Happy Thanksgiving (reflecting on Oz)

So I’ve been home for just over a month now, comsuming my time with freelance projects, job hunts and Kayla Itsines’ BBG workouts (#DeathByKayla is for real y’all). This last week my mind’s been sifting through my last three years of memories, all the incredible people I met, and the ridiculously hilarious times shared. Three years spent jumping into waves, making lifelong amigos, touring, working fucking disgustingly long hours, and taking on a new lingo… didn’t nail that one (saying “taking a piss” rather “taking the piss”… lovely).

A brief list of crazy crap accomplished… going to Oz solo, working on farms in tropical wonderlands (Byron Bay), living with an Australian farming family in the outback, spending 10 days in absolute silence (Vipassana), meeting the girls for a Saturday morning kick-about, sailing beneath the starts through the Whitsunday Islands, snorkelling and swimming the fresh water creeks in Cairns, riding the sand dunes of Fraser Island, working in construction (what a JOKE that was!), being constantly approached by homeless people for a chit chat at work (one man sang Bryan Adams’ “Run To You” to me because I’m Canadian, Bryan Adams is Canadian… yup), coming home with a bit of money in the bank, and meeting the love of my life.

It was an absolutely incredible adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for nutaaang. And even though I wake up some mornings wishing I was still living down the street from Bondi Beach, or strolling through the weekend farmers’ markets, I can’t forget how much I missed home.

2015 is the first in four years I’m home for Thanksgiving. Home with family, besties and my stud muffin… not to mention incredible autumn views, brisk weather, pumpkins, turkey, stuffing, pie, desserts, more food, food, and more food for good measure. I can’t wait for the leaves to start changing, for snow, for skating, boarding, tobogganing, dog sleds, fireplaces, Christmas lights and annoying month-long Xmas music.

About a week ago I was in line at a Services Ontario office when the man infront overheard me and asked “Why the hell did you leave Australia?” I can see his point. But after being away from home for so long, I grew to appreciate what I left behind, and missed the comforts I grew up with. I missed Canada, watching the Maple Leafs lose, hearing everyone complain about the snow, falling asleep by the fireplace, or the annoying sound of mamacita and padre fighting over what cooking oil’s superior or which butcher sells the best meat. I can’t forget how thankful I am for living down under, as well as finally returning to Toronto, being around those I love, showing my man the sights, and being anxious and excited for the Canadian adventures to come.

Whether you’re Canadian or not, Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you’re all spending this time of year with people you love, and in the place you cherish most. GO Jays GO!

Bondi Beach, NSW
Bondi Beach, NSW
Sisters for life
Sisters for life
Mullumbimby farm crew
Mullumbimby farm crew
Early morning auto theft
Early morning auto theft
View from home
View from home
Byron Bay, NSW
Byron Bay, NSW
Getting a lift over the QVB in Sydney
Getting a lift over the QVB in Sydney
Hey good lookin' <3
Hey good lookin’ ❤

Watch your savings grow while you’re abroad

10.1.15 For those of you thinking of leaving a cash stash at home before going to Australia (or any other country), or those of you simply looking to hop onto the savings bandwagon… this Bud’s for you. Well it’s not a Bud (sorry), it’s a blog post. Enjoy.

If you’ve been following my blog you know I’m a fan of the mighty TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account). A tad over six years ago the Canadian market welcomed the newborn account into the financial game. At that time you were allowed to contribute a max of $5 000 annually to collect interest. In 2015, Harper bumped the max annual contribution to $10 000. What’s the big deal? You’re allowed to make a withdrawal at any time TAX FREE, and you gain that contribution room back the following January.

As of right now I’m sticking to my TFSA with Tangerine (ING Direct). I also still have a Savings Account with Tangerine (no minimum balance or monthly fees). They’re currently offering new customers six months of tripled interest with a new savings account! You can read more about that here. Another promo they have going is $100 for switching your payroll deposits over by the end of October 2015 (click here for more info).

Cherry on top? For those of you interested in opening an account with Tangerine, you could make an extra $50 by using my Orange Key referral number (Orange key: 36234874S1). This would also make me an extra $50. Win win. You can compare their savings accounts here.

After finally coming home from Australia I can tell you this: I am soo glad I left a little Canadian coin here at home. While abroad I hardly touched it, which forced me to get going and make some money when I was running near empty in Oz. If you’re leaving the country for a while and have the opportunity to lock some money up before leaving, you’ll be grateful you did.

Tangerines aside, I was thinking of doing another sweep and comparing the best Canadian banks and their interest rates (for everyday savings accounts, TFSAs etc). As well to look at the best credit cards… namely for travelling, but maybe I’ll throw in a few more (one’s with the best cash back rates and/or lowest interest rates). Stay tuned…

Do you know of any banks offering above average interest rates for savings or TFSA’s at the mo? Comment below!

What’s next for IWTK!

9.20.15 For all the readers and those who’ve commented and sent me emails and questions… THANK YOU! You’ve made it super easy to come up with blog posts and I appreciate the support.

As for a little update…

I’ve returned home to Toronto after 3 years travelling and working in Oz. Also brought home a studly Irish man to introduce to the fam (who we’re living with until we get back on our feet and working again).

So we’ve been in Toronto 4 weeks to the day and for that time I’ve been thinking about what to do with this blog. Here’s where you (yes YOU… you absolutely beautiful thing you) can help!

I’m going to continue posting free tips and helpful information for those of you thinking of heading Australia-bound, while working on an extremely detailed ebook that delves more into the ins-and-outs of Oz and how to make the most of your working/travelling adventure.

As for right now, if you could continue sending me your questions, as well as topics you’d like me to divulge, then comment on this post or shoot me a message (check ‘Contact’ tab for info on how to reach me).

Also, for any readers with tips on writing ebooks, hit me with it! I’d love to hear from y’all. Until next time!