How To Travel Long-Term And Build Your CV At The Same Time

FeaturedHow To Travel Long-Term And Build Your CV At The Same Time

Travelling long-term is something that I always wanted to do and to this day I have an ever-growing list of places that I want to see and experiences that I want to have. However, as much as I want to travel long-term, continuing to learn and build my CV  is important to me too.

With the internet and changing attitudes to a work-life balance, the way that we learn and work isn’t the same as it has been in the past. Education can extend past the walls of a classroom and working doesn’t mean having to do the 9-5 in an office.

There have never been more opportunities to travel the world and build your CV at the same time than there are today. Here are some of my favourites.

Paid and unpaid internships

Paid or unpaid internships are a fantastic way to gain skills and experience in an industry that you are interested in.  In terms of a learning opportunity, I can’t recommend them enough.

What’s great about internships is that they are generally really hands-on, giving you the knowledge, experience and the confidence to work in that industry after. What’s more, doing an internship in a foreign country is really going to make your CV stand out from the crowd.

Throughout my time spent in Australia on a working holiday, I have done three internships in marketing and content writing, all of which have taught me more than I’d ever learned in a classroom, as well as looking great on my CV.

There are loads of paid and unpaid internships around and a good place to find these is on job sites like Indeed, Seek and Jora. Travel agencies like STA and GVI also offer plenty of internships abroad opportunities too, although these usually come at a cost.

How To Travel Long-Term And Build Your CV At The Same Time

Online courses

Never underestimate the value of online courses: they are a fantastic learning opportunity and demonstrate a willingness to learn on your CV. What’s more, they needn’t cost you any money, with plenty of free courses available.

Depending on the topic of study in, some platforms will be more suitable for you than others. A couple of places that I have done online learning include Skillshare, Moz and Google’s Digital Garage.

Study abroad

If you prefer to learn in the classroom but you’d like to combine it with living abroad then studying in another country is a fantastic idea. After spending a year on a working holiday in Australia, I am now staying longer in Melbourne to study here. Being an international student is a completely new experience for me and it’s an invaluable one, allowing me to combine getting a qualification with travelling long term. You can read more about my experience of transferring from a working holiday to a student visa here.

Language courses

Following on from study abroad options, opting to learn a language in the very country that it’s spoken is an incredible learning opportunity. Not only is immersing yourself in a country the most effective way to learn a language, but it’s also a fun and unique experience. These days, having a second or even third language to add to your resume is a skill that many employers look for so enrolling in a language school abroad really is a smart move.

There’s no end of options when it comes to language courses abroad. Some of my favourite ideas are Spanish school in Barcelona, Spanish school in San Pedro, Guatemala or learning Korean in Seoul (like one of my best friends, Izzy is currently doing).

How To Travel Long-Term And Build Your CV At The Same Time

Volunteer abroad

Volunteering is an incredible and meaningful way to travel long-term while doing some good and improving your CV. Volunteering abroad is also incredibly diverse and there’s a wide range of areas that you can work in. This can include anything from marine conservation to community development.

Teaching abroad

If you’ve been researching long-term travel then TEFL is something that you’re probably familiar with, right? Getting your TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language qualification, allows to teach and live in an endless list of countries across the globe. Not only is this a unique and culturally enriching experience, but it is also one that allows you to earn money abroad. That way, you can afford to travel long term while developing new skills to add to your CV.

Working abroad

If you already have some qualifications or work experience then why not try working abroad? Of course, the country that you are from will have some bearing in terms of which countries you’re legally allowed to work in.

Some common options: a working holiday in Australia or New Zealand, a working holiday in Canada or a working holiday in England. You could also work in the US as a Camp America counseller or through being an Au Pair on a J1 Visa. For Europeans, why not try working in another European country? Alternatively, another option is becoming a tour guide with a company like G Adventures or Contiki where you actually get paid to travel.

