Living for Free in Paradise! Working for Accommodation
3 weeks ago, ensconced on the sofa our friend's home in Brisbane, typing away online seeking work, we saw an Ad on Gumtree having typed in 'Backpackers'.
It was from a beach resort in Bargara, a small seaside town outside of Bundaberg. It was from Kelly's, an eco-certified villa resort by the beach. And it was the very place we had be recommended to contact by Taran's family who visited there last year...
It seemed like the perfect timing. We needed work and money, and whilst this was Help X (aka food and bed for daily work, no money involved) this would allow us to get off the backpacker trail, out of the tent, into a beautiful villa in a stunning resort, all for 4.5 hours of contribution.
Sounds almost too good to be true right?
Arriving in Bargara a few days before getting to Kelly's, we felt a tad apprehensive.
Would the people be nice? Would the work be fair? Would it be a good use of our time?
We turned up having got a lift off of a friend we made in our camp-site down the road, where we had stayed the previous two nights. We were introduced to our 'Bosses', a trio of mother and her two daughters, all super warm and friendly, and then shown to our villa, the sight of a queen-size bed, plus our own kitchen and deck, and a heated pool.
A HEATED POOL...
This was just an insane level of luxury we haven't yet experienced travelling at all, whether in England or Oz! It's not the typical backpacker hangout that's for sure!
A sleepless night before-hand in the tent, hadn't dampened our enthusiasm, this place was a beautiful spot with palm trees, a river, a pond, and a real feel of being somewhere rejuvenating and peaceful. We began work that day, with me working as in the kitchen.
It turned out to be their busiest night in two months, which left me sweaty and ready for that heavenly queen-bed! But I actually enjoyed it, it felt good to put on a uniform and do some graft! And has made all the ciders and ice cream so much more guilt-free...
Taran worked outside doing gardening and other maintenance and spends his afternoons doing whatever he pleases. It's been good to have time apart each day, and we actually feel happy and excited to see each other at the end of each night in our cosy villa, having spent weeks in each others constant company.
We have had such a relaxing and therapeutic time here,it really has been a great way to blend work with saving money and having more of a holiday feeling over the grubby and sometimes uncomfortable backpacker life.
It has been good for our souls, to balance our time out with some blogging, relaxing, working, and eating well for the first time in 3 months!
Bargara itself is rather sleepy but has a decent shopping street, with post office, bank, various cafes, and a really cool little book shop. We have spent most our time at the local beach, a quiet spot where the sun beats down, the wind blows off the cobwebs, and we have both just sat and read.
We have switched off a little from thinking about work or what the immediate future holds on our travel journey.
Although we will be snapped back to reality soon enough in our quest for 2nd-year visa work...
But this place has given us the space to feel more connected to each other, our surroundings, our creative exploits and to the absolutely ridiculous pleasure of swimming at night under the stars in a warm blue oasis.
It's been bloody lovely.
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!