September 23rd-30th

Monday 23rd September 

 

My first task today is to drive to Appleton. I’m appearing live in studio on Josh Dukelow’s Fresh Take show on the WHBY radio station. It’s only around a half an hour drive and I arrive in plenty of time. I had a telephone interview last Monday morning so it’s great to finally meet Josh to be interviewed live on air. We chat for around 13 minutes or so and it turns out to be a really good interview. I particularly enjoy shouting out to everyone that has handed me Packers tickets so far such as Eric Jansen, Heather Heezen and Bon Lehman and Josh is gonna be taking me for Thursday night’s game against the Eagles. I jokingly tell Josh that we have to attend a 5am tailgate with The Fromigos, but Josh will be working that morning and so it’s more likely to be 5pm which is also more suitable for me as I want to remember the game. As soon as the interview is over I drive back to Green Bay and volunteer for three hours at Paul’s Pantry. I’m on scale duty again and it’s good to continue to help out in the local community. Once I’m back at the house I get a message from a local TV network who want to do a interview outside Lambeau at half 4. My Packers jacket is at Brad and Sandy’s house so I drive up to Howard so that I can wear it for the TV interview. Luckily Sandy is at home but is soon going to be flying out of Green Bay for work. For lunch I end up going for tacos again with Eric at Vintage Cantina. We have become good mate’s and we make plans to meet up for dinner and Monday night football. After lunch I’m back in the house to book a flight from Milwaukee to Dallas. Thankfully the scheduling for the Badgers-Kent State game was announced this morning for 11am on Saturday October 5th. This works really well for me as after the game I can drive to Milwaukee to catch a flight to Dallas. It’s really expensive to fly from Madison and there are no frequent flyer seats available that day, so I manage to find a decent flight from Milwaukee to Dallas via Chicago that leaves Milwaukee just after six in the evening and get’s me in just before 11 that night into Dallas Fort Worth airport. Using my Qantas points on American Airlines has most certainly saved me a lot of money. Once I have booked my flight for the Packers-Cowboys game I’m off to Lambeau for my TV interview. I’m not too sure where NBC 26 News are meeting me so I head to Lambeau Field Atrium for a soda water with lime and ending up making some new mates with a local family who are heading on a stadium tour shortly. It’s not long after they leave that I’m meeting reporter Ryan and cameraman Kyle at the Vince Lombardi statue just outside the stadium. Ryan asks the usual questions such as why I like the Packers and how I get to undertake such a unique adventure. Then Kyle gets me to pose for a few camera/film shots for tonight’s 10pm news. I was supposed to meet them back here at half six but they have been reassigned to a more news worthy segment - unbelievable. It’s been a couple of busy days so I end up having a nap back at the house before heading to Anduzzi’s Sport Club in Holmgren Way, not far from the Lambeau. Eric and I stay for a short while and decide to have dinner at Stadium View, a couple of minutes walk away and the scene of yesterday’s post game celebrations. As it’s Monday they have a special offer of double bubble so two for one drinks. Such drinks promotions have been banned in Australia due to alcohol fuelled violence but here in Wisconsin it doesn’t seem to encourage that. I hardly see any fights and people seem to be able to hold their drink better, despite the alcohol being so cheap. Maybe the high prices in Australia contribute to heavy pre loading which isn’t necessary over here. Also on Monday’s it’s 40 cent per wing night so the total bill of dinner and a few drinks for Eric comes out to a mere $20. All the bad (or good depending on your perspective) food and drinks is super cheap here in Wisconsin, even more so during midweek. The Monday night game between the Bears and Redskins is bit of an anti-climax as the Bears romp to an easy road victory. It’s nice to see Ha Ha Clinton-Dix score a touchdown due to him being a former Packer and also for having a great name. I drop Eric off at his mom’s place and then fill the car up with petrol (gas) before heading back to the house for some much needed sleep.

