I think you'll really like San Diego and if your family are in Phoenix they are only about a 6 hour drive away. (You'll be seeing them a lot in the Summer, I'll bet!) I remember moving here in Santa Fe thinking...something's wrong...it's not between 68 and 72 degrees! (Santa Fe has a 7,000 foot elevation. I actually have Aspen trees in my front yard. Just a bit different than the beach...)
The Resorts in San Diego do get tourists from all over but you will also meet lots of Americans from different States as SD is a popular destination in the US. You'll also find lots of "Zonies" visiting during Summer, ("Zonies" being a term that Californians refer to those visiting from Arizona who come en-mass to escape the desert heat during Summer).
As for the resorts, I think I would e-mail them direct and try to find a kind soul who you can start to build a relationship with in advance. I would tell them that you have experience and would be very interested in working with them and ask them what their policies are. Aviara is actually a Four Seasons Resort and I know they will take employees from other Four Seasons around the World, so you think they would know what the criteria would be.
Here are the links to the three resorts I've mentioned:
Unfortunately, the Aviara Four Seasons only list a phone number or Fax, but a Fax may not be a bad investment.
Lastly, I must say, I have very fond memories of the Jamison Distillery!
LadyMacWilly ^..^ ~
[ Edit: Edited on May 23, 2008, at 3:22 PM by Ladymacwil ]
Actually, before you settle anywhere, I suggest you have a look see around the area without the car. I know California well, and it's true that SD is very attractive (great beach scene and a very busy tourist/convention business), but SF is not exactly hard to take either, and transportation there will be much easier (car not needed at all). I suggest a week in 2 or 3 cities before deciding. I live in Portland, Oregon and it's a smaller version of SF (especially good for people who like nature, music and good food) - it's also much cheaper up here than California!
Just the cost of parking your car can kill you here - fines and parking fees can add up very quickly in American cities.
Thank you Lady, I really like the look of those places, they look stunning!
For the most part thats exactly what I want to get out of it, to come to another country and to experience what its like to live there, rather than as a tourist, as such. I think the hotel / services industry is probably the best option, as of course the staff turnover and constant need for this type of employment.
So here goes with the direct approach, I'll send a few emails out introducing myself and asking what they can offer me! To be honest I don't really care what it is, the money isn't an issue, I just want to get out there and amongst it. Plus hotel people are some of the most sociable I know so hopefully shouldn't be a problem there.
Wish me luck!
Oh by the way, never been to the Jameson distillery, however the Guiness Brewery in Dublin is a must.
Just to add, over the summer I would really like to visit Cuba (I have family friends there and would like to see how rusty my grasp on spanish is nowadays) - would it be possible to get flights mainland (not too sure if the total embargo still exists) or would I have to go to Jamaica or the Cayman Islands for a flight?
Since it's actually illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba, you will not be able to find a direct flight ther from the US. I suggest to go via Mexico City, or else via Kingston, Jamaica.
No way, really? Actually... Illegal? Wow, alright - I didn't know that. I did hear somewhere that by statute now anyone whose visited Cuba can't travel to the U.S for 15 years. Don't know if its true though.
I'm really interested in working in a hotel / resort type kinda place, as I've worked at both a 4 star hotel (totally shite work but the best social atmosphere I've ever experienced) and a Golf 'Resort' as they liked to call it after the revamp, basically much of the same except a hotel, golf course and club house. All menial work but enjoyable all the same. Pay isn't really an issue either, so long as I've got more coming in than whats going out, or breaking even at best then thats all good.
How do you think its best to approach these things looking for overseas work? I'm thinking first contact email, then if interested send out a CV, then go from there? If anyone knows I'd be much obliged.
"there's nothing about the East Coast that really interests me that much."
I have travelled alot of the States, both the east and west coast, north and south. I love alll of the USA (except Alabama - I had a bad experience there. LOL!) and I recommend that you keep yourself open to the east coast.....man, how could you skip NYC?!
You know, besdies the major attactions like NYC, Boston, Cape Cod, Atlantic City, Washington, Philadelphia, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Miami, etc., there's so much to expericence and discover between those places. From Maine all the way to Florida, there are thousands of beautiful Americans towns, national parks, and great beaches. There are also tons of historical sites to visit! And the Mid West isn`t far away either. In my opinion there really is so much to see and visit on the east coast. You`ve got it all there!
On the other hand California rocks!! It may be may favorite state and San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world (I loved it so much I managed to live there for 4 months).
Anyhow, if I had a limited budget, this was my first trip to the USA, and I had to chose east coast or west coast, well, I would tend to stick near the Atlantic coast. I dunno what you know about the USA but I recommend that you buy yourself a Lonely Planet USA so that you can read and chose what`s best for you.
Thanks, yeah I'll pick one up and have a leaf through. Well, to be honest its not really that theres nothing that interests me about the East Coast per se, its just I think (from my 'reliable' limited knowledge of the US :P) that maybe the West Coast may be more my thing. But to be honest who knows? From living with a guy from Colorado for a few months when I was 16, I learnt that the US, like most other countries, doesn't conform to a rigid stereotype. In much the same way that over here, someone from Cornwall could be (and invariably is) completely different to someone from Essex or Merseyside, and vice-versa.
It was put to me interestingly, that to refer to someone from the US rigidly as 'American', was much the same as refering to someone from the UK as 'European' - something that I and most of my fellow countrymen vehemently detest!
So, in perspective, I don't think it really matters where I go, I just want to experience the USA for what it is and what each different notion of it should be. Thats the fun of it, after all