[img] Fiji beach chairs Great Escape Monthly Review

Great Escape Monthly Review: October 2016

In Great Escape by KatelynLeave a Comment

[img] Waya Lai Lai Hike Great Escape Monthly ReviewOctober was a rather laidback month physically, but emotionally I was on a rollercoaster ride. Ever since I returned to Australia in August, I’ve been fighting homesickness that waxes and wanes. Just when I accepted that I would stay in Australia until my visa runs out in March 2017, I got an email from a dream publication about a possible job back home. And, just like that, I was ready to go home.

Unfortunately, due to the timing, the job didn’t pan out. After some tears and a lot of stress, I feel that everything has worked out the way it was supposed to in the end. As of now, I plan to stay in Australia, and I’ve already secured another job at a horse farm relieving a lot of the financial stress that I’ve been feeling lately.

October wasn’t all job stress; I attended a surf camp, and I spent ten glorious days in paradise. While I always felt a bit uneasy taking money out of my travel reserves to pay for my Fiji trip, it was 100% percent worth it. Fiji is an incredibly beautiful country with some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. I spent most of my time reading in the hammock, diving, and snorkeling the colorful reefs. I can’t wait to share everything with you in the coming weeks!

Where I’ve Been

  • 1 day in Melbourne
  • 7 days in Sydney
  • 6 days in Berry
  • 10 days in Fiji
  • 2 days in the Blue Mountains
  • 5 days at  Surf Camp

[img] Cirrus Great Escape Monthly ReviewThe Highlights

  • I learned how to surf! Part of my prize package from Go Overseas included a 5 Day Surf Camp. Since I had some downtime between my travel plans, I decided to attend the camp after I got back from my Great Ocean Road road trip. While I wasn’t a fan of the camp itself, I loved learning how to surf. Water is my happy place, so anything that involves water makes me happy. I don’t think I’ll go home and buy a surfboard, but I’d love to grab a board sometimes and just splash around in the waves.
  • Everything about Fiji! Fiji is a little slice of paradise in the South Pacific. Since it’s just a four-hour flight from Australia, I knew I had to take a little holiday to this island nation. I spent ten glorious days in Fiji relaxing in the sun and the surf. I got to dive, go sailing, and spend countless hours just snorkeling the colorful island reefs. Now I have hours and hours of GoPro footage to go through.
  • I finally visited the Blue Mountains! I’ve spent heaps of time in Sydney, but had yet to make it the Blue Mountains, which are only a two-hour train ride from the city. When a friend mentioned he wanted to go hiking, I quickly invited myself along. Despite the crazy weather (it hailed!), we had a great time.
  • I met the new foal! Sally, one of the mares at the horse farm in Berry, finally gave birth to her new foal. She had excellent timing as I was in Berry housesitting for another couple. I got to gang out with the foal a couple of times. He’s a total cutie!

[img] Great Escape monthly review OctoberThe Lowlights

  • I was bummed that I do not get my dream job. Back in September, I saw a job opening for one of my favorite personal finance websites that is based back in Maine. I applied knowing it was a crapshoot. I didn’t hear anything until I got an early morning email while I was at surf camp. I began the application process and thought I had a good shot at the position. Since I’ve wanted to write for this website for years, I was willing to come home early for the job. They wanted to interview me while I was in Fiji, but I could not because of the lack of internet. Unfortunately, I found out when I returned they were in the final stages of hiring someone else. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Luckily, I landed a new groom position at another horse farm, so my “unemployment” lasted only a couple of days.
  • Dealing with homesickness. With the possibility of returning home in December, my homesickness was in high swings. I started making mental plans for things I wanted to do when I got home. From ice skating to happy hours and future vacation plans, I was starting to make them. When I didn’t get the job, I began to feel sick to my stomach. A large part of me wanted to go home still, but after the weekend in the Blue Mountains and receiving a job offer here, my homesickness has waned for now.

Monthly Income

October wasn’t the best freelancing month. I knew I was spending close to two weeks without internet access so I didn’t push as hard. I did, however, gain a couple of new clients and a travel website accepted one of my pitches, so that was exciting. Unfortunately, many of my clients won’t pay me until November or December after articles publish. Oh, the joys of freelancing!

In October, I made $460 in client work. November is already looking to be a much more lucrative month.

Monthly Expenses

  • Transportation: $29.50
  • Accommodation: $350.58
  • Food and Drinks: $381.80
  • Activities, Tours, & Fun: $1,004.41
  • Other (i.e., doctors, cell phone, general living expenses): $150.41
  • Business Expenses: $318.64

I spent a total of $2,235.34 in the month of October or roughly $72.11 per day. Because I wasn’t sure if I would be leaving December, I paid for half of my East Coast travel package, which was my biggest expense during the month of October. Additionally, I had several business expenses, like my hosting and domain renewal that was due. Overall, I’m happy with my October costs.

Favorite Photo of the Month

[img] Fiji beach chairs Great Escape Monthly ReviewGoals for November

  • Catch up with blog posts
  • Begin a regular workout routine
  • Start eating healthier

Books I Read in October

  • Exhume by Danielle Girard – I really loved this free Amazon prime book. I’ve never been one to read crime books, even though I love crime shows, I’ve really gotten into them lately. Dr. Schwartzman is a medical examiner in San Francisco who must solve a crime that is personal. The story is well written and keep me on my toes the whole time. Plus, part of it takes place in Charleston, which happens to be one of my favorite cities.
  • The Memory of Us by Camille Di Maio – I downloaded this book as one of my Fiji beach reads and it did not disappoint. It reminded me a bit of Downton Abbey and I love that time period. If you’re looking for a good period drama love story, I recommend this one.
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – A excellent read by the Eat, Pray, Love queen herself. While I wasn’t completely blown away by this book, Liz provides some great advice for writers and who of us who choose to follow our dreams and passions in life.
  • Evelyn, After by Victoria Helen Stone – This book was the perfect steamy becah read. One of my British friends I met in Fiji would sometimes read chapters aloud to me. Why does everything sound better this an accent? This was a clever book with some steamy parts. If you have Amazon Prime then add it to your Kindle. I liked it.

Favorite Quote of the Month

“When life gives you hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.” – Unknown

Until next time, safe travels my friends!

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