Stranded backpacker finds silver lining with new bestie Boss
WHEN German backpacker Alissa Meier heard that state borders could soon be closing in response to COVID-19 she made a dash for the warmer climate of the Coffs Coast.
She has only been in Australia a month on a working holiday visa and was in Torquay in Victoria when the virus started making headlines.
"I was desperate to be in warmer weather before they closed the borders because there was a rumour that was going to happen, so I went and hurried my way up to NSW to look for work and find a hostel."
She went looking on the website workaway.info which connects travellers with cultural exchange, working holidays and volunteering in 170 countries.
There she found Andrew Woodward's Bellingen listing which offers accommodation in exchange for walking Boss, his 18-month-old Bull Arab.
She loves walking Boss around the streets of Bellingen but admits it's a tough time to be a traveller alone in a foreign country.
"It's pretty crazy, specially when you are from overseas because you have to take care of yourself and it's just so weird because nobody knows anything.
"You have to wait around and see what is going to happen, and everyone is just kind of waiting for a lockdown."
She says her family is checking in with her daily.
"It's not that I miss them but I am always checking up on them, and they are always checking up on me.
"My family is worried about me and would love me to be back with them, but I feel good here and it feels like the right place to be right now."
With travel restrictions only set to tighten as the COVID-19 response ramps up Boss could have a regular walking partner for some time yet.
"It's great to have something to do and I think I am going to be here for at least a month now.
"I love Bellingen it's nice. There's a great vibe here and I feel like something has caught me here"