A place for my head
Whenever I move to a new city, I always try and find a job first. Secure a line of income before getting myself involve in rent. But it always happens the other way round, I always find a place to live first and the job usually follows in the following weeks.
I had originally planned on flat hunting and finding my own place. A one bed bachelor pad in some trendy but affordable part of Montreal. I had been living with people for so long now, I just wanted my own space, some peace, a place for my head. Initial searches on kijiji seemed promising, lots of places that matched my requirements and modest budget.
The unexpected opportunities
However, I ended my flat hunting search before it even began as I was offered a wildcard, an opportunity that I hadn't even considered: work for accommodation at the hostel I was staying at. I had done work for accommodation before, it is how I spent most of my time in Central America. I poured tequila shots, checked in weary backpackers and booked volcano tours in my appalling Spanish, all in exchange for nights in the acid room. That pokey little room in the centre of the hostel, it got it's name because the person who painted the walls was apparently on acid when they did it.
Luckily this hostel in Montreal was nice, clean and not decorated by someone on hallucinogens. Work for accommodation seemed like a no brainer. Here I could have a place to stay in a central location in Montreal, have immediate access to amenities, social events and an abundance of new and existing people. The networking opportunities for my photography was probably the biggest single reason. I was fortunate to be given this opportunity so soon after arriving. I think this was partly down to good timing as one of the existing volunteers was leaving, but also down to my abundant experience of staying and working in hostels. All that bumming around the world has actually made me very employable in this situation, or rather volunteerable. My weekly schedule would consist of 20-25 hours of work in the hostel, which was enough to keep me busy but still gave me time to seek freelance photography work.
So, this all seemed perfect. The only drawback was I wouldn't be living in a room that I could call my own. I am an introvert, or I used to think I was one. Continuous social interactions drain my social battery, I recharge by retreating to my cave and resting my head for an hour or so. The years of travel have definitely had an effect. The capacity of my social battery has been expanded and I don't need to retreat so far from society to recharge. Just wearing some headphones is usually enough for a quick charge. I don't crave solitude much anymore, in some ways it scares me now. Am I an introvert that is scared of being on their own? Maybe I am an ambiverts, admittedly I only just found this is a term whilst writing this post, or maybe I am an extroverted introvert. Either way it really doesn't fucking matter. It doesn't matter what you are or what you label yourself as, whether you are a intro extro whatever. People are so obsessed with labels these days, "oh, I am actually one of these...". What really matters is what you do with the opportunities in life. Some opportunities come to you, sometimes when you least expect them, other opportunities you have to work for. I had been given a great opportunity here, a perfect start in my mission to conquer Montreal and I wasn't going to waste it. I can find a place for my head another day.