When I arrived in Australia, I had some pretty wild ideas about freelancing. I’d work wherever I fancied, looking out at across the Great Barrier Reef, a pint of cold beer in my hand, without a care in the world.
Unfortunately, these ideas quickly faded for the following reasons:
- Lockdown meant I couldn’t just pop out whenever I fancied
- Beers are drunk in schooners over here (3/4 of a pint)
- The Great Barrier Reef is actually pretty far away from the coast
I could quickly get over points 2 and 3, but lockdown seriously impaired my ability to view my work as rewarding. There was something really lonely about being stuck in the same place all day – even though I was happy living with my boyfriend.
It probably didn’t’ help that we were 10,000 miles away from any other friends or family, and now could barely leave each other’s side!
The loneliness was to be expected, but I also found it surprisingly hard to disconnect from my work. Being always available meant I never told clients “I won’t be contactable for the next x amount of days” and I ended up being on call 24/7.
Having only these slight grievances, I feel extremely lucky to have encountered lockdown where I did. Even the names of the places I’ve been living bring me back to Earth with a pang of guilt whenever I feel a complaint coming on. How could I be anything less than thrilled about being stuck in Surfer’s Paradise or on the Sunshine Coast?!
Places have reopened and with each day I am more grateful to be in beautiful Queensland. I can now go to cafes to work if I’m feeling a spell of cabin fever coming on, and I have even managed to come to terms with the fact that I probably won’t get to see Melbourne any time soon.
A quick moment of silence for those in Victoria...
Overall, freelancing in Australia during COVID-19 has turned out better than I thought it would and I have been extremely fortunate. I have managed to spend a lot of time building my brand, leaving freelance sites behind and learning a few new skills on the side, too.
Now that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I have even gone ahead and planned a road trip! I’m switching on-call 24/7 for on-road 24/7 and I couldn’t be happier.
Hopefully I’ll get to see the Great Barrier Reef soon!