Boardrider is known for having a lot of long term residents (which alone speaks volumes to how awesome it is!) Some have been here for three months, some up to six or eight. But we have one resident here who blows everyone out of the water when it comes to the amount of time spent here. His name is Felipe, and he has lived at Boardrider now for 1000 DAYS.
Yes, you read that correctly – one thousand days! Felipe came here from Brazil in 2013, speaking about ten words of English and ready to pursue his dreams of living and studying in Australia. He booked into the hostel for a week – and here he still is 1000 days later, speaking very fluent english, with a ton of new friends, and happy as can be. Boardrider truly is home for Felipe – and we interviewed him to find out just a little bit more insight into the life of the guest we are most proud of. He is truly inspirational!
Boardrider: Please give a little bit of background info about yourself – who you are, where you’re from, etc.
Felipe: My name is Felipe de Sousa Bete, I’m 27 years old and I came from a humble family in São Paulo, Brazil, where I’ve got a great family structure surrounded by love and lots of friends. I also have got my bachelor’s degree in business administration, and professional experiences working in a financial institution (bank) and a shipping company.
B: What brought you to Australia in the first place?
F: My dreams, my future and to learn about people and different cultures; I also always wanted to live with friends and all the experience behind it, and the fundamental which was learning English. Coming to Australia and to this hostel was the best thing I’ve ever done. No regrets at all ! It’s about quality of life and lifestyle! With no English it may sound like a crazy idea but when our willpower is bigger than our fears there is nothing that can stop us.
B: When did you arrive at Boardrider Backpacker’s?
F: It’s was July 11th, 2013 in a cold and funny evening, and my English was so poor I couldn’t even check in! So, the night manager just showed me my room and that was it ! I was in and everything was fine, I remember it as if it was yesterday! Boardriders was the first and only place that I lived in Australia.
B: How long did you initially plan to stay at the hostel?
F: I still have this email booking, and I booked it initially for a week. As I was student I thought I would have to move out to somewhere else a bit quieter but I realized in the first week that I was at the right place.
B: If I had told you when you first got here that you would end up staying 1000 days, what would you have said?
F: Well, it’s about more than 10% of my life … I would ask you for a few minutes to think and absorbs this crazy information! Have you realized how incredible it is? What an experience!
B: What are some of your favorite parts about Boardrider?
F: My favourite part at Boardriders is the living room ! We’ve got TVs, video game, movies and lots of sofas and that’s the place where we meet new people ! Also we have got the best roof top ever where we have our parties, musics, have drinks and where we can enjoy the sun and the moon !
B: What is is like to live right in the middle of Manly beach?
F: I’m a bit suspicious to talk about Manly beach, I am still in love with this place ! Manly beach has been the best place that I’ve ever lived and this building is located at the heart of Manly (The Corso). Manly has got amazing beaches such as Manly beach and Shelley beach at the ocean coast side, a natural pool at the wharf side, and other wonderful spots to explore around. We also have got the best facilities around. I would say that you walk no more than 5 minutes to get everything you need such as banks, the best restaurants, pubs, schools , college shoppings, markets and the beaches and if you want to visit the city , there are buses and also the ferry. The animal and natural life here is also amazing, especially for walkers and if you enjoy snorkeling!
B: Have you been getting regular work since you have been here? What kinds of jobs have you been doing?
F: Yes, even when my English was really poor (I couldn’t speak more than 10 words). Even if your English is not that good, the reception at the hostel and your friends will help you out as it happens to everyone . I think the secret is, “no matter what you do, do it with excellence,” and you will always open doors for new experiences. I have no idea how many professions I have learnt, I have worked as labourer, carpenter, landscaper, gardener, driver, night manager, windows fitter, cleaner at the kitchen! That’s how I could pay for my expenses here in Australia. I’d say you can do whatever you want in Australia, as long as you’re a hard worker.
B: How has staying at the hostel helped you improve your English and with your studies?
F: Staying at the hostel was definitely my favourite school!
Staying at the hostel was definitely my favourite school! At school you learn the structure and grammar and here at the hostel you learn the real practicing ! If you are a positive person you will be fine ! There are so many positive people in here that you are gonna enjoy the parties and people from everywhere around the world! I’d say that today I’m able to understand all the different English accents because this amazing experience at the hostel.
B: Tell me about some of the friends you have made here at Boardrider and the sense of community here. Have you met a lot of lifelong friends?
F: That’s the best part ! You will make friends for life ! If you’re positive you just attract positive people and that’s how life goes on ! We are in Manly but at the hostel we are travelling around the world ! People with different cultures from all around in the world come to visit Manly. I’ve had friends that lived for years in here, friends that became brothers and sisters for the rest of life.
B: So, will you be staying for 1000 more days now?! Do you think you will stay here much longer?
F: Another 1000 days ? Maybe ! We are having a big party in July soon when I will be completing 3 years living at the hostel and that’s my target for now !
Thanks so much for the interview, Felipe! We’re so thankful to have you here 🙂
And thanks to Kimmie for the photos and interview!