Packing your bags and heading overseas is a well-travelled rite of passage for a ton of Aussies. This crowd of people includes kids heading on a short-term backpack trip across Europe, to expats wanting to make their mark on Europe and America. The ones who decided that the time was right to try something totally out of the box say goodbye to their family and friends and kick off a working holiday. These working holiday folks are not limited to late teens and early twenties, they span across the whole age spectrum. I was lucky enough to be one of these people, picking up and taking myself to the UK to see the sites and to earn a living on the other side of the world. If you are thinking of taking the plunge there are a few things to consider before jumping in:
Your First Accommodation
Knowing where you are going to stay is a must. If you’re unsure about staying in a hostel then I’d suggest heading to one in your home city before you go. Stay there a few nights to see if it’s for you. It can avoid any issues when you arrive, and you can then decide if you want to move somewhere else. Getting a good idea about the area and which part of the city you want to stay in is a good way of making sure you are central to the places you want to be near.
Your First Month’s Budget
Once you have your accommodation sorted, you want to map out the first-month budget, and build in plenty of padding and contingencies. These days, working out the cost of food and entertainment is easy with the Internet – make sure your budget is as refined a possible so you’re not left without any cash.
Getting a Job
Once you land and you’ve familiarised yourself with your new city, it’s time to get a job. I found London was relatively easy to get a job in so didn’t arrange one before I went, though there are plenty of job markets you can plug into before you go if you prefer. Wages are very different in the UK than Australia, and there are a lot of places that require you to have bank account before they employ you, so make sure you organise this before you go.
Remember, You’re a Tourist too!
Make sure you allow yourself time to see the sites, you didn’t fly halfway around the world to do the exact same thing you were doing at home. Take weekends away. Go on tours. Enjoy your new location!
Getting a haircut, changing your wardrobe, getting fit or changing jobs are changes that pale in comparison to uprooting yourself and moving where you have no community, no job and nowhere to live. Living and working overseas can be daunting but also one of the most rewarding experiences you can go through.