How To Travel Long-Term And Build Your CV At The Same Time

Blogging 

Last but not least, blogging is one of my favourite ways to travel long-term while creating something to show for it. Setting up a blog is quick and easy and you don’t have to be tech-savvy or invest in lots of expensive equipment to do it. All you need to do is sign up for a blogging platform like WordPress and start writing. To start with, you’ll probably just be writing for your friends and family. However, stick with it, and who knows, one day you might be being paid to travel the world.

Travelling in itself is one of the most valuable things that you could do, particularly in your early twenties. Even without working or studying abroad, travelling helps to develop a huge range of skills including everything from budgeting to conversation skills and resilience. However,  if you want to travel long-term but you’d like a little more structure, then some of the ideas in this blog post might be a great option for you.

Have you ever done, or are considering doing any of the long-term travel ideas in this blog post? Get in touch- I’d love to hear. 

 

How I’m staying in Australia for a second year WITHOUT doing my farm work

FeaturedHow I'm staying in Australia for a second year WITHOUT doing my farm work

Everything you need to know about bridging visas, student visas and working holidays in Australia

So, this week it’s been one year since I touched base down in Australia at the start of my working holiday. At the time, I had no clue how significant this decision to leave home in the UK and come to Melbourne was going to be. It was, in my mind, just another trip.

A year on and a lot of things have changed. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and explore a country that’s on a lot of people’s bucket lists and the chance to do iconic things like sailing through the Whitsundays, seeing the Sydney Opera House and encountering more Australian wildlife than I can name. However, what is more significant is the extent to which my working holiday has become so much more than that. I have made emotional ties here in Melbourne, I’ve developed a work routine, a network of friends, a deep knowledge of a new city.  I even managed to build my CV alongside all of this, doing multiple internships and freelance writing jobs while I was here.

I’d always presumed that by the time October came around, I’d be ready to leave Melbourne. But the reality is, I’m just not. However, I have a problem. You can’t just come and go to Australia as you please. To qualify for the second Working Holiday Visa, you have to have completed (and been signed off of) 88 days of farm work in rural Australia: something of which I didn’t do. So, what are my options?

In this blog post, I explain everything that came into my decision-making process of transferring on to a student visa, including the financial costs, the visa conditions and most importantly, how to do it. Here’s how to stay in Australia if you haven’t done your farm work. 

Student Visa Subclass 500 Terms and conditions 

The student visa subclass 500 allows you to stay in Australia for as long as you are enrolled in a course and for up to 5 years. To qualify this you must be enrolled in an eligible course of study (so you can’t just study any old course), study full time and hold overseas student health cover.

To adhere to your visa conditions you must participate in 20 hours of classroom time a week and not work more than 20 hours a week (apart from in school holidays where there are no limitations). Apart from that, the student visa is very similar to that of a working holiday. You enjoy all of the same freedoms, except for the bonus that you get taxed less- yay.

Finding a course in Australia

I think that studying at any age is a great thing to do, and having the opportunity to further my education in a city that I love seemed like a win-win. There is a range of courses that will allow you to stay in Australia on a student visa and these vary from full degrees to shorter diplomas and Certificate IVs.

Finding an eligible course that is relevant to you can be a bit overwhelming. It was because of this is decided to go through an agency called Australian Study Solutions. There are loads of these agencies around and for a small fee, they will help match you to a course that suits your educational and financial needs; as well as a course that matches the time that your WH visa ends. They will also assist you in the student visa application process, which is a lot more laborious than the WH one.

Applying for your visa

When you’ve found a course that you want to study, your first step is going to be to apply to that school, either directly or through the agency. When they send you a letter of offer and you have made the first payment, you then need to wait for your Certificate of Enrolment documents. When you have these, you can apply for the visa.

You need to do this on the Australian home affairs website (or you agent will do it for you). To apply you must fill in an official form 956 form, make the payment of $620, pay for your health cover and also write a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) letter.

The GTE Letter

This is a letter to the government that explains who you are, what visas you’ve previously held, what and why you want to study in Australia and the details of that course. The thing to remember about the GTE is that it is an example that you only want to remain in Australia temporarily. You MUST make it clear that you plan on returning to your home country after your studies.

