I’ve been back from my travels for a bit more than a month now and got so many questions about it so I thought why not make a blogpost about it. Most common questions were how I organized everything, what I did, what I can recommend and if I travelled alone. So let’s get started….
When I finished my A-levels I was already sure about going abroad and not studying straight away. It’s just a perfect time to do it. Most of the time you don’t have a proper job to be worries about yet, no kids to care for, etc and if you know it early enough you can start to save up for travelling.
Next question I asked myself was where to go. First I thought about going to Canada (definitely still on my bucket list!) but since I wanted to go in beginning of October and love summer, I thought I’d better skip winter somewhere. Furthermore I didn’t want to go somewhere close so no Europe. Asia is nice for travelling but not working (at least from what I heard) and I wanted to travel for at least half a year which made a Work&Travel thing quite attractive to me. That brought me to Australia. October is spring in OZ, it’s warm and sunny and perfect for backpackers.
How did I start planning my trip to Australia? First thing I did was applying for my Working Holiday Visa online. They say it can take up to four weeks until you get accepted but my application went through within 24 hours. After that I started looking up flights and found a group flight from Frankfurt to Sydney. I wanted to travel alone but had nothing against getting to know new people on the flight so that’s what I booked.
When I booked my flight a open return ticket was already included. It means that I can book in a flight back home at any time and I liked the thought of being able to return whenever I want. I didn’t know who would be on my group flight to Sydney but that was fine with me.
Besides that I really didn’t plan that much. I wrote some CVs and printed them, checked on my passport (to make sure it doesn’t expire in my time abroad), found myself a travel insurance, copied the most important documents, applied for a credit card and opened a bank account in Australia which you can easily do online (I went for the Commonwealth Bank).
The only thing I knew when I took my flight was that I had the first three nights accommodation save and that I wanted to stay in Sydney for a while to work and experience the life in this city. After that I thought I might travel up the East Coast but I didn’t really make plans for that. And that is exactly what I would recommend to anyone and everyone. Don’t plan too much! Plans often change during travelling, you meet someone cool to travel with or you just suddenly feel like going somewhere else – whatever it is, if you leave your plans a bit open you have the time to give those feelings space and let them leed you.
Just as an example: after working in Sydney for about three month I originally had the idea of travelling up the East Coast. As it was January it was pretty hot in Australia and also the rain season at the East Coast. Especially up in Cairns it’s very humid around that time of the year. I talked a lot to other backpackers to figure out what to do next and it came to my mind that I could just go to New Zealand. It’s not as hot as Oz in January but still warm, it’s easy to travel around over there and you get a three month tourist visa without applying for it.
Flying to NZ was exactly what I did and what can I say – it was one of the best decisions I made while travelling. The landscape is absolutely beautiful and is of such a big variety it’s incredible. From sand dunes in the noth, beaches, rolling hills, volcanoes to huge mountains and glaciers in the south, you can see everything there. I spent seven weeks over there and travelled the north and south island and it was just perfect.
After NZ I went back to Sydney, did a roadtrip to the Royal National Park and took a flight to Melbourne where I lived in a shared-house for a month. During my three months in Sydney I lived in a shared-house as well, it’s way cheaper (and more comfortable) than staying in a hostel all the time and they are quite easy to find. Just keep your eyes peeled on websites like Gumtree or Flatmates.com.au.
Starting from Melbourne I went to Adelaide, travelled all the way through the Outback to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and to Alice Springs. From there I took a plane to get to Cairns and travelled down the East Coast until I got to Sydney again. I organized all of that quite spontanously which is no problem at all in Australia. I even had days were I didn’t know where to sleep the next day but there’s always a hostel or place to stay at. Doing the Outback wasn’t even planned but it was worth the experience and I’m glad I did it as well.
To put it all in a nutshell I travelled eight months instead of the planned six months and came back home to surprise my dad for his birthday. Eight month were the perfect time for me and I really encourage you to go travelling if you can.
For those of you who are afraid of travelling alone: just do it! You learn so much about others and yourself and open up to new people way easier after that. Of course your english improves as well (if it’s not already your mother language). I didn’t feel lonely at all during these eight month and although I missed home a few times I really enjoyed everything about travelling. You get to know so many cool people and some you even stay friends with.
As this blogpost is long enough already I will stop here, leave me a comment if you have any further questions and check out the pictures above! 🙂