In true Lindsay form, my blog fell to the way-side as soon as I started working full time. My self reflection time has been replaced with constant activity. As much as I do miss a bit of personal time every once in a while, this is also what I love about living in a hostel environment (pun not intended). Everyone is on vacation time. Our typical day may include a volleyball match (staff vs. guests – we are currently undefeated:)), acrobatics in the park with our circus friends, a stroll through the markets to buy fresh produce, and a swim in pool – all before a work shift. I never thought I could beat my Park City morning commute to Canyons of a 20 minute walk or quick bus ride across the street, but I must say that rolling out of bed 15 minutes before your shift and just walking downstairs is lovely. We have no TV and there is an organized game/activity in the bar every night. Everything from Minute-to-Win-It to Aussie BBQ’s to Open Mic Nights. What I’ve enjoyed most is cooking alongside friends in the communal kitchen, swapping ingredients, bites, and stories. One big happy family.
Another awesome perk to this gig is the ‘famils’, aka – free tours to familiarize yourself so you can answer Q’s and sell the activities to guests. Thus far, Matt and I have partaken in several hundreds of dollars worth of tours for next to nothing. We’ve been white-water rafting on the Tully river, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, Barefoot waterfall tour in the Tablelands, Hartley’s Croc Farm where we fed kangaroos & wallabies, Minjin Swing AND Bungee Jump from 50 meters high, and a day trip to Fitzroy Island. We would never have dreamed of fitting all of this in on our own budget… Especially the bungee jump. Never. Ever.
Don’t get me wrong, living in a hostel isn’t all rainbows and sunshine everyday. It can have it’s drawbacks. Shared bathrooms, for example, isn’t something I’ll necessarily miss. I’ve learned that I am a frequent user of the toilet in the middle of the night… I had not realized this about myself until I started dreading the walk down the hall in which you may be greeted by any number of situations while you are half asleep. The other night I walked in on a group of heavily intoxicated guys & gals in the women’s bathroom laughing hysterically about I-don’t-care-what. I decided to hold it. We’ve also had a large bag of groceries stolen from the community fridge, which was especially depressing because we had splurged on the nice cheese and humus that week. Watch out for karma, kids! I suppose this is just part of living in a place where you have no control over who comes and goes within it. But as the Aussie’s would say – ‘She’ll be right, mate’.
It’s hard to explain what this experience has been like in full if you haven’t lived it. The decision to stay in Cairns has treated us very well and I am grateful for the Calypso hostel taking us in and treating us as family. This life-style has certainly grown on us.