This trip has probably been the highlight of my time here.
I have the tendency to bruise and scar my legs really easily. So when I went surfing in Agnes Waters and bruised my knee (nosedived into the water, knee dragged across the sand taking half the skin off), I wasn’t really bothered because stuff like that happens to me all the time.
But a week later when it still wasn’t healing I got worried. I was on the phone to a friend of mine who just had her knee infected and she basically forced me to agree on going to at least the pharmacy to ask if my knee looked okay or not. I finally agreed and said I was gonna go as soon as I get to Byron.
Obviously the first thing I did when I got to Byron Bay, after I checked into my hostel, was go into the pharmacy. My knee was hurting as well, which wasn’t really a good sign. So I got there, asked the pharmacist to check out my knee and she told me exactly what I didn’t want to hear – “go to the doctor’s, your knee looks infected, and so does the wound below your knee”.
Got out of the pharmacy with tears in my eyes because a doctor’s appointment wasn’t really on my list of things to see and do in Byron (also I hadn’t had any proper sleep for a good week I reckon, hence the tears).
After calling my parents and breaking down for a sec I put my big girl pants on and the next morning called to make an appointment (I couldn’t the first day because it was Sunday). Went to the doctors, she said my knee’s definitely infected and she’ll be putting me on antibiotics.
Now all I really wanted to do in Byron Bay was rent a board and do some surfing for a couple of days. Instead, because life gets in the way sometimes, I couldn’t even go into the ocean (she suspected coral infection since I got my biggest wound in the ocean) and I also had to avoid excessive sunlight because of the antibiotics that I was on. Obviously I felt sorry for myself and everything but what can you do, shitty things happen all the time and honesty could have been a lot worse.
Fast forward when I get to Sydney, I get a text from the medical center saying I need to come in for a follow up. I call them, explain I’m not in Byron anymore, can the doc just call me. They put her on the phone, she tells me the results came back in (she took a swab out of my knee and I sent it to get tested, just in case, to see what bug it really was). Turns out the antibiotics I was on were not strong enough for the infection I had so I had to go to a new GP in Sydney, she was happy enough to fax the details to my new GP so I could get the new antibiotics.
Now I’m taking them 4 times a day for 12 days straight. Mum (she’s a doc) said I was incredibly smart and lucky for going to the doctor’s when I did because with the infection I have, I would have ended up in the hospital.
While it’s obviously not the ideal situation, it’s also not the worst thing in the world. I can finally say my knee is healing and I’m feeling better.
One thing I do want to say though is, doctor’s appointments are ridiculously expensive over here if you’re not lucky enough to have Medicare. But even so, always choose your health over money because money comes and goes. Health always doesn’t.
I was more than halfway done with my East Coast trip, heading from Byron Bay to Newcastle. Now, first of all, I totally underestimated the length between Byron and Newcastle, so being the idiot that I am, I thought I would get to Newcastle and spend the night there. So I booked a room in a hostel and then decided to book a bus.
Turns out it is actually an 11 hour bus journey. So obviously I had to cancel my booking at the hostel. And since I was booking my bus literally the last minute, as sensible adults do, I only had two buses to choose from. By the way, don’t deny the fact that everything I’m about to tell you is entirely my fault and I’m not blaming anyone but honestly what the fuck.
So for some reason, at the time, I could only book a bus that stopped in Coffs Harbour, where I had to change buses to get to Newcastle. But the bus I was originally on went straight into Newcastle. And changing buses has never been a problem for me. Sure, I don’t mind. But what I don’t get is why they’ve made (they actually haven’t made anyone) people get off the bus at 11:30 PM to wait for a new bus which will arrive at 2 AM. In Coffs Harbour. Where the bus stop is like a couple of benches. In a shady neighbourhood.
