Chapter Thirteen - Choices
I'm spoilt for choice in the Outback. There are literally men everywhere. I'm talking good quality, nice bush blokes.
Right now, most of my friends are getting married, buying houses and having babies, and I'm having the time of my life in the Red Centre of Australia.
I didn’t think for a moment coming out here I might meet someone. That was never my intention, but now that I'm here, it's entirely possible.
The men I meet in the Outback are down to earth, full of life and thirsty for adventure. That's my kind of guy.
I'm not looking for a lawyer in Sydney that owns his own apartment and works weekends.
I'm looking for a guy I can connect with on a deeper level. Someone to grow with and start making future plans.
I met Beau at the swimming pool in Kings Canyon. He's covered in tattoos and is one of the few gay guys working in the Canyon.
We got on instantly. He's the gardener at the resort, so we talked about desert flora and fauna.
We spoke about Alice Springs, both noticing the electrifying sexual energy in the town. I couldn't understand why, until Beau explained it.
He remarked that Alice has no old people. It was like a light bulb moment, of course, it is just a small town with hundreds of young people coming and going.
It's one of the most transient places I have ever lived. People come and go with the wind. Making it easy to meet people and enjoy a night out.
Take my friend Isaac, he left about a month ago and is already back. He missed the place, the people, the spirit.
There is something magnetic about this town. If it's not on your travel wish list, it really needs to be.
It will blow your mind.
In the Middle of Nowhere
I was having one of those days.
Questioning everything in my life. What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Am I on the right path?
I'm in the Outback, stripping beds and remaking them. What has my life come to? I have two degrees and I'm using none of my skills.
But then something changed.
I burnt the rice.
I was at our camp site in Kings Canyon, setting the dinner table when the tour guide Clare rolled in with 12 new passengers.
I went out to greet them. As Gaby got off the bus, I knew she was Jewish. I asked if she was from New York. She had barely spoken, but I already knew. She replied yes and couldn't believe I could tell.
I asked her surname and when she replied, I commented that it was a Jewish sounding name. She almost went white. I assured her I wasn’t some crazy lady, I was just another Jew in the outback and they are as rare as hen’s teeth, so I get super excited to meet someone from the tribe.
My ‘jewdar’ has become quite refined. It had always been reliable growing up in the Eastern Suburbs, but now I was working on a global scale. Jews from Canada, some as far as Switzerland and then from our own Aussie backyard.
It was all incredibly exciting, so when Gaby and I started chatting in the kitchen and shortly after Tracey joined us, another Jew. It was like the three of us had known each other for years.
We chatted about people we knew in common, about their holidays and eventually about From the Office to the Outback.
I got so distracted, I burnt the rice.
The feeling you get when you meet a Jewish person in the middle of nowhere is quite incredible. The connection is so deep and like nothing I can put into words.
Gaby and Tracey had made my day.
Don't judge a book by its cover
I met Megan by the pool in Yulara. She was a tall, attractive Dutch woman. Like me, she was a host for another touring company. We did the same job, stripped beds, made beds, cooked and cleaned.
The more we spoke, the more I knew I liked her. She was honest, warm and smart. She had a laptop with her, which made me ask what she was working on.
She explained she was finishing off her thesis, it was on international taxation law.
Megan had quit her corporate job, like me, and decided to take time out. She left Deloitte in Holland as a taxation lawyer.
Here we were two worldly women in the middle of the outback, with a culmination of four degrees and making beds.
For me, this ‘career break’ has been so powerful. I wanted to take time out, not time off. I didn't want to travel, I wanted to work a job that was easy and mindless.
In my twenties, I strived to make it in the journalism world, which I I did writing stories for the New York Times.
In my thirties, I became more financially minded. I decided to leave journalism because it was too hard to make money.
I moved into public relations, which was exciting at first, but the sparkle slowly faded over 6 years and my heart wasn’t in it.
I've come back to writing and I've never been happier. I feel inspired and grateful for this time.
There are exciting things brewing, but 'lose lips sink ship', so I'm staying schtum.