
Where I’ve Been
- 29 days in Maraylya
- 2 days in Sydney
- I got to hold an Olympic gold medal – During the month of May, I was working at an Olympic eventing stable outside of Sydney. The main rider won a gold medal in 2000 Olympics in Sydney. How cool is that?! Growing up my childhood dream was to ride in the Olympics. Obviously, that dream will never come true, but it was cool to hold a genuine Olympic medal in your hand.
- I got a new job offer at the end of the month – An old running buddy from home read my post of being homesick and unhappy in my current position and connected me to a work colleague who lives on a Warmblood breeding farm along the South Coast. Both she and her husband are college professors so not only would I be working with horses, but I would be doing some writing and editing for them!
- My groom/stablehand job was extremely stressful – I grew up riding horses, but later sold them when I went to college. I made it my goal to work with horses again during my travels around Australia. While I was excited to be working with horses again, the rider I was working for has a certain reputation in the eventing world. To put it politely, he is very particular about things and if you don’t do it his way, watch out. The job was extremely stressful and long hours for shit pay. I began to hate it and started actively looking for a new job after the Sydney Three Day Eventing show.
- My writing business suffered – Since I worked almost nonstop from sunup to sundown, I was utterly exhausted after a day’s work. Needless to say, my writing work suffered. I hardly did any client work, and I think I only published a couple of blog posts. It was my worst month of freelance income in a long time.
- I was homesick – Due to my exhaustion and dislike of my workplace, I became very homesick. I wanted to be around people who enjoyed my company and respected me as a person. It didn’t help that Mother’s Day was in May, and I started to miss my mom. She was the one I called whenever I needed to talk. Thankfully, I had met a cool American guy on Tinder who helped a bit with the homesickness. He was my saving grace regarding communicating with the outside world from farm life. Unfortunately, he ghosted me in June, so my American confidante disappeared leaving me a bit sad. Oh well, I probably dodged a bullet there.
I honestly don’t know where to start. Ha! After a long days work of manual labor, it was tough for me to spend a couple of hours on my computer working. My writing business suffered. I didn’t look for other job opportunities and didn’t pitch anything. It was just a bad month overall. I made $290 from my freelance writing business plus I’m coaching a triathlete at the moment. Did you know that I am also a personal trainer and endurance sport coach?
When you live on a horse farm in the middle of nowhere, you don’t spend much money. What money I did spend was on food (mostly Cadbury chocolate), warm, cheap clothing that I can throw away after leaving the farm, and a massage and yoga pass.
- Transportation: $10
- Accommodation: $61.64
- Food and Drinks: $355.45
- Activities, Tours, & Fun: $54.86
- Other (i.e., doctors, cell phone, general living expenses): $241.89
I spent a total of $723.84 or $23.35 per day. I’d like to see this number drop in the following months. Since there was no internet at the horse farm cottage, I had to purchase my own internet dongle. Data isn’t cheap either! At least it’s a business expense. And, I can definitely cut back on the chocolate!
*All numbers have been converted to USD.
Favorite Photo of the Month
Excuse the poor cell phone photo, but that there is an Olympic gold medal!
Goals for June
- Catch up on client work and gross at least $1000 USD
- Start blogging regularly again
- Edit my photos from my Central America and Europe adventures
Books I Read in May
I read no books. I usually passed out around 8 pm every night. Epic fail!
Favorite Quote of the Month
“Actually, the best gift you could given her was a lifetime of adventures….”
~ Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Until next time, safe travels my friends!