(Matilda Bay on the Swan River, looking East to Perth and the Hills, pinched from stuff.co.nz)
This is Perth. This is actually what Perth is like a great deal of the time (though usually with more wind).
Perth is blessed with pretty amazing weather and the expected outdoorsy and sporty lifestyle.
I have been deeply content here, living on the edge of a National Park and mountain-biking area, orienteering in the open Wandoo woodlands, commute cycling to work, running through Kings and Bold Parks, working in politics to make the state and the city better for everyone.
But I’ve been doing this work for 4 years and knew that it was time to stop. And when I looked up to think about what I might like to do in Perth after I finished working in politics… there wasn’t an answer.
Six months ago, I thought about what I might like to do and where I might like to do it. Awkwardly, I want to work for the Gates Foundation (or similar), but I want to live in Boston. This is not the most convenient combination of desires, with the Gates Foundation being Seattle-based!
Even worse, I have a generalist Bachelor of Arts degree, so despite ‘having a degree’ and ‘being Australian’, I won’t easily qualify for the desirable E3 (Australian professional) working visa.
So now, I finish work at the end of May and leave the country at the end of June. Should I be lucky enough to get a 2014 Green Card, that still leaves quite a few months with no particular place to be or thing to do.
I’ve sorted my mortgage in Perth so that I don’t actually need to make money for the next couple of years, I just need to keep the travelling cost-neutral.
Teaching English? Volunteering somewhere? Picking up some project-based work from in-country? Working for a multi-national? Lying on a beach for a few months? I don’t know. I’ve been working since I was 16 and haven’t had a more than a couple of weeks breather for the past 20 years.
I’ve fallen in love with Boston across the distance, but it’s going to take effort and luck to get there. Meanwhile, it’s adventure time 🙂
(Charles River in Boston, from Nat Geo)