I suppose I should start by introducing myself.  My name is Phoebe and I’m a single, 27 year old girl living in Boston, Massachusetts.   In a little over 2 weeks, on September 22nd, it will be 8 years that I’ve called this wonderful city my home.  Short back story, I grew up in the Western portion of the state of Massachusetts known as The Berkshires.  While it’s a beautiful (really, really beautiful), quiet and relatively laid back part of the world, after a short stint in college and another short period of living at home with my family again, I realized it was necessary for me at that time to reside somewhere that could present me with more opportunity and excitement.  So, on September 22nd, 2001 (Yes, only 11 days after that September 11th), I packed my bags and moved from a rural country locale to the largest city in New England.  Needless to say, I was scared outta my mind.  Since this blog is not really about my time in Boston, I’ll try to speed this story up a bit.  I moved.  I stayed.  I changed and learned and grew and I have never for a second regretted my decision to relocate to this city.  Over the course of time I’ve been living here I’ve gone from a shy, insecure, 19 year old with barely any job experience who was used to having to drive, at minimum, 15 minutes to ANY type of store to a far more self assured, skilled, 27 year old with 6 years experience in accounting, who can go 15 steps down the street from her apartment and find a CVS, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks on each and every corner.  I love this city and I am comfortable here.  Which brings me to my decision to move to Australia for a year on a Work and Holiday Visa.

I’m itching for a challenge in life and I think I have been for about three years now.  I want to be scooped up, carried away, and dropped smack dab in the middle of a situation entirely outside of my comfort zone.  I want to embark on a journey that will allow me to grow even more while reiterating that I can do anything I put my all into.  Something which creates amounts of excitement and fear inside of me that far surpass the levels I felt due to moving across the state.  (Therefore surpassing the value at succeeding in accomplishing it.)  I’m single.  I’m 3 years short of age restrictions barring me from eligibility for a Work and Holiday Visa.  I don’t have any children to support.  I don’t have a mortgage or even a car to pay for.

But Phoebe, why Australia?

Last June, I broke up with my boyfriend.  We had only been together officially for about 3 months, and it was a long distance relationship so we hadn’t even spent much time in the presence of each other, but the break up was nonetheless hard for me to handle and I was, while I wouldn’t go as far as to say heartbroken, extremely upset.  I wasn’t ready to get involved in anything serious so soon, so I spent my time concentrating on other things.  One of those things happened to be the Boston Red Sox.  Another thing I have gained while living in Boston, is an absolute love for the Red Sox and the game of baseball itself.  I had joined a social networking site for Sox fans and decided to spend a bit more time on there discussing Jason Varitek’s knack for striking out at some of the most inopportune moments, rather than dwell on my horrid batting average in the game of dating and relationships.  Back when I first joined the site, I would casually chat with a smattering of other Sox fans but not to any large extent.  One of those fans happened to be from Melbourne, Australia.  I remember at the time thinking it was so odd that an Australian was on a Red Sox fan site, but also found it intriguing.  It didn’t hurt that said Australian was quite nice to look at. 🙂  When I again started chatting on the site last June, nice looking Aussie and myself reconnected.  He was coming to Boston in September for three weeks to attend a bunch of Sox games.  I didn’t think much of it really, and just enjoyed having someone to chat with on occasion.  On occasion slowly morphed into frequently and I found myself starting to fall for him. (As much as you can possibly fall for someone on the other side of the world through internet and telephone communication.)  We made plans to meet when he made his way to Boston in September and when that time came we ended up spending the better part of his three weeks here together.  He took me to five Red Sox games, I took him to the Basketball Hall of Fame and a bunch of Boston bars, we watched classic American and Aussie movies together, and he was as awesome, funny and easy to be around as I expected he would be.  I had a great time with this Australian stranger and I can truly say the time I spent with him was one of the best experiences I have ever had.  While he and I are still in contact a year later, unfortunately, nothing more than a long distance friendship has come of it.  However, I am still greatly intrigued by his country; the people, the accent, the foods and customs, the holidays, the history, the beauty of the land, and even the creepy (sometimes deadly) crawlies that apparently inhabit it!  So while my initial interaction with, and let’s be honest, interest in anything Australian was just a silly boy, it has invoked a sort of desire inside of me to learn more about everything in Australia and has propelled me to turn my life upside down (under) and move thousands of miles away to a place I have never set foot.