I'm looking to create an 18 month solo adventure for myself starting this September and I can't even make my first decision. Do I start UK than travel east to AUS/NZ or do it in reverse?
Yes climate plays a role but what I am more afraid of is blowing my budget trying to survive in the UK while on a workholiday visa since I believe the cost of living is much greater in Europe. Is it in my best interest to get my UK work holiday visa first and travel Europe over the first year or will I have a better time finding employment and saving valuable travel money working AUS/NZ first? Inexpensive places to live with unique job opportunities are high on my need to know.
I'll be starting my journey with $8000 CDN (airfair paid), will this be enough to keep me afloat?
Any Help/Advice is appreciated.
P.S. Has anyone worked with the SWAP program?
$8000 CAD is about $11000 NZD, which is roughly what a university student is expected to live off here. In the cheaper parts that is viable (just), but in Wellington or Auckland you would definitely need to work part time. A full time minimum wage job here gives you about twice that (after tax). If you were interested in working as a WWOOFer then I think NZ is probably a pretty good place to do it.
I'm currently about to move to Europe from NZ, and I have to say, the conversion rate from NZD to Euros or Pounds isn't great, it is pretty hard to save money here to move there, it is more than halved for GBP. But I think you could be here for a year and easily balance out your living with work, and keep most of your savings for travelling in the UK.
I live in NZ by the way, but I'm afraid I really can't offer much advice on the other sections of your journey. Although I know wages are higher in Australia, a lot of New Zealanders move there to work and save money, so perhaps that could be a place to save money for Europe?
Thanks to the depression of 2009, jobs are not easy to come by anywhere unless you have a needed skill. People think they can walk straight into a fruit picking job in Australia. There was a bit in the UK papers about needing workers in Adelaide though. They can't. I don't know about right now but not many months ago, quite a number of New Zealanders returned home from the hard times abroad and they actually sacked non NZ workers to give the returning people jobs.
Britain is expensive and crowded. Not many jobs, and they will be minimum wage.
Generally if someone wants a long time off on the cheap, they go Thailand (away from Bangkok, most places it's business as usual) or India, where you can live very cheaply on very little.