My farm work experience

I didn’t really talk much about my reasons for not completing the 88 days of farm work required to be eligible for a second year Australian visa and I figured now that it’s been nearly a year since I first left the UK, it was maybe time to talk about it.

This is long one by the way and I found it quite hard to write so bare with me.

We left Perth to do out 88 days at the end of August and we knew that it was going to be tight trying to squeeze in 88 days before our visa expired at the end of December. We flew over to Brisbane and hopped on the Greyhound for the 9 hour trip to Bundaberg.

Now Bundaberg was okay. A small (ish) rural town, full of Europeans trying to live the Aussie lifestyle for a little while longer. So why did I hate my farm work experience so much?

Reason Number One: Hostel life was not the life for me.

There was nil chance of us having a private room so instead we were in a 4 bed with 2 other chicks. They were both delightful but in the room next to us was the loudest group of girls, who drank every night and screeched in the corridors. They were very popular among the lads, often indulging in late night antics that everyone could hear thanks to the paper thin walls.

(No judgement though, you go girls).I’m a quiet and private person so living in such close quarters with strangers sucked. Forming bonds with them was even harder as I’m not a massive drinker and, as you may know, a lot of hostel friendships do revolve around alcohol, so I felt rather lonely.

Aswell as this the hostel needed a face lift, the bathrooms and kitchen were fucking disgusting and the staff were a set of money grabbing tossers.

So yeah.

Reason Number Two: The work itself.

When we arrived I was pre-warned that whatever happened, I did not want to be placed on this certain guys sweet potato farm cos he was a creep. SO guess what? I was assigned to his farm, obviously. When I saw the worksheet I cried. BUT being the trooper that I am I got up at 4 am to go pick sweet potatoes and bring home the bacon.

The work turned out to be ok but when the sun came out, I took my jacket off and alas the farmer had this too say: ‘Ooh are you gunna take it all off?’. We then went to the sorting room and he kept trying to get right next to me, standing way to close for comfort. Bear in mind I’m a 20 something year old, this guy was old as fuck AND his wife was there the whole time. What the actual fuck?!

Safe to say I quit that day.

My next farm was a citrus farm and it was up to me to box the oranges, satsumas and tangerines. It wasn’t hard but my heart just wasn’t in it. I didn’t care if an orange had bad skin or holes, I don’t even eat oranges so how did I know what a bad one was? I’ve always been good at what I do and 100% committed to jobs, even if I hated them but farm work really wasn’t for me so I just didn’t give a shit.

I just couldn’t see myself sticking at it for a whole 88 days.

Reason Number Three: My mental health

If I’m going to be brutally honest with myself, I had a really tough time in Bundaberg and the worst thing was, Jody was loving it. He was making loads of friends, he enjoyed the work and he was making quite good money. We’ve always been polar opposites, him being an extrovert and me being an introvert but it was only when we were in Bundaberg that I saw just how different we really were.

And it worried me.

I felt like I was getting left behind, I never had any money, I was the loneliest I had been in years and at this point in time I was missing home so bad. I spent pretty much every night in Bundaberg curled up in bed, crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was in a really bad mental state, snapping at Jody and I hated every second I was there.

It’s only when I look back now that I realised if we had stayed any longer I would have probably gone home early, with or without Jody.

I wanted out of that hostel, I wanted out of the farm work and I wanted to earn some proper money.

So we left.

I felt bad for Jody but he tried to reassure me that he was happy to leave (although I’m still not sure if I believed him or not). It was a shame that we wouldn’t be staying in Australia for another year but by this point I couldn’t have cared less.

We went on a mini road trip down the East coast, hating on Surfers Paradise and falling in love wih Byron Bay. Jody and I reconnected again and I started to feel like a weight had been lifted and I started to smile again.

We got to Sydney and within 3 days I had a new job at a charity, earning a ridiculous amount of money a week. The hostel we were in sucked but I didn’t feel half as bad as I did when we were in Bundaberg.

To this day I still wonder ‘What if?’ but soon after we arrived in Sydney homesickness set in again for both of us and we knew it was time to think about going home. We landed back in the UK this January after taking a tour via Port Lincoln, Bali and Thailand and we had such a good time that any regrets over not sticking my farm work out were soon eradicated from my thoughts.

And I spose that’s the end of this post. The moral of the story? You have to do what is best for you. Even if the thing that is best for you is not exactly what you want.

Much Love.


  • kerstinix

    15/11/2016 at 10:35 am

    Oh wow. I'm sad to hear you had such an awful experience. What's up with creepy old guys? UGH!

    Love, Kerstin

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