So you can imagine me getting off the bus in the dark, sitting on a bench by myself with my bags thinking of what the fuck am I gonna do next because I have 3 hours to kill. Obviously the first thing I do is google places that are open 24 hours near me. The closest place was Maccas (McDonald’s for all of you non Australians). It was a 30 minute walk. I contemplate for a full 5 to 10 minutes whether to take the journey or not but then I decide, well, it is dark and I really don’t want to sit on a bench for 3 hours with nothing to do. Besides, Maccas does sometime make a decent coffee.
I think it was almost 12 AM by the time I get off the bus, get my bags and decide what to do with myself, when I set off to go to the almighty McDonald’s. I obviously find the situation hilarious because of course this would happen to me.
I did have a giant backpack on my back, which is around 15 kg, and my two carry on bags are around 8 kilos altogether, so it’s not like a massively fantastic walk to take but I had already decided to do it and I didn’t wanna back down. When in Oz, right? Man, did I get some weird looks from a bunch of drunk people.
But the story continues. I was halfway through my Maccas journey when I hear someone say “hey, do you need a lift?”. I look up and see this friendly looking girl next to her car. So I go “oh my god, can you please drop me off at Maccas?”. She, being the super sweet human being she is says yes and I thank her a million times and explain to her why I am where I am at that moment.
So we have a good chat, we get to Maccas, I thank her another million times, get my bags and go to the Maccas door when, just my luck, the cleaner says it’s only drive-through. He can obviously see all of my bags and he can obviously see my face drop but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still only drive-through. Which is fine, I don’t mind, except it’s late and all I want to do is sit down somewhere that isn’t the bus stop and isn’t in the dark.
I turn around and notice that Mikayla (the girl with the car, obviously) still hasn’t left so I go back to the car and ask if she could drop me off at the bus stop instead because McDonald’s is only drive-through. The first thing she does is try to brainstorm if there are any other places that might be open but as she realises there are none, she says something along the lines of “don’t be silly, you don’t have to wait at the bus stop, you can come to mine and have a shower and later on I’ll drop you off at the bus stop”. Me being me I am obviously super concerned for other people’s sleeping schedules (I am not actually being sarcastic here, sleep is such an important thing for me) and say I really don’t want to disrupt her sleep but she says her sleeping habits are shit anyway and she’ll most likely end up falling asleep around 3AM (because she works night shifts a lot).
So there we are at her place. She even gives me a fresh towel, lets me use her shampoo and offers me food. We end up having such a good chat as well. I have never been happier. I have also never been more surprised by how good some people can be. If people were more like Mikayla I think the world would be a better place. I’m not joking when I say I honestly find her to be one of the nicest human being in the world, she ended up making my entire week 100x better.
She drops me off at the bus stop and I give her a hug and thank her another million times because I don’t know what I would have done without her. Especially if I would have walked to Maccas, found out that it was drive-through, and would have had to walk back to the bus stop.
This is a prime example of when things go wrong, they can sometimes end up going very, very right. And I am so thankful life’s like that.
P.S. if you couldn’t tell, Mikayla’s a gem.
I’m not gonna say I’m a professional traveller, experienced in every aspect of life and travel but I do like to think I’ve learnt quite a fair bit throughout my year and 9 months in Australia. I know, I know, I should probably post this at the end of my time here but I’m so bored of writing about things I’ve done so I’m mixing it up a bit.
What has been the hardest part about travelling for me?
Trying not to feel guilty when I’m not constantly enjoying every moment. Let me elaborate. Yes, I’m generalising, but when majority of people think of travelling, they think of the photos they see on Instagram and Facebook of people next to clear blue water with cocktails in their hand loving every single minute of their life. And while that can be, I’m also certain many people now know that people tend to show their best sides on social media. And I’m fully guilty of that, because why’d you want to tell the whole world you’ve been having a shit couple of months away from home.
I feel like the whole socia media has somewhat affected my sense of enjoyment of my time here, or anywhere really. For example, I had a couple of really crappy and miserable months when I was living in Sydney and I managed to bring myself even more down because I felt like I was wasting my time here. Why am I not happy if I’m surrounded by beautiful views and constantly have things to do?
