February - October 2014
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  • Day237


    October 5, 2014 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Flew up to cairns with the family to see the reef, and the tropical areas around the cairns region.

  • Day201

    Tambo, Queensland

    August 30, 2014 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    The bus from Brisbane was 13 hours. A horrendous length in English terms, but in Australia, that'll only get you half way across one territory. And that was still half the length of one of the bus rides I took from Laos. It was bareable in the end none the less. I had my guitar with me on the coach to keep me occupied at the back, and a group of Canadian chicks joined in and travelled with me for half the journey. They were probably the last females my age I'd see for 2 months.

    I got the job offer after making some phone calls to the contacts Ryan had set me up with at my real estate job. The company was Usher Pastoral and they arranged for me to join a family out near Tambo on a ranch called Truno. I arrived early in the morning on my first day and got picked up at the local petrol station by a very Australian sounding man, Ronnie Haffey, who drove me, my heavy backpacks, and my Akubra cowboy hat to get settled in on the ranch.
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  • Day98

    Toowoomba Road Trip!

    May 19, 2014 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Toowoomba was a town to the west of Brisbane by about 2 hours. The Soul’a Shakers team had topped the performance board for a few weeks, collectively we’d smashed it and consistently had good lead and levels of sales of solar panels, so one week we were rewarded with the privilege and responsibility to travel to relatively untouched territory and catch new leads for biosolar in Toowoomba. It was a beautiful town of flowers up in a Highland area of Queensland.

    We were put up in some really decent apartments in the centre of the town, lush sofas, big tv’s, even fur rugs. The rooms unfortunately were double beds and we had to share! I ended up getting to know Chirag a little better after that week having to split a bed with him ?
    Apart from the one night where I met a cute little Canadian cheerleader studying on the outskirts of town and ended up at her campus ? For some reason I always end up with Canadians, I just love their accents and their attitudes, they’re always so much fun to hang out with.

    I’d put in a decent effort that week, skateboarding up and down the hills of the area covering decent turf, and getting decent leads. The last day I made it back to the team in a taxi from the campus in time for the Saturday lead hunt. With an added spring in my step I think I got 7 leads that day, one of my best days, a solid effort and went back to Brisbane with the team really satisfied with my personal performance.

    There was a competition on in the office for quantity of sales, and each week, the highest scorer won a place a spot on a ‘Mystery’ trip. The next week on Monday we had the morning meeting and Sunny went to announce the scores and I found out that my leads had topped the board for sales! 32 kilowatts! I’d never expected to win a place on the field trip but the toowoomba territory helped me succeed in getting a place and a free weekend holiday!! I’d gone on business trips before, but never a business holiday!! I was chuffed!
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  • Day70

    Having 5 Jobs

    April 21, 2014 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Alongside Biosolar, I still had my evening shifts as a glassie at Birdees, learning to dance while holding a tonne of glasses above my head or against my chest stacked up as high as my torso would support. I wish I had videos/photos of it. After a while working there I was offered a transfer shift at Family one night after the place got packed out and they didn’t have enough staff. It was part of the same katyrzyna company as Birdees so there was no drama adding a few extra shifts into the schedule at the weekend when Birdees was quiet. Family was huge, 3 floors of dancing and a roof terrace. I ended up helping Bunk’s resident receptionist Smiley on the top floor after finding him in trouble with glasses up there my first night. It was a gay night and he was there beaming with his top off making a killing on tips! I ended up clearing the area fast enough to help out behind the bar myself and when he went for a smoke, I followed suit ? I’m not homophobic and I like tips so it was good fun. Plus I wanted more behind the bar experience. The bar manager ended up being a bit of a bitch though! Nowhere near as cool as Melanie at Birdees. Anyways, the Family shifts added a few extra bucks..

