Yes, that’s right, after a week of working on a farm I have decided it’s not for me…
I arrived in Pozieres, Queensland to pack apples 🍎 on the 9th April and here I am sat at the airport ready to board a plane to Melbourne on the 19th April.
I lived in a 12 girl house with some lovely girls, but from arriving it all started to go downhill… the stories about the packing shed being tough made me apprehensive before I had even started on my first day.
It wasn’t as bad as first thought for the first few days, you have to be quick packing the apples and there is no talking aloud, it can get quite monotonous and your back hurts by the end of a shift which can end anywhere from around 4pm, fortunately only ever worked as late as 6pm but girls have had to work till 10 previously!
Siobhan and I were given our first day off on Friday 13th we visited the local town in Stanthorpe to get our shopping, it was small and included a country Target with very limited clothing 😂 and then everyone including ourselves has Sunday’s off. By Monday I had settled in more to the house- we played beer pong on the Saturday night and sunbathed Sunday, watching films later on in the day.
On Monday I was told I was not improving, lacked technique and needed to improve fast. I went in on Tuesday ready to change and be given advice on how to improve but got very little of this.
It was then on Tuesday evening I finally cracked when told in front of all the other workers I would be given a day off because they still were not seeing an improvement and believed I needed rest. Everyone else would be starting at 7:30am. This was incredibly embarrassing and made my confidence sink feeling completely singled out when there were also 5 other new people who had started and not treated in the same way.
I’d been thinking all week as to whether I really wanted my second year visa. The question ‘is it the end of the world if I don’t get it?’ And for me the answer was no it isn’t, there are so many more places I want to travel to and plan to do as much of Australia before I leave, I have thought about coming back on a holiday visa to visit Perth in the summer also next year, but who knows what the future holds!
Many people may say I didn’t give it enough time, things could have changed, that may be right and I will never know now!
Mariesa’s top tips for Farm work:
- Make sure you really want the visa. For some of the girls I lived with they would be gutted if they couldn’t get hold of the visa days! Some have boyfriends here others just absolutely love the country.
- Direct farm or working hostel? I went directly to a farm which is better for getting your days. However, I can completely see why backpackers would want to go to a working hostel, I imagine it would be a lot more social, here we were in bed early by 8:30pm and there wasn’t much to do around the area we were in.
- Go in with a positive mindset! I went to the farm feeling positive but as soon as I arrived I was given a perception of what it would be like straight away and felt constantly negative! Make your own mind up!
- Packing shed or picking? In the packing shed we were paid hourly at $22.86 some of the girls working here manage to save a lot of money and I wish I enjoyed it more as I would have saved a lot of money! Picking was on a piece rate (paid by the bin) the girls doing this didn’t save as much but it is meant to be easier than packing- not so strict! People generally prefer to be outside, but you have to bare in mind the season as weather can effect your days.
I’ve been a lot happier since I have made the decision to leave. I’m looking forward to taking on travelling solo, it’s something I’ve wanted to do but have always been apprehensive, I feel this has now given me the opportunity. I’ll be leaving Siobhan behind at the farm, she wants her visa a lot and has friends at the farm now! My plan at the moment is to finish off my year working in Melbourne!
Goodbye Pozieres, Hello Melbourne 🌏🇦🇺