Easy – you’re not supposed to enjoy every minute of it. I doubt it’s even possible. Besides, how else are you supposed to appreciate the good if you’ve never had a low. And I’ve had many lows. But then you sort of get into a rut and you don’t understand why you feel the way you feel and how you can make it better.
So in a way, I was strugging with constant guilt for a while. But it’s okay. And I wish people had told me that. It’s not that I’m super oblivious to the fact that you’re going to have lows when you travel, it’s just the crash after a really big, long lasting high.
What’s been super frustrating but also really great at the same time?
The fact that things never go as planned. Sometimes you travel to the middle of nowhere for a job and you get fired, or have $300 to your name, sometimes you do something stupid and have to live with the consequences. Or you might not get the visa. Literally anything can happen. I’m not going to, and honesty cannot count all of the stories I’ve heard from other backpackers and the things I’ve gone through. The thing is though, even if it seems like the worst situation to be in at the moment, it can turn out to be something absolutely incredible. I do tend to forget sometimes, but I do feel like everything always seem worse in the heat of the moment, everything seems bigger than it is.
What have I learnt while travelling?
- You cannot run away from your problems. That’s a tough one in my opinion. Because most of the time you have the opportunity to leave and sometimes everything seems to be going wrong so you think it’ll be better once you move. And while that might be the case for some situations, I’ve also learnt it’s an easy way of setting yourself up for failure. You can change the scenery but you can’t always change the way you feel.
- Grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the world. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be.
- You’re never gonna like everywhere you go.
- You’ll feel miserable
- You’ll feel more alive than you ever have in your life
- You’ll learn how to be alone
- You also realise how to appreciate being alone
- You realise that some people you were friends with back home was out of habit. I generally don’t mean it in a bad way but it happens, it’s just because they were always around
- You won’t always know how to handle every single situation that comes your way
- Sometimes you’ll find yourself lying to the people closest to you because you don’t want them to worry. They’ll do it to you too.
- You’re not going to make friends everywhere you go.
- But you’ll meet people who’ll change your life, people who change your perspective on things, who make you want to be a better person
- You might break someone’s heart. And someone might do it to you.
- You might miss home. But it doesn’t make you a bad person if you don’t.
- You learn to live with less and you learn to love the places you see and go and the people you meet more than things
- You learn to sleep anywhere. Trust me. On a bus, on a plane, in a hostel room with 15 other people, outside. You name it.
- Free food shelves in hostels are your best friends
- You’ll do stupid shit you regret doing. But you’ll learn forgive yourself because you’re human
- And you’ll do stuff you want to relive over and over again
- Your perspective on things will change
- You realise home is not a place, it’s a feeling
What’s been the best part of my travels?
I reckon the people and the independence. The amazing places you visit are just a bonus. For me, the people make the place. I’ve no doubt met some incredible people who I hope will be in my life for the rest of my time here and beyond. But I’ve also met people who’ve just taught me the type of person I don’t want to be.
And when it comes to independence, while I love being home I like the freedom that comes with working your ass off to pay your rent, pay your own bills. Buying those plane tickets that you’ve wanted for the longest time is no longer a „hey I was wondering of going there/can I go there“ to just booking those flights and going (and staying if you like the place)
All in all, it’s been pretty difficult but it’s been worth it because it’s been absolutely marvelous and I’m definitely not ready to go home just yet.
If you prefer English, scroll down.
Ega tegelikult mul palju Brisbaine’st rääkida pole. Enamjaolt ma niisama veetsin aega sõbraga ja tähistasin viisa kättesaamist. Linn iseenesest on okei, nagu iga teine suurlinn. Samas ma palju sellest rääkida ei saa, sest ma veetsin seal ainult 4 päeva. Aga seltskond oli tore, mis oli peamine minu jaoks.
Kui ma tagasi Adelaide’s olin, hakkasin ma tööd otsima. Austraalias tööd lihtsalt niisama oma CVd emailides ei saa, siin peab kohvikutesse kohale minema ja ennast nö müüma mänedžerile. Mul oli ikka hull paanika selle koha pealt, noh, ma vihkan kõnede tegemist, see on üks asi, aga minna kohale ja anda resümee näost näkku kätte? Ei aitäh.