Tuesday 24th September 

I’m up around half 7 and travel to Jentstar for a vinyasa flow class with Jen herself. Straight after class and in my car I have a live call in interview on “The Joe and Ebo Show” on The Resistance 106.7 radio station. It’s another enjoyable media exposure and at the end they invite me to a red zone tailgate for the next Badgers game this Saturday in Madison which I’m sure will be loads of fun. Once I’m back at the house I have breakfast and I then set off the laundromat to do some washing. In one of the pockets I find a $20 note (bill) which is a lovely surprise. It’s lunchtime by the time I’m done and continue to work on my website. After a brief nap I get my haircut at Shear Sports. Chilli John’s is just a few doors down so I pop in to say hi to Karen but she isn’t there. I’m meet up with Eric at his mom’s house just before 4 and get to meet Pamela and her boyfriend Roy. Eric and I spend an hour or so playing a sport called Pickleball, a miniature version of tennis player on a blue clay court. It’s a hot day and we have a couple of Pickleball experts explain the rules by playing with them in a doubles game. I have never really been into tennis either as a player or spectator but Pickleball turns out to be a fun sport. After our doubles game Eric and I have a singles game in which he proves to be a more competent player than myself. Dinner is served early and Pamela’s lasagna certainly hits the spot. For dessert I’m provided with an apple cake, which is also home baked. Whilst we are eating the national news is on in the background. It turns out that Eric, Pamela and Roy are Trump and Republican supporters. My visits to America have definitely changed how I look at the political situation in this country. I think if I hadn’t visited the country at all of just hit the main tourist spots on either the western (Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco) or eastern (New York, Miami/Florida) parts of the country then I would probably have a negative perspective on Trump and Republican fans. Yet Eric donated a ticket to the NFL opener of the 100th season to a non-white foreigner who he had never previously met for nothing and since then we have become good mates. Plus Pamela and Roy have invited me into their home in the near future for Friday fish fry or just dinner whenever I fancy some home cooked food. Roy is really into his perch fishing and as clearly evident tonight Pamela is a great cook. As I have been commenting in both radio and TV interviews, the Wisconsin hospitality is amazing, some of the best in America. Furthermore it cuts beyond the political spectrum. I think this is something that even people based on the western and eastern parts of this country don’t understand, let alone people from around the world. I tend to judge people on how they treat me so if your hospitality is based on donating me a ticket to an expensive football game, inviting me to a tailgate or into your home for dinner and drinks, treating me like a member of your own family, offering me somewhere to stay for extended period of time, then you have a special place in my heart and a loyal mate for life. I have never experienced this level of hospitality or generosity in either India, England or Australia. It’s never about which political party you support, if you like the current President of USA or not, or other divisive issues manipulated by the media. At 6 we turn on NBC 26 to see whether my story has made it on the local news tonight and it turns out that I’m on - but when the main anchor cuts to Ryan live at Lambeau there is a technical fault and they only end up having a short clip of my story with more at ten later that night. I jokingly reply to Ryan that they have a technical issue and he replies back that they had some issues. I also point out that I’m not from Australia and my background is mixed. My family background is Indian, I was born in England and Australia has been home for the past 11 years or so. Ryan reassures me that the facts will be corrected. No wonder there is so much fake news in this country! It’s so easy for information to be lost in translation. That’s why I liked, and continue to like the 90s British comedy “The Day Today”, which took a comical look at how facts reported in the media can be completely untrue. I’m back at the house around 7 and I tell Yvonne that I’m moving out. I have decided to move in with Heather, Nick and Jack Heezen. When I first went to visit the family I was finding it difficult to get on with Yvonne and they kindly offered a place to stay as they have two spare rooms with only needed as a guest room. Next year they are looking to host an exchange foreign student so they mentioned it would be great to have an exchange foreign teacher. It’s funny as in the past few days or so Yvonne and I started to get on really well, but I had already told the Heezen’s that I was moving and unlike Yvonne’s I can do my laundry in house. I think I won Yvonne’s respect in two ways. First by being clean, quiet and respectful. Secondly through volunteering at Bay Port High School, the food bank and with the Veterans. It only takes me around half an hour to pack up all my things from my room and food in the kitchen and then we have a goodbye chat. I ask her what age she is (I was curious) and it turns out that she is 82 - no wonder she had issues at the start with how I was on a paid sabbatical-nothing of the sorts has existed throughout her life. Yet to be so physically and mentally healthy at that age is incredible. She was born in 1937 and both remembers and lived through major historical events such as WWII, the swinging 60s, assassination of JFK, Civil Rights Movement, OPEC oil crisis and so much more. Before we hug each other to say goodbye she tells me that I was a good renter - I knew she would come round - didn’t expect it to be so soon though. I stayed in her home for 15 nights but paid a month’s rent in advance but there was no way I was gonna ask for any of it back. It will probably take her a couple of weeks or so to get someone in and plus I have received so much generosity that it’s only fair that I return some back to a true Wisconsinite. The drive to my new accommodation in Green Bay isn’t long as I’m still gonna be in the suburb of Ashwaubenon. I’m gonna be up early tomorrow to head back to Bay Port High School so after unpacking I say goodnight to Heather and Nick and then I’m off to sleep.

