Well, I’ll admit I’ve been a bit of a hermit while in Canada. After travelling so much and so far, coming back to Winnipeg was both exciting and depressing all at once. Let’s face it, the city’s kinda isolated from the rest of the world. Though I love Winnipeg and it is my hometown, I knew I wasn’t going to stay.
It’s been an exciting time to be back with a couple more weddings in the family and a new niece. I even went back to work on the farm outside of Dauphin again. Alas, it was never meant to be long-term and, well, I was looking for something else.
When I got home from Ukraine, I couldn’t help but start thinking of my next destination. The first place I wanted to go was Africa. I even started researching the continent and got the appropriate shots. I had decided to stay in Winnipeg until after Christmas and then head on out so I needed to find something to do. The big problem with Africa, however, is that many of the places I wanted to go to (Egypt, Ghana, Senegal) are kinda pricey in addition to some of the civil unrest in different parts of the continent.
One solution I came up with was to go work on the Alberta oil sands. Farm work was sporadic this year (though it did pick up after Thanksgiving Day) and at one of the weddings I mentioned my interest in working on the oil sands. One of my uncles gave me a copy of the Western Producer, a newspaper dedicated to the Ag biz in Western Canada and the US. I looked through the “jobs” section and stumbled across an ad for work/travellers to work the Australian harvest. That got me thinking, instead of Africa, Australia would be pretty cool. Instead of saving up for some sort of big travel plan, I could try out the work/travel visa thingy.
So I began my research into this work/travel idea. As a matter of fact, the brides in both weddings I attended had gone to Australia a few years before. One applied for the work/travel visa and worked on a farm in Oz while the other had gone the backpacking route. Not only that, one of my aunts and her partner have both travelled through Oz, though they didn’t work there. Australia and my family seem to have a history.
After some more research, the Australian work/travel visa thingy seems to be a pretty well-oiled machine. Since this is my first time trying the work/travel visa thingy I really don’t know what to expect. Do I live in a hostel, an apartment, or a tent? Who hires people they know can’t stay in one spot for more than six months? And what about that mining industry? Seems to be a pretty good gig, and offers lots of work!
There was one other thing that made me interested in going to Australian: the didgeridoo. Yes, I’ll probably be that white guy who buys a six-foot stick with holes in it and busks on the street. The didgeridoo is one instrument that has always fascinated me, aside from the African djembe. Apparently the instrument belongs to some sort of ancient story line called Dreamtime. I can’t help but be fascinated by the instrument and its music.
So we’ll see how it goes. It’s a one year visa which, if my experience in South Korea is anything to go by, will go by faster than I realize. Then who knows, stay for another year? Move back to Winnipeg? Work on a cruise shop? I dunno.