[img] Great Escape Monthly Review

Great Escape Monthly Review: November 2016

In Great Escape by Katelyn2 Comments


[img] Great Escape Monthly ReviewAfter several months of being “homeless,” I finally settled down for a while to work. And, it feels good. Much of October was in flux for me as I wasn’t sure if I would be returning home to Maine for my dream job or if I would continue to stay in Australia until my visa runs out in April. I got my answer the day I returned back to Sydney from Fiji.

Luckily, I scored an awesome job the next day. On November 7th, I started my 14-week run working on my third horse far in Australia. I’m currently live in the upper Hunter Valley in Australia’s horse capital, Scone. I’m working on an Arabian and Warmblood stud farm, but we’re surrounded by tons of Thoroughbred studs. There are over 200 horses and 200 heads of cattle on the farm. It’s an impressive operation. The pay is great. My cottage is awesome. And I’m enjoying the world. Everything worked out in the end.

[img] Great Escape Monthly ReviewWhere I’ve Been

  • 5 days in Sydney
  • 2 days in Berry
  • 21 days in Scone

The Highlights

  • I’m happy with my job. I get a high wage with the opportunity for overtime. I work mainly Monday through Friday. I have free accommodation in a beautiful little cottage. And, everyone I work with, including the horses, are great. The owners are good friends with the owners of the first farm I worked on and they gave me a great recommendation, which is one of the reasons they wanted me pretty bad. If you could survive the eventing farm, you can survive anywhere!
  • One of my fitness clients assigned me a large writing project. Personally, I’m not a fan of the topic and article format, but the money is good and I have some creative freedom, too. I can’t wait to cash that check in January!

The Lowlights

  • I have frogs that live in my bathroom. They bothered me at first, but now I find it kind of comical. Only in Australia will tree frogs live in your toilet! I’ve even named them – Bob, Bob Jr., Fred, and Buckeye. They come and go as they please. If they misbehave, they get the boot, though. And, I usually see them again in a few days.
  • My worst nightmare came true! I found a Huntsman spider on my kitchen floor one evening and promptly killed it. I mentioned it to on of my co-workers and she told me about this automatic spray stuff that kills bugs and spiders. That night I went to the supermarket and bought it. Best purchase ever! However, that next morning I woke up to see another one walked across my ceiling above my bed. Yikes! He met the broom soon after and I haven’t seen one again in my cottage.

Monthly Income

November was a good month for income. One of my fitness website clients assigned me a major project, but I won’t see that money until January because the project will take me well into December. However, I did write for two new clients and made some money.

For the work I completed in November, I grossed $996.87 USD. So close to my $1,000 monthly goal! December is looking to be my best month yet! Although, I’m not looking forward to my tax bill in January. Oh, the joys of being self-employed!

Monthly Expenses

  • Transportation: $54.77
  • Accommodation: $64.86
  • Food and Drinks: $525.39
  • Activities, Tours, & Fun: $42.88
  • Other (i.e., doctors, cell phone, general living expenses): $656.46
  • Business Expenses: $59.95

Yikes! I spent way too much on food and the internet! Since I was moving to a new farm in a more rural area, I had to switch mobile phone and internet dongle from Optus to Telstra. I went through quite a bit of data because of my project and the Gilmore Girls release on Netflix. Don’t regret that one bit!

My food bill on the other hand. What the hell?! Food is definitely a bit more expensive in the country, but yikes. That’s what happened to all my money.

In November I spent a total of $1,404.31 or an average of $46.81 per day. That is way too high for what I should be spending while working. I definitely have to cut back on my spending in December and January.

Favorite Photo of the Month

[img] Great Escape Monthly Review frogs in toiletGoals for December

  • Finish my big client project
  • Begin a regular workout routine
  • Pitch new clients

Books I Read in November

  • The Body Reader by Anne Fraiser – I’m really liking some of the free ebooks with Amazon Prime. This was a great intense read that I finished within a few days. If you like thriller books then this is a good one. I enjoyed the twist at the end.
  • The Good Neighbor by A.J Banner – This book kept me on my toes and I did not see the ending coming. I definitely recommend this book.

Favorite Quote of the Month

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself” – Cloud Atlas


  1. Hey Katelyn, I laughed out loud at your post, because I actually lived in Scone for four years when I was a teenager! My house was a big farmhouse with a red roof out on Moobi Rd, opposite a water tank. I remember the frogs well – they used to hang in our pipes and sing out before a rainfall! I have such fond memories of living there. It’s a special place. Hope you’re enjoying your time in the horse capital of Australia.

    1. Author

      What a small world! I’m liking Scone, but it’s definitely a small town. I wish there was a yoga studio and a place to get a good chai latte. But, I really enjoy the farm I’m working on at the moment so I’m happy! 🙂

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