My bank card wouldn’t work in the ATM. I couldn’t understand the thick accent of anyone who spoke to me. I was lost. I didn’t know where I was or where I was going. I had no idea what a “toastie” was on nearly every menu I looked at. I couldn’t pronounce the names of most places on the bus schedule. I didn’t know how to respond when someone asked “How you going?”. I giggled when a guy was looking for his “thongs”. I was confused by the words “bathers”, “esky”, “schooner”, “ute” and “franger”. I was in AUSTRALIA!! I had made it outside my box. I was outside of my comfort zone. I was challenged by everyday life and I loved it!
I spent some time in Sydney then moved to Byron Bay. I fell in love with Byron. From the 70 year old men with dreadlocks, billabong shorts and coffee tans to the relaxing chilled vibe in the air…it was a great place.
I lived in the hippie beach town for 3 months and worked in a little café. Some nights as the sun was on its way down, I would walk along the beach think about life, love and meaning. I had yet to have the life altering revelation I was hoping the $2700 plane ticket would bring. It was a slow work in progress, but i was making progress. I was happy, something I hadn't been in a long time.
When I had had enough of Byron Bay, I was on to Brisbane, with a pit stop in Surfers Paradise. This is where destiny intervened and my life would never be the same. Arriving in Surfers, I was in awe. The beautiful coast line that stretched on forever, the modern hi-rise buildings, the one of a kind shops, the party atmosphere. It had everything I could have wanted, a small town beachy feel with all the conveniences of a big city. Never mind Brisbane, I was staying right here. But I needed a job…STAT! I replied to an ad I saw in the hostel which asked “Do you want to make $1000+ a week? Make new friends? Travel while you work?” Yes, yes and yes!!!
From there, I started the strangest job I have ever had. I was a door to door sales person for an electricity retailer. Basically, I cold knocked on strangers doors and said, “Hi, my name is Crissy and I’ve been sent here from integral energy. Many of your neighbours are receiving discounts on their electricity. If you’ll just grab me your most recent bill, I’ll have a look and see if you qualify for a discount as well”. The job ad was correct…I was easily making over $1000 a week, the people were amazing and the road trips we took solidified life long friendships.
It was through these friendships that I found what I had been looking for. We were from every corner of the world…Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand, the Netherlands and beyond. I had found a group of like minded people who were here for a good time. We were all away from home, had travelled and had more travelling to do. Finally I had met a group of people who wanted more out of life than home towns, relationships, babies and 9 - 5 jobs. They wanted to experience life and everything it had to offer. Their education didn’t matter, no one cared how much money you had, no one even cared what your life was like back home. It was all about the here and now. We lived for the moment…and those moments I will cherish forever.
Quickly, we became an extremely close group of friends. We bonded over our door knocking experiences from having doors slammed in our face, threats to call the cops and being berated for being foreigners, to eating dinner with families, having drinks on a patio while working, and offers to stay in a guest house on the other side of the country.
Our daily adventures at work were often recapped over a curry from Punjab as we made plans for the weekend. To this day, there is still nothing better than a Saturday night out in Surfers Paradise. We worked hard all week and partied all weekend. From the drinks, to the getting ready, to the clubs, to the dancing till 5 am to the kababs after, Saturday nights were what we lived for. I can still taste the UDLs, hear the music and remember the morning after feeling. Those 6 months were the best time of my life. Thank you Disco Balls, Larry, Samanther and Ella, Dougie, Perry Winkles, Jonny No Cash, Sneaky Fridges, Christopher, Timmy Changa, and many many others, for sharing in the best times of my life and showing me what life is really about; fun, friends and experience. I still remember sitting by the pool with Timmy saying, “we have such a good life” and dreaming about winning the lottery so it could always be this way.
Alas, nothing is forever, and eventually we went our separate ways. But not all of us. During this time I met two amazing girls who have helped me live my life to the fullest to this day. Together Shani, Laurie and I have travelled 4 continents together, and the end is not in sight.
In Australia I met the most random people, doing the most random job and found a new life with purpose, my passion and made life long friends.
Everything I wanted, needed and desired was found knocking door to door in Australia, the most unlikely place I could imagine.
Up next, how a couple of door knockers became my worldly travel partners.
Join me as I TRAVEL MY LIFE AWAY