What's the Plan for 2024?
For the last couple of years, we have trekked and worked a very similar routine of heading to the Pilbara in W.A. for the winter months to work and then trekking south for the summer to camp and hunt and also pick up additional work along with some farm sitting. This has been very effective with our plan to be semi-retired and nomadic, as rates of pay in the Pilbara far exceed anything we could ever earn in the southwest, so it makes a great spot to cash up in a short amount of time.
But we knew it was time to mix things up for 2024 and try to plan out something different. Very recently, those plans have just been locked in - so we'll see how it all pans out!
I wanted to write this post for something to look back on at the end of the year and see how the year really went and if it all went to the rough plan we have. That's the beauty of the life we live - we have made the sacrifices that give us the freedom to have a choice. And it's those choices that are one of the hardest things to be at peace with in your head. That's a topic for a whole other post one day and those that know.... will know.
I'm a big fan of this illustration below, don't become someone who just chooses the bread.
So late last year, our plans changed from travelling to Japan to help out at mate's B&B after Kel locked in surgery due to ongoing complications from the medication that she is on to prevent the recurrence of her breast cancer. After the operation, the doctors weren't super keen on us travelling overseas so close after surgery and travel insurance was turning out to be a nightmare without the surgeon's clearance. Making the call not to go to Japan was devastating but the upside was that we were able to be at home for Christmas and plan out what we were going to do for 2024.
We had already locked in the Hezza Slaya World Championship in Walpole for mid-March, so we knew we had to be back for that and we had forever talked about hitting parts of the S.A. coast again after our last time travelling through the area, so it took about 5 minutes to make up a rough plan to trek down the south coast mid-January, get into S.A. by the end of January and then spend five odd weeks camping and fishing along the coast of the Eyre Peninsula, before making our way back into W.A. for the Herring Comp.
This is still our rough plan as I write this on the beach east of Esperance in late January. We have a few spots marked we want to check out, but nothing booked as yet, and we'll just play it by ear as much as we can. We also have a few places that we visited 12 years ago when we did a lap that we'd love to explore more in the tinny and see what's changed.
Alexander Bay East W.A.
After the Hezza Slaya Comp our plans on what we'd do for work were still being finalised up until just a few days ago, so it's all fresh and exciting!
Because we wanted to do something different this year, we had set our feelers out for some Cattle Station work. We have previously worked on a cattle station many moons ago in FNQ and wouldn't mind going back up there and having another crack at it. Cattle stations like to lock in their seasonal mustering workers as early as possible, so I had contacted previous stations we knew of but even in November jobs were already filling up for the next muster, so we joined a few of the Facebook pages that are Farm and Station Work specific, put a small ad on the pages about ourselves and waited to see if we got anything back...
The day after the post, I think we got around 10-12 job offers all over the top end! So, after contacting them all for additional info we nutted it down to around 3 and went from there. Long story short, we got in phone contact with "Preference A" a potential job that looked amazing and were also in contact with "Preference B" which also looked like an epic place however much further away from the ocean which was the only reason it was the second preference. Anyway, it turned out that "A" wasn't big on communication or giving us answers so we contacted "B", had a great phone chat, locked it in, and instantly felt like the right decision had been made!
So, we are heading to the NT!! We'll be working on a cattle station inland from King Ash Bay in the Gulf. We'll be working directly under the owners and Kel and I will be doing a job share role plus the option of doing additional days here and there. The owners also have the property next door, but this station hasn't been lived on for a few years and will need a bit of love. They have had their cattle on it for a while but have decided to move there this year and get the place up to scratch. Primarily Kel and I will be the station cook and with only a small crew of about 8 of us, it will be great! Our other jobs will be building a vege patch (which I'm super excited about!!), chook coop, general gardening, and maintenance, and the plan is to help out with anything else as needed. There are lots of feral pigs to cull with the odd buffalo so I've already got the green light to help them out there, plus they have mentioned they have a shack at King Ash Bay so we will hopefully do a few missions up there and get into some mud crabs and fishing! We plan to get up there by the 2nd week of April and work through till late Oct as we have to be home in time for a mate's wedding.
Anyway, that's the rough info we know so far, and we'll keep ya'll up to date as the year goes by.
Financially it will be a massive hit to us to do this job for 7 months, not sure what the end of 2024 will look like in terms of funds, but I already know it won't be good! We have backup funds in our mortgage which we'll use if we have to, but part of life is just send it and see! We already know from previous years that some of the lowest-paying jobs are the ones we have loved the most. We are already so lucky in Australia that jobs are plentiful and if you have half a brain and a bit of ambition you can pretty much do anything you like!
It's just the excuses that hold people back.
Our plan is to write a monthly blog post which will be like a diary for us and be something to share with you all. As always, a huge thanks to everyone who follows our journey, sends me snakes, travel suggestions, and just general love!
Team Jelly ox