Roughly 9 months ago I was sitting in the airport, my hands shaking a little with the weight of the decision I had made. After a 2 week pit-stop at home, I had repacked my bags to start all over again in Australia.
I had just spent a year away from my friends and family, so I wasn’t quite sure why I was doing it all over again. I mean, I kind of knew that I wanted more adventure and challenge than London life promised, but was that enough to take this chance of it all going ~tits up~?
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with London life. I’m probably going to experience it at some point. It was that, after a year in New York, London life depressed me a little. I wasn’t done exploring new things. London was too familiar.
Then again, don’t think I am deluded into thinking that moving to Australia on a working holiday visa is the height of adventure and mystery. You only have to walk down Coogee beach on Saturday to know that hundreds of other British people had the exact same thought. It doesn’t make it easy though, promise.
1. The first bit is really easy.
If you’re British all you have to do is apply for a WHV which comes back in maximum a week. Book a flight. Save some money. And thats it. Congrats! you can move to Australia. You’re going to learn to surf and get fit and be a golden God on Bondi.
2. The second bit is exciting
You’re on the plane, it’s taking off – fuck me you’ve actually done it! You’re bloody well going to Australia. Fuck da haterz you’re amazing.
3. The third bit is kind of like …….shit.
So you’ve arrived, and the weight of the decision hits you. You MIGHT know one person in Australia. You have limited funds and fucking hell Australia is expensive. $9 for a schooner you’ve got to be kidding me right? Not even a pint? Anyone? Oh wait no, you don’t have any friends to express this to apart from the ones you’ve just flown 10.5k miles from.
4. Now you have to get a job
You’ve been exploring the sites and marvelling at the sunshine but you should probably make some money. Job hunting is a bit shit anyway. But now no one will hire you because you can only work for 6 months at a time. You’re much better qualified than all those Aussie grads but sorry love, you’re kind of annoying to employ.
5. You’ve been here for a month and funds are running out.
Rent is $300 a week for a dinky room. You’ve been to 6 job interviews. You start looking at flights home in a desperate panic at 2am and rehearse your ‘Australia wasn’t really doing it for me’ speech for your friends and family back home.
6. In the space of 2 weeks you find a job and somewhere decent to live. And fuck me, you’ve also got some friends now too.
It happened all at once but somehow things seem to have worked out? You’ve made friends in all sorts of places (shout out to my bus friend Sam). There are people who actually want to hang out with you at the weekend and now you’re earning money, $22 for avocado and poached eggs is a great deal!
7. You’re earning more money than you dreamed of in London.
Yes prices and living costs are higher, but it still seems to work out that you’re better off. This leaves room for more eating out at the insanely good cafes and the incredibly superior coffee. How did you not notice before that the food and drink in the UK was actually a bit shit?
8. Sun is the standard and rain has become a rare annoyance.
You can’t put your finger on it but you just feel happier. The blue skies everyday lift your spirits. Planning outdoor activities in advance is possible, and the beach is only a 10 minute stroll from your front door. Beers in the sun isn’t a treat but the usual state of affairs. Going on a hike is bloody great.
9. You try and snag some sponsorship because the thought of going back to the cold and dark fills you with dread.
You’ve proven yourself to be a hard worker and general great laugh around the office so you propose that they keep you around. You change your job title to fit in with the visa requirements and sit with your fingers crossed for 5 months.
10. You start using the words heaps, hectic, arvo – and in general just add an ‘o’ to the end of everything. Huntsman spiders in your bathroom don’t bother you anymore.
Congrats, you’re Australian.