Bridging visa

Student visas can take anything from 43 to 77 days to process. However don’t stress, if your WH visa is coming to end in a matter of days, like mine, you don’t have to leave the country. Once your student visa application is lodged (and when your current visa ends) you immediately move on to a Bridging visa A.

This takes the role of your applied visa (so in my case a student visa). The only conditions are that you cannot work legally on that visa until the first day of your new course and you must not leave the country. If you do need to leave Australia, you need to apply for Bridging visa B- basically a bridging visa of your bridging visa for your student visa. Complicated right?

How much transferring to a student visa really costs

Moving from the WH visa to a student one can be painful as you initially have to make a lot of payments. However, after you’ve paid that first chunk, the rest is a lot less expensive. Anyway,  if you’re gaining the opportunity to study in a country that you love then it’s worth it.

Here’s a breakdown of the payments that you will have to make:

1 .The cost of your chosen course (and agent fee). Average costs are:

Certificate IVs: $4000

Diploma courses: $7000 a year

Bachelor Degree at University: $20,000 a year

Bachelor Degree at college: $12,000 a year

(Don’t stress as these can usually be paid in instalments during your course). 

2. The cost of your visa: Around $620 AUD per application

3. Your overseas health cover: Prices vary but usually around $500 for a year

So that’s it, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about applying for a student visa in Australia. Obviously, if you want to stay in Australia after your first Working Holiday visa then doing your farm work is a lot cheaper and easier. However, if there’s a course of study you’re genuinely interested in and if you run out of time to do your farmwork, then a student visa is a great option.

How I'm staying in Australia for a second year WITHOUT doing my farm work

The course I have chosen to study is a certificate and diploma in business and marketing here in Melbourne. It’s a great option for me as it correlates with my writing background and builds on the marketing internships and self-taught learning that I have done in the past. Alongside this, I am continuing at my cafe job, starting a new digital marketing internship at a startup company and even moving house next week. Updates coming on the blog.

Life on a working holiday in Melbourne has been out of this world and I’m hoping this year as a student will be even better. Now it’s time to do as you always should in Melbourne, head to a rooftop bar and have a drink to the start of something new.

City Girl Vs Small Town Girl: Life In Melbourne

FeaturedLife In Melbourne

When I was 18, I followed a life long dream and made the move from my small town of Brighton up to the UK’s capital of London.

At first, the hustle and bustle and novelty of walking past iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace as part of my daily commute was overwhelming.

However, it was a brief stint that lasted just a few months until the loneliness and franticness of the city wore me down and I moved back home. That experience in London led me to believe that I just wasn’t a city girl and I was resigned to that: until I moved to Melbourne.

I arrived in Melbourne at the end of last year on a Working Holiday Visa- you can follow my travels from day one on this section of the blog.

The decision to do so was totally random and in my mind a short term one. At first, I said I’d be home by Christmas, then that extended into April. Then April came and I said I’d stay until summer. Then that brings us up to the current date now, almost one year on and still here. 

Although it’s been voted the world’s second most livable city for years in a row according to the Global Livability Index (coming in only after Vienna), Melbourne isn’t a place that’s particularly high on the tourist map- I’m guessing mainly because it’s so damn far away from the rest of the world.

So why Melbourne?

Well, I’ve visited quite a few cities over the last few years: Paris, New York, Bangkok, Copenhagen, Sydney and Hanoi, to namedrop a few. However, there’s just something about Melbourne that makes it so unique in comparison to other places that I’ve been to.

Life In Melbourne

 

Space

For starters, on the map, Melbourne is way bigger than London (almost six and a half times bigger) to be exact. However, Melbourne’s Central Business District or CBD is much smaller and way more compact so almost everywhere is in walking distance. Secondly, its population is proportionally lower than London at 5 million compared to 8 million. So, although Melbourne’s tourist attractions, bars and restaurants busy, it never feels overcrowded.

