A Working Holiday lets you visit a country for longer than if you were a tourist, whilst also allowing you to take on short-term jobs to help replenish your funds along the way. Reciprocal agreements between certain countries exist to encourage travel, though they are not without restrictions, so make sure to do your homework! A few of these include:
- Age restrictions (generally 18 – 35 years)
- Limits on the type of, and length of employment
- Some countries require the visa holder to have Health Insurance
- Access to sufficient funds until employment found
So why do one? Well there are the obvious reasons…like spending a year (or two) living, working and exploring your way around a new country, ticking off bucket lists and experiencing places that many regret never seeing. Besides these, here are a few more –
You get out of your comfort zone – which for some may be a daunting prospect. Having to familiarise yourself with foreign environments and cultures will initially bring an element of discomfort, but this will soon turn into a confidence and inner strength you might not have known you had.
Become culturally aware – gain insight into how & why people from other cultures do certain things and live a certain way. Get to really know and learn about people whose background is totally different from yours and gain a sensitivity which will help you both personally and professionally well into the future.
The choice is yours – depending on your funds, its up to you when you work, and when you don’t. You may need to hit the ground running and work to build up your funds, then choose to spend the remainder of your time exploring your country of choice. Alternatively, you might work consistently, moving on when you feel the times right, its all up to you.
Leave when you want – a working holiday visa alleviates the issue of needing thousands of pounds in your account before leaving, so you are free to go without the lack funds holding you back. You will however, need to show that you can support yourself for the journey.
Learn new skills – want to pick fruit, work in a bar, be a tour guide, teach English, be a ski instructor, camp leader, be a bartender, work in retail? The list is endless, the choice is varied and you will be astounded at what you may fall into whilst in your country of choice.
The people you meet – working in a new country allows you to gain a real understanding of local culture that you would not get on a 2-week holiday. Local people open you up to all sorts of experiences and tips that the average tourist misses out on. It’s also a great way to meet other fellow nomads and swap stories.
Finally, taking the brave step to do a working holiday will change you as a person – for the better. It will open you up to whole range of different cultures, places, experiences and skills which will make you see the world from a different perspective.