Wednesday 25th September 

 

As I’m heading back to Bay Port High School it’s a 6am start. Whilst I’m near the school I notice my good mate Sandy walking Dickens so I stop to stay hi. The first class I’m with is James Radish’s Sociology class - today’s lesson is about values. Last week I was mainly teaching so I didn’t really get to see him but today I can see that he is a charismatic educational professional. For the rest of the morning I get to drop in to a number of classes, starting off with a chat to a Finance class currently studying the topic of decision making. So I end up chatting to them about my decision to move to Green Bay. It’s certainly been a pretty expensive one in financial terms but these types of life and travel experiences are priceless. The class members have lots of interesting questions to ask which I enjoy answering. Then I’m with a History class studying the American revolution. They are finishing watching an educational DVD on John Adams, an influential figure in the colonies breaking away from Great Britain in the 19th century to eventually become the United States Of America. One of the arguments put forward by some colonies (states) at the time against independence was that Britain had a large empire and would provide fundamental support to this new, young country. Jon Adams argued strongly that America would able to stand alone and become an influential nation in the world order, which turned out to be pretty correct. The school and it’s sports teams are known as the “Pirates” and today the students have two lessons called “Pirate Time”. James is taking some student’s rollerblading. I try to put on some blades for the first time and so I find it pretty challenging, which James finds amusing. Looking back at the video that he recorded it’s funny watching me trying to balance. So instead I’m placed in a class of students that are on a video games course and for Pirate Time they get to play some video games. Like most things in life you could argue against these non academic activities in an educational institution but also the interpersonal skills students are gaining such as team working and using their own initiative. James and I head for lunch at Gallagher’s again for the $10 buffet lunch and are joined by one of James’s colleagues. After lunch I’m placed in another History class, all of whom are Freshman learning about the discovery of the New World during the Middle Ages. For the last session of the day I’m back with James and as he is teaching the same lesson again and with me being tired I travel back to the house for a nap. I’m going to be volunteering later with the Veterans for Foreign Wars by serving drinks at the beer tent on Broadway Farmers Market. Upon arrival at the house I find Heather chatting with her father and cousin, who have traveled from Janesville. I greet them and get to ask a few questions about Janesville, a town that used to have a General Motors vehicle manufacturing plant but since it’s closed down the whole local economy collapsed. Car workers earned really good wages but for some a lot of that money was spent on the wrong things such as drinking and gambling - sounds a lot like the mining booms in Western Australia and Queensland back home. I nap for an hour then get ready to head to downtown Green Bay. I spend the first part of my volunteering pouring drinks then I’m on serving duties. I find it really enjoyable taking orders, asking for ID, receiving tips (all of which are donated into the tip jar) and for those not with cash, using bank cards to pay for drinks. I’m so excited that I’m told I need to slow down when collecting drinks and heading to the money draw. I have a couple of people recognise me from my the news last night with one guy asking for a photo. Eric is also there helping out and I get to meet some of his mates and other volunteers. Next Wednesday all volunteers have been invited to a thank you party where we will get free food and drinks in a park just off Broadway. Serving stops at 7 and they all pop in to a bar across the road but I decide to drive to a nearby Mexican restaurant for dinner. Tomorrow is going to be another long day so I end up back at the house early. After some reading and listening to music I’m off to bed around 10.

Thursday 26th September

My alarm goes off at 5 and I’m quickly out of bed to get ready. I drive to Eric’s mom’s place to pick him up and together we set off for Badger State Brewing tailgate lot 2 to meet up with Brad and Alex from The Fromigos. Calvin and a camera person are meeting us to do a live 6am shoot for WFRV Local 5 news. It’s cold and dark when we set up and it doesn’t warm up until around 9am when the sun is up. Plus I haven’t put on any extra layers of clothing. Calvin wanted to meet outside Lambeau for an interview but I did that with NBC 26 news on Monday. Furthermore I wanted both to acknowledge and recognise the Packers community that has reached out to me - The Fromigos for tailgating and Eric for donating me a ticket to Soldier Field a few weeks ago. We end up having two live shoots. First just after 6 and then around an hour later. In between the two interviews I get to know more about Calvin, who is from Michigan. Calvin’s father is originally from Essex, England and met his mother on a blind date when he was working as an engineer in Detroit. After the TV crew leave we watch the film Old School, one of my favourite movies of all time. Eric’s girlfriend is coming up from Chicago so I drop him off back at his mom’s place and I pop into Festival supermarket to pick up some supplies for The Fromigos. Once I’m back at the tailgate the guys cook up some of the food. They started drinking just before 6 and are planning to go to the game later! This is far too early for me plus I’m meeting up with Josh from WHBY radio station so no drinking for me. Around about 10 I head back to the house to do some washing and unpack further. I move the chest of drawers, TV and DVD player from the spare guest room to my room. I find pushing the chest of drawers difficult, which proves I need to get back into the gym for strength work. It’s also probably due to the fact that I’m tired and I get a couple of hours of much needed sleep. When I wake up, Nick, Heater and her mate Em from California are chatting downstairs. As I was cold earlier this morning I put on a couple of extra layers of clothing after getting showered. I’m only having a few drinks tonight over several hours with food so I drive to Nick’s grandma’s, whose home is not too far from Lambeau and so provides a great location to leave the car, without being charged. Most residents around Lambeau charge between $15-20 for a parking space. My first stop is as always The Fromigos, but once I get there the guys are nowhere to be seen. They are probably in some local bar continuing their drinking shenanigans. The next stop is Brad and Sandy’s Lambulance. Bob takes a photo with me as his dad doesn’t believe that his son knows me. Sandy and Wendy are on cooking duties and I enjoy catching up with Roxanne, Sean and Mackenzie again. Also Anthony and Lisa whom I both first met at Badger State Brewing before the Packers-Texans pre season game are attending the tailgate and heading to the game. Brad is hosting a delegation of travel consultants from around America and whilst eating I get to meet people from Ohio, Kentucky, Louisiana and California that are wearing green and gold. The tundra line turn up again and provide us with a nice performance - really enjoy their enthusiasm and passion. At the Badgers-USF Bulls game in Tampa last month I met a guy called Mike and he is in a bar called “The Bar” on Holmgren Way. A mate of his is playing drums in the 80s band who belt out some classics from artists such as Def Leppard and Bon Jovi. I enjoy catching up with Mike and also get to meet his mate’s Travis and John. Josh is a bit late getting to Green Bay due to traffic and comes to meet me in The Bar. We all have a beer then walk over to Brad and Sandy’s Lambulance - I gave them a shout out on Josh’s show on Monday and want him to meet two really important people. Then it’s over to lot 1 to introduce Josh to Scott Schwartz, another one of my radio shout outs. Upon greeting Scott I’m provided with a VIP pass with my name, a photograph of myself and a picture of the Australian flag - I’m so grateful and embrace Scott for a wonderful present. We don’t spend long as the games is going to start soon. The tickets are on Josh’s phone and it takes several minutes for the an attendant’s scanner to recognise the barcode, equally frustrating for not only us but everyone else trying to get into Lambeau. We are sitting in section 351 and as I’m driving it’s a case of no more drinks for myself. I hear my name being called out as I take my seat and I turn round to see Anthony and Lisa a few rows behind me. Packers start the game well heading into the first quarter 7-0, but the Eagles score 21 points through 3 touchdowns in the second quarter. A Packers touchdown and two Mason Crosby field goals result in a 20-21 scoreline at half time. Although in the second half the Packers score another touchdown, the Eagles score two resulting in the Packers first defeat of the season, and my first ever defeat watching the Packers. My Matt from back in Perth is a Cowboys fan and he replied to one of my Instagram stories that next weekend’s Packers-Cowboys game will be a huge game. I sent him back the following reply: “Our defense was shocking last night. On the offense we couldn’t run the ball like the Eagles. Lots of issues came that were hidden from first 3 games. September was a tough month so to be 3-1 I would have taken. Still a young team and I said in my first interview a month ago I would like a winning season. Could be 3-2 after cowboys game and Lions is next home game for Monday night football. That will be tough too and they could be coming to Lambeau top of NFC North. It’s gonna be a crazy season. Cowboys looking good and will be a really tough road game for us. Let’s just hope we can defend like we did at Chicago. It’s not pretty football but who cares”. After the game Josh and I walk to Nick’s grandma’s house to pick up my car. I drive him to a diner for food. I enjoyed my evening watching the game together and getting to know him better. We actually did a live recording when the scores were tied at 27-27. Josh’s producer is driving him back to Appleton and once we have eaten we travel back to Lambeau. As I drop Josh off I thank him for the evening and for having me on his Fresh Take Show. Our next interview will be live from Dallas Love Field the Monday morning after the Packers-Cowboys game, before I catch a flight to Birmingham Alabama. I’m finally back at the house around 1am. Even though the Packers lost I had an enjoyable day.

