A Backpackers Farm Tale

One of the biggest phenomenon which interests the today’s society is migration. The motivations of the people who migrate to other countries can be different from each other. Some people escape from the wars and conflicts that distress their Country, some people migrate in search of more satisfying job opportunities in order to improve their quality of life, some people leave everything behind to realize their deepest dream. Some Countries like Australia have made available a particular type of Visa called “Working Holiday” for the young people between 18 and 30 years old.
This Visa gives to the young people the chance to travel and work in all the Australian territory for the duration of one year, with the purpose of promoting the open-mindedness about multiculturalism, allowing them to experiment the culture of another Country. Since this information has begun to spread, more and more young people decided to undertake this experience on the other side of the world attracted by a Country still under development, but which rapresent one of the highest quality of life. Over the years the migration of the young in Australia became a global phenomenon constantly growing. These young people identify themselves as backpackers, term that mean (person who travel with backpack on his shoulder in search of new adventures). The most of them see Australia as the first stage for a long trip around Asia. The many opportunities to find a well-payed job in a short time and the encouraged costs of the flight tickets, make Australia the perfect starting point for a long trip on the asian continent.
Instead, for the rest of the backpackers, Australia is a well organized Country which offers numerous opportunities despite being surrounded by wild nature. Attracted by this unique union, more and more young people fall in love of the Australian life style and make every attempt in order to find a Sponsor which allow them to create a new life on this side of the world.
Finding a Sponsor means find an employer able to provide an employment for at least 4 years, which after its conclusion enables them to ask for the Australian passport. Due to the growing request, in the last years searching for a Sponsor became more and more difficult. In order to give more chances to the people who attempt to settle down in Australia, the government give them the opportunity to earn the renewal of the Working Holiday Visa for another year, working for at least 88 days in one of the farms of the Country. Once completed the 88 days, it’s possible to use the second Working Holiday Visa after the first or, as most people do, use it in the future keep an open door for a potential return to Australia. Before to undertake this experience a lot of young people are skeptical due to the little information regarding this argument. Most of them consider the Farm a kind of forced labour to gain the freedom of traveling in Australia for another year. In a few words, a lot of people consider this opportunity to be more trouble than it’s worth, without knowing that the Farm is not only a working experience, but a unique life experience and unrepeatable. During this experience the young learn what it means to work hard in order to reach an aim, they learn how to live everyday with people from every corner of the world who have completely different habits from theirs, but most of all they learn what is respect, cohesion and solidarity. The experience begin when entering the first time in the “Shared House” meeting all the other backpackers who will share this same path. Frequently the welcoming is not the best for a simple reason. Most of the houses are incredibly overcrowded and even one more person makes the difference when there is no privacy. Especially during the high season the Shared House can host more than 20 backpackers at once, making the cohabitation borderline impossible. Some people even choose to buy a Van to park it in the garden and set up a little bedroom inside it. Other people prefer put a mattress at the end of the corridor or in other corner of the house just to have their own private world. The common spaces as the kitchen, the bathroom and the living room are often occupied by other people, and this in the long run can create irritability that spills over into frustration. However this is only temporary because after having spent several week all together the backpackers are no longer unknown, but they already begin to be friends. The bond that is formed among the backpackers is every day more solid thanks a totally shared life style. Not only the backpackers share the same house, but even the same job, the same exertions and the same problems, in few words the same life. The job at the farm brings you to conduct a life style that most of the backpackers had never lived before undertaking this experience. Working at the farm means to start work at sunrise and one of the biggest traumas in a backpacker’s day is to wake up early in the morning. Before arriving at the working place, most of them wake up around 4/5 am due to the overcrowded kitchen where everybody wants to have breakfast at the same time. Both those who work in the fields and those who work in the factory’s shed, at the end of the day everyone comes back home with physical problems of any kind, such as back pain, headache and even hand pain. Those who work in the fields are subject to more physical work caused by heavy lifting and are at the mercy of atmospheric conditions. Instead, those who work in the factory shed are subject to a mental stress caused by the loud noise of the machinery and repetitive movements typical of a chain job. In every case, the farm job can be described as exhausting, and only those who have perseverance can achieve to work to the end of the much wanted 88 days. The positive aspect of working in a farm is rediscover a part of yourself that maybe has never been considered. During the 8 hour of tough work the backpacker has the opportunity to think more about himself, about what he really wants from his life. In addition, working so hard teaches to reconsider their own limits of tolerance, making you a mentally stronger person. Another positive aspect of the farm job is the free time during the rest of the day. Almost every backpacker finishes work around 2/3 pm which means that during the rest of the day they can enjoy the Australian life style that they have been dreaming about. Some people dedicating themselves to physical exercises like yoga or gym in order to reinforce their body and feel less the muscular pain caused by the tough work. Other people go to the discovery of the numerous National Parks rich in exotic plants and wildlife, others go to the beach for practicing surf or just relax. The most significant thing of the farm experience is that everything is shared both for good and for bad. Share everything, means even the house cleaning and making the common shopping. The biggest problem of living in a crowded house is surely the tidiness. It ca be frustrating to come home from work and realize that everything is dirty, for this reason the house rules wants that once a week a couple of people in rotation shifts have the duty to clean the common spaces of the house. When the most awaited moment of the week comes, in other words the weekend, usually the backpackers organize dinners that lead to big parties which last until the morning. Thanks to the location of the Shared House, usually situated in isolated places in the middle of the nature, it makes it possible to organize huge bonfires at the centre of the garden where the young would dance all night long. Due to the high cost of the night life in Australia, only for special occasion as the birthdays, or for celebrating the end of the 88 days, the backpackers go outside to the city centre to enjoy the club life. After several months spent together, the backpackers have shared the same sufferings during the working day, the same frustrations due to an overcrowded house, but they have even shared wonderful moments at the beach, long strolls in the nature and crazy party nights. All the barriers erected by the cultural difference have been demolished by the sense of togetherness. All the sufferings and the exertions caused by the hard work have been wiped out by solidarity. All the moments of loneliness and sadness due to the distance from the loved ones have been supplanted by the smiles of the people that were near you everyday. These people that only few months ago were unknown to each other from every corner of the earth, have now become what is possible to call a full-fledged big multicultural family. At the beginning of this experience you can have the sensation of ending up in a nightmare from which you’re looking forward to escape. Surprisingly when the end comes, a part of you would never want to leave because unconsciously you know that you’re leaving behind a second family that will be impossible to recreate, but that will stay forever in your heart.