Australia’s cultural capital

Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital which means that there’s an overwhelming amount of exhibitions and galleries to explore on days off from work. That goes without mentioning the countless festivals and events that are held throughout the year- and then, of course, there’s Melbournes ever-changing street art scene.

Eating and drinking

Next reason- Melbourne’s drinking and dining scene in the city is out of this world. If you’re a foodie then this is the city for you. Last week, my parents visited me from the UK and they commented about the huge amount of dining options available in the city: and it’s true. Next, there’s the city’s love affair with coffee. Melbournian’s are coffee addicts and Melbourne has more cafes per capita than any other city in the world. In fact, it’s actually referred to as the coffee capital of the world. 

The best of both worlds 

Like my hometown, Brighton, Melbourne is located on the coast. This means that in summer, there are plenty of beautiful beaches to relax on and enjoy the warm weather. What’s more, Melbourne is also surrounded with outstanding natural beauty in all directions such as National Parks, vineyards and of course one of the world’s most iconic drives, the Great Ocean Road. This coupled with everything that the city has to offer, means that Melbourne is the best compromise between city living and the great outdoors.

Life In Melbourne

I could go on and name lot’s more reasons why I love Melbourne so much but you only need to go and take a look through the posts on this blog to see why. Besides, that’s not the point of this post. The purpose that I’m trying to get across is that this move has proved to me why it’s important to keep expanding your comfort zone.

I’m from a small UK town of 600,000 people. It’s by the coast and it’s seasonal meaning that winters are quiet and sleepy. At home, I spend my weekends going for walks and baking rather than doing the rounds of rooftop bars and making coffees in a busy cafe with queues out of the door.

My time living in London led me to believe that I wasn’t a city girl but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was content with my lifestyle in the UK but in Melbourne, I’ve never felt more alive. In a city where I have the space to express myself and do the things that I love but also an ever-changing list of places and events to keep me occupied, this year living in the city has been one of the best of my life.

It all goes to show that sometimes if things aren’t going to plan, it’s not you who needs to change but the place that you’re in itself. 

Have you ever had an experience similar to mine where changing the place that you lived changed your whole perspective? Please get in touch, I’d love to hear.

5 Things That Prove Collingwood Is Melbourne’s Coolest Inner Suburb

5 Things That Prove Collingwood is Melbourne’s coolest inner suburb

Carlton, Fitzroy, Brunswick- I thought I was familiar with all of Melbourne’s coolest inner suburbs. That was until I stumbled across Collingwood. Nestled in between Fitzroy and Abbotsford, Collingwood is one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets and although small, there are plenty of reasons to visit. Need some inspiration? Here are 5 of my favourite things to do in Collingwood.

 

You can have a $6 beer in an old rooftop train overlooking the city 

Standing out in a city that boasts as many quirky and game-changing bars as Melbourne is hard. However walking past rooftop burger bar, Easeys, is sure to stop you in your tracks. 

Housed in a rooftop train carriage overlooking Melbourne’s CBD, Collingwood’s Easey’s is undoubtedly the quirkiest place to grab some burgers and drinks. Best of all, a trip to this Melbourne institution needn’t be expensive with cheap drink deals meaning you can enjoy the view with a beer or cider for just $6. What’s more, Easey’s burgers are rated some of the best in the city- and their vegetarian burger (your mate) is one of the best I have had in my life. Just be sure to book a table for a guaranteed spot. 

You can try some of Melbourne’s best coffee at Proud Mary

Known not only for serving the best coffee in Collingwood but also some of the best in the whole of Melbourne, Proud Mary is one cafe that you’ll definitely want to stop by. Their house-roasted coffee and freshly made pastries are just the start of it all. Proud Mary also offers an all-day breakfast menu that features the likes of lemon curd hotcakes and salted caramel french toast, meaning that this innovative cafe is bound to make it on to your list of Melbourne favourites.

