Nine days left: I’m going to miss the simple life :(

I love small towns. People say hello as I walk by. Shopkeepers remember me. I could be waiting to cross the road and a car will stop right there to let me cross without a crossing in sight. What’s the rush? No traffic jams, no rush hours, no long journeys home. Everything is calm. 

Not that I would want to move back to a small town, not yet anyway. The chilled life isn’t one I would recommend for young people due to the lack of opportunities. But for those that like this kind of life, good for you. I can see why.

It is nice to experience one again. I’m currently working around the corner from my hostel, behind the hospital which has greatly reduced my stress of potentially being bitten by a venomous snake. We leave for work at 6.10am and get there at 6.20am, enough time to drink our coffee from the flask before our 6.30am start. Half the journey is through the farm itself and into the shed. 

I would complain about the early start and freezing cold weather (yep, even the tropical north has cold winter weather), but the sunrise makes up for this.


After work, we have little to do but socialise with our fellow backpackers and choose between the five pubs and restaurants that grace the towns main street. There is nothing but the main street. 

This is the Main Street in Ayr. Autocorrect keeps changing ‘main street’ to capitals thinking it is the actual name of the street so I have given up. This is where most of the fun happens… Not exactly the Vegas Strip though!

This makes it easy to find friends… if they aren’t in the hostel, I can probably guess where they are in two or three guesses. It also makes it very hard to find alone time, such as this present moment as I enjoy a pint and some loaded pork fries. I took this shot below to show you this beautiful dog, a rescued dog in fact. 


As I’m typing, regulars are coming in. I have been finishing early this week on my current farm as we have picked all the pumpkins we can, now we are cleaning up the farm and preparing it for the end of season. This is being spread over the week to give us more farmwork days, instead of us working overtime and doing it in 2-3 days. The regulars coming in are the same ones I’ve seen everytime I’ve been in here. Older regulars that I assume are locals and have been for a very long time. It makes me think. Have they lived here all their lives? This is one of the reasons I left my country to travel. 

I remember my home village and know that I will see the same people going into the same shops and pubs when I head back home as I did when I was growing up. It freaks me out a little. Life is too short and the world is too big for me to stay in one place. I won’t be travelling forever, but if I had one piece of advice for young people today, it is travel. There is more opportunity now than there ever was. Make the most of it.

But there is something about experiencing this small town life that I have enjoyed. It is all the good stuff that this kind of laid-back lifestyle provides. The friendliness of the locals. The ablility to walk down the street without bumping into a thousand people on the way. The chance that when you do bump into someone it is someone you already know. It hasn’t been enough for me to want to relocate to a small town permanently, but it is something I have enjoyed whilst I complete my farmwork. 

Small towns have a different kind of beauty and I am glad to experience one again, I am just pleased it isn’t for too long.

25 days left, but I have been told to leave Ayr…

It happened a few weeks back on a Sunday in this very small farming town. Something that changed the mood and even made it onto international news sites, but not a claim to fame Ayr needs. Every little town wants to be placed on the map, but why anyone would want to be seen in a negative light is beyond me.

I was walking to Coles (a major Australian supermarket) from my hostel. A few minutes walk and because there is so little to do in Ayr, it is a trip I make everyday. It’s what we do in the working hostel. Make sure you don’t get enough food in for a couple of days because, well, how would we kill time after work? It sounds crazy, but it’s true.

I was walking down the street to the supermarket, it’s a straight road until you get to the car park. It’s a quick left at a building with blacked out windows, what this building is in not sure. I’m not even sure if it is occupied. 

Area in question. Who new this little area of the world would make headlines?

This is the poster in question. Warning, strong language.


There was in fact another poster a few steps up, however I don’t think it was appropriate to upload here. It was much more racist and I would probably have to blank out the majority of the poster. The funny thing is the choice of wording here. ‘Ayr is a backpacker free-zone.’

It really isn’t.

Ayr is a farming town like many others in rural Australia, heavily relying on backpackers to keep the industry moving. I assume the reason I have to do the 88 days of farm work to obtain a second year visa is due to a shortage of young people willing to work away from the cities. I don’t blame them, it really is something you have to have a passion for. If all the backpackers left Ayr overnight, they would be pretty screwed here. Most locals know this.

You can read a little more about this in articles over here at the relatively local SBS and the UK’s Daily Mail Online

Also, if I’m not of ‘Northern European descent’ I’m not welcome here. Well, I’m a backpacker of Northern European descent. So being British allows me to stay, but being a backpacker cancels it out. Confused? Yeah, me too.

The Mail Online article above is interesting as it talks of the backpackers that hit back at the posters. Also, the locals that disagree with such discrimination. I have to say, the locals have been lovely since I’ve been here. The hatred in the posters is not seen in the town. 

Don’t get me wrong, backpackers can be a troublesome bunch. I see working hostels as like being back at university. Young people working hard and partying hard. We are loud on the weekends when everyone meets for the bars to let off some steam generated by a week of long farm days. I can also see how much money goes into these bars, restaurants and hostels from the backpackers. It is a cycle that cannot afford to have a small minority of people breaking it up.

What are your thoughts on this? are you a backpacker or live in an area that is popular with them? Love them or hate them, they will never be as bad as the people that are capable of creating such hateful posters.

They will be happy I’m sure to know that I only have 25 days left.