Hello there fellow travellers on the changing seas of the wide wild world,
I am here to report that nothing has changed - or in other words, that everything is changing (as usual). And as yet, no epiphany.
A few small insights, though. I had considered quite seriously looking at using my free time in the last half of the year to take up distance education. I thought long and hard about this proposterous possibility before realising that my desire to ruin my holiday with 'productivity' was just Sydney seeping back into my pores - or perhaps my relationship with her, rather than the town itself. Thinking about it, the misguided productivity urge is doing a lot of bad even now... but that's a long story in time and motivation management that I won't bore you with.
The employment situation is coming along a bit. Final round interviews with Willis weren't enough to get me past the hurdle of my relative inexperience. It was a touch sad that an initial-screening aspect to my candidature lost out over otherwise exemplary feedback on my application.
But that's okay. I've just had four final-round interviews with employers all more appealing. Quantium in Sydney want immediate start analysts (insurance and marketing). I was a little intimidated by the backgrounds and experience of the actuaries (statistical and financial mathematics postgrad students too) in my group interview on Friday - and surprised by the strength of the people and talking skills they all showed. But that's okay - I was there for a reason, and I am not one to judge my relative value. It would be a very positive endorsement for me to be offered a position.
A few Victorian Government departments also wanted to speak to me earlier in the week. There was room for improvement in all the interviews (I think I addressed a point or two on Friday), but nevertheless they went well, and every position sounds like a good opportunity so far.
Looking forward, I expect that securing one of the latter three would mean travelling this year, VPS GRAD Scheme next year, then (probably) postgrad study in a technical discipline (e.g. applied or financial stats) and on-the-job training in stats work (SPSS or SAS) for a couple more years. That would mean a strong background to provide a broad range of options and a good timeframe after which be able to make a change and pursue one of those.
There are still many questions to answer, but proceedings are positive.
It was good to need to pop down to Melbourne for a few days for the interviews. Be reaquainted with the old town and a friend or two. It is perhaps a little odd that I never get homesick - but that I do feel a touch of away-from-homesick for Melbourne. There may be extenuating factors... but it still seems strange.
In other timespans of future orientation, I'm on the cusp of departing Sydney for the final leg of my Australian travels. I should have told you at least the basics - which is all there is yet to know. Depart here soon, with the bike, and whatever seems necessary. Head North for QLD and the NT - pickup some work if it presents, like fruitpicking. Travel the top end (detour to Alice), continue to Perth. Visit relatives in WA, and return via the long stretch to Adelaide. If permitted, Tasmania over summer.
2009-motorcyclist.blogspot.com has a few details about the paintwork I've been doing - both bikes are now an affective shade of green (http://tiny.cc/GreJes http://tiny.cc/GreJill). As earlier, the motoblog will host some of the more motorcycle-oriented aspects of the trip (though I am considering condensing).
Right now I'm planning a going-away for Tuesday. You should come along.