Friday 27th September 

I first wake up around 7 then I’m back to sleep for another couple of hours. Turns out to be a nice rest overall. I make myself breakfast for the first time in my new house then spend the rest of the morning updating my website. I travel to De Pere just before noon for a Yin class with Megan and once I’m back at the house I do some packing for my trip to Madison and Milwaukee. I end up going for Friday fish fry at the Redwood Inn again which like the first time is simply delicious. Then it’s time to get ready for Touchdowns For Hope. I’m going a charity auction evening with Nick and Heather. I have both a nice pair of black trousers and shoes plus a nice shirt which I left in a suitcase that I brought over from Australia during last year’s sprint holidays and which was kept in Will’s house in Sobieski until I moved to Green Bay last month. However I  have to borrow a dinner jacket from Nick, which turns out to be slightly big for me but I still like wearing it for the evening. Nick and Heather are looking good too and it’s particularly nice to see Heather having an evening out and her immune system getting stronger. Upon arrival I get to meet Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison and punter Mason Crosby, both of whom I share my story with and receive nice comments. The Lambeau Field announcer Bill Jartz provides the voice as well as entertainment for tonight’s auction, which raises quite a bit of money for a good cause - the cause being a shelter for homeless people and people just generally going though a difficult time in their lives with the shelter offering financial and logistical support to help individuals and families with an opportunity to get back on their feet. During the auction there is a short film played on a woman who lost everything - her home, job, car and nearly lost her kids to social services but with the assistance of Touchdowns For Hope she was able to get a new job and now lives in her own home with her children and they also have a new car and they all received counselling to help them heal from their terrible situation. Without the charity she would not been able to recover from an awful life experience. Nick ends up winning in the raffle a signed 100th (2018) season football from last year’s Packers playing roster. It’s in a framed box which I help to carry back to the car as we are leaving. We arrive at the house not too late and I say goodbye to Em who I won’t be seeing in the morning as I’m leaving early for Madison. She looked after Jack for the evening whilst Nick, Heather and I were at Touchdowns for Hope. Tomorrow is gonna be a long day so I’m in bed for around 10.

