Home » Australia Working Holiday Blog » Posts » 40 Signs that You Survived the Regional Work in Australia
Share This Article

Regional Work - A Broken Backpack


Being a Dairy Farmer
                   Being a Dairy Farmer

A visa, one year and a backpacker. What’s missing?

Oh yeah… 88 days of regional work.

How many backpackers dare to do their regional work?

How many backpackers survive until the end?

88 days… So, basically, 3 months.

3 little months in a life, is it really a big deal? I thought so.

I survived despite myself. My first experience in Bundaberg was painful surrounded by an awful wage and crappy conditions.  I left after 6 days (which didn’t count toward the 88 days required).

Then, I became a dairy farmer in Victoria… and later, in the Tableland. I had to write a list of 88 reasons (I read it every morning) to remind myself why it was worth it.

88 days later, thank you, more please?

You know you’ve survived the regional work in Australia when …

  1. You accepted that there was, there is and there will always spiders (small, medium, exaggeratedly oversized, dangerous and harmless).
  2. You saw a “redback” or, at least, you’ve got used to check if your new best friend is dangerous.
  3. You saw a snake (and you also survived).
  4. You understood that at first time flies.
  5. You also understood that after a few days (or weeks), time takes it’s time.
  6. You had to repeat to yourself all the reasons why you are doing your regional work.
  7. You know well awakenings at night, but you never managed to get used to it.
  8. You enjoyed all the showers that followed your dirty days.
  9. You wanted to run away more than once.
  10. You discovered new muscles.
  11. You had to drive at least one hour to do your grocery shopping.
  12. You’ve hardly spent your money.
  13. Or maybe, you needed beers to survive.
  14. You have experienced the crises of your boss.
  15. So you learned how to deal with your anger after these crises.
  16. You have successfully integrated the reasons why you do your regional work and how to block irritants listed above.
  17. You met other backpackers trying to survive the same job.
  18. You laughed when they started to panic.
  19. You worked to many hours.
  20. You didn’t always have your days off.
  21. On these days off, you didn’t know what to do, because you were stuck in a region.
  22. You had to buy a pocket WiFi.
  23. You had to spend too much money to recharge your data.
  24. You realize that farmers are hard to understand.
  25. You also understood that if your boss is rude it’s because he’s losing money because of you.
  26. So, you made sure you were not doing any mistake. No mistake = a happier boss.
  27. You saw 88 crazy and unique sunsets.
  28. You’ve learned to embrace the flies.
  29. You know how to deal with crap.
  30. You don’t even smell it anymore.
  31. You became a lot stronger.
  32. You lost weight.
  33. You shared your house with other backpackers (and spiders) (and maybe with snakes).
  34. You know what I mean by there are too many cows in this world. (Wink to all the dairy farmers!)
  35. You now have enough money to enjoy Australia (Well…if you have not been underpaid or a volunteer).
  36. You have your second year visa!
  37. You probably work a bit more than 88 days.
  38. Worst, you started to enjoy it at the end.
  39. You decided that finally, the experience was not that bad.
  40. If you are broke again on some point, you know that you could always be a farmer again!

And you, how did you manage to survive the regional work?

Can’t get regional work? A recruiter read 230 resumes and felt compelled to write this article on why some people struggle to get regional work.
Visit A Broken Backpack to find more of my Australian Adventures.


Melissa Giroux /

Hey guys! I'm Melissa! I am a backpacker since June 2014. I was supposed to travel for two months... So far, I never came back! I am originally from Quebec, but I am currently in Australia! Enjoying my working holiday visa, I am also a travel blogger. Find my tips / stories and learn how to travel like a broken nomad (or not!).

Leave a Reply