What It Feels Like To Get A Job After Travelling

Ok so today is one of those days that I really feel like pouring out all the thoughts and feelings I’ve been holding on inside for the past few months. I’ve had such a crazy busy time in Australia filled with many ups and downs (especially downs), crazy emotions happening…I worked so much at my job that I had almost no time to clear my mind and just be present, which is so not like me!

Job After Travelling Hamilton Island

(Hamilton Island, Whitsundays Australia)

But I asked for it, I asked for it in the post I wrote in Spain 6 months ago titled: Is It Okay To Be Sick Of Travelling?

Back then I was living such a good simple life. I was creating unforgettable memories in a place I felt alive, a place that I temporarily called home. A lot happened during my time in Puerto De Mogan and I grew so much as a human. I connected with nature through many hikes in the mountains and felt grounded through daily yoga practice. My love affair with the ocean continued as I scuba dived for the first time and I can’t even remember how many times I sang to the sunset and partied under the stars. I even started learning new languages, which really opened my mind, and I made so many genuine connections with beautiful people from across the globe.

Job After Travelling Gran Canaria

(Sunset at Puerto De Mogan, Gran Canaria)

I was living my ideal day every day, yet I was craving a normal life again, working at a job around normal people…the kind of life I always try to stay away from so that I never lose sight of my dreams, or get told I’m crazy.

I was missing home so much that I forgot why I decided to travel in the first place. I was even willing to put myself through the pain of a long distance relationship with the person who’d constantly been by my side for 3 years straight!

Puerto De Mogan Veneguera

(Hiking to Veneguera beach, Gran Canaria)

Will couldn’t come home with me because his visa was another 6 months wait away, so we made a compromise. We’d have 3 months apart to get a job and save as much money as we could and then meet half way in Asia for the remaining 3 months. That was my motivation, and it became my ‘why.’

When I came back to Australia 3 months ago I got everything I asked for, a job and everything I’d been missing….

In my first week back I cruised the Whitsunday Islands, my favourite thing to do in my favourite part of the world, experiencing true Aussie paradise.

Job After Travelling Whitsundays Australia

(Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Australia)

I visited my hometown Adelaide and rekindled friendships, which I’d been putting off for years, and it felt so good. I moved to Melbourne to work on relationships with family, something I’d never made a priority before. I finally got my own space, even my own room, which felt like such a luxury after months of living in a hostel. I got a job that paid well and allowed me to save for future travels, my main reason for coming home. I enjoyed good barista coffee in quirky Melbourne cafes every single day, with absolutely no regrets.

Job After Travelling Coffee

(I may be biased but this was my first good coffee in over a year!)

I enjoyed healthy superfoods, coconut oil and acai bowls, without it costing an arm and a leg! I finally went shopping for new clothes…and incase you were wondering, I did get those expensive Lorna Jane tights that I raved on about in a previous post! I had time away from Will (12 whole weeks!) to work on my individuality, something I was struggling with for a while.

And most importantly Will and I put together a plan for the future, which released the intense stress we were experiencing. We finally applied for his permanent Australian Visa, which was the most frustrating process I’ve ever gone through, but very worth it. Finally having it sorted is such a good feeling.

Job After Travelling Reunited

(The day we were reunited after 3 months apart!)

This is a positive perspective of all the things that had to happen for my soul to rejuvenate. I’m glad I listened to my intuition, but all these experiences I was craving so bad came with a price, a price that may not sound like a big deal for most, but for me it was my overall happiness.

Like I’ve said in previous posts, even though I’m an optimistic person I want to share the whole story of my travels on this blog, the ups and the downs.

So what was really happening deep down in the life of Sandy?

In order to achieve my goal of getting a job and saving enough in 3 months to fund my travels in Asia, I had to come up with a way to keep living costs as low as possible. Where was I going to temporarily live? Especially since I didn’t have anyone to halve rent with.

Unfortunately it’s not simple for me to stay with family whenever I want, but my brother kindly offered to host me for 3 months rent-free in Melbourne because, having done long distance himself, he knew how I was feeling. I had to decide what was most important and having enough money saved to be with Will in Asia was my priority. So I convinced myself it was the perfect opportunity to work on relationships with family and maybe we’d get along this time? I wasn’t too keen on living in Melbourne though..

