Hannah’s Story “A Backpackers Utopia”


Hannah  (Pictured Center) is a Californian backpacker from Berkeley (near San Francisco), who’s been travelling for about a year and a half. She’s another one of our Boardrider long term residents.

After graduating from University and spending a year in California working at a “boring” desk job, she decided to do what most Americans don’t and buy a one way ticket to travel the world. She’s backpacked, volunteered, lived, and worked around the globe, and has finally settled down in Manly at Boardrider Backpackers where she found what she calls “A Backpackers Utopia” . She’s been living with us at Boardriders for about three months, and plans to stay until the end of her visa. Read our interview with her to find out more about her story:

B: When did you first come to Australia?

H: I got to Australia after travelling almost a year in Southeast Asia. I had about 27 dollars in my bank account when I flew in to the airport. I had been working in hostels and bars on the islands of Thailand, and backpacking through Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and one day I checked my bank account and just realised, uh oh, I’ve got to get to a place where I can actually make and save money.


B: so, when did you actually find Boardriders?

H: After saving some money on a farm near Canberra, and travelling and working around Australia for a bit, I finally made it to Manly. After stepping off the ferry and seeing the sparkly water, sandy beaches, and happy people I was like “this is where I want to live.” I had just done a trip home and to New Zealand so I was running very low on money at the time. I walked down the Corso looking for a place to stay and found Boardriders, and when I walked in I could tell it would be a perfect fit. The receptionists were welcoming and funny, and the whole hostel was beachy and chilled out.


Huge common room, rooftop bar, and welcoming happy people everywhere. It already felt like home.  I’ve been living there ever since.


Boardriders is more of a home than a hostel. There are parties and events every day and its located literally ten steps from the beach. You can run downstairs barefoot every morning before work to have a swim, a surf, or snorkel and back to Boardriders at the end of the day for family dinner or a barbeque and a few beers on the rooftop in the sunset. Boardriders really is a paradise. It’s a utopia for backpackers.


B: So how did you find work in Manly?

H:  Boardriders has an amazing job program where you tell the job coordinator what experience you have and what type of job you’re looking for and they send you a list of what’s hiring in the area. They’ve also got a really updated facebook page where they post all types of jobs. Thanks to the job coordinator I found a job in Manly in one day. I walked in with my resume and they trialed me that night and I was on the roster the following day.

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B: How does Manly/Boardriders compare to your life all the way back in America?

H: First of all, it’s way easier to make and save money here than in America because our money goes so far here. We have a 30 percent advantage and the minimum wage is soo much higher here. Also living at Boardriders is a great way to save money. They’ve got a free breakfast so you save money every day that way. They also have a really cool rooftop bar which is BYO, so you can drink a bag of “goon” which is cheap bag wine – only about 8 USD for a liter. Boardriders also organises cheap family dinners, breakfasts, and beach BBQs which are usually around 3 USD for a whole delicious meal! It’s insane. You can save hundreds per week living here. Board-riders almost feels like summer camp. You are minutes walking distance from the beach with awesome waves for surfing, great inlets and quieter beaches for snorkelling, diving, or paddle boarding. There’s a national park just a 10 min walk away with tons of cool hikes and activities. And your friends are around you all the time. Every time you’re at one of the Boardriders rooftop parties or beach barbecues you make so many new friends. Were all one big family. And working doesn’t even feel like work when you’re in paradise. But you’re still saving money. So much better than slaving away at a 9-5 office job back in America. My advice to everyone back home: Get out and travel! Come to Boardriders!


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