Hey guys, new to the site, be gentle.
I've recently turned 22, and have started to look at my life and really re-evaluate what's going on. I'm single, so no ties there. Have a part-time job at a pub, no ties there. Live with parents, no mortgage, no ties there. No car, no ties. See a theme? With all my friends talking/going travelling, it's got me thinking about it.
So, I was thinking maybe a month or two would be a good amount of time. I've just started saving, and have about £1000 at the moment. If I'm looking to going late summer, August/September, that gives me about 7 months to plan and really try and get something sorted. I just feel like I need to experience more of the world while I'm still young, before I really start to strive for my ideal job, or get into a serious relationship. Australia appeals, especially New Zealand, but I'm not really sure where to begin. Wondering if you guys could point me into the right direction. Due to money, I have no problem with working whilst I'm out there. I have retail/bar experience, so hopefully that helps? I'd like to go with people too. There's a possibility I may have some friends to go with, but a group of people of similar age on maybe a tour or something would be good?
I'm still in the early planning stages, so any advice and guidance would be awesome guys. Thanks.
1.) If you're nervous enough that you want to stay within a certain comfort zone and remain in a developed country that speaks the same language, eats basically the same foods, listens to basically the same music, watches basically the same movies, wears basically the same clothes, etc. then Australia and/or New Zealand (and Canada, etc.) are excellent choices. They all offer a nice familiar comfort zone while still being delightfully different than home.
2.) If you want to travel to a truly "foreign" destination with a different language/culture yet still offering a non intimidating experience with a very well developed infrastructure for foreign backpackers then consider a place like SE Asia, in particular Thailand. There are countless first time travellers so it's easy to meet new friends - in fact it's frightfully easy to become completely immersed in the hostel/backpacker culture and never deal with the locals hardly at all.
3.) Then there's everything else... getting off-the-beaten-path in easy destinations like SE Asia, or going where there's almost no foreigners at all... the possibilities are endless.
Good luck with your research and have fun.
Thanks for the reply Terry!
Backpacking doesn't really appeal, I've never even been camping before so I think that says it all! Also, being a first-timer, somewhere with the same language would probably be really beneficial, along with the cultural familiarities. How dull ha.
I've read up on OzIntro, which looks like it would be a great way to start Australia, the thing that worries me is the flights, and general cost. I'd apply for a working visa, but is there a way in that isn't going to cost me what I have saved for the moment just on a flight?!!
Backpacking in this sense does NOT refer to camping/tents/bonfire... it refers to budget travel in general. That means staying in hostels, travelling via local transport, etc.
Since budget is a concern then reconsider travelling to an expensive developed country... for what it costs to have one decent weekend in Australia you can live like a king for a week in SE Asia...
You have loads of options in front of you. Have fun with your research.
If you are concerned about the flight costs to Australia and only looking at travelling for a month or two, you might want to look into a few other destination options. You'll only be issued the WHV once in your life so save it for a time when you want to spend the full year travelling.
It also means LOTS more money (for proof of funds and enough to sustain you while job searching) so 7 months may not be enough lead time for you, depending on your saving style, of course.
Dip your toes instead and spend a few weeks in some of the cheaper Asian countries, swing by New Zealand and Australia on your way home so you'll have an idea of the cost of living if you choose to come back on a WHV later.
Alternatively, lie on a beach in Thailand for two months
The US or Canada might be good cheaper options. Australia's exchange rate really isn't helping at the moment. Australians are even preferring to go overseas because it's often cheaper than travelling within Australia at the moment.
But yeah, if money is an issue, then I'd agree with Terry that SE Asia is a good option. It's really not that hard to get by without speaking the local language. A lot of people around the world, particularly in the roads-more-travelled do in fact speak a little English at least. And you'll be saving so much money that it's worth any tiny bit of inconvenience. I say go for it!
Appreciating your replies guys! Very good points in terms of costs, Australia/New Zealand has just been a wish-list for a while, however it is fairly pricey.
I had thought of SE Asia, but not in great detail - any hints to the best places to go? Things to do? It certainly would be the cheaper option, and Kellie, lying on a beach in Thailand does sound very appealing I must say!!!
Canada is somewhere I've always fancied Peter, do you have any knowledge yourself of the place?
Definitely having a re-think now, going to have to see how much I can save but travelling around a place and being able to live comfortably would be fantastic. Thanks, food for thought!
SE Asia in general is firmly on the Gringo Trail now and Thailand in particular has been hosting backpackers for decades and has an extensive backpacker infrastructure in place. It's super easy to research, there are loads of guide books covering the area thoroughly.
Canada is... well, Canada... so absolutely no surprises there and as a developed nation it couldn't be easier to research. In terms of working there Google "International Experience Canada" for info about a working holiday visa. (The website is down for the moment.)
My main experience with Canada is in the Quebec province and a few days in Toronto. Montreal and Quebec are great cities to visit in my view. One thing to note about Quebec is that knowing a bit of French can actually be quite handy, particularly when you start reaching small towns. I recall one hotel in particular that we stayed at out on the Gaspé peninsula; the hosts didn't speak a word of English. For me, that just adds to the fun though I'd love to go back to that part of the world sometime. It's really quite beautiful.