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Melbs 👋🏼🏙 #citylife

A post shared by Sandy✌🏼🌴☀️🌏 Australia (@the.aussie.traveller) on

Melbourne is an amazing city…it’s just not for me. Many people are in love with it and would do anything to be in my position, it’s even voted the most liveable city in the world (whoever decided that must not have been thinking straight!). Hate is a strong word, but every particle of my body hates the cold. I’ve met a lot of people on my travels who crave seasons but I would much prefer to chase the sun all year long. In Melbourne I was freezing my tits off and I hated it. It may not sound like a big deal but weather really does affect me, no matter how positive I try to be about it. But my goals were important enough to accept that I’d have to wear a coat for a while.

Job After Travelling Shit Weather

(Staying positive in the rain, Melbourne Australia)

It was quite a shock getting back into work after galavanting around Europe for a whole year but I found a job that actually suited me, and I was looking forward to the experience. Tourism is my thing and I love being on the water, so working for the Melbourne River Cruises was a good temporary job for me. I didn’t mind working in the ticket offices and at the Melbourne Visitor Centre, even when it got very boring. Working behind the bar on the boat though was a completely different kind of job. Awesome at first, especially having the privilege to wear epaulettes as part of my  uniform, and it was a lot of fun because I worked with some awesome people! But after a while I just got so sick of being around disrespectful drunks.

Working Job After Travelling

(Preparing the boat for a private function with these awesome girls!)

Seeing so much food get thrown in the bin after a function made my heart sink a little every time. I started bringing containers to work to stop food wastage but would get laughed at by some of the crew, which made me feel like crap. On a night shift I’d get a lift home with a friend (which I’m very grateful for!) but first I’d have to wait for everyone to finish their free work drinks. I didn’t mind that, but then I’d have to watch the crew (mainly the guys) throw their empty beer bottles into the river. This made me so mad but I felt so helpless! I pretended to be someone I’m not because of the fear of being called the weirdo who cares about the environment. The guys are lucky I didn’t throw them into the river.

Melbourne River Cruises

(That time I worked as boat crew for the Melbourne River Cruises, Australia)

Since my brother lives out of the city, it was a pain in the ass to get around. On the weekend it took 20mins to drive to the city from Point Cook but Mon-Fri you wouldn’t expect the journey to be shorter than an hour, even if leaving at 6.45am to ‘beat the traffic.’ But this was quicker than catching public transport. So even though my shifts generally wouldn’t start until 9 or 10am, I’d be up at 6 every morning getting ready to catch a lift to the city with my sister-in-law. Every day I’d sit in traffic on the West Gate Bridge wondering why all these crazy people spend most of their lives doing this. Every part of the idea of the ‘rat race’ just does not make sense to me. It must work for a lot of people, but after spending 10+ hours of my precious time each week commuting, I was starting to go a little insane.

Job After Travelling Yarra River

(Yarra River, Melbourne Australia)

Trying to fit into an environment that is just not me was extremely difficult, especially when I’ve experienced many places in the world where I can truly be myself, with no judgement. Having to say yes when I want to say no and constantly being surrounded by people who just weren’t on the same wavelength was completely draining. Has anyone else felt like this before? Or is it just me?

Despite everything, I’m grateful for the experiences, the positives and the good times, but I’m so glad the wait to be reunited with Will is over!

Maybe it would have been different if I went back to Queensland, the part of Australia where I feel most at home, but if I did then maybe I wouldn’t have the travel fund I worked hard for, and maybe I wouldn’t be loving life in Bali right now.

All of these experiences happened for a reason.

Job After Travelling Bali

(Bali life with my guy is so much better, Indonesia)

So what is the point of this story?

 { If you’re still reading, thanks for getting this far! }

People often think my life is perfect because I travel so much and on social media it may seem like I live a dream life but let me tell you, it is far from perfect. I’m not rich and it’s not luck that allows me live an extra-ordinary life, it’s a choice. Everyone has different goals and aspirations in life but my dream is to travel the world. That’s a priority for me at this stage of my life…not a career, owning a house or building up a retirement fund. I make a lot of sacrifices to be able to fill my wants and needs, and I actually take action to do the things I want to do.

