Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting excited...

Lately I've been reading a lot of travel blogs. I've entered the three month countdown to Australia now and reading articles and blogs about travel put me in a good mood and make me wonder what my big travel adventure will be like. I like to read about people's travel experiences and look at photographs of far off places I yearn to visit. If a blog contains a 'Travel Tips' section all the better. I've watched countless Youtube videos about packing for long-term/round-the-world trips, they just get me excited. June 14th is the date I fly to the other side of the world for a year. I'm so looking forward to it.
I'm both looking forward to and dreading packing for it though. I'm really going to make an effort to pack sensibly this time. The other day I considered how much tech gear I'll be bringing which is going to lend a fair bit of space and weight to my luggage. I'm bringing my Canon DSLR, lens x2, Macbook Pro laptop, external harddrive, Point & Shoot Canon digital camera.....cables GALORE!
It might be tricky, but worth it I'm sure.
Anyway, anyway, anyway, a little premature to be thinking about packing yet.

Thing is- I'm starting to feel that this 'year' in Australia is not just going to be a year at all. I don't want it to be a year abroad and back to work in Ireland. I want to keep traveling. Why not? There will never be a better time to do as much continuous traveling as I can. Maybe one year in Oz, a year in London. Two years in Oz incorporating plenty of Asia and New Zealand travel. Canada?
The possibilities are endless.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

What the hell I've been up the last couple of months!

Hey there. What's happenin'? How you doing? You look fresh! Ok settle down.

So things have happened in my life. Exciting things. To me at least.
Firstly, everyone at work now knows I'm leaving in June to go to Australia. Which is a relief really, since it was kind of a secret until I told my boss. I can't count how many times I've had the same conversation with people- it goes something like this:

Colleague: I hear you're off to Australia?!
Me: Yep. I'm heading off in June.
Colleague: Oh wow! Whereabouts? Do you have a job to go to?
Me: No job yet. Brisbane first to visit my aunt and then I'm not sure if I'll try to find work there or go to Melbourne or Sydney.
Colleague: You're so right to go. I've been to [insert name of Australian city here] and I absolutely loved it. Best of luck with it all!
Me: AThankya!

A positive thing I note is that every single person I've spoken to about it thinks it's a good move for me. I get a lot of "You're only young once!" and "Why not? You're not tied down!" or "I'm so jealous! I wish I could do that!" One older female colleague in particular is of the strong opinion that I'll meet an Australian lad and be married within the year, never to grace the shores of the Emerald Isle again.
Anyway, anyway, anyway, I like that I can be open about it now. I particularly like that when things are going badly at work re. staff shortages and the sh** we have to put up with as a result, I can just ignore it all, safe in the knowledge that I am only going to have to slog it out for about 4 more months and then I'm off to experience sun, sand and scuba on the other side of the world!

I was home for the weekend and I finally got to open a massive package (oy cheeky!) that had been waiting for me since the start of January. Inside this big package (stop it now!) was the backpack I'd ordered from 53 Degrees North. The Lowe Alpine Travel Trekker II ND60. Am I sad to get excited about a backpack? Well tough titties Turkleton because I don't care. I get giddy just thinking about the great adventures we will have together. Me and the Trekster.... Ok that was a joke. Really! (not really) It's
60L, female fit, pouch at the front for attaching own daypack, shoulder strap, built-in raincover....
Isn't it cool?


Ok I'm sick of you now so I'm going to go. Byeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

London (PS I love you)

Simply put: I love London.

