13 Oct 2016

Exploitation of the Modern Backpacker

Since leaving the UK in May 2016 to commence my Australian journey, I've noticed how many times we, as backpackers, are completely taken advantage of. Hostels will charge you $10 to wash and dry your clothes, $5 for 500MB of Internet to contact your nearest and dearest (which by the way doesn't even last one song on YouTube before it runs out). People who are seemingly doing you a favour will offer lifts from Sydney to the Blue Mountains for $70 (which is a $2.50 train ride on a Sunday). Employers will pay you $25 an hour, lecture you about loyalty but how overall you're worthless because you are just a backpacker at the end of the day. Then they'll hire you regardless because you're cheaper than an Aussie citizen & then turn you into their office bitch. Yes, I'm bitter that people think of you as a lesser human for wanting to see the world before we carry on destroying it and there's bugger all left. This all happens even though you have a degree under your belt and are intelligent enough and brave enough to get yourself from one side of the globe to the other (something the average adult will never do in their entire lives).
And as for regional/farm work? Australia, hello? Why you clinging onto Slavery like it's ok? Literally, you get paid $5 per bucket of blueberries which you get to pick around 3-10 buckets a day in blistering heat. Then they'll charge half of that to accommodate you in some mankey hostel for 3 whole months in exchange for one more year in Aus. As if that isn't appetising enough. We all bloody do it anyway!
And as for roofing yourself in somewhere nice, renting apartments in Sydney is like every other city; overpriced and rooms are shared like you see on all of those American "college" movies. Yet here it seems that there is a huge illegal game going on with subletting. People who come to Australia on a sponsorship visa rent the lease on an apartment directly with an estate agency and then add a few single beds and bunk beds to each of the rooms, find some desperate backpackers looking to avoid hostels and have a knicker draw for a short while and BOOM! You're onto a money making machine. They take unreal amounts of bonds from each person (a deposit) and then make up ridiculous bills which you never actually see and rather they are made up magical numbers and quite frankly, there's nothing you can do about it. These people always prefer cash (obviously). Being the menace I am, I always just make a bank transfer and title it "Raven's Rent" if for some reason I was ever kicked to the curb then at least there's some form of evidence. It's scary actually. You have to trust so many people that they would never take advantage of your keen need to explore and see the world but unfortunately there are plenty-a-d**khead worldwide.
I'd also like to take advantage and say that this isn't ALWAYS the case. The company I worked for now after my first position went down the drain is an incredible workplace and would never take advantage of me the way I was in the office previous. Another positive note that all this annoyance means there are now people who, like me, were sick of being ripped off as a traveler and set up their own travel company like, Georgie's Getaway and Coden at Budget Backpacker Bus who can offer you so much more for your money. You just need to be wise, shop around. And definitely, don't stand for any bulls***.

Go and get 'em!

Just Write About It.
Raven Twigg

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