3 months probation!

3 months probation! It’s not what you think. it’s the good kind of probation.

I’ve now been at my job for almost 3 months. What defines 3 months to you? When I look back, 3 months to me equals 3 horribly difficult, soul numbing months of banana farming in Australia. 3 months was just under half of my trip through South America. 3 months can drag by, or it can fly by, depending on what you’re doing. But this time, the 3 months have flown by,  3 months of probation at my new job, and at the end of this month we will (hopefully) sign my permanent contract.

So, what has been happening in the past 3 months (other than me neglecting my blog)?

Well, to summarise…

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travel map

Click here to see my lovely Travel Map at Travellerspoint. It’s still a work in progress. So many places I’ve been that I still need to add (mainly Europe). Still so many more places to see. Travelling makes me happiest.

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…life in limbo isn’t all that bad

Cape Town, South Africa

When I came home from Australia in September 2014, it was 3 months earlier than planned. Plans! Who needs them? Everything happens for a reason. Everything always works out how it should. I’m a firm believer in this.

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Since I’ve been home…

I’ve been home for 6 weeks already. Time. Where does it go? It’s crazy to think that 6 months ago I was all covered in banana sap on a grubby, sweaty, humid, spider infested banana farm in Australia, living in an 8 bed dorm for 3 months, and counting those days away with so much resentment. Now, the days are flying by quicker than I can even imagine.

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Time to unpack my backpack…

The boring stuff: To summarise the end of my time in Australia… Hayley and I worked in Dingo, Australia for three months, and it was an interesting experiences to say the least: from baby kangaroos to light aircrafts filling up at the service station, a town with  a  population of 56 people, one dingy pub with no ambiance in the slightest, lots of hours spent cooking burgers for truck drivers in the roadhouse, mopping kitchen floors, but most importantly at this stage (at the end of a year of travels), we were saving money. I know money isn’t everything in the world, and I try my best to live with only the necessities,but in order to come home and happily settle my feet back down on the sandy shores of Cape Town before starting to look for a job here, money is a necessity!

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Moving to a town called Dingo

To be done with banana farming is a dream come true. We left Innisfail rapidly and happily and headed off to Cairns for a couple of days at Lex’s house (our home away from home). After our final weekend of drinking ample bottles of red wine and doing a final shop of all our necessities, we headed off on a week long road trip down the East Coast of Australia, from Cairns to Rockhampton, and from there, we then inland to a tiny little blip on the map called Dingo: our new home for the next 3 months.

backpacking with kermit

backpacking with kermit

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no more bananas

The past 3 months of living in Innisfail and working on a banana farm have probably been the shittiest 3 months of my life. It’s been a roller coaster of squished rats, spider bites, cockroaches, frogs, rat piss and long hours of physical labour, working side by side with the stinkiest Frenchman of all time. To top it all off, I have also been living in one of the worst towns I’ve ever traveled to, in a hostel that I probably wouldn’t recommend to anybody else, ever. The job on the banana farm has been by far the worst job I have ever had (so far), but it has also been the job that I have been most scared to lose. This job, doing 3 months of regional work, enables me to extend my working holiday visa in Australia by an extra year. Continue reading

Russel Heads and The Great Barrier Reef…FOR FREE

On the boat to Russel Heads

The only way to truly experience a country as a backpacker, is to meet some locals. The locals will take you to the most intimate secret spots imaginable. They will go out of their way to share their beautiful country with you. When I am at home, and I come across travellers, it is my favourite thing to show them how beautiful Cape Town is. Karma comes back to you. Continue reading

cyclones and bananas

Two weeks ago, the town of Innisfail was in a panic because of a category 5 cyclone headed our way. Although it is incredibly selfish, my mind was secretly hoping that there would be enough devastation to the banana farms that Hayley and I would lose our jobs and have to relocate, but obviously in reality I didn’t want any devastation to be caused for the locals. It was just a little inside pang to get out of here, any excuse would do. The cyclone did hit, but further up the coast in a town called Cooktown. They will have a lot of work to fix up the damage of this natural disaster and its a sad situation for the residents of that town. Every few years, a bad cyclone hits in this region and causes so much damage and loss. A few years ago, cyclone Yasi hit in Innisfail, and it took years for them to redevelop the area. A lot of the houses are relatively old (in Australia terms), and are easily ripped apart by the heavy winds and rain. Luckily for Innisfail, we only got the aftermath of this particular cycle, with some heavy rains. Our bananas won’t be in the best state, but at least the town wasn’t completely wrecked. Selfish reasons aside, I am happy for this town, that it withstood another test from nature.

That was the little bit of excitement that hit our town this past weekend. Other than that, not much news. I’m just slowly but surely counting down the days until my farming career is over. I’ve passed the half way mark now, and its only 6 weeks to go until I a have done enough regional work to be granted my 2nd year working holiday visa.

birthdays and other weekends

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Banana farming is not for the faint hearted. My heart might be faint. Everyday while I am working, my mind is in a spin. Why am I doing this???? The money is great, 3 months of this regional work and my working visa for Australia gets extended by a 2nd year. All the right reasons. TRAVEL! But still, my mind is starting to doubt that that is enough.  I hate every moment of every day here. I’m in week 7 now, with 8 more weeks to go after this. Only 8. I’m almost half way already. But still… sometimes I wonder if it is really worth it.

Why am I doing this????

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