Six months into my exploration of outback Queensland, my money supplies – vastly under-calculated in a country where even a few beers can run up a small fortune – dwindled to a measly wad of $5 bills.
By this time I had already mastered the art of cheap living, working my way from farm to farm and volunteering to work in exchange for a bed and a few home-cooked meals. The time had come, however, to find a ‘real job’.
In the Australian outback, ‘real jobs’ come in the form of backbreaking harvest labor, cattle mustering or sheep shearing, and somehow I landed a job in the latter category. Packing a holdall stuffed with op-shop t-shirts and battered shorts, I left the comfort of my borrowed mattress and headed out into the bush.