Back to Work

Ever since I was 16 years old, I’ve been working for a paycheck. This past month and a half traveling Europe has been the longest time I have been completely jobless.

People keep asking me if I am on holiday. (That’s usually the case for young people you meet staying in hostels around Europe.) My voice wavers for a second, “Uuhhhee, not really,” I usually reply. “I’m traveling full time, but with some volunteering and seasonal work mixed in.” They usually say how cool that sounds and I agree, except for maybe the extreme budgeting I have to do. 

Even though exploring Europe with no work responsibilities has been grand, a couple of weeks in, I began to crave work. Not in the sense that I’m running out of money, so I better find work, but in the sense that my hands and my feet are craving to do a productive task. I would pass by shops and envy the cafe servers, the craftspeople and the artists. 

That’s why I’m glad to be doing a job again. I returned to Ireland (It’s been my favorite country so far.) to do a work/trade at a hostel. I work 25 hours a week for a free room and food. Straightaway it felt good to be making beds, cleaning floors and folding sheets. I like having a purpose, even if it’s simple. 

The hostel couldn’t be a more perfect place to work. It’s run by an extremely chill couple. It has an organic garden, chickens and a labrador retriever. And it’s in the cute town of Killarney, butted right up against a beautiful national park.

This is my work and my home for the next month:


2 thoughts on “Back to Work

  1. Hello Jo,

    Came upon your article in the Spokane Inlander this week, right when the mental crawlspace I’ve been
    inhabiting had become nearly intolerable. No coincidence…Really!! Last night, I (aka sadgirlseriouslystuck)
    was thinking it’s summer, the sun is shining, and what if…what if…instead of focusing on the wall of my
    woes, I stepped around it and systematically checked out every park in Spokane this summer.

    Decided a better question in my current state would be “What if I checked out one new park this week?”
    So if you can do all you’ve done, I can make it to Audubon Park. Have lived on the South Hill for
    30 plus years, and my exposure to the northside obviously has been a tad limited.

    So thank you, Jo…for your courage, and most of all, for sharing your story. Will be reading online about
    your adventures.


    1. Thank you, Suzanne! I’m so glad you’re sadgirlalittlelessstuck. Checking out the parks in Spokane is a wonderful idea! Perfect way to enjoy summer. Another thing I have learned traveling is that I need to act more like a traveler when I’m back home, doing things like that, checking out everything there is in the city and planning little adventures.


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