So you are wondering how to travel overseas but don’t quite know where to start, or how to go about it. This is Part Two of the series all about how to work abroad. You can check out Part One here. We will wait for you…
Hope you enjoyed it!
As explained in that post, your first option is to take off around the world for a couple of months on an extended holiday. The alternative, and the one we have been doing for over 2 years, is to pack your entire life in to the largest suitcase airlines will accept and move overseas on a working holiday.
How to Work Abroad
Working abroad gives you massive flexibility in what you can do on your overseas travels as you hopefully won’t be restricted by time and you will have a bigger budget as you earn money to travel.
The best part of working abroad is that you can travel slow taking your time to get under destinations skins as there is no strict itinerary. While some places like Marrakech can be explored over a couple of days, other cities like Munich require much more exploration. So luckily when on a working holiday you won’t feel rushed and you can go back again and again and again!
Slow travelling also allows you to learn about and immerse yourself in another culture. If you stay in a town long enough then the locals will start treating you as one of them. You will also get invited to some great local shindigs that you would never get to experience at home.
In Part One we discussed the budget being one of the major drawbacks to an extended holiday as you are forever counting your pennies and watching your bank account deplete. With working holidays you will have a bigger budget as you can work as little or as much as you want.
Having an income whilst you are traveling allows you to splurge just that little bit more. Instead of hostels you can afford to sleep in a proper hotel room. Or go out for dinner instead of making peanut butter sandwiches on the side of the street.
Trying to weigh up the work/life/travel balance is something that I have not succeeded at yet. I still find it hard to say yes when someone invites me down to the pub as I will be thinking that the $5 could have been spent on a tasty treat in a far off destination.
Picking the right destination for your working holiday is the key to having a great time. I think it is even more important than the actual job you choose.
For example, if all you want to do is snowboard on your days off then obviously living in the Canadian Rockies is a perfect choice. However, if you want to travel around Europe then this option won’t work so somewhere central is going to make sense so that you can take lots of short breaks to a number of destinations.
The classic move by most Kiwi’s and Aussie’s to London is an excellent example, while Edinburgh (where we are) is currently proving pretty popular as well. We love $15 flights to Paris for weekend trips!
Now that you have in mind the place you want to go you better first figure out if you can actually work there. As Kiwi’s we find it very easy to obtain work permits or visas basically wherever we want. If you are another nationality then make sure you look into where you can and cannot work first. And of course, you should check out TurboTax Online for potential tax requirements back home.
Basically, we don’t want to get your hopes up if it’s not going to work for you so do your research into visas.
We will be posting up more helpful tips on obtaining visas for the United Kingdom, Canada and USA in the near future so make sure you follow us on Facebook by clicking this link and the LIKE button to be kept up to date as these come out.
If you need help with getting a visa then there are a number of companies that can help. Checking out IXPvisas.com is a good place to start.
There are of course drawbacks to working abroad. The biggest being the time you spend away from your family. However, as usual there is a silver lining. The friends you make overseas become your extended family and lifelong friendships are formed from the overseas experiences you share.
In addition the longer you spend overseas the longer the more you are putting off making a life for yourself back home. We do not own any property. All of our belongings fit in a suitcase (okay maybe two) and my biggest asset back home is a surfboard stored in Mum and Dads garage.
But we do have a lot of good memories!
So what is the best option for you to travel overseas?
My honest opinion would be to try and do a mix of both options. Work in a country for a year or two, do some great weekend trips and then save hard to take a few months off before you go home or on to another country.
I hope these two articles have helped with helping you decide how to work abroad but if you ever have any questions please flick us an email.