To you who only thinks of leaving …
Translated by Mickaëlle.
Have you ever felt the desire or the need to discover new horizons, new cultures, new personal challenges …?
Have you ever dreamed of backpack escape and strapped walking shoes …
The “backpacker life” more commonly translated by the “life of the backpacker” would be the representation! A lifestyle more peaceful, serene and certainly more constructive. Goodbye shots of a society locked in on itself, made of stereotypes …? we could then imagine this leitmotiv “let yourself be guided by your desires and discover the world in your own way …” .
It’s been two years now that I enjoy the joys of this backpaker life in Australia. Experienced in different versions, through my career, I knew how to combine small jobs, leisure, expeditions … thanks to a visa that fully supports this initiative of life (the Working Holiday visa).
Traveling alone, meetings with other backpackers are good, albeit random. Some will brighten my day, others will create a lasting friendship. Far from my roots, without replacing my family, will represent a “little cocoon” essential to an inner balance, where all feeling in the isolation chosen is increased tenfold.
This fortuitous union with different nationalities and personalities has taught me a lot about life in community: mutual support between backpackers is essential and is forged through very enriching contacts; the exchange to get a job, tips to avoid paying some services;), less touristy places to relax or to stay at a lower cost … are at the heart.
“Jobs à la carte” …
To meet this new “existence”, it was necessary to practice different jobs, the most common is the work in “farm” (so 88 days accumulated in one or more farms are required to obtain a second year on the Australian territory). The name “farms” is indeed quite general: I was able to participate in the harvest and packaging of fruits and vegetables, harvesting, pruning plantations … I had to follow the different seasons through the Australian climate to get a constant and diversified job.
The question itself is not easy: between the physical pains, the mental load of a fast and sustained execution (we are paid to the “yield” or the “tray” …), the underpaid work … I have sometimes woken up in the middle of the night with intense cramps and paresthesia on my hands … working for unscrupulous farmers who do not pay full dues … or suffer some petty theft in the community (a jar of chocolate hard won which we will never know the taste …).
Given all these conditions, many young people desert the process of validating these 88 days, limiting themselves to live a year and not the two years expected in the land of Kangaroos. Yet over experiences, with the “plus and minus” of each moment … this time of “firm” will remain one of my best life experiences … engraved forever in my memory.