The Not So Sunny Side of a Working Holiday

It is easy to make everything look like rainbows and butterflies on social media.

Really easy.

It is as simple as posting a picture lying on a lounge chair on the sand with a smoothie in hand and the ocean right in front of you.

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Easy.

What is not so easy is admitting when things get rough. or stressful. When things do not go as planned.

But before starting this blog, I promised myself that I wasn’t going to take the easy way out. I wasn’t just going to write about the beautiful sunsets, and the kangaroo sightings, and the whale watching. No, I was gonna keep things real. And right now, shit just got real.

I am keeping this blog not just for myself but for that college senior who may stumble upon this who has an itch to travel but just has no idea where to begin. Or that friend of a friend of a friend who thinks they can’t travel across the world solo. Because I was that person and I found blogs like Young Adventuress and Wander Onwards that inspired me beyond belief.

And so I am going to be honest. And admit that one month into my travels, I have officially had my first breakdown.  Caused by a mixture of stress, being overworked, and the fear of what would happen if I spoke up about it.

I got this “promotion” of sorts. An upgrade from cleaning up bird crap, taking care of chickens and living in my beloved caravan to “House Keeping Manager”. You can go ahead and laugh at that, because I sure did. I didn’t know a darn thing about cleaning a four star hotel, three weeks ago. But with a combination of being in the right place at the right time and the determination to make things work, I was in charge of cleaning all of the holiday apartments on my own. Now, what I signed up for was working 5 or 6 hours a day, 5 days a week and in return would receive free room and board. Somehow overnight, that turned into working 10-12 hour days, seven days a week,  and always being on call, all for free room and  board and minimal pay.

I was happy to help because I felt very welcomed here, have met some wonderful people, and was given some incredible experiences I never would have gotten otherwise. But then all of a sudden I was expected to do everything as before but was now also in charge of training three other eager backpackers looking for the same experience, while having to work through language barriers, while also having to get the work done in the same amount of time, not allowing for any learning curve.

Oy vey!

It had been two and half weeks since having a day off and I had officially reached my breaking point. I was hesitant to say anything because the thought of being in another country and not having a place to spend the night kind of scares the crap out of me.

But with some familial encouragement I did! I finally stood up for myself! I am not always the best at that, but I did it! And I have been doing backflips and jumping for joy, and running 5k’s ever since!

Because I now have had my second official sobfest of my trip. But this time they were happy tears! After taking a well deserved day off and receiving one of the absolute nicest emails I’ve gotten in my life that included admiration and appreciation, I have officially gotten my mojo back!

2 thoughts on “The Not So Sunny Side of a Working Holiday

  1. Another beautifully written blog- way to go Audrey! Glad you stood up for yourself, and feel better for doing so. Glad you got well deserved positive response from that email too.

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