12 months, what could you do in 12 months when you are on your own, with no one to answer to and no one to gain permission first to do something? Those people are literally on the other side of the world. Here you are in a foreign country that has a buoyant economy and everyone speaks your language (give it with a slightly odd accent). I am in this position and I could do, see and go pretty much anywhere I wanted.
However looking back at my time here in Australia, I really haven’t done that much. Sure I have done the snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef with Olivia, the swimming in ancient volcanic lakes in the Atherton Tablelands and the hiking across the Blue Mountains whilst drinking vodka. But I fear most of the past 8 months was spent in bars drinking overpriced Australian cider.
I didn’t climb aboard a plane and get flown to the other side of the world to get drunk? I guess I am having what I have dubbed as a “mid Australian life crisis”.
I simply needed more time here in this great and vast country. I needed to get a second working holiday visa and there were only two ways of getting one.
The first way is to do 3 months worth of farm related work in designated rural areas of Australia. Fruit picking is the most popular farm related work such as picking cherries or apples. However the only time I had done rural work before was when I used to mow the garden and the only experience I had of handling apples was when I was handling my cider.
The second way was to simply pay a farmer to lie to the immigration department and claim that you have done your 3 months at their farm. Finding a farmer to do this was not difficult, there was always someone you knew who knew someone they knew who knew a farmer who would do it.
Of course this shady method of getting a second working holiday visa carried inherent risks. I have heard that the immigration department only investigate 1 in 7 visa applications however the ones they do check are checked very thoroughly. If you withdraw cash from an ATM in the city when you should have been picking apples they will know.
Being the honest person I am I decided to take the first option and began looking into farm work. My mission to get a second working holiday visa would result in me leaving Sydney and eventually I will end up in Tasmania. Here I will do many cool things including working on a farm, becoming a night manager of a hostel, try surfing for the first time, buy a car, live in a motor home like a gypsy and encounter a ghost with a friend (plus many more things).
Looking back, my 8 months in Sydney I consider to be more of a gap year. I had just finished 5 long years of university and I needed a break. But now that was all over, looking forward I had no idea what was going to happen or where I will end up. I was looking into the unknown. But it was okay. Remember, I had no one to answer to and no one to gain permission first to do something. I am in this position and I could do, see and go pretty much anywhere I wanted.