Sometimes life gets stagnant. While some people handle it with a grain of salt, other’s aren’t so good with it. Some choose to stay in their hometown and be around their family,feeling completely content. Others deal with an internal and possibly lifelong battle of always wanting to see whats next. I was ready to leave Los Angeles.A lot had changed in the last year and I was super anxious for the next chapter. It was a beast of a city, and with it’s deepest qualities of charm held equally difficult realities. My father eloquently put it “In LA you’re either a have or a have not.”Though I wasn’t struggling as much as my peers, I also was no longer growing as an individual. Quite frankly I was just bored. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I found myself exploring options and eventually I had to make a decision. Either decision was a good choice, but there could only be one. I applied to be a flight attendant, and things were moving along in the process. They were going to fly me out to Houston. If I took the position, I’d have 2 weeks notice to move out of my place, move to NEW JERSEY and live in a hotel for 2 months training (without pay) I’d make between $18,000-$20,000 a year to start. It was a sacrifice, but after it was over I’d be able to fly anywhere domestic for free on standby.
I thought it over and over again. Everyone wants to be a flight attendant and this is my chance. I could see it now, in my black heels cutting through TSA security looking like a boss with my navy blue suit and a mob of pilots (but inside I’d be highly concerned about my ability to pay rent for the month and also feeding myself.) There I’d be, fresh manicure, making a high schooler’s wages, trash bag in hand. Forced smile on face, collecting your plastic cups and spew bags as we prepared to land in Des Moines. I’d refill the hell out of your Pepsi, and if there was turbulence, you’d best believe I wouldn’t let you use the commode. (I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking about how good I look pulling that rolling luggage and you’re right)
It had some pro’s and con’s. I could travel with this job, but I’d have to live in Newark. I’d be forced to look presentable every day (which I need), but I’d be poor as piss. Suddenly it didn’t feel so glamorous. Suddenly I was just an underpaid waitress in the sky dealing with grumpy travelers.
I thought about my other option. It was something I’d always secretely thought about doing for years and never had the cajones. Move to Australia. Did you ever have that weird friend growing up who’s room was filled with cheesy Ikea Eiffel tower photos? She opted for French language in high school over Spanish, even though our state bordered Mexico and knowing Spanish was highly valuable for any future career? She’d soon go to Paris for Uni where she’d eat artisan cheeses and drink fine wine on a blanket in the park with her beret wearing French boyfriend. That’s kind of how I felt about Oz. I was just sort of obsessed.
Something about their historical beginnings and rugged lifestyle. The way the wildlife is either super adorable and beautiful or deadly and dangerous. Their sense of humor and the way they talked. Their unusually good-lookingness. Even the bad looking ones were still super good looking. Their printed shirts and ability to somehow make bucket hats fashionable. Their Slang. Sharks. The outback. The Desert. INXS
Until the age of 29 you can apply for a Working Holiday Visa. It allows you to legally work in the country for up to a year. You can only work each job for 6 months at a time but it gives you the capability of essentially funding your holiday and this was my last year to qualify.
I called my parents, both sensible people, and laid out the pros and the cons of both choices. While I expected them to chose an obvious job over wreckless country abandonment, I found myself in shock when my mother, the usual ball buster, said “Go to Australia.” and my dad said something along the lines of “Following in your old man’s footsteps eh?” (He did the same in his 20’s) The choice was obvious.
I’m leaving in July. I’m selling my car, I’m quitting my job, I’m ridding myself of worldly possessions minus some essentials (bikini is obvious #1). I’ll be flying out from Portland Oregon immediately following my last USA obligation, my best friend’s wedding.
Am I out of touch with reality? Possibly.
Obviously this isn’t going to be all unicorns and lollipops. It’s not going to be all surfs up and Liam Hemsworth’s. It’s going to have it’s challenges: It will be more expensive there, I will need to convince someone to hire me. I don’t know where I will live. I can hardly understand Australian’s when they talk, so that’s a problem. Obviously I will be confused and frustrated at times, but honestly I’m not that worried about it. I’m friendly and competent and a decent person and it’s going to be okay. If it doesn’t work out I’ll just come home. Duh. At least I gave it a go.
Being a Geriatrics nurse has altered my own outlook towards youth in many ways. Much like Labor and Delivery nurses bringing people into the world, I am with them at the end.Doing this has given me a lot of wisdom and I cant help but constantly hear the regretful statements made from patients who wish they took more chances. I don’t want to be that old lady who was scared to take risks. I want to be the old lady with shitty unrecognizable tattoos and stories that will make any young nurse be like “Yeah. you’re alright you creepy old lady…….you’re alright.”
Please make all checks payable to : Casey Horan…. just kidding.