There's a feeling that we get at some point in our lives that tells us we need to hightail it outta here and go on an adventure. It becomes so strong that we usually just can't handle it anymore... So we get online, search skyscanner for the cheapest flights, jump on Expedia for the best deals and book our 9 night stay in Seminyak in Bali because we could get a Flight and Hotel bundle for less than $2000 and it's pretty much all you ever see on Instagram, so why not right? Yet we come back from our holiday with that feeling still residing deep within us. Still tugging on our hearts urging us to go leave our shit 9 - 5 job with the hour long commute each way and live out of a back pack or do a working holiday on the other side of the world.
But do we ever act on it? Most of us are too scared, others don't know how, so ultimately, many feel stuck. And for those that have done it... I applaud your efforts and courageousness. I speak to a lot of people that have made the leap to foreign lands in the past and the common denominator - They are all trying to figure out how they can do it permanently. That's saying something...
If you're anything like me, you'll definitely be a little lost with all of this as I have a tendency to swap and change my mind the more I research into things. Usually because I find more stuff that's way cooler than the original idea! (Think of a puppy playing with a ball, then a butterfly flutters past).
There are loads of things you need to consider before moving overseas - Can I afford it? Where do I go? Why that country? How long will I stay there? What should I take? Do I know the Visa requirements for that country? Do I even qualify for a Visa? Is my line of work in demand over there? Am I prepared to find a new profession?...
The list of questions could take up an entire article alone! What I want to talk about is making the first move.
It personally took me a while to figure out what I should be doing with my life. I tried the Personal Trainer thing out, hated it. I tried the Travel Agent thing out, it was ok, but still felt unhappy. Prior to these roles, I've done everything from customer service, insurance, roof insulation, warehouse, process line work, modelling, charity work and trades. I'm well rounded in my skills and experiences and I never found happiness in any of it. So take it from me, it's OK not to know what you want to do. It's NOT ok to plow through the stresses of a job you hate in an environment that you don't want to be in! Leave! Follow your gut and your heart and find something else!
That feeling is telling you to quit. Follow your dreams and become happy. A lot of people who are too scared to do anything as bold as what you're thinking will tell you that you're running away, that you are just quitting and fleeing. Turn to them and say "What I am doing is harder than staying, it's scarier than dealing with this shit every day, it is riskier than remaining here and it's something you will never have the balls to do!" Who knows, you might see them on your travels in a year lol.
The first thing you need to do is listen to that feeling, don't manipulate it with things you want to hear. Sit back, relax and truly listen to what it's telling you. Is it saying Backpack through Europe? Move to Canada? Live in London? Volunteer at a turtle sanctuary in Costa Rica? Become a dive master in the Bahamas? Open a Ski Chalet in France?
What ever it is, listen, then write it down! Change your background on your phone/computer/tablet to a related picture, pick up a book on that country, put up pictures and posters of whatever it is. Generate visual stimuli to help keep that dream in the forefront of your thoughts as this will help you take action towards this goal on a daily basis.
Another useful resource you just might have access to is Facebook. You more than likely have a friend, or a friend of a friend who has moved overseas or has been working towards something similar. Ask them about it, or add them and start chatting about it. People are always willing to talk about themselves especially when someone is genuinely interested in hearing about it. There are also loads of different pages on the social network that you can join and start asking questions on. Again, you'll have answers in no time and they will be from people who have done it or are doing it right now.
There are also loads of different agencies that provide assistance to people who are thinking of doing a working holiday overseas. These companies help with the Visa application, staff housing, arrival assistance, interviews with employers, initial accommodation to recover from jet lag, on going support at destination and so much more. They obviously come with a fee but it's worth the money if you're a newbie traveler and they can definitely take a bit of the stress out of it all, especially if you're not confident or organised enough to tackle it yourself. (I have provided links below for a few of these providers.)
Compiling a list of documentation that you will need for job searching and interviews is something you probably want to get out of the way first, as it's tedious work and can be stressful if you don't know what line of work you're applying for. If you are doing something similar to me and moving to a place where there will be a very broad range of roles available, or gallivanting across different nations, it's a good idea to have a few resumes created. Each resume should be specific to the role you're applying for, so keep them as templates saved on your laptop and also in some sort of online storage like google drive (in case you lose your laptop... or destroy it). A cover letter is a must! And this should also be kept in the same format as your resumes and as multiple templates as well. Cover letters will grab the employers attention so make sure it is super specific to the role and company you're applying for. You'll also want some photos that you can attach to your resume, a head shot of you smiling should do the trick, so no depressing passport pics (unless the employer requests them), but you should carry copies of these regardless. Some companies require head shots to even be considered, so best be prepared.
Talking to your friends and family about your plans is also a great way to collect opinions and ideas. They are usually the ones that we are most frightened about telling because we don't want to disappoint them with our decision. But they are the people that love you the most, so they will always support you. They also know you better than anyone else, so they are more inclined to give the best advice and the best ideas. Take what they say on board and make sure that when you express your plans, it's coming from a place that shows them how much this means to you.
Now these are only a few steps to get the ball rolling. But the ball has to start rolling... And that ultimately comes down to you. Are you willing to make the first move? Are you willing to go explore the world and what it has to offer? Do you want to learn more about yourself? You never know, what you thought was the ideal city to live in might very well be something completely different, you just haven't experienced it yet. Ever meet someone and they're like "O.M.G. I love LA!" then you ask with sincere curiosity and even a hint of excitement "Have you been?" and they're like "No... But it looks amazing!" - Well these same people usually come back from their trip to good ol' LA singing a totally different Tune! #ExpectationVsReality
Now don't get me wrong, I'm just using this one city as an example. I'm not sitting here saying LA is a shithole... They are. Haha
Hell, you might even discover that you don't want to live in a city anymore! There are just way too many of us conforming to the fake dream of living in a city for it's status, or working to pay off a mortgage, or burying ourselves in debt because we want the latest model Ranger or Need to live in Sydney's East. Ever looked at the faces of the vast majority of people sitting on their 45 - 90 minute commute to an apartment that they spend 2 - 4 waking hours a day in and sacrifice half their fucking pay for!? They're miserable. It's all bullshit. The more we waste on materials, the more of life we waste!
Again. Don't get me wrong. If you're into that sort of life and are GENUINELY happy. Then you do you! Keep on Keepin' on homie. I'M just saying... Fuck that!
Sorry... Bit off topic. Where were we? Oh yeah.. So where do you start?
Well the answer to that is quite personal and can be different for each and every one of you reading this. Everyone has a preferred way of rolling that ball.
Soooooo I guess I don't have an answer for that question. HAHA
Anyway, forget that question... Focus on a different question.
...WHEN do I start?
And the answer to that is quite simple...
A Few Useful Sites: