An adventurous young Greek/German woman, Ariane Tatas, shares her experiences travelling solo across our wide brown land.
Soon I will have been travelling the red continent for over 18 months and although I have already seen so much, I still can’t get enough of its fantastic weather, magnificent scenery, Australians’ easy ways and “no worries” attitude. Having done an all-around Australia trip, here are some of my travel experiences and tips.
The first two things that will strike you are the ridiculously high prices but also random people approaching you “Gudday mate! How are you going?”. This will answer two questions very quickly that you might be bearing in mind on arrival: first, “how long can I travel with my non-Australian money before I have to start working?” – Not long at all. (Therefore if you are under 31 and want to spend as much time as possible in Australia, you should definitely go for a Working Holiday Visa, if that option exists for your country of origin.)
And second, “am I going to feel lonely here, on the other side of the world?” – No, mate, not at all, even if you wanted to! Anyway, due to the high prices of accommodation, hostel life and camping will become your second nature and there are always heaps of people around eager to make friends or find new travel mates.
And actually, just like me, you will discover that it isn’t that bad sharing a room even with up to 10 people or more. The hostels are also a great place to get to know people from all over the world. On the other hand of course there are some drawbacks too, e.g. the fact that the most privacy you will get is probably on the toilet.
Another “problem” is that you don’t really get to know many Australians in the hostels and won’t be able to improve your English language skills much by chatting with non-native speakers. The best way to get to know some real Aussie culture would probably be staying as an au-pair with an Australian family, hanging out with Australian friends or making Australian surfer dudes your boyfriends. Oh, and now that we are talking about men-fishing, YES, girls, this is the country where you can finally wear the shortest skirts and highest heels you have ever been dreaming of without being considered anything but totally normal.
Concerning job search and travel plans, I would highly recommend you to do your own thing and even visit some remote areas. Unfortunately following the backpacker herds to the sunny places in high season is not a good idea at all, when you are desperately looking for a job. Many people actually had to cancel their travels because they ran out of money waiting too long in the same place for an opportunity to work. Congratulations, by the way, if you are German, many employers are very happy to employ us, as we are considered very hard working.
Hopefully this will give you a first impression about your new life as a nomad, at least concerning hostel life and job search. Everything else will vary according to your own plans and preferences. I leave the travelling part up to you.
Just a small insiders’ tip: If you should go to the West Coast and like red dirt, hot weather, boab trees, mangoes, beautiful sunsets and a more indigenous insight into Australia, you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit Broome. It turned out to be my favourite Australian town. But you will discover that it’s mostly the people you get to know that make the places. Anyway, you should definitely make your own way through the country. But I promise if you travel with an open mind, you can have the time of your life Down Under!
Thanks so much for sharing your Australian experience Ariane, and I look forward to posting some of your adventures in India next week.
Here’s some more info on three cool places to visit in Western Australia