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  • Writer's pictureClaire Gilbert

Flight to my next destination, Darwin.

My flight is delayed. The flight attendant’s voice on the loudspeaker informs me that a few people didn’t make the flight, so they had to remove some baggage. At this point I don’t much care. I’ll be arriving in Darwin pretty late anyway. Darwin… that’s going to be interesting. This is one of those times I thank God for my usually positive attitude, no matter the circumstances. Why Darwin you ask? Well, I arrived in Australia mid April last year. It is now January. I have been granted a working holiday visa for one year. If I wish to do a second year, I can, on one condition. I have to do 3 months “rural work” in areas of Australia deemed appropriate by the government. Now, I’m not one to miss out on opportunities. Denying myself a second year living and working in Australia, even if I don’t know when or if I’ll return, seems wasteful. So off to Darwin I go.

“Leaving this life was like leaving a lover. My heart hurt equally.”

Possibly the worst part of this is what I had to leave behind. While living in Australia I made a few choices, and a few friends. Each one led me to the happiest time in my life, so far. A job, living and working on a live aboard dive boat that frequents some of the most amazing diving in the world. The things I experienced on this boat are unrivalled. I only hope I can remember everything I learned. Leaving this life was like leaving a lover. My heart hurt equally.

In Darwin lies a cattle station where a friend of mine did his rural work a little over a year ago. A phone call was all it took. See, my rural work has to be finished by the time my first year visa runs out. This means that the latest I could start is mid January. January-March are the hottest months of the year in Australia and Darwin is about as close as you can get to the equator, while staying in the country. The combination of these facts means that I am doing this at the absolute worst possible time. Dear God, it’s going to be so hot. To say the least, my new boss was delighted to get my call, asking to work the hottest months of the year. Wish me luck.

Here’s to my next adventure. Until next time.

XOXO Claire Gilbert

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