Field of Dreams

by Ant Stone on September 14, 2008

in Australia

“Can I get two coffees and an orange juice please?” She scribbled it all down – probably longhand, and with a ballpoint smile for the barista – “no problem guys, can I get you anything to eat?” A smile rose beneath his elated eyes, “you’re English! What are you doing here?” She courteously relayed the waypoints of her fourteen month drift through Asia that preceded these waitress days. She told of finding work in that city café, while back in a rented houseshare her boyfriend mused about his unemployment while experimenting with fennel in the kitchen. “Tell him to call me” the fellow pom casually suggested. Ring ring, ring ring, “you met my girlfriend yesterday, she said to call you?” chirped the fennel chef. “Hmm. Ah. Uh-huh. OK”. He threw out the fennel then confirmed, “I’ll come in this afternoon.” He boarded a tram, then a train and finally a bus. He checked the time, glugged down a coffee and checked the time again. He wandered in, shook the man’s hand, and an hour later bid farewell with a firmer shake. Ring ring, ring ring. “That’s great news! When do I start?” He boarded a tram, then a train and finally a bus. He checked the time and wandered in. “Hi, I’m Ant. I start today”.

And so it is, I have a job. I work for one of those over-marketed gyms that make you want to swim in swamps of mayonnaise and choke yourself on chips and Skittles. Do I write hilarious paragraphs to entice people into the conditioned cloisters? No, I hunt down people whose friends think they could do with joining, I pray on their insecurities and suggest they sign up without hinting that by doing so they’ll be funding my onward journey. In all honesty, I’m an advocate of keeping fit (the bonus being I now have free gym membership) so I feel quite good about leading people into it. The added bonus being that my boss knows I’m only around for six months, and the seal to the deal? It’s a global company, meaning I should be able to pick up work in many-a-place to come. But hey, this is a travel blog, so don’t expect to check in here every week to find an update about my sales targets and who stole my paperclips.

I can’t say I’m totally enthused about the whole “I’ve got a job” thing. There’s not a day goes by I don’t reminisce about that spice-scented seductress, Asia or feel the urge for the unknown in South America. The job is a necessary evil. Having only worked for three days, I can’t go into too much detail about the pros and cons. I know it surprised me how much of my brain I wasn’t using while travelling, or what I should really say is, it surprised me which parts of my brain I was and wasn’t using. One of the first people I spoke to in the job, was a young Aussie girl who was off to Europe for a six week Contiki tour, I talked the talk with her, offering her some tips and personal choices and then watched her skip away to complete her last minute shopping spree, leaving me despondently clutching a handful of marketing hype.

I knew many sunsets ago that this journey had evolved into something much bigger than an extended holiday. I’ve fused with The Trail and a cute English waitress to such an extent that everything I now do, is for the good of the onward journey. This won’t be the last time I lay down the straps and buckles to join the local commuters, and I’ve concluded this to be a good thing. It’s refreshing to sit in an office full of ages, revering me for my lifestyle while complaining about the holiday they can’t afford or the overdue insurance policy because in my head, I say to myself “I pity you, because if you want it, you really could have it”. I’m in their shoes for six months, but the key difference being that I know that at least 30% of the money I earn will seed my field of dreams – a sustainable crop, for those of us who know how to grow it.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

foxnomad September 15, 2008 at 2:24 pm

We all have to fund the travels somehow, and working a bit to travel a lot is a great way to spend hard earned money. So many people don’t do just that and buy things and never leave ‘home-base’.

All the money in the world is useless is you never get to *see* the world.


[F]oxymoron September 15, 2008 at 6:43 pm

Congrats on the job… now you have another date to look forward to!


Tara September 16, 2008 at 4:52 am

Loved it Ant. You’re spot on,everything “we” now do as “travellers” is for the good of the onward journey. I’m with you all the way.
Bring on Asia & Sth America i say.
Sunset beers? See you there in 5..


John September 17, 2008 at 9:21 am

Coldn`t have said it better. Sometimes you have to work just to understand how good it is to travel and also find the “urge” for it again. Its about building a balance between working towards something and feeling a bit miserable versus really enjoy the moment when your out on the road again…


Mark H September 19, 2008 at 5:56 am

Sounds a pretty good travel job to me – and it is all going to a good cause…


Ant September 24, 2008 at 1:13 pm

@FoxNomad: I’m never one to enforce travel on people, I believe staying at home is often as big a decision as leaving it.

@[F]oxymoron: True enough, I’m back in the Countdown Club

@Tara: Sunset beers, now I’m with you all the way!

@John: You and I mate, we’re, you know, brothers!

@Mark H: Welcome to The Trail, Mark. Fitness is a good cause, you’re absolutely right and I can safely say I’ve seen a fair few backpackers who could of done with a few light stretches prior to a longhaul!


Ant September 24, 2008 at 1:15 pm

@Everybody: Sorry I skipped a week, had an internet blackout and I rode the wave and took a well earned Blog Break! I’ll be back with a showstopper over the weekend


Nomadic Matt September 30, 2008 at 2:53 pm

This just showed up on my feed reader today…hmmm….

but congrats on the new job!! welcome to the working world…it sucks!


Chris October 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Well done on the Job Ant, talk about fate!

Your boss sounds like a great bloke by the way, Your so lucky!



T Holland February 10, 2009 at 11:44 am

I could relate a lot to how a job is a necessary evil, but sometimes you just gotta stick in there and get your work done anyways 🙂


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