    I still had my work for accommodation gig at Base as well on the first three days of the week, before and after my Biosolar shifts. So I had a job at Birdees, Family, Biosolar and Base.. Job number 5 was still possible…

    One afternoon on a shift with Biosolar around the suburbs of Brisbane, I approached a house toward the end of my day at the end of a small but beautiful little cul de sac and knocked on the door. A young woman came to answer, a little sick from a cold and holding back her dog from escape. She wasn’t interested in solar or in talking to me at first but I told her my immune system was on point and it’d only take a couple of minutes. I ran my pitch and booked her in for a lead but at the end of it she pitched me. Impressed by my approach she asked me if I was looking for extra work. I had a pretty full schedule as it was but did not refuse the offer and she explained her husband had been looking for someone to help with his real estate business in Algester. I was curious about the field and wasn’t against getting more experience in the housing industry so I agreed to give her my details. I arranged an interview and told him I could fit in a day shift on Mondays and that was perfect for his amount of workload required.

    I’m really glad I accepted this position because the other guys there were great, Joel, my boss effectively let me write my own script and work the hours that I could because he knew of my other commitments. I ended up writing an online data collection tool for him to use while showing off open homes. I could be a software developer if I put my heart into it, but it wouldn't be my dream to work behind a desk all my life.

    One of my colleagues there, Ryan, also hooked me up with a farm work contact out in the middle of Queensland, which was a massive help for me and secured me my time in the outback! I needed to do 3 months of regional work for my second year visa and that was how I eventually got to start my first chunk. Thanks Ryan!
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  • Day65

    The Biosolar Life

    April 16, 2014 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    I got the t-shirt. Navy blue polo neck with white stripes either side and the company emblem. I looked good. A fresh faced Biosolar employee. I was proud.

    When I started I joined a team called the Soul’a Shakers, ran by the coolest hippy environmentalist I’ve ever met, Pete vdr. The team name came from Bob Marleys soul shake down party, and this was our Van theme song. On the first day I was actually a little disappointed that I was put into a team that was so… calm… When leaving on the first day I remember Max’s team rolling out with loud music blaring and Max hanging out the window raving with the rest of his team. I was pretty jealous. I thought I kind of wanted a party vibe. Not to mention my team didn’t have any girls in it. Pete, Tim, Chirag, Ubed, Rashid the doctor, Alex the stockmarket trader, and me. It didn’t take me long to warm up though and grow to love these guys, they really took me under their wings and showed me the ropes. I’d never worked in a sales position before so it was a steep learning curve for me. And I grew to love the calm chilled out, confident vibe the team had. It wasn’t rushed, it wasn’t pressured, it was stress free and confident. Unlike any working environment I’d had in the UK.

    Before long the team had a few changes in the dynamic.. Alex left to pursue his trading ambitions, and Tim became a team leader for a new crew. Ubed had left to join him and help him train his new recruits, so we had some new members introduced to keep the van full. A couple of French guys, one called Tank who ended up having a little bit of an anger problem when he didn’t do so well. A German called Roman who had already had sales experience as a charity team leader so was great fun and sociable and hit the ground running with the job. Another Roman joined occasionally, a Jose Roman from Mexico, who always held the most serious of stares a little bit too long for comfort.

    Training was given each morning along side acknowledgement of the previous days/weeks successes. It was a very positive and encouraging environment, it was motivating to be part of the family and see my results change positively to help improve the success of the company.
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  • Day57

    Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

    April 8, 2014 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    While at Base in Brisbane I joined in on the Sunday BBQ one day and ended up winning a pair of tickets to the lone pine koala sanctuary south of Brisbane, the girl that picked my number to win was cute so I invited her to come with me, it seemed only fair. I’m glad I invited her now as well as we crossed paths on Phi Phi island in Thailand and just bumped into each other again in Vienna!
    It was a great day out and well worth going to visit if you’re in the Brisbane area. You can feed kangaroos and meet some awesome birds of prey, as well as some wild rainbow parakeets around 2pm that fly in to get fed! You can even get your photo taken with a koala, there are a tonne of famous people that have been there with their photos on the walls in the main shop, I distinctly remember George R.R. Martins face being one of them!
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