I was stashing cash in an empty port bottle. Leaving it in the cupboard of my small room above a pub in the English countryside. I'd been living and working there for almost 4 weeks. The fear constantly lodged in the back of my head knowing that the time to tell the truth would roll around sometime soon.
"Are you going to tell them?" my friend Joe asked me over the phone one night.
I could feel another panic attack coming around. Scared and ashamed that I was lying about my non existent UK working visa.
"Seriously how long can I keep this up for?" I broke into tears, unable to breathe. He will tell you that I wasn't even exaggerating.
Over the weeks of my illegal status, my money was stacking in the cupboard behind me faster then Kylie Jenner's. Yet, I still felt so empty. I just could not have this on my conscience.
This wasn't the first time I had worked illegally though. It was the third.
I was into my fifth month of overseas solo travelling and had run out of money when arriving in Dublin, Ireland. After catching a nasty case of tonsillitis and forging out $120 for doctors bills and medication I was drugged up and broke af. Thankfully I had two of my best friends with me at this stage and with their help we caught a bus over to Galway. With some lose change coming from the parentals back in Australia (God bless them!) I was able to pay my friends back in three different currencies; Euro, Australia Dollar and Pound. They were mad but they are still two of the most important people in my life to this day so I guess all is forgiven.
Anyways, my friends soon left me to venture up to Northern Ireland and I was stuck, quite literally in Galway with no idea of where to head next. Alone and still recovering from my sickness I spontaneously spent my last 7 euro on a bus ticket to Doolin. I had seen a job listing for a B&B worker in Doolin and sized the opportunity straight away. A quick google research revealed where Doolin was on the map and I was ready to go.
I worked in the B&B for almost three weeks before receiving the call to head back to England for there was a job in a restaurant/bar and I would have free accomodation as well.
The mistake was on both ends, they assumed that I had a working visa and I assumed that they knew that I didn't. Or, that they would pardon me because there were a lot of foreign travellers coming and going.
This is the part where the story has a happy but kinda sad ending. I fessed up. Told the manager that I had indeed been working illegally for there company. He was surprisingly nice about the whole thing. He told me that I could go back to Ireland to get my working visa and then return to work for them.
However, weighing up the option of a summer Christmas back in Australia, I decided to come home.