This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to speak with the daughter of a work friend. Victoria is 18 and getting ready to embark on a solo backpacking trip to New Zealand this winter! Her mom, having heard me rattle on and on about my RTW trip, thought it would be a good idea to get us together so she could pick my brain about what to expect on this 3 month sojourn. Previously, the farthest Victoria has ever traveled has been Massachusetts soooo yea, this is a HUGE deal. I’m so excited for her!
We talked, well, actually, I talked for 2+ hours and Victoria and Sue (her mom) asked me questions when I stopped to breathe. (It’s hard to shut me up once I start talking about travel). I know she’s nervous, but I really believe she is going to thrive out there. She came off as grounded, smart, conscientious and funny, traits that will not only keep her safe, but will also easily make her friends on the road. I know she’s going to have a blast and I can’t wait to hear about her experiences!
If anyone has tips for a first-time traveler, comment below and I’ll make sure to pass them along!!
The past few days, my life has been consumed with researching how to work abroad in Australia and New Zealand. At this point, I think I’m more confused than I was when I started looking into the subject. It seems like the only way to get a job as a non-citizen is to join one of the numerous (and expensive) work abroad programs floating around on the web, but which one to choose?? BUNAC has a program that has been built on a solid foundation. InterExchange seems to have a great reputation as does Real Gap…and a dozen other companies…Suffice it to say I’m lost. If anyone has gone through the process of getting a Working Holiday visa in one of these two countries as well as getting a job and can provide me with some tips, I would love to hear from you!
Last night, I couldn’t sleep (starting to be a trend, it seems like) and so I took a serious look at my must-haves, i’d-like-tos, and it’d-be-nice-tos in terms of countries to visit on my trip. I also took a long, hard look at the cost of traveling in these countries and what it will cost to get to those countries.
After weighing the pros and cons, I’ve decided to axe Australia and New Zealand from the list. I knoowww, it’s Australia and New Zealand! I feel like I have to go, that I should go and that it is expected for me to go if I’m going to do this huge year long trip. But. The cost of getting to those countries coupled with the fact that I’d be there during their winter makes the prospect of those countries a bit less attractive at this point. So I’ve decided to save them for another trip. I think. I don’t know. I still want to go there, but I’m just not sure it’s a must do for this trip.
Please, please, please someone advise me! Is it worth going to Australia and New Zealand in what will be the coldest time of year or should I put those off for another trip? When I go, I want to be able to dive the Great Barrier Reef, go on walk-about in the Outback, and explore Maori culture. Plus, I feel like Australia and New Zealand would be awesome places to go to with a few friends.
So, yea, maybe I’ll just hold off. There are 20+ other countries I want to go on this trip and I have to make cuts somewhere. Cutting those 2 countries would save me a buttload of money…over $1,000 just for getting to and from them. If anyone has any suggestions on how to cut costs to these countries or whether or not it’s worth shelling out the cash, I’d love to hear from you! Thanks!