1. Your friends always know exactly where you’re drinking, depending on the night of week.
With only two places in town to hang out, your week goes something like this: Tuesday night quiz at the hotel, Wednesday night karaoke, also at the hotel. And if it’s the weekend, you’ll be at the Tavern for the DJ on Saturday night, and a chilled Sunday session with live music. To be repeated week after week.
2. You never complain about how expensive everything is.
Yes, it can be more expensive here than Sydney. Yes, it feels like your paycheck is gone the day you get it. Yes, groceries cost you at least double, sometimes triple compared to anywhere else in Australia. No, you can’t do anything about it.
3. You drive an 80 Series Landcruiser complete with fishing rod holders and canvas seat covers.
Not one of those fancy ones that cost $50,000 — only purchased for bragging rights and never to see a dirt road — you’ve got a real one with mud tyres, a sturdy bull bar, and a snorkel.
4. And you’ve been bogged more times than you can count.
Though you always managed to free yourself using either a winch, recovery strap, or sand tracks, which you always keep in the back of your car.
5. You know someone who once had to drink his own urine.
So you never go anywhere without taking at least 10 litres of water with you, because that would be plain crazy. People dehydrate twice as fast in the Outback; you’re not going to be that person.
6. You know where every waterfall is hiding.
Not the waterfalls in the tourist brochures, and not the ones filled with a busload of tourists. You go to the one that is hidden in plain sight, only a 2-minute walk from town, that tourists drive straight past without knowing it exists.
7. You’ve caught a barra fishing.
And you lied about its size.
8. You don’t freak out when you see a cane toad the size of a small dog.
You simply step around it and carry on.
9. No piece of footwear is as important to you as your flip flops.
And you only have two pairs: your everyday rubber pair and your more formal leather pair.
10. You’ve done a 500-kilometer road trip… one way… to go to McDonald’s.
You piled as many people as possible into your Landcruiser to save on fuel and did an overnight Macca’s run.
11. You’re saving all your money to backpack through Southeast Asia.
Though your date to leave the Outback keeps getting pushed back further and further. You tell yourself, if I work one more week in the Outback I can afford another month in Thailand.
12. You rarely, pretty much never, cook inside.
Your BBQ is all you need to cook every meal. From bacon and eggs for breakfast to a traditional roast dinner, there isn’t much you can’t throw on your barbie. But please, no shrimp.