88 Days and counting

One thing that’s on every backpackers mind who’s wanting to do a second year in Australia is the farm work. In order to be eligible for an extension to your visa you must complete 88 days in a regional postcode. For me, it’s in Bundaberg, a small city in Queensland about a 4 hour drive from Brisbane.

As soon as I landed I instantly had a feeling that these three months were going to be the longest of my life, and in some ways I still feel this but in others I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I’d heard horror stories about the work – the long hot back breaking days with little to no rest are tough but it’s the people that make it bearable, we’re all in this together – working towards a second year in a country we’ve all dreamed about living in.

The day after I arrived at my working hostel just a 10 minute walk from the city centre I was thrown into sweet potato picking. After a quick look online and talking to a few people I learnt that this is one of the hardest jobs – especially if it’s done manually. Just to my luck – it was.

Nearly 9 hours later we’d picked over 24 bins and packed them all into boxes to be sent of to Flemington Markets in Sydney – oh the irony!

The next day my farm wasn’t working so I was sent to a Pineapple farm, the work was a LOT easier but weirdly I was eager to get back to the spuds. It was something about being able to push my self a lot more at the farm the day before.

To my delight I was sent back there on Friday morning and again on Saturday – me and a guy from Germany being the only ones from the original bunch to be asked back.

In just two days I already noticed a massive difference in my fitness and my speed. To a plus we started to joke around with the Aussie couple that ran the farm – joking around with your bosses really makes the day easier (but make sure you test the waters first).

After 7 days of work my back is killing, I feel filthy but I can now sort-of see light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is a long way away.

 

Dreams Can Come True

Five years ago seventeen year old me fell in love with a city, a city that so blatantly captivated me with it’s hustle and bustle, it’s quirky charm and it’s unique characteristics.

From that description you’d be fooled to think I’m talking about the big apple or maybe some other North American metropolis, but in fact I’m speaking about Australia’s biggest city – Sydney. Yes… I’m now one of those typical poms in paradise living the dream down under.

To be honest I’ve always been a city guy and have contemplated moving to one for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until December last year, when on the back of my quick trip around Vietnam, Thailand and New Zealand I decided to stop off in Sydney re-finding my love for the city.

From then on in I had a timeline, a timeline to pack up my life in Spain and move to the land of the kangaroo and koala. I set myself the date of moving here before September 2018. 10 months seems about right to save up a bit of cash, get everything in order and desert the Andalucian life… yeah?

Wrong. 10 months was obviously too much in my spontaneous eyes. Over Christmas I spoke to my parents about what I wanted to do and to my surprise they were pretty supportive, in fact – they were more than supportive – they encouraged me to leave sooner rather than later… In hindsight, I’m pretty sure they just wanted to get rid of me.

So in one of the uncountable taxi rides to yet another airport I made up my mind, September 2018 became February 2018 in a matter of seconds.

On the 20th of February, I left Granada for the final time. The journey to the bus station was a hard one. Sitting in the front seat of the car I looked at my mum, she looked back and we both burst out crying – a repeat of what happened when I said goodbye to my dad the day before. The tears didn’t last long but we both knew what they meant. This chapter was a big step, it was going to be hard for us all but it was a something I and they knew I needed.

I don’t think what was happening kicked in until I arrived in Abu Dhabi, when a sleep deprived me looked at the airport screen displaying “Sydney” and felt a tear slide down my cheek. It was then when I realised that my dream was finally coming true.

Fast forward 15 hours or so and I finally checked into my hostel in Sydney. It wouldn’t be right not to go all out on your first night would it? So that’s what I did.

Welcome to Sydney.

Me and my new hostel bud at Side Bar – 23rd Feb 2018.

 

So to those that say dreams can’t come true – they can. To those that are working on achieving a dream – work hard enough and you’ll get there!

If there’s one thing everyone should do in life, it’s live the life you dream.