How to Ruin your Working Holiday in Australia in 30 Easy Steps

 

  1. Immediately befriend a self-involved American because she is the only person around who is in the same situation as you. Quickly realize that in the very brief moments when not talking about herself, she only talks about how she dated that one guy that won the Bachelorette, like, five years ago.
  2. After a couple of weeks with said “friend,” ditch her because you can’t take it anymore and pay upfront for a 4 day “learn to surf” adventure leaving from Sydney in 6 days.
  3. Immediately after handing over the cash for said adventure, decide you want to see Melbourne and grab a return ticket on the 13 hour bus from Sydney to Melbourne.
  4. Fall in love with Melbourne, turn down a job offer at a gourmet cheese shop in the Prahran Market because you already spent a fortune on a surf adventure, and leave after only spending a couple of days.
  5. Wake up at 5 am to catch the 6 am departure of the “learn to surf” adventure, after spending all day yesterday on a bus coming back from Melbourne.
  6. Realize you are the only native English speaker on a bus of 40 people who all assume from the way you look that you, like them, are also German and are simply a weirdo loner who doesn’t want to talk to anyone.
  7. 36 hours later someone who speaks English finally realizes you do not speak German and you are finally able to at least have some conversation thrown your way.
  8. End up in Byron Bay, still not really able to surf, and with only mild friendship amongst a few of your fellow surfing buddies.surfcamp
  9. Hang out in Byron Bay until one of your dorm mates returns to the room completely trashed, takes off all of her clothes except for her thong, and manages to get sick and shit herself all over the dorm floor..
  10. Defeated, return to Sydney to catch a flight for a quick family holiday in Hawaii, which only makes things worse as seeing everyone in person really aggravates that homesickness you’ve been trying to suppress.
  11. Arrive back in Sydney and buy a car, why not?
  12. Also, get a cell phone from the most widely used service provider.
  13. Proceed to drive said car, with said cell phone in tow, to the middle of nowhere in Queensland where your new WWOOF arrangement is waiting.
  14. Day two of your completely solitary drive is your 23rd birthday, however, it is not your birthday back home, so no one calls or messages you in any way. Have a depressing night at a motel where you wallow in self pity.
  15. Realize when you are still hours away from your destination that your cell service provider DOES NOT service the area you are now in – wonderful.
  16. Finally get to the town with approximately 300 residents and spot some friendly locals doing yard work. Introduce yourself and tell them where you are trying to go. They rightly inquire why, and at your response say, “You know they have children, right?” in a very clearly concerned tone.
  17. After using the polite couple’s phone to call the farm where you’ll be living for the next 8 weeks, you have tea, then head out on the 45 minute drive – 45 MINUTES FROM THE CLOSEST TOWN THAT HAS 300 RESIDENTS! What. The. Fuck.
  18. Get 1998 Ford Falcon Wagon stuck in the mud on their driveway with no way of letting them know. Sit in the car, in the heat, as the sun goes down, with no lights in any direction, just waiting. Get out of the car to get the cell phone that you left in your bags in the trunk, because WHY WOULD YOU NEED IT, and get your boot stuck in the mud as you get eaten alive by mosquitos.
  19. Finally, you see headlights coming your way. They realized you must be stuck since you never arrived, help you get your stuff, and drive you back to their house, leaving your only way back to the outside world behind you, stuck in the mud.
  20. Try to get some sleep because you have to be up at the crack ass of dawn tomorrow to help them muster the cattle.
  21. After awaking at the crack ass of dawn and getting out to the pasture, get left in the car while everyone, EVERYONE else goes off to find the first group of cattle to muster. After many hours they return and everyone eats lunch before heading out again… but with you this time.
  22. Watch as the farmer sorts the cattle, brands, castrates and removes the horns of the young bulls. As bloody calfs run about and testicles are flung all around you, the two young children begin to peg you with said testicles. Then they throw some of them on the branding fire to cook them to be eaten.
  23. After twelve hours in the field and having returned to the house, the younger of the two children begins chasing you around the house yelling at you to touch the frog he has just retrieved from the rain water tank. You manage to escape to the bathroom to take a shower, but as soon as the water starts flowing, you hear intermittent pounding on the window in the shower, directly by your face. You realize that both children are now collecting frogs and throwing them with all their might at the window. Frog guts are splattering everywhere, so you finish your shower as quickly as possible.
  24. As soon as you exit the bathroom, towel wrapped around you and toiletries in their bag, there he is waiting for you, nurf gun in hand – you stare each other down for what seems like eternity, he shoots and the ball bounces off you and lands on the ground. You decide to get your ass in gear before he has time to reload. As you take your first step towards sanctuary – your room – you step on what turns out not to be a ball, but a frog. You run to your room screaming expletives as your toiletries get flung all over the common room and wonder why these children are implementing a bush frog genocide.
  25. After slamming your door and removing your towel to get dressed, in walks the six year old boy, seeing you, full frontal, completely naked. You scream and believe this situation cannot get any worse.
  26. Despite having such a shit first day, you stick it out. You deal with the children of the corn who torment you, the parents who don’t seem to care and their demonic horses, who you are, in fact, here to take care of. Until one day one of those horses decides to run off with you on its back. It is completely out of control. You truly believe this is the moment you are going to die – surprisingly not by being bitten in your sleep by one of the many presumably poisonous spiders that share your bedroom. Somehow you are able to stay on his back and by the time he gets closer to the barn you are able to run his face into it – literally. At this moment, you dismount and hand him over to the farmer, who came running out to see what was the matter. Now you go inside to pack.
  27. Peace out of there and never look back. On your way to Brisbane from the middle of bumfuck nowhere you get stopped at a random roadside drug testing. FUCK! Probably shouldn’t have smoked that weed with your surfing instructor… is weed illegal here? probably… FUCK FUCK FUCK.
  28. Get to Brisbane after somehow passing the drug screening… Were those real cops? and buy a plane ticket home because you give up on this country.
  29. Not have time to sell your car before you leave so decide you’re just going to abandon it at the airport.
  30. Leave for the airport really fucking early, and be unable to figure out which terminal, international or domestic, that you are flying out of because there isn’t a single person at the airport yet. Continue to drive between the two terminals because it is so early the shuttle isn’t running and it is waaaaaaaay too far to walk. Finally, after about an hour of driving back and forth and listening to “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on repeat, figure out that you are leaving from the domestic terminal, leave the car in the longterm parking lot and deuce out…. flying to Sydney, then Los Angeles, Atlanta, and finally Birmingham, AL.

 

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