5 Things That Prove Collingwood is Melbourne’s coolest inner suburb

You can hunt out great street art

Street art is everywhere in Melbourne but perhaps some of the cities lesser-known murals are located in the inner city suburbs like Collingwood and Fitzroy. So, don’t forget to bring your camera while you take a stroll around the area and be sure to wander around the lanes and alleyways that go off of Smith Street in order to find some of the best artwork. 

You can reinvent your look at Vintage Garage 

Melbourne boasts its fair share of vintage and op shops but perhaps the creme de la creme of them all is Collingwood’s Vintage Garage. This eclectic shop is a fantastic mismatch of vintage party wear, everyday clothes, old records and other bric and brac. It’s an easy place to pass a few hours and you’re bound to come away with a lot of things that you just didn’t know you needed.

5 Things That Prove Collingwood is Melbourne’s coolest inner suburb

5 Things That Prove Collingwood is Melbourne’s coolest inner suburb

Have brunch in a plant shop at Cibi’s 

Last but not least, Cibi’s is a cute little Japanese cafe and plant shop and it’s one of Collingwood’s best-kept secrets. Although the cafe has fantastic food, serving up a modern take on healthy Japanese breakfast and lunch dishes, what Cibi’s is really known for is its gorgeous decor. Set in a gorgeous open-plan setting, Cibi’s is an eclectic mix of a cafe, a plant shop and a speciality grocery store, meaning that you can get all of your errands done in one go. 

5 Things That Prove Collingwood is Melbourne’s coolest inner suburb

In a city where there is as much to do as Melbourne, It’s so easy to never leave the city centre. However, suburbs like Collingwood prove that some of the city’s best-kept secrets lie in the outskirts.

What’s your favourite inner city or outer suburb of Melbourne? And more importantly,  why? Share your thoughts in the comments below or alternatively get in touch. 

How To Plan A Backpacking Trip (Without Really Planning It)

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I know that the title of this blog post might sound a little bit cryptic but read on, I’ll explain what I’m talking about. After having spent the majority of the last couple of years travelling, one question that I get asked a lot is- ‘how do you plan your backpacking trips?’ Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I don’t- at least not in the hostel booking, schedule planning kind of way anyway.

Here’s why I don’t plan my trips

I find planning boring

I know some people find that planning a trip is part of the fun- I hate it. Whether it’s booking accommodation, coming up with an itinerary or researching what to do in each place, I find it so tedious. In fact, sometimes researching a trip puts me off even going in the first place.

You can’t plan for the unexpected

Travelling is all about embracing the unexpected and you simply can’t plan for that. Who knows what hidden gems you’ll discover along the way, the people you’ll meet or the things that happen that are totally out of your control. Trying to stick to a rigid plan while backpacking is just going to cause you more hassle than it’s worth.

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It’s better to follow suggestions from people you meet

One of the best things about travelling is meeting people that are doing similar things to you. This is great because not only do you meet like-minded people but you also get to hear all of their recommendations first hand. This is how you really discover those hidden gems while travelling.

It ruins the adventure

Lastly, planning trips totally ruins the sense of adventure for me. The thrill of backpacking is that it’s a journey into the unknown. A routine is non-existent, each day brings endless possibilities and you really get the chance to live in the moment. That’s what travel is about for me.

Here’s what I do plan

I know that turning up in a new country with virtually nothing planned might seem really overwhelming but trust me, it’s the best way to do it. Having said that, there are a few things that I do organise or at least research before I go. Here’s what.

The first few nights accommodation

I think that it’s practical and sensible to book your accommodation for the first few nights before you arrive. This is because wandering around looking for accommodation when you’ve just got off a long flight isn’t a lot of fun. It’s usually easy to extend your stay in person in hostels so I wouldn’t advise booking more than three days accommodation in case you don’t like the place.

How To Plan A Backpacking Trip (Without Really Planning It)

Looking at the weather

Before even booking your flights, I would advise to check out the weather. It’s easy to forget that ‘warm countries’ aren’t always warm and the last thing you want to do is book a trip in the middle of monsoon season or fly to a beach destination in the height of their winter.

