Nearly three months ago I left a lovely home I’d created for myself in Vietnam. I said goodbye to some amazing friends and a pretty decent job.
I packed my backpack.
Said farewell to my trusty scooter – Mr Dreamy.
I got rid of half my clothes and unnecessary bits and bobs I’d accumulated over the past 2 years and I headed to the airport.
As much as I loved being in Asia I was beginning to miss the western lifestyle. I heard Australia calling my name so I jumped on a plane to Sydney. And that’s where my Aussie adventure began.
I spent the first two weeks exploring Sydney. Two days after I arrived I did a half marathon and then met up with some friends I’d made whilst travelling Asia. They showed me some cool spots around the city, but I soon realised I needed to find a job if I wanted to stay here for a while. Afterall, Australia is EXPENSIVE compared to Vietnam. I’d even go as far as saying 5x more expensive!
So after phone bashing farms and working hostels looking for jobs for my second year visa I headed to a town on the eastern coast of Queensland to work on a tomato farm.
After a very delayed, stressful and turbulent flight I arrived in Bowen. And that’s where my farm life began. In a very small, but a beautiful town filled with some of the most tranquil beaches.
The farm life started with a 5am alarm.
At 5.30am I was picked up from the hostel and by 6am I was already picking tomatoes on the farm.
My first day was a mess. I was slow, didn’t really know what I was doing, I didn’t have any gloves and to top it off I lost my sun hat. But I soon began to get the hang of it and the following weeks went by fairly quickly.
Working under the sun for around 9 hours a day, in temperatures over 30 degrees, definitely isn’t for the faint hearted. But I was prepared to get my hands and clothes very dirty.
Oh, and there weren’t any areas to sit down and eat lunch. It’s more of a ‘find the best shady spot under a tomato bush and take a seat on the hot dirt’.
And the thing that’s really pretty gross… there weren’t any toilets on the farm. So if you’re dying for a pee like I was most days you’ve got to squat down and go in between the bushes. Not exactly the glam life, but that’s farming for you. 🤢
So far I’ve worked on a tomato farm, packed eggplants and capsicums, picked pumpkins and now I’m working in a shed packing cherries.
I’ve done 48 days of farm work and I’ve got another 40 to go before I can apply to stay in Australia for another year. At times I hate the work. It’s boring and absolutely mind numbing, but you meet people along the way and those people help you get through it. Like these awesome people below!
And some of the greatest friendships I’ve made in Australia have been through working on the farm. You’ll no doubt meet people from all parts of the world. Like this Italian girl…
I met Anita on my first day working on the tomato farm. We worked together for several weeks and soon one of the greatest friendships was formed. We both had similar travel plans in mind so when it was time to leave Bowen we decided to buy a car together and road trip part of the east coast.
We walked across some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen; skydived above and snorkeled below part of the Great Barrier Reef; drove through some beautiful national parks – alongside kangaroos and other animals; swam with baby sharks; slept in our car more times than we can remember; couchsurfed when we were stuck for a place to rest our eyes; and fell asleep in our tent as we gazed at the star filled skies at night. 💫
Right now we’ve taken a break from the road trip to get some more of our farm days complete. We’re currently in New South Wales working in a cherry packing shed which should hopefully take us up to the New Year.
It’s been three months since I’ve come to Australia and I’ve had such an incredible time so far. As always, I don’t have a long term plan for the future. I’m simply enjoying every moment and opportunity that comes my way.
And right now, that moment is writing this blog post, remembering and being grateful for the last three months whilst sipping on a beautiful latte.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time.