Ja noh, eks ma siis olin rahutu ja veidi õnnetu, et ma tööd ikka meili saates ei saa (21 sajandi probleemid eksole). Pluss, teine asi oli see, et ma olin väga mugavustsoonis seal. Sõbrad, elukoht jne oli kõik olemas. Mul oli lihtsalt väikest lüket vaja. Seetõttu ma taotlesin töökohti ka väljaspool linna. Üks hetk mõtlesin, et nüüd peab veel äkki Stanthorpe’i tagasi minema, aga seda ma ka teha ei tahtnud.
Lõpuks sain kõne ühelt motellilt Berridale’ist (reaalselt kuskil karuperses). Sain töö ja järgmine hetk olin juba lennuki peal, teel Canberrasse, kust edasi sõitsin bussiga sellesse väikesesse külasse. Seal veetsin aega töötades, vahepeal 60 tundi nädalas. Motell oli nö ühe hooaja motell ka, mis tähendas, et see oli lihtsalt maha jäätud 6 kuuks, igal pool olid ämblikuvõrgud ja üleüldiselt suhteliselt rõvedad toad. Aga polnud hullu, inimesed kellega ma koos elasin ja töötasin olid toredad, ja raha oli okei ka.
Üks laupäeva õhtu, kell 9 sain bossilt kõne. Teadsin mis saama hakkab, sest 5 minutit enne minu kõne, helistas ta mu toakaaslase ja vallandas ta. Noh, kurb meel mul polnud, emps ütles kah, et pole ikka õige Austraalia kogemus, kui sind vallandatud pole. Ma täitsa nõustun. Pealegi, mis seal ikka, reisides ei lähe kunagi nii nagu plaanis on, see on lihtsalt elu.
I’m not gonna talk much about Brisbane, mainly because there’s not much to talk about it, other than I didn’t actually do much but it was great to catch up with a friend of mine and just be stress free since what it seems like for forever. The city itself is okay, nothing really special about it, more or less like every other bigger city but I obviously can’t judge it too much because I haven’t actually given it a proper chance. But the company was great which was all I really needed after a stressful time.
Once back in Adelaide, I started my job hunt to fund the rest of my travels. So, the way you get a job in Adelaide is actually going to the cafes/restaurants and handing in your resume yourself and having a little chat to the manager. Or you can also call but the most effective way is actually going in person. No one replies to emails here. Now, I get very very anxious at times like these. I used to hate making phonecalls (I still don’s enjoy them but having done so much of them here, I’ve grown out of the fear in a way).
But the thing is, in Adelaide I was still really comfortable, I had a place to stay, I love everyone I was surrounded with, I was home. So I needed a little kick. I had no luck in the city with jobs (though I also didn’t give it that much time lol) (but to be fair, Adelaide has a really high unemployment rate). Therefore I also applied to jobs outside of Adelaide. I thought I was gonna have to go back to Stanthorpe but I didn’t also wanna do that at all.
Eventually though, I got a call from a motel in the middle of nowhere, Berridale (it was close’ish to the snowy mountains in NSW). Anyways, I got the job, booked my flight to Canberra and the bus to Berridale and I was out of Adelaide in a couple of days.
I was doing housekeeping at a motel, sometimes doing 60 hours a week. It was a one season motel, therefore nothing had actually been touched in that motel for more than 6 months lol. The work was fine, fairly boring not going to lie, but the people that I lived and worked with were good and the pay was pretty good as well.
Then, 3 weeks in, on a Saturday at 9 pm I got a call from my boss saying „Maria I’ve got some bad news for you.“ I mean, I knew exactly what was coming because my roommate had been fired 5 minutes beforehand.
Next thing I know I’m packing my bag to get the hell out of Berridale. I was never sad about it, that’s just life. Besides, things rarely go as planned while travelling.
If you prefer English, scroll down.
Kaks postitust ühel päeval, täitsa hull.
