Backpacker's experience of being stuck in Miles for 3 months
ABOUT to embark on her first-ever back packing trip with her partner at the start of 2020, Argentinian Dalila Ferreyra was filled high expectations of travelling and working throughout Australia.
With her visa approved, bags packed and a list of all the places she dreamt of visiting, the excitement levels were high.
That excitement turned to disappointment when the COVID-19 global pandemic hit and changed the world forever.
"I arrived in Miles in February with a job, and I was planning to stay three months until the end of May," she said.
"However, I lost my work when the pub closed due to COVID-19, and now the reality is that I think I will only travel around Australia if work returns.
"Luckily the pandemic found me in a place with outstanding people, who offered me and my girlfriend, with whom I travel with a place to stay in their accommodation.
"We only have to help them clean for two hours a day but then don't have to pay for our rooms."
Initially touching down in Manly last September, the Argentinian backpacker was on the hunt for a cheaper lifestyle to save money so she came to Miles.
It was on her arrival to Miles when her plans were thrown into disarray
"I believe and what I speak about with my friends is that when you are a backpacker you are expected to work to travel, and this year the hospitality sector is the most affected by the global health crisis," she said.
"So I have lost many of the trips and places I planned to see that I could have done if we were not in the pandemic.
"It does mean I look forward to being closer to my family and get to fly to Argentina sooner."
The fear of the coronavirus had been with Ms Ferreyra since she landed in Miles.
With her mother in Spain and her sister in Italy, that's all they talked about, and she kept hearing from them how the situation worsened day by day which drove fears it would be the same in Australia.
However, with restrictions now easing, her mind has shifted to her family back at home.
"The hardest thing is being away from the family in a situation where we had never lived before," she said.
"I was anxious about my family from Europe, and now I'm worried about my family in Argentina because they say that in Latin America the worst is yet to come."
"However, I think that the pandemic made me connect more than ever before with my friends and family through video calls."
Despite her high expectations about the trip and things she has gone through, Ms Ferreyra is still going home with a rich experience.
"One can plan many things, but we cannot control everything, and this was so with the global pandemic came and stopped the world," she said.
"I'm happy anyway with my experience because despite not having been able to travel as much as I wanted, I was lucky to be in Miles and meet some beautiful people that I will never forget."