 

Saturday 28th September 350 KM 220 M

 

It’s college game day. I don’t sleep too well. Maybe I’m nervous that the Badgers will also be 3-1 by end of this round. I leave the house around half 6 so it’s just before 9 by the time I find a decent parking spot, with Armin Van Buuren’s latest A State Of Trance weekly podcast show providing the soundtrack for my drive. I walk up South Randall Avenue and pop into Lucky’s 1313 to see if anyone has a spare ticket. I catch up with one of the guys from the first home game three weeks ago and also bump into Craig and Beth, and as Beth points out in the same place too. They come to Lucky’s 1313 for most home games but don’t have tickets and haven’t been to a game in a while. I check on Stubhub and find 3 tickets for all of us for only $60 including fees. I ask them if they want to go the game with me. Last week I got donated a ticket but I was by myself and coupled with the fact that I have received so many tickets and that tickets for today’s game are so cheap I offer to donate them two tickets. I give Craig and Beth some time and space so that they decide upon whether to accept my offer of free tickets and it doesn’t take them long to say yes. They ask if I would like to have a drink but I tell them I’m not drinking and I’m driving to Wauwatosa after the game. Craig and Beth finish their drinks and then we all find somewhere to eat. Across the road from Lucky’s 1313 I notice an Asian restaurant so we walk over for some fried rice. It will most certainly helps us get through the game without having to buy overpriced junk food served by vendors inside the stadium. After the food we nip into a tailgate party zone then arrive at our seats in plenty of time. Badgers are in control for most of the game and finish 24-15, resulting in a 4-0 start to the season. Jonathan Taylor is looking really good and a lot of people are saying that he will be drafted next season by an NFL franchise. Craig, Beth and I leave a few minutes into the final quarter so that we can beat the traffic, walking to my car and then I drive us all to a couple of local bars en route to their home, which is located on a quiet road just outside Madison. They tell me that I can stay for the Badgers-Spartans game next month, which is another generous offer providing by the hospitable people of Wisconsin. This time the soundtrack is provided by BBC Radio 1’s Dance Anthems, and with hour one being classic anthems I really enjoy listening to the song from Route 94 featuring Jess Glynn as interstate 94 connects Madison and Milwaukee. I arrive to my mate Ed’s place at 5. I have been staying here for the past couple of years for a night or two and once we have had some home cooked food for dinner we head to Camp Tosa for some beers whilst watching baseball. The Brewers need to keep on winning to guarantee a berth in the playoffs. The next bar is called Wauwatiki, which is owned by Ed’s mate Peter. But more importantly I recognise bartender Tara from Electric Forest. I stumbled upon her RV at an after party and she found my story fascinating. I enjoy seeing her again, meeting Peter, catching up with Ed and mingling with other patrons. Peter is also going to try and get me into a corporate box for the Monday night Packers-Lions game. It’s pretty late by the time Ed and I get back to his home.

