January 26, 2016

Day 830 – Roomie

Having spent over a month in Townsville but not having ventured out to see anything amazing, I decided it was time. I’m in no hurry to hug a koala or hunt kangaroos but I would like to see more of what Townsville has to over. I don’t need to find the whitest, sandiest beach but I do enjoy spending time in nature and going hiking.  I was meaning to go to Magnetic Island for some time and I could have on a few occasions but I waited. In the end, I made it over to the island with Chantelle, her daughter, her mother and partner. It was quite the trip. The ferry ride is only 20 minutes so many locals also make the trip. The island itself is rather large.

Once on the island, you take the local bus to get round unless you have a car or chose to walk.  There are some beautiful trekking opportunities and of course some beautiful beaches. It is a spot to relax and enjoy the sunshine. We managed to find a great pub lunch and ended with some amazing gelato. All in all a great day on the island.  There is a real chilled out vibe on the island, very different to the city life.

My hunt for a new flatmate also ended this weekend. After having spent over three weeks religiously hunting, I decided I would move this weekend and I had a good feeling about this one room in particular. So, I headed on to a different suburb and sure enough the woman I met was great. She is my age, has also travelled and is a social worker like me- pretty amazing.  As mentioned before, for me it was never about the room or the house per se but more about the person that I would be living with.  Now given Simoane’s background, she is very understanding of the work I do and has similar beliefs and values to me.  She is aware of how emotionally draining some days can be and the importance of self-care in this field.  The only thing I would need to sort was to find a bed as the room wasn’t furnished. But then Simoane offered to get one so all done.

 

I’ve been fortunate enough to live with various people and one of my flatmates that I miss dearly is Suzi.  It is funny when I think about it now because when she first showed me the room, I was in two minds and initially I said no thanks, not for me. I then hunted around for other rooms for a month before considering to re-visit the idea. I went back to see the room with two work colleagues and we agreed that it was actually not so bad and if I really didn’t like it then I could move out. And so there it was, I never doubted or questioned being able to live with Suzi, it was more the room itself that didn’t appeal to me. But sure enough once I moved in, it began to grow on me. Suzi and I were by no means best friends but after a year and a half of living together, she became my sister. I miss being able to ramble to her, miss being able to share my day with her, miss sharing how my dates went, miss going out together, miss watching movies together and so much more. We both worked, studied and had our own social groups but we became integrated and it was great.  She had my back and our differences complimented one another.

 

Whilst working in Encarnacion, I lived with Fred for less than a year. Initially when he proposed the idea I didn’t think it would work. In fact, I thought no chance as I had never lived with a guy prior to this and I had all these ideas about how it would be.  Sharing a dorm with guys in a hostel is very different to living with a guy. But again, I gave it some thought and decided to give it a go and if all else failed then I could always move out and go and live in the hostel again.  Fred is a pretty chilled out guy and I learnt how I wrong I was.  There was no need to worry because we remained good friends as flatmates and whilst yes at times I drove him up the wall and he drove me crazy, for the most part it was good. I learnt a great deal of cooking from him and I miss that. I miss learning how to cook different dishes and enjoying good food. We watched movies together but established early on that we enjoy different types of movies so it wasn’t always easy. It was also thanks to Fred that I played Game of Wonders, a very interesting and fun game. We both worked, he taught French and me English, we were both involved with Encarnacion Sustenable – an organisation raising awareness about the environment and recycling.

 

When I first moved out, I lived by myself and I loved it.  Having never had my own space, it was the best thing for me. I craved and longed for my own room and I actually wanted to be alone. Now, this is back when I was 22 and studying social work. It was, at the time, the most liberating experience for me.  However, after living by myself for half a year and having completed my masters, I realised that I didn’t mind people so much and I actually wanted to live with others. Not just anyone though, people or a person I connected with. I value people and relationships a great deal which is why when a relationship goes pear shaped or is lost, it pains me. I believe we as people are the world’s greatest assert, not money nor time but people. We are unique, talented, diverse and have so much to offer. I appreciate people far more and I love living with them. I love staying in hostels because of the great people you meet and the stories you share and the moments you make. Of course, this is not always the case always but every so often there is a little magic and something amazing happens. So I now want and look forward to living with others no matter where I am.

 

In the same way, it’s not where I go or what I do that’s important, it’s more who I share the moment with, who did I laugh with, trek with, watch the sunrise with? That’s far more important than ticking off cities from my bucket list. We are all different and I know for me that I’m in hurry to see more of the world, no I would rather stay and lay down roots so I belong to a town. It’s the sense of belongingness and connection that I crave which isn’t achieved bouncing from one city to the next. So I’m here, I’m staying put, keeping my head down and working but living and loving what I do each and every day as one should.