The story I’ve shared today is a perfect example of a quote I’ve started to live by…

“…Sometimes you have to do what you don’t like to  get to where you want to be.” – Tori Amos

Two and a half years ago I fit my life into a suitcase with no savings and no plan of how I was going to afford to travel the world, I’m just doing it, and trusting my intuition to figure out the ‘hows’ along the way. After a year of non-stop travel around Europe all I wanted was to come back to Australia, find a job and save for future travels…so I did.

Just because I got a job that I didn’t light me up in a place I didn’t want to be, doesn’t mean I gave up on my dreams.

Job After Travelling the world

You’ve probably read lots of posts from travellers telling you to just quit your job and travel the world. And maybe you should? But if that’s not you and you need financial security before making those kinds of decisions, then there is nothing wrong with putting up with a job you don’t like for a little while in order to save money to pursue a dream.

If you’re a traveller who’s been travelling for a long time and are now realising you have to face reality again, you don’t need to feel embarrassed that you’ve run out of funds or whatever the reason for coming home. Just do what you’ve got to do…at the end of the day who cares what other people think? One thing I’ve learned the hard way over the past few years is that…

“…It’s all good relying on the universe, but we’ve also got to marry it with real life practicality” – Marie Forleo

No matter what obstacles life throws at you, hold on to your vision, because there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

Happy Travels,

Sandy x

Have you felt like this before? Or are you dreading coming home after travelling? Leave a comment below…

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10 thoughts on “What It Feels Like To Get A Job After Travelling

  1. Hi honey! I haven’t have much time yet to read your blog but this one I did. Makes me truly wish we’d had more time to talk properly! ❤️ Had no idea you’ve been having such a tough time ? Makes me sad but at the same time I know you’re sooo happy at the moment in Bali ? All the best!

    1. Aw thanks for reading my post ? I couldn’t really talk to anyone about how I was feeling because I didn’t want to lose my job…but I’m so glad we met and I’m sure we’ll have more chance to talk properly when you visit Queensland next year ? Hope all is going well with your move ❤️

  2. I’m dreading when my travels come to an end in April… I don’t know how I will settle back into a normal life.

    Interesting read indeed! With you on Melbourne that place sucks

    1. Hey Claire thanks for the comment ? I I guess that was just my personal experience in Melbourne…but I’m sure it will be different when I come ‘home’ to Queensland. Where are you going in April?
      P.S. Love following your Instagram pics! X

  3. Oh wow, I kinda felt like I was reading my experience – when I came back from GC I also started to work, but as a waitress in a really fancy restaurant. It was a complete change from the hostel, I can tell you that! 😀
    At first it was all fun etc, but after 3 months I felt so exhausted all the time, no matter the money and good reviews on the tripadvisor specifically mentioning me – I just also felt that the crew wasn’t very supporting and my kind of people, but I guess that stress affects everybody. After 5 months of working there I finally decided to quit for my own sake – I was so busy all the time with work (12 h shifts with max 10 m. lunch pause) and university, that I barely had time for my people… Oh, but at least some others started to save the food also, I also remember that shock when I saw how high quality food was just thrown into the garbage. :/
    It’s just like you said – it’s completely okay to work for a while as a “regular” person, but you always have to remember to keep focus on these things, what will develop you in the long run like some hobbies (writing, reading etc). Btw, my sister who finished her BA cum laude at genetics, also went to Ireland to work as a chef (!) for a few months. Now she is using that money to study at the Europe’s best medicine university – Karolinska Institutet at Stockholm, what also gives out Nobel prices! 🙂 So hell yeah for the strong youngsters who work towards their dreams! You are one strong woman and I am sure that this experience made you realize even more what are your dreams and goals in life, Sandy! 🙂

    1. Hey Piia 😀 I miss you!!
      Thanks for reading and sharing, it makes me realise that many people are experiencing the same thing so I’m really glad I could share my story and spread some positive vibes 🙂
      Good on you and your sister for getting through it and smashing some big goals!
      <3

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