I left off with leaving the mountains and trying to figure out another way to get back to Sydney on a Sunday. Thankfully, there was another girl in my room who also didn’t get through to the next round, was driving back to Sydney and offered me a lift back. It was very fortuitous. We set off first thing in the morning for the 7 hour drive back to the city, well she set off because as I might have mentioned before, I can’t drive. Haha. I know. Almost 30 and I can’t drive. It’s my secret shame…well not so much a secret anymore.
I won’t go into to much detail about the drive back 1) It was like 3 months ago and I really don’t remember that much about it and 2) From what I can remember it was a little boring; just the usual highway stuff.
One interesting point, we stopped in Goulburn for lunch, and Goulburn is home to a giant fiberglass sheep. Sadly, I didn’t take a photo of said attraction.
The drive did get a little more exciting when we had almost reached Sydney and were trying to navigate our way to where my cousin was. Driving slowly through the streets of Newtown with an ever growing line of traffic behind us, I searched for my cousin. It might be strange to think about searching for your cousin, but I hadn’t seen her in about 10 years. Finally, I found her and we had a lovely reunion on the street corner in Newtown. Sydney was not to be my final destination yet, graciously my cousin offered me a place to stay in Wollongong, about an hour and a half south of Sydney. To a traveler a free place to stay is like the Holy Grail and then having family catch up time on top was an really nice added bonus.
As I have said in previous posts, I don’t live anywhere near my family nor have I lived near them for a long time, so any chance for a familial bond is an opportunity that I jump at.
Wollongong is a fairly large city – population wise- in New South Wales. It’s sandwiched between an escarpment and the ocean. The city centre leaves a lot to be desired but the beach and oceanfront are great.
My home for the next month was an air mattress in the dining room, now I am not complaining, merely telling you that I spent a month sleeping in the dining room on an air mattress. I am eternally thankful that my cousin let me stay there so long.
Pretty much straight away, I began the job search. Searching in Wollongong, Sydney, Queensland, WA, everywhere really, I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do, the only thing that I did know was that my money was disappearing faster than I was replacing it and I was soon to be incredibly super broke. I wrote a whole post on the jobs that I have done in Australia so I won’t bore you by going over all that again but I basically spent a month applying for jobs and travelling to and from Sydney for interviews. None of the jobs that I applied for in Wollongong ever replied to me, later I was watching the news and apparently the area that Wollongong is in has about the highest rate of unemployment in NSW, so I guess that figures the no call backs.
Thankfully I had a very good friend that lived in Sydney that let me stay at her place when I was coming up for interviews or working late nights for a catering company and I didn’t feel like going the 2 hours home at 11pm.
After a few weeks of this back and forth I realized it was stupid and I needed to come up with a plan. And by plan I mean a minor freak out where I decided to go to Byron Bay with no job prospects, no place to stay and no money. Needless to say that plan never came to fruition but it did kick into action a plan of “I need to do something NOW”, I decided to bite the bullet and put all of my savings into the deposit for a place in Sydney so at least I could start having a bit of a normal life. But when does anything EVER work out the way you expect it to? This in when life made it interesting and I got a reply to a job ad that I had randomly applied to.