FOLLOWING THEIR DREAM: German backpackers Jan “Gecko” Geckeler and Greg Newmann have been busking their way across Australia.
FOLLOWING THEIR DREAM: German backpackers Jan “Gecko” Geckeler and Greg Newmann have been busking their way across Australia. Barclay White

Busking around Australia to search for adventure

A WHITE-collar job with good pay would satisfy many people, but Jan Geckeler and Greg Newmann found it crushing.

The German backpackers from Stuttgart had well-paid, skilled jobs in the manufacturing and IT industries in their home country, before they decided it wasn't for them.

"I worked for 13 years for the same company, but it was music that was my passion," Greg said.

Then one day he quit his job, sold most of his possessions (except for his musical instruments) and headed off with his friend Jan, who also left the corporate life behind.

They didn't have a plan, but they wanted to escape the doldrums of corporate life and living for a pay cheque.

"It's good to have money but it didn't satisfy me," Greg said.

The friends have been in Australia since December, and have travelled from town to town, jamming and busking with the people they meet.

Greg said they set themselves the goal of surviving through their busking, and despite not earning a lot, it had kept their heads above water for the past few months.

"If it works it's the best thing, they don't have to give money, they want to give money," Greg said.

They had found smaller communities more welcoming to buskers, and were turned off by bigger cities such as Melbourne that regulated street performers.

The two found their way to Maidenwell for the folk gathering at the weekend, and jammed with the other amateur musicians.

They don't know where they are headed next, but they are sure that when they do go home, it won't be to another white-collar job.

"(Quitting my job) has been like a weight lifting off my shoulders," Greg said.

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