Living and working rurally

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September 17th 2017
Published: September 17th 2017
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This journey began when I decided to live and work rurally in the East Kimberleys, Western Australia for four and a half months and it was an interesting insight into the aboriginal culture, living with not a lot to do within walking distance (I didn't have a car there) and trying to keep myself entertained on RDO's (rostered days off).

I went into the job as just working on the bar (something I hadn't had much experience of, I didn't even know how to pull a pint), I made a few cocktails and really enjoyed the atmosphere the hotel had. I was then asked if I wanted to do some reception work on top of the bar work. I said yes - previous jobs back home gave me the experience needed to work on a computer and interact with customers on a daily basis whether they were checking in, making bookings, dealing with (very little) complaints, answering the phones and keeping happy (pretty easy for me)!
  On top of this, after a couple of weeks settling in, they trained me on the brekkie shift - 3.30am starts. These shifts were lovely and early in the morning but it meant I was done around 9.15am, but I was usually on reception from 11.45am until 7pm which were our 'long days' but it meant saving heaps of money!!
  Brekkie shifts included getting the cold and continental food ready for the miners, restocking food and drinks, polishing cutlery, cleaning glasses and laying tables. It was a pretty sweet shift and after not long I was doing these shifts pretty much every day, or 6 days a week at least but as I say, I enjoyed them.
   I was requested to fill in for housekeeping a couple of times which was pretty fun, working with a lovely lady called Margi who was my previous neighbour when I lived in the 'retirement village' before moving across to 'Melrose'. The retirement village is a square shape with dongas surrounding it with some grass area for cars in the middle. It was always fairly quiet here, hence the name. It was nice and peaceful. But I moved to Melrose for a double bed, and a bigger room although it was fairly noisy in there at night and with me being up at 3am most days, was pretty annoying - but I survived!
  Most of our guests were the miners, they had a deal that they stayed with us and ate and drank at the hotel. They all worked at the Nicholson's Gold Mine which was about 40kms down the road (which I did go into the open pits and had a look around) but I probably shouldn't go into that!

  Days off consisted of doing the airport walk either by myself or with friends from the hotel, hanging by the pool, catching up on sleep or going on little road trips for the day.
  I met a few cool pilots who had a 4x4, so when we had the same spare few hours we would go exploring to Palm Springs; a waterhole with peaceful waterfalls, trees to climb etc. Attempting and failing at finding old mine sites (and bypassing the NO ENTRY) signs, because well, they were laying on the floor and not stood up... Excuses! We also chilled up at the Halls Creek lookout and watched the milky way and did some photography. We also headed into the airport at night and sat on the runway chatting the night away and getting some awesome long exposure shots!

When I got really bored and was looking for ways to stay in Australia past my 2nd year visa, I enrolled on an online payroll management course, which I completed over about 6 days.. Still, I had no experience whatsoever in the job role so that was just another course under my belt!
  I read a lot of books just to pass the time, but I enjoy reading so it was great!

  Things to do within walking distance of the hotel: airport walk, shop at IGA and Coles, sunbathe, see friends.... And sleep!

  I requested a week off work (which I really really needed) to head to Broome with my best friend Shaun, whom I met at work, hes one of the open pit guys, and it was sooo much fun! 7 hour drive there through Fitzroy Crossing and Willare, both of which are dry zones so couldn't even have a lovely beverage along the way.
  We stayed in a place called The Pearle which is around the Cable Beach area. Our room was beautiful, set in a rainforest type setting. Breakfast was included and we had an infinity pool to swim in. It was a lovely bit of heaven that we both needed so much away from Halls Creek!
  We went on a few road trips, including Cape Leveque, and we drove all around Broome.
  We did the camel ride just before sunset and to be honest it really gave me a numb bum! I got off the camel and couldn't walk normally for a while.
  After the camels, we set the ute up facing the water and we had a picnic on the back of it and watched the sun set. Following this, we raced down to the Worlds oldest outdoor picture garden. The vibe was cute and we met up with two friends from back home, we watched Dunkirk and was a very moving film!
  The rest of the days we just swum in the ocean, ate great food and drunk amazing drinks, broke my gopro and took in the sea air before heading back to 'Hells Crack'. That's when I started counting down the days to when I could leave that place.

Being so so far away from the ocean and normality made me realise how antsy I get being away from any water, and that I truly am a water baby that needs the ocean in my life every single day!

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