Our first job in Australia was in central Queensland, 94km from Longreach. Mitch was a farm hand and I was a nanny for four children. It was really tough but it was a real experience.
So there we were, in Brisbane having just received news we had the job. We needed transport and fast. So we made a bit of an impulsive buy for a Toyota Camry (rebadged as a Holden Apollo) for $2000. It was a big chunk of money but when you’re splitting it between the two of you it’s not too bad.
BEST CAR IN THE WORLD
The guys we bought it from were a huge pain and didn’t actually give us the car until the day we were leaving. Literally, they dropped the car to us, we gave them a lift back to their hostel and then off we went. So our first proper drive in Vince (our car) was this.
I know what you’re thinking because even I’m thinking it now looking at the map… Holy shit right?
We split his journey into two parts, never driving at dawn or dusk because of kangaroos and everything else on the road. We swapped every few hours and brought food with us and plenty of water.
We stopped over night in Roma and stayed in a $150 a night hotel. We were sure this was the only hotel around but to our annoyance there were a couple more ten minutes drive away. This hotel was heavenly though, memory foam mattress, fluffy pillows, air con, wifi, a walk in shower unlimited tea and coffee… lovely! My bank card didn’t quite agree with me on this one though.
The next day we arrived in Longreach and were told to drive 94km down the road and look for the sign for their property. We set our counter and drove down this road for what felt like hours. We struggled to find this illusive sign. We figured we were looking for something big being a sign but nothing. So back and forth we went with no luck as it progressively got darker. In the end we called the family and they met us at the gate. The sign was tiny, it was no wonder why we couldn’t find it! So then we drove about ten minutes down their DRIVEWAY. For me, driveways are usually walking distance! We arrived, introduced ourselves, had dinner then went off to bed.
Something that really blew me away in the morning was looking out the window and seeing nothing but flat horizon. I’ve never been anywhere where you can’t see any change in the landscape but flatness. It was really hard to get used to at first.
The kids I looked after were 7, 5, 3 and 6 months. It was tough but really rewarding. Spending all day, everyday with them playing games and entertaining them until you’re at your wits end made it all worth it, when they would turn around and tell you, you look like a boy and you’re their best friend.
This was taken on a visit back in case anyone is thinking, “That’s a big 6 month old baby”.
Being part of the family was a really great experience for us to see another kind of life which is completely alien to us at home. Especially turning into a part time guardian for three months! I felt like pulling my ovaries out at times but it was great to get to know them and be a part of their lives.