If someone says the word ‘culture shock’ what do you think of? You would probably imagine landing in a country where you don’t understand a single word of the language, where there’s weird religions, different fashion, and strange food, where everything is totally foreign to you. At least that’s what I thought.
But you don’t have to go to a country with extreme cultural differences to experience culture shock. It can happen when you go anywhere, and in a way, can be even more confusing when you experience it because you never expected to.
When I first arrived in Australia I was excited and everything was amazing. The weather was hot, the bars were cool, the people were so friendly, and I liked the wildlife. But then as time went on, slowly without me realising it, everything changed. I stopped looking at things through rose tinted glasses and couldn’t help but become negative. Continue reading →
Last year the Australian Government granted over 200,000 working holiday visas. It seems us backpackers are literally flocking to the country, lured by the prospect of adventure and high wages. And once we’re here we don’t want to leave. Therefore, high on the priority list is completing 88 days of specified work in a regional area that allows us to apply for a 2nd year visa. This usually means working in a rural area doing fruit picking, farming, construction work etc.
I feel that this condition for a visa extension is both a blessing and a curse. It’s good because it helps regional employers, who often struggle to get Australian workers, by encouraging backpackers to go out to these rural areas and work on their farms to extend their stay. But on the other hand, it leaves backpackers open to exploitation, as many are willing to do just about anything to tick off those 88 days.
The Job Hunt
A few months ago I was in the vulnerable position of looking for a job. I’d pushed things as far as they could go financially but now funds were at an all time low. I thought I might as well get a job that would allow me to apply for a 2nd year visa, kill 2 birds with one stone and all that. Continue reading →
I’d completed my first road trip in the campervan from Adelaide to Melbourne, been to the Australian Tennis Open, and was now starting to think I really ought to start looking for a job. But there was one last thing I wanted to do before facing reality, and that was go to an Australian music festival.
I’ve never been to a festival quite like Rainbow Serpent. Located in Western Victoria, this is a magical place where like-minded people from all walks of life come together, and for 4 days, they leave their ‘real’ lives behind and become whoever they want to be.
It had been 2 weeks since Chris and I had bought our campervan and we’d somehow managed to spend all that time hanging around Adelaide. We caught up with a friend, did some couch surfing, and got away with freedom camping at different beaches. But we were both getting that impatient feeling and we wanted to explore and see more of this massive country. So as soon as our car inverter and Camps7 Book arrived in the post from Ebay, we were off.