Mul oli emotsionaalselt väga raske oodata oma viisa tulemust. Mulle tundus, et nad tegelesid kõige muude asjadega, kui minu viisaga. Kuigi ma armastan Adelaide’i ja mul oli hea meel olla jälle kodus, ma olin väga rahutu terve see aeg. Ma ei maganud korralikult, ma olin stressis ja ma ei teadnud mida oma eleuga peale hakata, sest ma ei saanud kuskile liikuda ka.
Ma nutsin ka paar korda, sest mul olid närvid läbi, ma magasin halvasti ja üleüldse olin lihtsalt suures stressis. Aga ma viimasel ajal olen hakanud uskuma sellesse, et juhtub see mis peab juhtuma. Ja kui sa piisavalt positiivset energiat universumisse suunad, siis juhtuvad sinuga ka head asjad.
Ma kunagi kuskil lugesin, et universum vastab sulle ainult sõnaga “jah.” Näiteks, kui sa ütled “mul on vaja raha,” siis universum vastab sulle “jah, on küll.” Aga kui sa sõnastad seda veidike teistmoodi ja ütled “ma saan raha,” siis universum ütlem sulle “jah, saad küll.” Tean, et see on super nõme näide, aga saate arur küll, mida ma mõtlen. Põhimõtteliselt, sõnadel ja mõtetel on jõud.
10. mai, peale kuu aega ootamist, sain ma lõpuks oma “jah” vastuse.
Ilus päev oli. Ma käisin Emmaga matkamas, päike paistis, me nägime isegi hülgesi meres suplemas. Koju sõites ma vaatasin oma meili, ja seal see oli. See meil, mida ma oodanud olin. Me ekarjusime ja ma nutsin ja õhtul me jõime head veini ja tellisime Tai toitu. Ahjaa, ja ma ostsin lennupiletid Brisbaine’i ja tagasi, tahtsin sõbrale külla minna. Ja noh, mõtlesin, et väärin midagi head peale kõike seda ootusärevust.
It was tough waiting for the results of my visa. The government took their fucking time, more than a month for sure. So during the time in Adelaide, while I loved staying with Em and my second fam, it was really stressful. I was so anxious most of the time, I hated just standing still and doing nothing and I was so tired of everyone constantly asking me whether I have heard anything or not.
I definitely cried a couple of times because I was tired of waiting and I was so afraid I wasn’t eventually going to get it. But on the other hand I am a big believer in whatever’s meant to happen, will happen. I also believe that if you put enough positive energy into the universe, good things will come your way.
I once read somewhere that the universe will only say the words “yes,” so for example, if you were to say to the universe “I need money,” the universe will say “yes you do.” So instead of saying that, you should say “I will get money” and the universe will say “yes you will.” It’s a super lame example but I believe words and thoughts have a lot of power.
So on the 10th of May, after roughly a month and a bit of waiting, I could finally say I got my second year visa grant notification.
It was a beautiful day. Em and I went hiking, the sun was shining and on our way home I was refreshing my email for the third time that day and there it was – the one and only email I’d been waiting for forever. There was a lot of squealing and a bit of crying and so many different emotions all at once. When we got home, we opened a good bottle of wine I had bought from a winery before and we ordered Thai food. Oh, and I booked a flight to Brisbane to visit a friend of mine. I just felt like I needed to do something nice for myself after a while.
If you prefer English, scroll down.
Heihopsti, andestust, ma olen laisk olnud.
P.S. Ma ausaltöeldes soovitan pigem lugeda seda inglise keelset postitust, sest mul seal tavaliselt rohkem kirjutatud.
Ma olen vist mingi pool aastat maas oma postitustega, aga ma veel täitsa alla pole andnud. Ma mõtlesin küll, et teen mitu väiksemat postitust farmitöö kohta, aga no absoluutselt viitsimist pole, nii et mis siis ikka, panin kõik plussid ja miinused ühte postitusse.
Ma pole küll väga kuulnud häid kogemusi farmitöö kohta, aga alatihti kuulen (millega ma ka nõustun) on see, et inimesed on need, kes teevad selle aja nii eriliseks ja kindlasti väärt seda kõike.
Et asjad minu jaoks lihtsaks teha, siin on minu plussid ja miinused farmitööst. Ma alustan miinustega, sest alati on parem lõpetada asjad positiivse noodiga.
- Järelvaatajad on perversed ja hullult nõmeda käitumisega. Ausalt öeldes vedas meil enamjaolt järelvaatajatega. Kui neil oli hea tuju, siis oli ka meil hea tuju ja me korjasime rohkem õunu. Kui aga boss nende kallal õiendas, siis vähemalt üks neist alatihti karjus meie peale, ähvardas, et töötame ilma palgata, vallandas inimesi ilma põhjuseta jne.
- Sind võidakse vallandada ükskõik mis hetk. kasvõi siis kui järelvaatajal oli halb tuju, või bossil oli halb tuju. Või noh, kui sa tõesti halb õunakorjaja oled.
- Farmi omanik. Appppiiiiiiii, ma pole eales kunagi kedagi nii palju ropendamas kuulnud. Pluss, nii palju kordi ta sõimas bäkpäkkereid ja ütles lauseid nagu “Don’t drop ya fucking apples in the fucking bins ya cunts” („Ära viska neid kuradi õunu kastidesse sa v*tt“)
- Inimesed (kaasaarvatud mina), kellel polnud isegi autojuhilube sõitsid traktoritega (millega kaasnes paar õnneliku lõpuga õnnetust)
- Halva ilmaga töötamine – ja ei, ma ei räägi 30+ kraadises kuumuses töötamisest vaid padukas õunte korjamises. Tossudes, mis on läbimärjad, külmetades ja redeli otsas koperdades.
- Suletud ring – ükskõik mida seljakotirändurid ka valitsusele ei räägi, on ikka üks ja sama jama. Ränduritel on vaja oma päevi täis saada ja nad teevad seda kahjuks ikka iga hinna eest. Ja farmiomanikud kohtlevad ikka sind nagu totaalset rämpsu.
- Inimesed, inimesed, inimesed – sa kohtud nii palju erinevate imeliste inimestega
- Ja nad saavad täpselt aru, mida sa tunned, sest nad kogevad täpselt samu tundeid
- Sa teed midagi sellist, mida paljud su sõbrad/tuttavad mitte kunagi ei tee
- Sa saad aru, et sa oled tegelikult palju tugevam, nii emotsionaalselt kui ka füüsiliselt, kui sa tegelikult arvad, et oled
- Sa oled nii uhke enda üle, kui sa lõpuks ometi selle ära teed
- See on seda väärt, kuna sa ilmselt saad teise aasta viisa siin imelisel maal
- Sa õpid olema avasüli kõikidele kogemustele, olgu nad halvad või head – kogemus ikka
- Ja lõpetuseks, sa õpid nii palju enda kohta
Paar viimast nädalat olid minu jaoks emotsionaalselt väga, väga rasked, enamjaolt kuna mul oli eraelus lihtsalt palju asju, mis korraga juhtus. Ja siis kui sa mõtled, et oh, nüüd on küll kuradima viimane piisk, siis tegelikult ei ole ja sa kukud veel madalamale.
Aga tegelikult on asi nii, et kui sa lõpuks näoli maas oled, siis sul pole võimalus madalamale minna. Ma avastasin, et isegi kui kõik läks valesti, ma olin üllatavalt tugev ja ei langenud täielikku masendusse, nagu paar aastat tagasi oleks ilmselt juhtunud. Mul üks sõbranna farmis ütles mulle mida teha sellistel olukordadel – ükskõik kui halb ka asi poleks, võta asju samm sammult, ja keskendu väikestele, aga headele asjadele, mis edasi su elus juhtuma hakkab. Näiteks, ma ootasin Brisbaine’i minekut ja sealt edasi Adelaide’i minekut. Ja kõik need väiksed asjad tegid mind tohutult palju rõõmsamaks.
