Our Biggest Challenge Yet As A Travelling Couple.
For almost 2 months now we have been settled down in Noosa, Australia. Our bedroom has lime green walls and a cat that sits on the windowsill the same time every night. The sun shines most days and the winter wind is making its way through.
The reason we stopped travelling was because we needed to earn some more money to keep going. Working travel is not funded by fairy dust. Whilst its a pause made out of necessity, it has been a great time to work on our blog and my book.
We hopped on a train, and then a bus, for a few days by the beach after a week in the big Brisbane city. We had been here only a day, enjoying this place that we hadn't really seen properly, even though we passed through it one night last year.I had a good feeling, and could see myself settling here. There's definitely a buzz, also a beautiful beach, all combined with a safe small-town vibe.
And so, I rushed out a few emails at 7am one morning on our 2nd day here (I was super productive thanks to jet-lag waking me up at 5am), and I got so ridiculously lucky because by the next day I had a job.
I wasn't just applying for fun, I was acutely aware of our decreasing bank accounts, so now seemed as good a time as any to stop and earn. But getting a job that quick? it certainly doesn't happen that way out here usually folks.
And then, a few hours later, we had a room in a house, that has now become home.
I couldn't believe it, I had never had such a quick turn-around from unemployed and anxious, to having an income again, and feeling secure. I was so relieved. Taran was happy to have found a spot with some good surfing and water sports nearby. It seemed like we were going to have a really cool few months even if we weren't on the road where we truly wanted to be.
Fast forward a few weeks, nearly two months, and I still have my job, which I'm enjoying, whilst saving up a little bit and paying my bills.
Taran on the other hand, remains unemployed, having had not so much as one interview.
Despite his decent resume and his constant trying, its been impossible. Many of the people we have been in contact with are useless at calling back, replying to emails or are just saying no.
It has really brought us down.
It is really not an understatement when we say that this has been the biggest challenge for us as a travelling couple, so far.
In 3 years of being together we have always been equal partners. We share the costs of our lives together, and we treat each other on special occasions. We are obviously minimalists and money isn't a big motivator for us, but still, we have both been relatively secure and able to enjoy our time together.
Right now, we are so unbalanced in our situations that it has almost ruined our relationship.
Poor Taran is trying super hard to find work, whilst doing a hell of a lot of work on the blog. I help him where possible, and we spend time looking for opportunities together, I then help write emails and perfect his resume. We are trying to deal with this crappy time as a united team. But it's been extremely hard to do this.
I am currently paying the majority of the rent each week. I buy all of the food despite Taran eating a small portion and a limited menu.
We go without constantly.
My mobile phone is 90% broke and needs replacing desperately but I cant afford it.
We never get to do anything, go anywhere further afield, or even just treat ourselves.
We are basically living a relatively small, extremely quiet and restrictive life in a place where we shouldn't be. This wasn't what we signed up for.
We should be doing all the awesome water-sport's Noosa has on offer. We should be exploring the quaint and beautiful towns surrounding the sunshine coast. But most importantly, we should be saving up enough to sustain our travel dreams.
We aren't just travelling on a whim, we fully committed to this lifestyle two years ago. We both gave a lot up back home to come to Australia. It hasn't been a light journey, its been up and down, but never has it felt so stressful as it does right now.
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We fight even though its the last thing we want to be doing.
The tension between us has peaks and troughs. Sometimes we feel fine, we muddle through, and we focus on the positives. Then other times I feel so frustrated and believe that we are just wasting time, and money, paying rent whilst not building our savings.
The only way we have survived thus far is by being honest and by talking things out as much as possible...
There have been some hard conversations, like me telling Taran that I doubted him and his efforts, and then him evidently showing signs of extreme stress at his situation, which has put us into a cycle that can only be broken by one thing: Taran getting a job.
Why don't we just leave town?
You might be wondering, why don't we just leave Noosa.
There's a number of reasons...aside from loving our house, and the time that settling here has given us to work on the blog, and me, the right environment to write my book.
But also, I am not willing to leave a good job in order for Taran to find one elsewhere. I had such a tough time in a previous job in Australia, that I just want to live out this lucky time to its fullest.
Maybe that's selfish but it fills me with major anxiety to walk away from a good opportunity, with not a lot of savings, having essentially wasted 2 months, and yet be no nearer our goals.
I committed to my employer to at least 3 months, and I had a figure in mind for what I wanted to save up; we both did. And we won't have achieved that, not by a mile. But there is another valid reason to stay put.
For tax purposes, it is beneficial to remain in one place for 6 months in Australia to ensure maximum tax rebate come the end of the financial year. To be considered a resident for tax rebate purposes this is generally a requirement. I am just trying to make our life a bit easier down the line when we go to try and recoup the thousands of dollars we will have paid in tax.
If we stay here and work for 6 months, we won't simply save a lot via our earnings, we will be saving up lots in tax too.
We haven't yet lost all hope or succumbed to the idea that we have to start over elsewhere.
We know that an opportunity could arise at any moment, and our worries could be gone, just how it happened for me.
We have however realized that based on present circumstances, its possible Taran will actually have to leave me. He may have to move further away to find work. That is not what we want, obviously.
Space is sometimes good, absence can make the heart grow fonder and all that, but when you set out to experience travel with the person you love the most, being torn apart by money, is a very sad prospect.
We are already thousands of miles away from home. We are already isolated from the others who we care about the most. We are already limiting our experience by not having the funds to enjoy our temporary home. We are struggling enough, we don't want to throw separation into the mix. But it might have to happen out of necessity.
We didn't sign up for this, but its real life.
I think the distance could be painful and I could end up wanting to leave my job sooner than I can. I just generally fear what the time away could do to us if I am being completely honest, especially seeing as we don't just work together on the blog, but we are best friends.
We keep each other laughing, happy, entertained, grounded and creative. We give each other encouragement and energy.
We can be really good for each other, but right now we aren't...
I really hope this situation changes soon and that we will have good news to report back. I also hope we can overcome the stress this has put on our relationship, and that we can become equal again, because for money to force us apart, that would truly truly suck.
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!
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