Carlos and I did a lot of driving in New Zealand. The quiet time in the car listening to music and watching the sheep in the countryside meant that the discussion of ‘what our timeline in Tassie is’ finally floated to the surface. I knew that returning from New Zealand would be a turning point in our sojourn down under. In fact, we even talked about this moment a couple of months ago in context of homesickness. We agreed that when we returned from NZ, it would be time to take the elephant out of the closet. A couple of factors have forced us to think about next steps and now that we are back in Hobart, we have to stop talking and start acting.
The first factor that is hovering over us is money (a real world problem!). Carlos and I budgeted the New Zealand trip as a big one and though we were over budget (with no regrets), working out our finances and credit card statements is a big reality check. In order to continue living in Tassie and continue traveling both locally and some more costly trips to the Mainland and beyond, we need to keep funds in the bank account (go figure– no trust funds here). The New Zealand trip was on the books from the moment we landed in Australia but now that we’re back we don’t have any other upcoming commitments. And for me, that’s another “decision time factor” because I ALWAYS like to have a trip planned. Without one, I feel a bit aimless.
Factor one leads to factor two: jobs. Part of our Work Holiday Visa stipulation is that after six months with one employer, we switch jobs. Now, there may be some wiggle room with this but for now it means that we need to figure out if it will be possible to find new jobs by the end of this month. Carlos really likes working at Bike Ride and I think his contribution as lead mechanic has been invaluable. We can’t walk down the street in Hobart without someone stopping him to talk shop and ask for advice. If possible, he’d like to stay at Bike Ride until it’s time for us to leave Tassie. In the next couple of weeks he needs to figure out how to make that happen without jeopardizing our visas.
I also like working at the Lark but I’m also ready to move on. In five months I have acquired a knowledge for whisky that could easily fill an hour and a half monologue (we call them tours at the Lark). I have also tasted my fair share of drams and have developed a confident palate that I know will come in handy throughout my life both in business and pleasure. I have experienced the quirkiness that is a small, family owned business and am grateful for the direction that’s provided me. In fact as I write this I realize I ought to devote a whole post to bartending because it’s a story worth sharing.
But for now the reality is that I am both ready to move on from the Distillery and unable to stay past March so I need to come up with my next step. I’ll put the word out to my contacts and cross my fingers that something comes to surface soon. It’s a turning point for us because we can no longer live in that blissful state avoiding the question of when we plan to leave Tassie. I only hope that I can fight off my natural inclination to plan the future too far ahead and enjoy this life for all it’s wonderful simplicity a bit longer.