The highlights

Once I pick a region or country to travel in, I’ll usually come up with a rough idea of some places that I want to visit. I like to do a little search before I go about some of the highlights in these places whether that’s beaches, cafes or hikes. Then I jot them down on a list for me to refer to when I’m away.

A Rough budget

I’m a naturally cautious spender so I don’t feel the need to stick to a strict budget or keep a note of all my spendings. Having said that, I do like to come up with a rough estimate of how much I’ll spend before I go. I do this by researching the average cost of accommodation, food, activities etc.  I then multiply this by the number of days I expect to be away, in order to make sure I have enough money for my trip.

Booking Flights 

Flights are the one thing that tend to get more expensive the later you book them so I tend to book the main ones as far advance as I can. By this, I mean booking any long-haul flights as well as any for countries that require proof of onward travel. (Some countries will not let you enter if you do not have a flight or a bus booked out of the country). Generally speaking, internal flights are ok to leave until the last minute to book.

How To Plan A Backpacking Trip (Without Really Planning It)

Obviously travelling without a plan doesn’t work for everyone. I understand that if you have restraints like a lack of time, a strict budget or even if you’re travelling in a group then it can be tricky to travel fully spontaneously. Even so, I urge you when you can, leave whatever you can to fate- You never know what surprises are in store for you.

Are you a travel planner or a travel winger? Let me know. 

Here are 10 things I accomplished instead of doing a journalism degree

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For as long as I can remember there has only been one real thing that I’ve wanted to do-travel. However, when I left school in the UK at 18, I made the ‘sensible decision’ to start university in London, studying for a journalism degree because that was what all of my friends were doing.

The thing is, for an impatient person like me, spending just three hours a week in uni, being tied to the UK, and the prospect of doing so for the next three years didn’t really make me very happy. I was anxious to start living the life I wanted to live, so I dropped out. Now as the summer arrives that I would have originally finished, I can say in all honesty that I am very happy that I did.

There are so many great reasons for doing a degree if it’s in something that you love and I’m not writing this post to say that going to university is a bad idea. I just want to show that there are other options too. So, here 10 things I accomplished instead of doing a journalism degree.

1. I started my own blog

I had tried and failed to start a blog many times before this one. The thing is, when you’re at home studying, keeping up a travel blog is pretty tricky as you don’t have that much to write about. It was only after I dropped out of uni and started travelling that I had the time to write and the experiences to blog about. Now two years on, blogging is quickly evolving from a hobby to a job and I couldn’t imagine not having this platform to express my own views on.

2. I went solo backpacking around Asia

Solo backpacking around Asia was my biggest dream and it was one of the first things that I did after leaving uni. I know that my friends and family had their doubts about my trip and so did I- but despite my fears, it was something I had to do. That first trip alone around Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia was one of the most liberating and exciting times of my life and it shaped me forever. I came out of that trip as a completely different person, with loads of confidence and a whole new perspective on life.

3. I did a working holiday in Australia

Travelling is amazing but having the opportunity to live and work in another country is something else. This is what lead me to make the decision to do a working holiday in Australia. Apart from getting to travel around a whole new country, my working holiday has taught me so much, from professional work experience to add to my CV along to life skills like living alone and travelling on a budget.

4. I completed an NCTJ Diploma In Journalism

I didn’t want to spend three years studying for a degree however that didn’t mean that I didn’t want to get some kind of training in journalism.  Instead, I decided to do an NCTJ in my hometown in Brighton which was a much better option for me.

An NCTJ is a short diploma in journalism, that can be completed in three months, studying full time. Unlike the degree I would have done, my NCTJ was both exam and coursework based, it was accredited, came with work experience at my local paper in which we would be published and it was a fraction of the cost. Of course, it didn’t have the social aspects of a full degree but I had a great class and I was happy to get the learning done quickly so I could get started with all of the other things I was desperate to do.

