I’m in Australia, in a dingy little shit hole town (for lack of a better description) called Innisfail. I’m here for the next 3 months. I’m currently in Australia on a 1 year Working Holiday Visa. The Australian Government offers the option of converting the visa into a 2 year Working Holiday Visa in exchange for working for 3 months doing “regional work”. Regional work can be anything from farm work to construction, but it has to be in a regional area and has to be primary work, as in actually picking fruit or packing it or physically building houses etc. Working in a construction office as an Architect or something of the sorts would not classify as “regional work”. So here I am, in Innisfail, working as a banana farmer.
In Australia, they have “working hostels”, which are very different to a normal backpacker hostel that you would go to while traveling through a country. These hostels are filled with backpackers, but all the backpackers go to work each day, and come home exhausted each day, and are just ticking off and counting down the days until they have completed their 88 days of regional work. These hostels also place you in jobs, which is great, because if you run around looking for a job on your own, it can prove very difficult and very frustrating, but in providing us with this service, they also charge exuberant weekly rental amounts for staying in the hostel.
So, I’m 2 weeks down, and have another 11 or so to go. Wake up at 6am, leave at 6:30am on the shuttle, go to work, pack boxes of bananas all day long. Come home. Race for the shower . Make dinner. Eat. Bed with a movie. Pass out. Next day same thing.
Weekends are a bit more entertaining, and at least I have my friend Hayley to keep me entertained. We went on a girls weekend to a place called Mission Beach last weekend with a bunch of girls from the hostel. This weekend we’re going to Cairns, and it’s St Paddy’s day on Saturday night too… So at least we’ve got that to look forward to.
It sounds so funny to me though, a girl with 2 degrees, working as a banana packer. Most people here though are well educated individuals. The things we do to stay in Australia for an extra year. The farm I work on is incredibly stressful. It’s high paced, high pressured, and because everyone works so fast, we don’t work as many days as most people, which also means less pay. But still the pay is good. $20 an hour. SAVE SAVE SAVE.
So thats my life for the next couple of months. Sounds exciting doesn’t it?