It is my favourite city (so far anyway). I'm just back from there, having taken a notion and booked a two-night stay for myself. Packed a decent amount into the trip. I saw a comedy gig called 'Lady Garden & Friends' at King's Place theatre where comedians and sketch acts trialled some new material. It was hysterical! I've seen Lady Garden twice before and they are always fantastic but I was really impressed with Irish comedienne Aisling Bea who I hadn't seen do stand-up before. She has some serious comedy chops. I may have a girl crush on her. There was also a group called 'Oyster Eyes' who were very funny and Cariad Lloyd did a parody of New Girl which was also really good.
I met some really nice people that night, went out for drinks after the gig, ended up in a gay nightclub (as you do) till 4am and then got a taxi back to my hotel in Kensington.
The next day I got up at around 11.30 (a full two hours later than I planned and a little worse for wear) and headed into town. I'd wanted to visit the Florence Nightingale museum beside St. Thomas' Hospital. It was worth a visit, quite an interesting place. I opted for the audio tour where they give you a stethoscope and you have to hold it up to the wall to hear information.  The stethoscope was a pain actually, it was sore to wear, I shouldn't have bothered.
For the rest of the day I just wandered around the city aimlessly killing time until the 7.30 showing of Wicked at the Apollo Theatre. This was a good show, the singing was phenomenal and it was funny too. I wish I hadn't been so tired during it!
So anyway I headed back to my hotel after the musical and got some shut eye. Didn't have much time to do anything on the Saturday but head to the airport. I just kept thinking 'I wish I'd booked to fly home on Sunday'.

Pretty Christmas lights

Lady Garden performing

'Thin Building' @ Thurloe Square

Got chatting to a Kiwi chap on my flight.
All Blacks passport! 

Me, Viv, Rachel, Myles, Phil and Sophie taking the picture.
Classy people.

Some things I learned on this, my fifth time in London:

- I am happy just walking around doing feck all in this city.
- The tube system is genius.
- I am  ATROCIOUS  at reading maps.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What I wouldn't give to be back here! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

7 months to go...

Having made the decision to quit my full-time permanent job next year to go travelling and working in Australia, I've been met with mixed reactions from those I mention it to. I am still being very selective of the colleagues I chose to tell because I don't intend to inform my boss for another few months. It's a small circle who know and I want to keep it that way.
The two main types of reactions I get are:
A) 'Oh that's so cool, I'd LOVE to do that!' and the rather more pessimistic:
B) 'I see. You're planning to leave your permanent job in this economy? Right....Good luck then!'

A case in point is my mother who fits firmly into category B. She has seen the news, she's talked to her friends, she's heard the horror stories of young people who can't get work in this country because the economy is so bad. She fears if I leave my current job and go to Australia for a year, that I won't be able to find a job when I get back. This is not an unreasonable fear by any means. The statistics are bad- there's a 15% unemployment rate in Ireland. But I'm fortunate enough to work in a sector where there are always jobs to be found: healthcare. I fully accept the fact that when I return after a year out of the country, it may be difficult to find a job. I will more than likely have to work some shitty temporary locum jobs for a while until something better turns up. That's if I even want to live in Ireland again (I have this notion that I'm going to give London a go for a while see if I like living there as much as I think I will.)
Besides, there will never be a perfect time to go take a year out of your career. I chose to look at it as a positive thing. Future employers will hopefully like that I have international experience and that I appear to have gotten the travel thing out of my system. 

Bottom line, I'm 24, healthy, single, I have no commitments and a decent amount of savings. There will never be a better time to travel. So roll on June 2013! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Job Fatigue and Itchy Feet

I think I'm having a mid-life crisis. Mid-twenties crisis actually, to round up (I'm 24). I've become disillusioned with my job and my feet are itching to travel. Let's start with the disillusionment.

I've been in my current job for a year and nine months and while it has served me well in many respects, I can't help but feel I'm becoming 'institutionalized' so to speak. I've gained decent experience in nuclear medicine, cannulation and angiography- opportunities which may not have been afforded to me in other hospitals but I suspect that working in a private healtchare setting is no longer benefiting me as a radiographer in the longterm. I think it's safe to say that I have a fairly 'cushie' job. I know exactly what's expected of me, I know how things are run, I don't get frazzled easily. Which leads me to ask the question: am I being suitably challenged? I often hear older more experienced colleagues say that a newly qualified radiographer's first job should be in a large public hospital to get experience in dealing with everything a busy A&E department is going to throw at you. Having never worked independently in this kind of scenario, I've never been confronted with patients from road-traffic accidents, those with serious spinal/head injuries or other major traumas or indeed the dreaded drunkards, and had to really think about how to image them. Of course, I am a fully trained radiographer, in theory I know what to do in these situations but actually being there at 3am and getting stuck in is a different thing entirely. A&E can be intimidating, it's unpredictable and forces you to adapt your technique to get the best images possible. It's where every radiographer should start. But I didn't.

Where am I going with all of this? It brings us nicely to the topic of my itchy feet (I hate this saying for wanting to travel but I can't think of a better metaphor!) Basically I have decided to go to Australia for a year. Let me explain why this isn't (completely) a non-sequitar. It's well known (in x-ray circles at least!) that Australian radiographers are shit hot. Radiography in Australia is much stricter than here in Ireland and they have earned a reputation of having very high imaging standards. So imagine how shit hot I'd be after working there for a year! I'd be combining my job fatigue with my desire to travel. Double win for me!

Okay, I'd be lying if I said the radiography thing is the main reason for wanting to travel to Australia. I've touched on why I want to go in a previous post. Add to this the fact that as of June last year, cost-cutting measures have caused a considerable reduction in my wages and since the department is extremely short-staffed at the moment, it's a day to day struggle to keep each area covered and it's really beginning to get tiring. So, yeah, get me the hell out of here!

As it stands, my plan is to go in June 2013. I have my visa already, turns out it's extremely quick and easy to get a visa for Oz, just a simple online application. They hard bit is all the paperwork required to enable me to work over there. This can take months to process. So anyway, I'm fairly on the ball with all of that stuff. The only thing I can do now is wait. Wait and imagine all of the things I can do and see in Australia, and where I can go after my year in Oz is up. The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pep in my Step

Three things have me in a good mood this weekend:

1) It's a bank holiday weekend and I have Tuesday off to boot so four day weekend baby!

2) The clocks go back tonight so I get an extra hour in bed tomorrow (very important).

3) I got paid.

I also have plenty to be excited about for November. There's my upcoming trip to London to see Lady Garden perform at King's Place on the 15th. I'm really looking forward to this trip because it's the first time I'm going to London alone and I won't have to do any of the touristy things. Not that the tourist attractions are boring, it's just that I've always gone to London with people who have never been before and end up doing the same things each time. At least this time I can do the things I want to do and visit the places I've never had time to before! It's all ME ME ME honey!
I have plans to meet up with Christos, a guy I know from my time in Athens. He lives in London and it's almost a ritual that I meet him whenever I'm in London. (This will be the fifth time in two years). I'll also be meeting Rachel, blogger extraordinaire CLICK HERE for her musings on life in London and the theatre, as well as some other lovely ladies for the Lady Garden gig. It's going to FABULOUS!

Thing 2 to be excited about is seeing Muse live in the O2 in Dublin on the 3rd. The tickets had arrived in the post and were waiting for me when I got home yesterday. Joy! This should be an amazing gig, I absolutely LOVE Muse! My uncle saw them live in Seattle a few years ago and he said it was an unbelievable show. Can't wait!

Another thing I wanted to jot down is my progress in driving since my last post. Well things are going swimmingly thanks for asking! I've had four more 'official' driving lessons taking my total to six (I have to take 12 driving lessons with an official driving instructor and wait six months from the time I got my learner's permit before I can sit my test- boo!). I've also driven a little bit with my friend James who graciously let me behind the wheel of his new Volvo C3 and just today I covered roundabouts (which are a bitch!) with my lovely patient father. I didn't even kill anyone. Not a SINGLE person! So that's good. Anyway, that's it for now. Modern Family season 2 isn't going to watch itself now is it?