5. I worked (a lot)

The last few years have given me plenty of opportunities to work both during and in between my travels. Since leaving uni I’ve done everything from working as a social media executive and copywriter at home, working in cafes both in England and Australia as well as doing guest blogging alongside this.  All of this has helped me build up loads of confidence, gain experience for my CV and helped me to save money to entirely finance all of my travels.

6. I did loads of internships

Experience, experience, experience- that’s all it really comes down to, especially in an industry like journalism. The last few years have given me plenty of opportunities to do internships in everything from a media agency producing one of the UK’s most popular tv news shows to digital marketing and journalism, resulting in a whole portfolio of published work, all with my own byline. A lot of the other interns I have worked alongside have just graduated university themselves so it shows you that degree or no degree, we all end up in the same boat.

7. I backpacked through Central America

Another trip that I’ve always been desperate to do was Central America and that’s something I got to do for a few months last year on a tour with G Adventures. Countries like Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica had long fascinated me but I knew that the region had a reputation for being a little dangerous, hence why I ended up doing the tour. If anything, this trip awakened a whole new level of wanderlust in me and it gave me more friends and once in a lifetime experiences than I can name in this blog post.

8. I saved up a lot of money

I don’t know how many thousands of pounds worth of debt I saved from not going to university, but it’s a lot. The last couple of years have given me the chance to save up loads of money through working, enabling me to fund all of my travels.  What’s more, I’m now completely debt free.

9. I lived alone

I know that uni seems like the obvious way to move out of home but if independence is all you crave, there are easier ways to do it than signing up to a three-year course.  I love my home and staying back with my parents for a few months in between trips has helped me save up loads of money. However, for the last year, I’ve been in Australia where I have been living independently in a flatshare,  working and looking after myself. The whole moving out thing has been pretty straightforward and while it is harder to save up money now I’m paying rent and buying my own groceries, I get by.

10.  I made lots of new friends

The social aspect is another huge drawing point for going to university. However, I can vouch for the fact that the last few years travelling has given me more new friends than I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve met so many amazing and truly inspirational people from all over the world through work, internships, through my friend’s uni friends and throughout all of my travels. The only negative about having friends spread out all over the place is that it can be tricky to stay in touch. It’s hard when you do things on a daily basis with a person while travelling and then you suddenly have to say goodbye.

People are often surprised to hear that I didn’t do a degree. You see, not completing further education goes against the norm and it’s a shame there’s still such a taboo against not going. We have to realise that everyone is different and a degree isn’t right, nor is it necessary, for everyone. I wanted to write this post to discuss some of the benefits that come from not going to uni and to show that a lack of further education doesn’t mean you have to work in retail for the rest of your life either.

Do you have any more questions about any of the topics mentioned in this post or do you have a similar story? Feel free to drop me a message here. 

What You REALLY Need To Pack For A Working Holiday In Australia

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Packing for a trip is difficult but packing for an Australian Working Holiday is something else. You’ve got to cram enough clothes, cosmetics and gadgets into your bag for at least 12 months, not to mention the fact that you have to accommodate for the cold Australian winter, hot summer and possibly think about work clothes too: It’s no surprise that packing for a working holiday can be overwhelming.

When I told my friends that I was going to live for a year out of what I could fit into a backpack, some of them thought I was crazy.  Now months on, I can say that it’s been pretty easy and despite picking up a few items of clothing along the way, so far I’ve managed pretty well with what I came with.

If you too now face the struggle of packing for a working holiday in Australia, don’t stress- I’ve got you covered. Here’s my ultimate Australia working holiday packing list.

Clothes

The majority of space in my backpack was taken up with clothes but in all honesty, if you are going away for a year then you are going to need quite a few changes of outfits. I’m really happy with the number of clothes that I bought to Australia and apart from a couple of things to get me through the Melbourne winter (like a coat and jumper) I’ve just been wearing what I came with.