 

Sunday 29th September 200 KM 125 M

 

I have a really nice lie in and after Ed makes me eggs and some coffee I’m back to bed to catch up on sleep. It’s a nice lazy Sunday morning and for the afternoon we spend it watching football. The undefeated NFC North leaders, the Detroit Lions, are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. It turns out to be a really good game with the lead changing a few times and the Chiefs scoring in the last 20 seconds to secure a good road win. But the Lions also look good this season and the Packers next home against is the Monday night the following round after the Cowboys game in Dallas - two tough games - like I said on Josh Dukelow’s Fresh Take Show last Monday morning there are no easy games in the NFL. Ed’s wife Paige is back home around 3 and it’s nice to see her again and share some of my travel experiences over the past 9 months or so. Once the game is finished I say my goodbyes then drive up interstate 43 to head back to Green Bay with the latest weekly episode of ABGT (Above and Beyond Group Therapy) providing the soundtrack. I have always wanted to visit Sheboygan so I end up stopping here for food. It turns out that this small town has a Thai restaurant. Kyo and his family are originally from Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. Some people might think that moving from Perth, Western Australia to Green Bay is a slight culture shock but having visited and traveled Thailand, a family move from a bustling city of 10 million people in Asia to a small town of 50,000 in Wisconsin is most certainly a bigger one. The green curry is really good - and big - so I get a box to make lunch for Nick for tomorrow. I’m back in Green Bay at half 6 then start my laundry. I’m pretty glad I don’t have to go to a laundromat anymore. Nick, Heather and Jack get back from a family dinner around 7 and whilst they are taking Jack to sleep I watch the Sunday night game between the Cowboys and Saints. Both teams defend really well and although the Cowboys score the only touchdown of the game, 4 field goals provide the Saints with a narrow win, and like the Packers, sending our opponents to their first defeat of the season. Next Sunday at AT&T stadium will be a tough game with both teams aiming to bounce back after week 4 losses. Nick comes down to watch a bit of the game and I provide him with a wrap up of some of Sunday’s games. He doesn’t stay long and Heather is sleeping so I’m all alone for the final quarter of the game. As soon as the game is finished I’m in bed.

Monday 30th September 

 

I have a nice lie in until around 9 in the morning then I have some light breakfast before working on my website -  I’m finishing off the photos section for the month of September. It’s a nice relaxing morning followed by a light lunch and subsequently answering questions for the Australian Teachers Magazine. The Managing Editor sent me an email around a week or so again asking if I would participate in an interview for an article about my sabbatical and experiences so far with respect to living in Green Bay, attending Packer games and traveling around America. I replied that I’m really interested as I think it’s important for teachers to take a career break or sabbatical for a year off and do something that they have always wanted to do - whether it be in their home country or overseas. Whilst I was backpacking around South America for several months I met so many travellers that thought it was amazing that I worked for an employer that allowed you to take a paid sabbatical with a guaranteed return to the position after arriving back home. Hopefully my article, like my media coverage here in America, will inspire someone to pursue their dream extended vacation. However it’s harder when you’re not getting paid and have to leave your job. Yet as I told both travellers in South America and teachers at Bay Port, as well as anyone else that has praised the Western Australian government for its paid sabbatical scheme, not many teachers take a year off. It’s difficult for a significant majority to be on 80% pay for 4 years whilst still paying significant household costs such as home, car, personal and student loans as well as daily expenses. Furthermore for the fifth year off it’s tough to leave home on 80% pay for a year away when teachers still have bills to pay. I head to Jenstar yoga for a vinyasa flow class with Megan then pop into Festival Foods in De Pere to pick up some groceries. Upon arrival at the house I find Heather, Nick and Jack eating dinner and having prepared some food for me, which apart from the mac and cheese is pretty healthy. I am going to be teaching Nick how to make curry tomorrow so I show him the marination process the night before. After some reading and listening to music I’m in bed early as tomorrow morning I’m back at Bay Port High School. I’m finding the Monday after a weekend of watching football and traveling for games is much needed chill time.