News, Culture & Society

British backpacker who ditched Canadian on Cairns to Sydney road trip defends the ‘unkind’ decision

A British backpacker who abandoned her travel buddy at a campsite and took off in their shared campervan has doubled down on her decision, saying she felt ‘backed into a corner’ and was being treated like a ‘personal chauffer’. 

Veterinary nurse Gemini Slater, 30, has been forced to defend herself on TikTok after her decision to ditch Canadian tourist Jenna Henderson at a Brisbane campsite halfway through their journey prompted backlash on social media. 

The pair had initially planned to drive down Australia’s picturesque east coast together after connecting on a Facebook group for solo travellers last month. 

The women agreed to split the cost of a campervan and drive from Cairns to Sydney, with Ms Slater the designated driver due to the van having a manual gearbox. 

The veterinary nurse has been forced to defend herself on TikTok

Veterinary nurse Gemini Slater, 30, (pictured) has been forced to defend herself on TikTok after her decision to ditch her fellow traveller Canadian tourist Jenna Henderson at a Brisbane campsite prompted fierce backlash on social media

Pictured: Damage to the vehicles roof after the pair travelled underneath a low pass

Pictured: Damage to the vehicles roof after the pair travelled underneath a low pass 

Just two weeks into the 2,500km journey, the travellers realised they had different expectations of each other and the trip, which drove them to bicker. 

Ms Slater accused Ms Henderson of pulling out of travel tours last minute, preferring to stay by the pool and using her as her own personal chauffeur. 

Ms Henderson said her companion snapped at her for not washing her dishes while she did hers and criticising her as not being the ‘ideal’ travel partner. 

Tensions worsened after the roof of the campervan was damaged when Ms Slater drover under a low pass, with her companion refusing to split the cost of DIY repair equipment because she hadn’t been the one driving. 

The ongoing feud came to an abrupt end when Ms Slater decided to leave Ms Henderson behind at a Brisbane campsite.

Ms Slater took to TikTok to tell her side of the story claiming she was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with Ms Henderson in the days before she abandoned her. 

She said her passenger had grown paranoid of being ditched and had asked to hold the keys to the campervan while following her ‘everywhere’. 

‘She’s getting increasingly weird, and more so not the person you thought she was.

Ms Slater made the decision to leave the Brisbane campsite without Ms Henderson because she had been ‘backed into a corner’. 

British veterinary nurse Gemini Slater, 30, (pictured) admitted the decision to leave Ms Henderson at a Brisbane campsite was 'unkind' but said she felt 'backed into a corner'

British veterinary nurse Gemini Slater, 30, (pictured) admitted the decision to leave Ms Henderson at a Brisbane campsite was ‘unkind’ but said she felt ‘backed into a corner’

Ms Henderson and Ms Slater paid half of the costs for the campervan (pictured) but had a disagreement about the cost of damages to the vehicle

Ms Henderson and Ms Slater paid half of the costs for the campervan (pictured) but had a disagreement about the cost of damages to the vehicle

The Brit had made sure her travel buddy was in a ‘populated area’ with accommodation available – and that she had enough funds to cover costs. 

She parked the van a few streets away and checked out of the campsite before coming face-to-face with her confused companion. 

‘She comes over, quite aggressive again saying ‘what are you doing, where are you going, if you’re checking out, I’m checking out’,’ she said. 

Despite all the public attention Ms Slater said the situation had been ‘blown out of proportion’.

The three week trip was meant to take the pair on a 2422km journey from Cairns in Far North Queensland down to Sydney

The three week trip was meant to take the pair on a 2422km journey from Cairns in Far North Queensland down to Sydney

Ms Henderson is pictured walking along a beach in Far North Queensland during the disastrous road trip

Ms Henderson is pictured walking along a beach in Far North Queensland during the disastrous road trip 

‘This is just two girls who have had a falling out, ones become a bit more of a psycho than the other, and none of this needed to happen the way it happened,’ she said. 

She previously admitted to Daily Mail Australia it was an ‘unkind decision’ to leave, but was much happier after making her getaway.

Ms Henderson reported the incident to police and the car company but was informed she would have to take her to court to collect any money.

‘I felt I was being accommodating, flexible and understanding… then when I just want time to relax or to myself I am immediately not her type of travel partner. That put a lot of pressure on me,’ she said. 

Ms Slater said Ms Henderson gave her half the cost of the camper upfront – $1,250 – and they had been splitting the costs 50/50 throughout their journey. 

Ms Slater (pictured) took to TikTok to tell her side of the very public spate

Ms Slater (pictured) took to TikTok to tell her side of the very public spate

Jenna Henderson (pictured), a former communications officer, signed up to travel Australia's east coast with another backpacker after answering a Facebook post online

Jenna Henderson (pictured), a former communications officer, signed up to travel Australia’s east coast with another backpacker after answering a Facebook post online 

However, after damaging the roof of the campervan she lost an additional $500. 

‘I personally paid around $220 for it to be fixed, but the company have taken an additional $500 because of the accident plus the $500 deposit taken at the time I signed for the camper,’ she said. 

‘So now I am out of more money.’

Asked if she reported the damage to the company, Ms Henderson said she did not wish to comment and was ‘moving on’ with her life and ‘hopes Ms Slater does too’. 

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk