Monday, June 10, 2013

Frequently asked questions

Hi everybody!

It has now been one year since I came back from Australia. Meanwhile I've finished my first year at Uni and am still dreaming back to the silent beaches in Tasmania and the nightlife buzz of Melbourne. I'm so happy to see that quite a few people have emailed me some questions about my backpacking. Although I did quite a long entry on the end of my travels, I thought I would do a short summary for you guys.


How much money did you bring to Australia?

It all depends on when you leave. Be prepared that the European winter months are more expensive due to holidays an increased tourism in the larger cities. It's hard to get a job from November until December, so unless you have a lot of pocket money you need to look over your finances. Be prepared to spend around 1000 euros per month in a larget city like Sydney, Brisbane and Perth for basics such as food (not restaurant but home cooked food), accommodation, transportation costs etc.

I got to Sydney in December with 2000 euros pocket money which got quite stressful. But again, it depends on if you stay in a big city, if you work, what month you go etc.

When is the best time to go there?

Again, depends on your money. It is easier to find work from March - September, and for the people that do not like 40 degrees in the sun, it's nicer since the winter is a bit cooler. Then again, Christmas and New Years Eve in Sydney was amazing, but only be in the city if you have your budget or a job sorted.

Should I go alone or with a friend?

I left with a friend but to be honest, I preferred traveling by myself. It is a lot easier to get to know people, you're more socially open and you don't have to compromise on anything. Besides, I met people on the way all the time so you're never alone as long as you're staying in hostels.

Should I go alone or with a travel agency from my home country?

ALONE. I went with an agency and it was an absolute waste of money. I didn't meet a single person during my travel that had a different opinion. Trust me, Australia is the easiest country to travel in so you can save thousands of euros and spend it on more fun stuff during your travels.

How do I find jobs?

There are different ways. You got homepages such as Gumtree where you can look for ads. Newspapers is another way. In every city there are job agencies like The Job Shop in Perth where you can walk right in and talk to the people. Also an option where I found basically all of my jobs is just through handing out CVs personally in shops. The manager can get to know you straight away and you don't need to wait for a slow answer on email.  For harvest jobs, it is preferred to either have your own vehicle to drive to the farm or live in a working hostel that can provide you with a job when accommodated. To find harvest work, go to the official homepage of harvest jobs in Australia: .

Is it hard to get a job in Australia?

During the European summer months, I didn't think so. In Sydney it was hard for me because I arrived in December. And Perth is generally known for being a challenge to find work. But Brisbane was easy and even in Cairns I found "staff wanted" signs in several shops. The time of the year plays an important factor, and I can also recommend looking for a job outside the CBD. Most travellers look for work in the city centre and chances are fairly slim to find anything there. In Brisbane I found a caféjob in a mall outside the city and I got the job the day after my arrival in the city.

What job pays best in Australia?

I found that warehouse work pays a lot better than for example café work. The tasks in a warehouse is very often tedious, but you have a minimum wage of 20 dollars an hour and you can get massive shifts if you work hard and are lucky. Fruit picking also pays of. If you work on provision and you're hardworking, you can earn a fortune. While apple picking in Tasmania (see my video blog form last year on this blog) I earned about 550 euros in 5 days.

Should I sort out accommodation before going to a new city?

I had both good and bad experiences with pre booking a hostel. When I flew to Melbourne it was a disaster, I stayed at Elephant backpackers and I could not get a refund on the one week I had pre booked so I stayed in the dirtiest  hole ever. In Cairns however I was very lucky and consider it as one of the best and cheapest hostels I've been in (Njoy). Go after your own gut feeling, judgement and commens from sites such as hostelworld.

If you could change one thing about your travels, what would it be?

Well, pretty much there isn't much at all I regret. Even the things I could've changed, I wouldn't because the people and experiences I gained in my life on the way are all too valuable to me. However, as a tip I can give you this estimation: half of your backpacking you will be working and the other half traveling. I found it stressful to always look for work in every city since I stayed at the same place for at the most 5 weeks. For my next travel, I will stay at the same place for half of my planned time, work together a budget and then just travel and relax for the remaining months ;)

I hope this helped you guys. Remember, this is your travels, it should be on your conditions and I can guarantee you that it will be the time of your life. Sure, it won't always be flawless. It is a certain life style, sometimes I was so poor that I crashed in hostels without paying, but that's all part of the experience. If you just see it as a part of the adventure, you will not be disappointed :)

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to email me. The address is in the entry below.

Other than that, I wish you happy travelling and I'll keep this blog open for furute backpackers to visit and get inspiration!

Peace, love & pancakes,
your Cathi!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


So I'm finally home now after 6 months of backpacking in Australia. It has been one of the greatest experiences ever - so many places I've seen, so many wonderful people I've met. I've discovered new sides of me, stretched my limitations further than I could ever imagine and grown so much as a person. 

I can definitely recommend doing this sort of thing to anybody who is considering it. I can guarantee you will have the time of your life, and feel more free than ever. However, I do suggest going on your own without a travel agency which promises you a pile of services before you leave your homecountry since you save a lot of money which you can spend on your travels instead. The one I went with did not fullfil the expected services, and based on my experience, it was money spend for nothing. It's easy to fill out the form for a visa and fix things such as a Tax File Number (TFN), bank account and phone number. Australia is one of the easiest countries to travel; there are heaps of free travel agencies such as Peterpans, Wicked Travel, Travelbugs, Tribal Travel etc where you get free internet, discounts on tours and other services such as taxback. I found them in every city except for Hobart. Hostels are everywhere - there are less fancy as well as more luxury ones. If you're keen on getting discounts you can become a member of for example YHA or Nomads hostels which costs around $30 but you save a few bucks every night you stay there. If you do have problems there's always people you can talk to. And don't be afraid that you will end up alone if you go to Australia by yourself. You will meet people all the time. Remember: everyone is in the same situation like you. The majority of people who travel are very open and social, so don't worry!

Whatever you do, don't plan your trip too much ahead. I found the best parts of my travel were the ones that were spontaneous. You meet people along the way all the time, and finding someone you decide to become your travelmate for a few weeks is amazing.

Anyway, if anyone has any questions about backpacking, I'm more than happy to answer them. I can only tell from my experience, but if you as a reader are considering it and want my opinion on something or have a general question just send me an email ( and I will answer it as good as I can. 

Anyways, here is my final video! (And sorry I had to cut it in half because blogspot didn't allow me to upload a 5:33 min video) 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Soon home again


20 minutes until I'm heading towards the airport. 20 minutes until I check in and fly home.

Update + my final video from my backpacking will be posted once I'm home in 30 hours.

Cya'll xx

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Untitled. Or something.

Hey everybody,

I know. I know. It's been more than ages since I wrote anything here. I'm sorry.  To be honest, I haven't done anything exceptional lately. I was looking for work the first 2 and a half weeks, but since it's pretty much impossible to get a job here, I've had no luck. So instead I've been going to the beach pretty much every day, looking around in Perth etc.

Tomorrow I'm leaving for a 4 days trip to Monkey Mia. I will post the video asap once I'm back, I promise!