It had been clear to me for a long time that I wanted to spend some time abroad after school. And since I, as a native of Hamburg, already feel like a citizen of the world, even the most distant destinations could not intimidate me. The only challenge was the choice of the respective travel destination. After all, there were a lot of exciting options here. New Zealand, Canada and Australia were the main countries I chose. Because apart from their geographical dimensions and impressive nature, these countries also offer the very practical model of a so-called "Work and Holiday" visa. This not only proves to be beneficial, as you get to know the country and its people, especially when working with locals and other travelers, but it also helps you to increase your travel budget.
Travel planning on my own
Since I have already spent a long time researching the topic of staying abroad and have come across many tragic-comic stories of former working holiday travelers who booked their stay in the country of their dreams with an organization and experienced many a nasty surprise, it was clear to me that I would rather rely on my own intuition. Apart from that, what was important to me was that boundless feeling of freedom and independence that one generally associates with living and working in Australia. Because it should be Down Under in the end. In the end, Australia combined pretty much everything I was hoping for from a six-month stay in a foreign country: unique nature experiences, a multi-faceted entertainment offer as well as a wealth of possible activities and ultimately, of course, work opportunities. It is clear that I was anything but petty in this respect. Because I was already used to a lot from numerous vacation jobs.
The only thing I was worried about were the necessary formalities. However, one look at relevant websites was enough to find out that the visa can be easily applied for online. In terms of jobs, I was, as already mentioned, open and open-minded to everything. Since you are only allowed to work for up to six months with a working holiday visa, I knew that I was somewhat limited in my choice of activities, since many industries are only looking for personnel for a longer period of time.
The most interesting jobs at a glance
Within the framework of a working holiday stay, jobs in the catering trade, in the tourism sector or in construction were the most popular. The latter were supposedly particularly well-paid, but somehow I had no great interest in wasting my precious time on excessively physically demanding work. For me, activities were more suitable, where I could meet nice people at the same time.
And there is no doubt that there is a lot of that in Australia! So I was lucky enough to find accommodation in a hostel right at my first stop in the lively metropolis of Melbourne, where I not only met countless like-minded people, but also particularly helpful personnel. Paul and Steve, for example, not only provided the reception and the always crowded bar with the necessary input, but also spread valuable information about comparatively lucrative jobs.
In order to make the most of my initial enthusiasm, I seized almost every opportunity that came my way. This included the weekend service at the hostel, where I met a lot of interesting young or young-at-heart people at the reception. met young-at-heart people from all over the world, for whom there was also nothing better than the passion for travel. During the week I worked during the day in a cafe located directly on the beach. From here I had a wonderful view of the sea, which somehow triggered homey feelings in me as a real Hamburger. However, I must confess that I bluffed a bit to get this job. Because from already collected experience could be truly no speech. In view of the already almost monumental espresso machine, I felt a little different. But also here there were great colleagues who quickly introduced me to the art of high-quality coffee preparation. In the evening hours I exchanged the brown bean for a little stronger ingredients. The owner of the coffee house, Ollie, who was only a few years older than me, was obviously taken with my eagerness to learn and work and immediately offered me a job in a bar on Rye Back Beach. It is located about 70 kilometers from Melbourne in the beautiful Mornington Peninsula region.
Harmonious combination of work and leisure as a recipe for success
Of course, whether you choose a booked or self-organized working holiday stay depends on your personal taste. The choice of activities is also up to everyone. I was certainly luckier than average to run into people in each place who helped me out in some way. As an insider tip, I can only recommend to allow yourself some time off every day, even if you have a hard job, in order to enjoy the beautiful sides of your host country. I have met many people who, after three hard months of picking fruit without any significant variety, were completely unnerved and exhausted and needed a period of regeneration first. Of course, working in the countryside can also be associated with great experiences. For me, however, the stay in Australia was above all so unforgettable and probably wonderful in every single moment, because I had to fulfill a whole potpourri of tasks every day and was rewarded for it with unique and varied impressions. In my free time at Rye Back Beach, for example, I had the opportunity to make friends with passionate surfers and to learn some tricks from them in order to improve my own skills.
Melbourne as a legendary metropolis with many faces also had its own charms to offer. Besides open-minded people and cultural diversity, an almost overwhelming entertainment program was waiting for me. This ensured that even during my busy phase in Melbourne I never really felt exhausted. Accordingly, after five months of varied activities, I was able to start my trip to the outback with a wealth of new experiences, beautiful memories and the necessary small change to get to know my host country also from the perspective of a relaxed backpacker.
The statement that traveling educates, I can now only confirm with regard to my wealth of experience gathered during the working holiday stay in Australia.