Ma nutsin palju enne bussi peale minekut Stanthorpe’is, sest ma olin tohutult kurb, et ma pidin head aega ütlema inimestele, keda ma õppisin omal viisil armastama kolme kuu jooksul. Aga ma usun, et enamjaolt ma nutsin kergendusest, et nüüd see ongi läbi.
Heyyyyy, it’s been too long
Not going to lie, I’m just so incredibly lazy when it comes to my blog but I haven’t fully given up either. I did realise it is time to get my shit together because I am more than half a year behind with my stuff, so here goes.
I will put everything into one post because I’m a lazy ass human being – sorry for all of you who have actually been waiting for more posts.
I have literally never heard of anyone having a good experience when it comes to farm work, literally all I constantly hear are bad experiences here and there, and definitely where not to go. What I do hear though, and what I definitely agree with, is what makes the farm work great is the people you get to share it with.
To make things easy for me, here’s a list of pros and cons of my experience working on an apple orchard in Oz:
- Supervisors are creepy, a little perverted and hate men. Now let me explain – the thing is, we were actually lucky with the supervisors. They were nice to us most of the time, unless they were getting shit from the actual boss. If they were having a good day, the were joking around and being chill. If the boss was on their back, they yelled at us, threatened to make us work without pay, fired people without no reason etc. Plus in addition to that, they were super sexual towards female backpackers. We had two supervisors and I was lucky to be on the good supervisor’s team – most of my days were fine, he never yelled at us. The other supervisor was mental a lot of the times.
- You can get fired any day without notice. It might be affected by the mood of the boss or the supervisor. It might be because (if you’re on piece rate) you’re too good and earning more money than the boss wants to pay you. It might be because you’re not a good worker. You never really know.
- The actual farm owner. A sentence I heard so many times I lost count: “Don’t drop ya fucking apples in the fucking bins ya cunts” and sometimes an additional “or the next time I’ll drop ya on your fucking head and show you how it feels.” Racist remarks. Sexist remarks. Addressing one of the supervisors as a black cunt. Letting his 6 year old son drive his forklift – one day his son was on his forklift and he drove into a stack of those 800 liter apple bins (which were thankfully empty) which then fell onto my friend’s back. Um yeah, I could continue for ages.
- Letting people without any actual licences drive tractors (which honestly should have been binned anyway)
- You have to work in shit weather conditions and it doesn’t matter if you’re soaked and freezing and it literally feels like you’re walking in a puddle because your runners are so wet. And hey, might as well climb on full aluminium ladders which you can fall off anyway but why not do it in pouring rain.
- However shit the farm is, it’s a dead circle. Farmers can treat backpackers any way they want and the government will not do anything about it because backpackers will always need their 88 days.
- People, people, people – you meet so many incredible people during your time on the farm
- And they will understand exactly how you’re feeling because they’re feeling the exact same way
- You get to experience something not many people will
- You realise you’re a lot stronger than you actually thought you were – both emotionally and physically
- You will be SO proud of yourself once you’re done
- It’ll be worth it in the end because you will most likely get a second year visa in this wonderful country
- You learn to keep your arms open to whatever comes your way, whether it’s good or bad, because it’s an experience nevertheless.
- And last but not least – you learn so much about yourself (plus you learn a lot from other people)
The last couple of weeks for me were the worst because I was going through a lot of things in my personal life at once. And surprise, surprise, when you think you’ve hit your low, you’ll sink even lower.
But the thing is, once you hit your lowest, you can’t get any lower. You know what helps in this situation? A good friend of mine, Hanne, told me to just keep looking forward to the good, small things that are coming your way once I get to leave. It can be the smallest thing but if it’s positive, just concentrate on that.
For me it was just getting on the bus and driving to Brisbane and staying there for the night. And seeing my best friend Emma the morning after in Adelaide. And the small things will eventually make you much happier.
Funnily enough I cried so much when I left because I was sad to be leaving all of my friends. A huge part of it was definitely relief. What a fucking relief.