After spending a few expensive days in Sydney, we realized we couldn’t live like this forever and we still had not found any jobs, so no choice but to leave. We thought of Melbourne and Brisbane, some of the other big but still cheaper cities (from what we were told). However, online through a backpacker jobs site we have found an advertisement for a family who were remodeling a house. In exchange for work on the weekends, they wanted someone to stay in the house and maintain it while they worked and lived in Sydney.
The town of Woy Woy is an hour train ride outside of Sydney’s downtown core but still considered as an intercity train, therefore it is only $5.81 AUD to get to Woy Woy (one way from Central Station). The town is only about 10,000 people and made up of primarily older people from what we have seen so far. There are a number of beaches, cafes, restaurants, shops and surrounded by a few national parks and close to the Ocean
Looking at the house below, can you believe this guy paid $500,000 AUD for this place? it blew me away! Anyways, upon arriving at the house, it was a mess, you could see that it is under renovation, but it had everything we needed except a stove. Therefore, Kaisa and I will be cooking on the BBQ everyday until we renovate the kitchen and install the stove. The only thing that has become difficult and we have not yet mastered is trying to make morning coffee on the BBQ, but it is a work in progress! We both agree that it is going to be a cool experience, if we stay in this house long term, by working on the house and seeing the changes that are helping out with. More importantly, I think we are going to learn some great skills in renovation, painting, and general maintenance of a place. I guess this is the kind of things that the work holiday visas are made for, the skills and the experiences that you make here along the way. Plus, helping out only on the weekends allows us the time to get full-time jobs during the week.
One week later…
We have gone for runs around the community and found some really nice spots. One of our highlights was going to Umina Beach where we enjoyed the nice white sand and a dip in the Ocean. We did not have the time to go surfing but hopefully that will come later! We have been handing out resumes, visiting the coffee shops and just enjoying our sunny backyard in my hammock. We also had the opportunity to make some money by finding odd jobs on Gumtree where we helped set up tents for the Mountain Sounds Festival. This past weekend was our first “work shift” helping out around the house where we set up the bathroom vanity, installed the toilet, took apart the deck rails and cemented the shower floor. The work was not horrible and we learnt a lot about house renovation, but it is too bad that we could not stay longer to add more to the project.
However, our time is now up in Woy Woy, we have both found a potential job in Brisbane doing sales. This job will have us travelling around Australia in a Van, off to Brisbane, stay tuned!