What were the options, though? With barely a penny to my name I needed to find paid work quickly, but in the interim I knew there were some other options to explore. Back in New Zealand I’d CouchSurfed and done some WWOOFing but this time I was looking to HelpX, a site that links up people needing help with all sorts of home, garden and business needs and those who want to offer up some time and effort in exchange for accommodation and food.
After a blissful couple of days hanging out on a beach and at a friend’s house I moved into a B&B right in the bustle of Byron Bay, into my own room with cupboards and space and all the luxuries you forget about whilst travelling proper.
And I wasn’t paying big bucks to stay here because this was a HelpX arrangement that asked for a few hours of work a day (and in this case, every day of the week) in exchange for a bed.
So whilst I settled back into Australian life I had a base (and coincidentally, an introduction to a wonderful Australian mum substitute). I swept and vacuumed and did washing, I checked people in, I made beds and I wiped down skirting boards. I did a thorough job and ensured that the guests stayed happy.
And afterwards I walked on the beach, I searched for paid work, I met up with friends, I started dating, and I found my feet. Kinda.