After eagerly booking a stay at Alice’s Secret Travellers Inn, I quickly realised that the owner was in search of WorkAway-ers. Unfortunately for me, they already had enough people. Besides, at this point it was only my intention to stay for 4 nights. Little did I know that 4 nights would become 3 weeks. Or that Alice’s Secret would prove itself to be the cosiest hostel I had ever stayed at.
Right from the start I was made to feel welcome. I first met Seb; the tentative owner of Alice’s Secret, originally from Germany. It was he whom approached me after week one of my stay to offer me a job. As a ‘long stay’ guest I had been paying $20 a night, but now I had the chance to earn a free bed by keeping the Inn clean.
I joined a team of four – 2 French girls were familiar with the job, and another German girl, named Elena, was new like me. This was when I also got to know Michela and Sara better. Little did I know at the time that I would end up joining them on a 12 day road trip through the NT, from Alice Springs to Darwin. But for now they would teach me the system.
Somehow I always end up cleaning for a living. This time however, it was actually enjoyable! Alice’s Secret soon became like a home. Each morning I would greet the fellow long-termers, enjoy my breakfast by the pool and give the cat(s) a scratch. Jobs were always divided, and more often than not I’d happily scrub the kitchen (whilst blaring out motivational songs) and collect eggs from the 3 hostel chickens. We were certainly an A-team – finishing all the jobs in less than 2hrs.
During the day I’d swim, share lunch with the other guests and chill out in the hammock. What I loved about Alice’s Secret is the available space. The garden for one is huge, there are numerous seating options, a book room, a smoking area, a BBQ corner and even a fake beach!
By sunset, I’d join in the workout on the grass. Sara, a bubbly Italian with a unique laugh, was previously a fitness teacher. She organised a nightly exercise regime and anyone was welcome to join. It was a perfect way to wind down before dinner, and sometimes a perfect way to warm up for a night on the town. The best pubs in town are a 5 minute walk from Alice’s Secret. This is strictly a non-party hostel which for me was perfect – it meant late-night fun could be had in Alice Springs, but a peaceful sleep was always waiting at the end of the evening.
This was my first WorkAway experience, and I couldn’t have asked for more. It sounds cliche but I felt as though I belonged. Not only in Alice’s Secret, but also in Alice Springs itself. My love for the area, the people and the lifestyle is the reason I’ve decided to spend the summer of 2017 there!