Double Time

And we are off into another year! With all of the New Years countdowns and lists, the resolutions and goals, and the predictions for the coming year that populate our conversations, our news, and our online feeds, one begins to think about their own year, prospects, and goals. So with that in mind, and the fact that all of the experts tell us that goals are much more likely to be achieved when they are written down and shared with others (makes us accountable, after all), here are a few of things I would like to check off the bucket list in the coming year:

  • Get PADI Open Water Certificate.
  • Go on a vineyard tour in Australia. (This goes hand in hand with last year’s resolution to drink more wine — Best. Resolution. Ever.)
  • Attend a cricket match. (To soak in an aspect of Aussie culture that I currently do not see the appeal of at all.)
  • Go on a sailing trip through the Whitsunday Islands.
  • Live in another new country.
  • Buy a decent camera. (To feed into the larger goal of taking up photography.)
  • Do a 30 Day Yoga Challenge.
  • Finish TEFL course.
  • Perfect Pirate’s Warning. (My own cocktail, the recipe for which was started at the base of Mount Warning outside of Byron Bay, but still needs some tweaking).

In order to fund these excellent endeavors, I plan to hang out in Rainbow Beach for approximately two more months. I have picked up a second job in a juice bar to fill out the hours currently lacking from the travel job. I now have another bonus from my employment situation: snacking on the overflow from delicious smoothies. Blended things quite frequently make it to my favorite things list, and it’s looking as though part-time at a juice bar and I are going to get along well. Additional bonuses include good coworkers and inspiration from customers, such as when a woman fresh off her travels to Borneo requested an apple celery juice. Apparently they serve this strange combination frequently in Borneo, and after making myself one out of sheer curiosity, I can see why. Delicious!

The juice bar also gives me something else to do, which is currently necessary to quell the restlessness I’m feeling in Rainbow. It’s really no surprise, especially after travelling for a couple of months, that settling in a such a small place would be cause for some unrest, but it’s making me realize that probably my number one goal for 2013 is to focus more on enjoying the moment. I worked for over a year to make it to Australia, and despite realizing that Rainbow Beach is not the ideal place for me to have settled down, I might as well make the most of it.

On a more serious side note, Australia is currently suffering through a heat wave. We are luckily unaffected, with temperatures remaining in the balmy 30 degree range. Had I been asked a few months ago if 30 degrees would qualify as “cool” I would have laughed, but one adapts. The major issue with hot, dry, and windy conditions – as you can imagine – is the severe risk of fires. “Severe” is actually an understatement, as fire warnings for large parts of Victoria and Tasmania have reached the “catastrophic” mark, which is about as bad as it can get. So far, Tassy has been the most seriously effected, with several out-of-control fires destroying around 100 homes in small towns around Hobart and leaving thousands of people stranded on the Tasman peninsula. The news has been referring to past bushfires in Australia, chiefly Black Saturday. In 2009, around 400 individual fires across the state of Victoria caused massive damage and took the lives of over 170 people. I’m not sure if I just failed to hear about this at the time or if it never made it to Canadian news. Regardless, I was largely unaware of the huge impact that bushfires can have here, though it does make perfect sense.

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