  • 2x long flowy trousers (suitable for hot and cold weather)
  • 1x jeans
  • 2x skirt (one good for evenings)
  • 2 x shorts
  • 2 x dress 
  • 1 x trainers
  • 1 x converse
  • 1 x flip flops and/or sandals (suitable for evenings)
  • 8 x basic short sleeve tops
  • 2 x evening tops
  • 2 x bikini
  • 2 x sweatshirts
  •  1 x set workout clothes (leggings, shorts, top, sports bra) 
  • 1 x lightweight waterproof jacket
  • 1 x tote bag, 1 x evening, small bag, 1 x day backpack (for hand luggage) 
  • underwear
  • pyjamas: shorts and top

Essentials

  • Passport
  • Insurance
  • Your Working Holiday Visa
  • Australian Money and debit/credit cards

Gadgets

  • Laptop
  • Phone
  • Kindle 
  • Australian adapter
  • Portable phone charger
  • Extension lead

Cosmetics

  • Hairbrush
  • Dry shampoo
  • Shampoo, conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Toothbrush/ paste
  • Basic makeup and something special for evenings
  • Nail scissors
  • Mosquito repellent
  • prescription drugs

Travel Accessories

  • Wallet to keep documents organised
  • Money belt/ bumbag 
  • Passport cover
  • Travel socks
  • Padlock
  • Travel journal and pens 
  • Waterproof cover for backpack

Other things

  • 1 towel
  • 1 x sarong 
  • 1 flannel/ small towel
  • Cutlery set 
  • Small sewing kit
  • Small year diary (useful when working)
  • Tea and favourite snacks from home
  • A notebook

The things I am really glad I brought (and what I wish I’d packed)

  • My travel Journal- I kept my journal the entire time that I travelled the East Coast and I am so happy that I did. Now I have a record of my travels that I can keep for years to come.
  • Workout clothes- Personally, I couldn’t have survived a year without exercising so I’m really happy I brought my workout clothes with me on this trip. I think its a good idea to have a pair of workout shorts and leggings so that you’re prepared for the summer, winter and cold air con temperatures.
  • Kindle- My backpack used to be 50% full of books so having a Kindle has been a game changer. I can’t recommend the Kindle Paperwhite enough. It holds loads of books, has a low glare and I hardly ever have to charge it. The great thing about the Kindle is that it’s compact and you can even read it in the dark- great for hostel dorms. 
  • Laptop- My laptop is the one thing I use every single day and I can’t belive I almost didn’t bring it. As I was travelling in Australia and then later in Asia, I was worried about it getting damaged or stolen however so far, all of the hostels have had lockers and I couldn’t have done either of my internships or blogging without it. 
  • Evening tops- Going out in the evenings is Australia is somewhat dressy so having a couple of nice evening tops is essential. 

What I wish I’d packed

  • In hindsight, I wish I’d bought my hair straighter as it’s nice when I want to make more of an effort in the evenings
  • Sandals- I only came with flip flops so I ended up having to buy nice sandals that I could wear out in the evenings to bars and nice restaurants.
  • A deck of cards- A necessity for all trips- not really a big issue though as I was able to pick up a pack pretty easily
  • Warmer clothes- I didn’t anticipate that I’d stay in Australia for as long as I have therefore I wasn’t that well prepared for the winter in Melbourne. It hasn’t really been an issue as I was able to buy everything that  I needed but it’s just a heads up- Australia isn’t always hot.
  • A cheap phone- Seeing as I needed a phone for Australia and also Asia afterwards, I decided to buy a cheap brick phone that I could use for calls and texts with a local sim card. This wasn’t expensive to buy but if you have one at home it’s better to bring it and save the hassle.

Packing for a working holiday can be overwhelming but it’s important to remember that the fundamental things that you need are just the same as any other trip. A year is a long time and it’s just not possible to pack everything you need. However, the great thing about Australia is that you can buy everything there so as long as you have your passport, money and your working holiday visa, all of the other stuff is expendable.

Do you have any more questions about doing a Working Holiday in Australia? Feel free to drop me a message or check out my guide on what to do when you arrive.  guide on what to do when you arrive.